Welcoming speech at 20th A.B.N.A-SE general assembly

It is with great pleasure that I welcome all of you to the 20th General Assembly of the Association of the Balkan

News Agencies – Southeast Europe (ABNA-SE) organized by the Cyprus News Agency.

This assembly is being held at a very critical time. Europe is under pressure, European societies are moving forward with specific economical problems and the EU as a whole is facing a number of specific challenges. These matters are not affecting the political elite as such, however every single government, organization, or institution, even every single citizen is coming across a very complicated environment.

This is a priority for every single institution and ABNA of course has to think of how to face these challenges too. According to our constitutional frame, ABNA is aiming to develop full cooperation amongst news agencies of the region. As well as cooperation, ABNA is also aiming to contribute to the establishment of a climate of peace, security and friendship in our uneasy region.

While these aims are contemporary they still have not been achieved. They remain our primary goals, so let me underline that the more we cooperate, the better results we will accomplish.

Have a look at some European countries. It is very easy to identify that some fundamental European values are being violated in the name of “practical” aspects of policy.

Regarding ABNA’s aims I would like to stress that cooperation in concrete fields is absolutely necessary. We must increase the level of our cooperation and also the number of articles, reportage, and analysis which we can exchange on a daily or weekly basis. It is high time we created a new basis for the way in which we cooperate. On the one hand to contribute to social and cultural development, on the other hand to achieve closer cooperation at concrete fields, provided that we accept the notion of overcoming obstacles and those of past divisions to forge new channels of coordination.

We need to enhance the coordination among the member-agencies, to exchange materials and to support common interests such as the exchanging of information on social, political, economic, cultural and sport events.

The opening of borders and globalization, has led to a new world balance. I think that this balance is full of difficulties and at the same time is full of expectations for those who are facing this new challenging era.

With this in mind, CNA is planning to modernize all of our technological systems in order to meet the most advanced needs.

The undertaking of the rotational presidency of the EU by the Cyprus Republic in the second half of 2012 is an extra motivation for CNA. This challenge will be a cornerstone for Cyprus. As for CNA it will be an opportunity to promote –among other things- some of ABNA’s fundamental goals, such as friendship and solidarity among the people.

CNA is preparing to be ready at the right time.

I hope that the undertaking of the EU presidency could serve as a catalyst for solving the Cyprus issue, so as to benefit all the citizens of Cyprus but first of all to serve the ideas of freedom and justice as set by EU fundamental values.

Dear friends, dear participants

On behalf of Cyprus News Agency I welcome you all to Cyprus. CNA is a key player in all aspects of ABNA’s activities and the initiative to organize this assembly is real proof for this. It is in this spirit that we are also an active member of EANA (European Alliance of News Agencies) and AMAN (Alliance of Mediterranean News Agencies). We strongly believe that irrespective of the size of a member state or of an agency, every single member can contribute to moving forward.

Let us all work together, let us take the responsibility to create new conditions for a more active ABNA so as to meet all priorities set out by ABNA statute. I would like to express my warmest wishes for the success of our general assembly.

Larkos Larkou, Chairman of Cyprus News Agency

Welcoming Speech at 20th A.B.N.A.-SE General Assembly.

Limassol, 14 November 2011