The one-day meeting, which is taking place at Hilton Habtoor Hotel, is hosted by Lebanon's National News Agency (NNA), under the patronage of Lebanon's Minister of Information, Melhem Riachy, and presence of OANA President, Mr. Aslan Aslanov.
The participating news agencies in OANA's Executive Council meeting are: Azerbaijan News Agency (AZERTAK), Turkish News Agency (ANADOLU), Malaysian News Agency (BERNAMA), Bahrain News Agency (BNA), Iranian News Agency (IRNA), Japanese News Agency (KYODO), Mehr News Agency ( MNA ), Mongolia News Agency (MONTSAME), National News Agency (NNA), Russian News Agency (TASS), Korean News Agency (UNHAP), Chinese News Agency (XINHUA), PNN Report((UNHAP).
The following is Mrs. Sleiman's opening speech:
"Your Excellency Minister of Information Mr. Melhem Riachy,
President of OANA Mr. Aslan Aslanov,
My fellow agency directors, members of OANA Executive Council and OANA Technical Office,
It is a great honor for us to welcome you here in Lebanon -- this country that is small in size and great in diversity and openness.
Lebanon, which welcomes you today on its territory, is only 10452 square kilometers. Its sons live in 18 different communities. It hosts more than 2 million displaced Syrians and Iraqis, who have fled violence and terrorism in their respective countries, in addition to the huge number of Palestinian refugees.
Today, you have come to Beirut from various countries in Asia and the Pacific to discuss and exchange ideas about the future of news agencies in light of the world's technological development, and to discuss their role in blocking the promotion of terrorism, which is destroying our civilizations, cultures, and diversity.
Lebanon, which has recovered from a 30-year-old war, is pleased to host the meeting of the Executive Council of OANA at the onset of a new presidential era. Our new president is relentlessly seeking change and reform, as well as restoration of prestige to national institutions. This conference is also under the patronage of Information Minister, Melhem Riachy, who is relentlessly trying to transform the Ministry of Information to a Ministry of Dialogue and Communication.
Our meeting today coincides with UNESCO's World Press Freedom Day, which translates our deep conviction in the freedom of expression.
We have chosen four themes to be the focus of our meeting:
1- News media in the era of digital development
2- News Agencies' performance at a time when mobile phones have become accessible to everyone
3- New standards of journalism: the transformation of journalism in line with modern media
4- Role of news agencies in blocking terrorism
Finally yet importantly, allow me to thank His Excellency, Minister of Information Mr. Melhem Riachy, for sponsoring this meeting. I would also like to welcome you once again in your second country, Lebanon."