"Community Media and the Arab Spring" International Conference will start tomorrow in Tunis

Montreal, March 8th, 2012. The Middle East and North Africa Community Media Working Group, the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) the Community Media Network (CMN), International Media Support (IMS) and Inter Press Service, with the support of Oxfam Novib, UNESCO, EED and Open Society Foundation (OSF), organize the first International Conference on Community Media and the Arab Spring, that will be held at Hotel Majestic, Tunis, March 9-10, 2012. For registration and further information, please visit here or contact AMARC at secretariat@si.amarc.org
The event will gather more than a hundred freedom of expression and communication rights activists as well as practitioners and stakeholders of the community media movement. The International Conference on Community Media and the Arab Spring will facilitate reflection on what has been achieved so far, clarify challenges and define strategies for the right to communicate in the region.
In announcing the Conference, Maria Pia Matta, AMARC’s president, said that “holding the first conference on community media in the Middle East and North Africa in Tunisia is a symbol of the recognition of the social and political movement that started the Arab Spring and opened the way to media and political pluralism. In this perspective, implementation of international human rights standards, essential to democratic societies, is a fundamental challenge for all social actors of the region.”
The first regional conference on Community Media and the Arab Spring will allow experiences sharing and definition of strategies for media pluralism and independence; for democratic, equitable and sustainable development; and for the promotion of cultural and linguistic diversity in the Mediterranean region.
AMARC has been active for several years in the MENA region, sharing the community radio experience as an essential component of democratic development. AMARC was a founder, in 2004, of the IFEX Tunisia Monitoring Group. In November 2006, the community radio movement and stakeholders gathered for the AMARC 9 world conference in Amman, Jordan, hosted by Ammannet, the pioneering community radio of the Middle East. In 2007, at the AMARC Africa and MENA Conference, in Rabat, Morocco, advocacy strategies were reinforced. In 2011, the Arab Spring has brought the emergence of new community radios in Tunisia and paved the way for concrete possibilities elsewhere. In collaboration with IMS, CMN and other freedom of expression partners, AMARC has shared knowledge and supported the emergence of pluralistic and independent media.
Through service to members, networking and project implementation, the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters AMARC, brings together a network of more than 4,000 community radios, Federations and community media stakeholders in more than 130 countries. The main global impact of AMARC since its creation in 1983, has been to accompany and support the establishment of a worldwide community radio sector that has democratized the media sector. AMARC advocates for the right to communicate at the international, national, local and neighbourhood levels and defends and promotes the interests of the community radio movement through solidarity, networking and Cooperation.

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