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International cooperation on the agenda at ASBU General Assembly

The ABU and EBU have pledged to boost cooperation with the Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU) and its members during a key debate at the 33rd General Assembly of ASBU in Tunis.

The theme for the key Professional Discussion Session was “ International Cooperation in the Audiovisual Field: Future Prospects and Challenges”.

The session was chaired by the ASBU Director-General Mr Salah Eddine  Maaoui., with speakers including: ABU Secretary-General Dr Javad Mottaghi; Ms Ingrid Deltenre, Director-General of the EBU; Mr Alain Masse, General Manager URTI and Mr Pier Luigi Malesani, Secretary-General of the Permanent Conference of the Mediterranean Audiovisual Operators (COPEAM).

Speakers looked at international-national partnerships in news exchange, technology, capacity-building, program exchange and radio and television co-production. The session aimed to lay the foundations and practical mechanisms for a productive sustainable partnership among broadcasting unions and other international stakeholders. The session also addressed some major co- production projects that could be conducted by major regional broadcasting unions.

ABU Secretary General Javad Mottaghi proposed the creation of an inter-union taskforce, open to other professional bodies, to discuss possible communication structures and priorities.

Ms Deltenre said the EBU would discuss special initiatives with the broadcasters and with ASBU, with further clarification due at the EBU general assembly in June 2014.

All parties agreed that collaborative efforts would be instrumental in helping Arab state broadcasters to become true public service media – an evolution demanded by citizens in the wake of the Arab Spring.