Statement of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan Sirodjidin Aslov
at the 17th Central Asia Media Conference Digitalization for Freedom of the Media
19 November 2015, Dushanbe, Tajikistan
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would first of all like to welcome you to Tajikistan and express my appreciation to the OSCE and other partners for the organization of today’s Conference.
In today’s globalizing world information and technologies play a crucial role. Mass-media has a pivotal part to play. Being an informal, but one of the branches of power, they accumulate both creative and sometimes destructive power.
Nowadays mass-media representatives play an important role, as their professionalism determines development of the state, the level of democracy and freedom of society. And of course they help to strengthen peace and reconciliation.
It should be mentioned that currently a fierce war unfolds not only in the combat zones, but also in the global information space. Information warfare has become an attribute of modern international relations "soft power", which determines a winner in the conflicts of the XXI century.
Cybercrimes today is not only a technical and legal challenge, however a social problem, an effective solution of which requires, first and foremost, a systematic and holistic approach to the development of the foundations of security and the vital interests of the citizen, society and state in cyberspace.
Unfortunately nowadays we can notice that the internet platform and other means are used actively by extremist groups with the view to manipulate younger generation and enroll young people in their groups. Moreover, their appeal is heard not only in Central Asian countries, but all over the world.
Tajikistan in its information-legal policy pays a particular attention in regulation of social relations in the sphere of information, in establishment of a mechanism for information and access to information.
The Government of Tajikistan in accordance with the Constitution and its International commitments continues to create favorable conditions for the further development of freedom of speech and media, promotion of the information security and enhancement of the legal basis for the Media activities.
In this context, the Tajik Government in collaboration with a wide range of representatives of independent media and civil society has elaborated and adopted the Law of the Republic of Tajikistan on “Periodicals and other mass media” (in 2013).
We consider this Law as a comprehensive framework for the broad-based operation of mass-media in the country. Decriminalization of “slander” and “offense” from the Criminal Code of the Republic of Tajikistan and their inclusion in the Administrative Code is yet another step forward to promote protection of rights and freedoms of journalists.
In order to ensure access to the information and transparency, the Government issued an order in accordance to which all governmental structures are obliged to conduct press conferences twice a year and disseminate reports on their activities and outcomes.
Peace is a key element for the development of any state, and Mass media have a significant role to play. As the President of the Republic of Tajikistan His Excellency Emomali Rahmon noted, I quote: "The national interest and a stability of the society require from the domestic media not only be a mighty informative machine, but also have to serve for the protection of national interests, in particular the security of the state and the society". End of quote.
In conclusion, I wish to reiterate that the Government of Tajikistan stands ready to continue, develop and deepen cooperation with the OSCE and other intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations in the sphere of mass-media.
I wish you a fruitful deliberation.