Kathmandu,4 Nov 2014:Â The concept of forming a South Asian News Agency Forum has been floated.
The concept was presented in a conference of SAARC Media Forum kicked off here from today for open discussions. An idea of establishing the South Asian News Agency Forum together with the Media Forum was brought for free exchange of news, information and photos among SAARC member states, and for capacity building of human resources and the development technology in news agencies in the region.
Both government and private sector journalists from eight countries- Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri-Lanka, Maldives, Bhutan and Afghanistan- are taking part in the conference held by the SAARC Information Center which was established in Nepal in 2005 AD. The conference is expected to discuss vivid dimensions of information and communications and conclude by issuing the Kathmandu declaration.
Inaugurating the conference, Minister for Information and Communications Dr Minendra Rijal expressed his confidence that the upcoming 18th SAARC Summit that Nepal is going to host this month would help bring social and economic progress in the region. The Summit will, consolidating mutual ties, add a new dimension to mutual trust and confidence.
The Information and Communications Minister further stressed the need of press freedom to strengthen democracy and attain durable economic development. Positive impact of global change in socio-economic sector has seen in the SAARC as it has helped taking the mutual relations among SAARC members to a new height, he said, highlighting the role of media to improve living standard of the people in the region.
SAARC Secretary-General Arjun Bahadur Thapa said the concept of forming South Asian New Agency Forum is for free flow of news and information among SAARC members. The conference will prove a milestone in further promotion of media.
SIC director Laxmi Bilas Koirala hoped the conference held in the context of the 18th SAARC Summit would contribute to the development of the media in the region.
Prof Ram Krishna Regmee, presenting a working paper on enhancing flow of SAARC information through media networks, argued that media can open a door to economic and social progress of SAARC countries and people.