ALMATY, Kazakhstan, 31 May 2019 – The 10th Annual Central Asian Forum on Internet Development concluded in Almaty today. The Forum was held with the support of the OSCE Programme Office in Nur-Sultan in co-operation with the International Centre for Journalism MediaNet and the Konrad-Adenauer- Stiftung in Kazakhstan.
The theme of the Forum was “Digital Literacy: Competence, Security, Consumption.” Participants discussed the role of the state, media, and society in the development of the information environment, the influence of the Internet on public life, media and information literacy, fact-checking and freedom of expression in Central Asia. The issues of cyber security and protection of personal data, counteracting disinformation, deep-fakes, hate speech, and violent extremism were also considered.
Some 200 participants took part in the two-day event, including government officials, civil society representatives, media-related non-governmental organizations, professional associations, the diplomatic corps, experts, lawyers and journalists from all Central Asian countries, Belarus, the Czech Republic, the Russian Federation, Singapore, and Ukraine, as well as a representative from the Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media.
Diana Digol, Deputy Head of the OSCE Programme Office in Nur-Sultan said: “The Internet creates new opportunities for media development and facilitates rapid delivery of information to the public, including through social networks. However, it is also the source of substantial challenges and even threats to freedom of expression and freedom of speech. With this in mind, it is critical to building capacity on the mechanisms of legal regulation of media on the Internet.”
Thomas Helm, the Resident Representative of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung in Kazakhstan, said: “One of the biggest challenges of the digital age is to let all people participate in it. Good digital communication is not a playground for a few but is one of the core competencies of our time. The fight against digital poverty, therefore, needs to be an integral part of a good media policy.”
The Forum was part of the Office’s work in promoting freedom of expression and freedom of media in Kazakhstan and the Central Asia region.