Embassy News

Afghan Media for Democracy

The panel set-up at the Afghanistan-UK Media Conference

Summary: Within the framework of the 26th edition of the World Press Freedom Day celebrations, “Afghan Media For Democracy” created a platform for participant of different backgrounds in journalism, government, academia and NGOs to explore the status of journalism in Afghanistan.

The Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan London hosted the first Afghanistan-UK Media Conference, themed ‘Afghan Media for Democracy’. The conference was held to recognise the vital role that Afghan journalists and media have played in the promotion of rule of law, sustainable development, transparency, and accountability post 9/11.

The conference – attended by over 20 men and women journalists from Afghanistan – served as an effective platform for discussion between Afghan media leaders and representatives from the international media industry, civil society, and academia. Keynote speeches were delivered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for the Commonwealth and UN, and H.E Said T. Jawad, Ambassador of Afghanistan to the UK. Along with the theme of the conference, these revolved around celebrating the achievement of media freedom, recognising the gains and obstacles, and forging a path for the future.

The panels discussed the topics of press freedom in Afghanistan, the role of Afghan media in the ongoing peace and reconciliation process, women in journalism and their security, and fake news and social responsibility. The diverse backgrounds of journalists and media professionals yielded many fruitful discussions on the current challenges facing Afghan media, and ways they can be overcome.

In between the panels, the participants also witnessed the British Museum’s unique display and handover ceremony of Afghan Gandharan sculptures, which had previously been illegally exported from Afghanistan and was subsequently captured by the British border authorities. The sculptures, dating between the fourth and sixth century AD consist of a magnificent bodhisattva torso in grey schist and a group of nine heads sculptured in clay and then decorated with paint.

H.E Ambassador Said T. Jawad’s keynote address
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for the Commonwealth and UN’s keynote speech
Lynne Donnell’s opening remarks to the attendees of the conference
A moment of shared laughter at the Conference
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for the Commonwealth and UN addressing the audience
Panel on Press Freedom in Afghanistan
Panel on Fake News and Social Responsibilities of Media
Panellist Marjan Sadat addressing the panel of Afghan Women in Journalism
Panel on Fake News and Social Responsibilities of Media
H.E Ambassador Said T. Jawad and Mrs Jawad with leading Afghan women journalists and media professional
Leading Afghan journalists and media professionals who were in attendance 
H.E Ambassador Said T. Jawad with leading Afghan journalists and media professionals
Exchanging ideas and thoughts between the conference attendees
H.E Ambassador Said T. Jawad’s addressing the reception at Millennium Gloucester Hotel
Afghan-British diaspora attending the reception at Millennium Gloucester Hotel
The Embassy’s Second Secretary Homaira Dashti and Executive Assistant Gazal Gailani with Panellist Farahnaz Forotan
H.E Ambassador Said T. Jawad and Executive Assistant Gazal Gailani with conference participant
H.E Ambassador Said T. Jawad with Afghan-British diaspora
H.E Ambassador Said T. Jawad with Afghan-British Miss England 2005 and media professionals
The Embassy’s Personal Assistant Hashmat Sarvari with his former journalist colleagues
H.E Ambassador Said T. Jawad presenting Ambassador Jawad friendship coin to the conference attendees
H.E Ambassador Said T. Jawad and Mrs Jawad
The Embassy’s First Secretary Naveed Noormal with Executive Assistant Gazal Gailani and Public Relations officer Maria Kjersem
H.E Ambassador Said T. Jawad presenting Ambassador Jawad friendship coin to panellist Muslim Shirzad

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