New Year congratulations

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Dear Colleagues,
As the President of OANA, it is my most pleasant duty to send you my warmest wishes in the approaching New Year.
As this year ends and a new one begins, the dream of 'Peace on Earth' can still seem very distant. In the past year, we have witnessed ongoing wars, horrific violence and suffering in many countries. Internationally, tens of thousands of children, women and elderly are on the move, living precarious existences in the refugee camps, as conflict, military occupation and disasters continue to force people to flee from their ancestral homes. The humanitarian situation of millions of vulnerable people is still awaiting an adequate global response.
In 2017, you continued your noble mission of obtaining information, producing and delivering to your societies the most accurate, unbiased and honest stories dealing with not only economic growth, political and social successes, but also poverty, hunger, homelessness and powerlessness, miserable conditions of migrants — including infants and children — as they wait, not knowing what the future will hold for them. Along with your commitment to professional integrity and ethics, we continued to face another challenge that is rapidly becoming an alarming issue and ever more frequent topic in many conferences on media — fake news, copyright violations, and plagiarism. Many of these issues were discussed at the 5th World Congress of News Agencies, which took place in Baku in November, 2016, and was also attended by OANA members. My personal conclusion made from the forum was that two days of debates and exchange of opinions cannot be sufficient to address all these growing and, at times, troubling issues. Only our continuous cooperation and joint work can let us see a light in the end of the tunnel.
As we now face into a new year, we need courage and more energy and inspiration to double our efforts in tackling these challenges, both new and old. Our professional solidarity and bonds are stronger than we think, much stronger than differences between us.
My wish, before we say good-bye to 2017, is that, together, we will continue to seek to build our strong OANA home of which our founding fathers dreamed in 1961, embracing the values, possibilities and responsibilities contained in that dream.
I wish each and every member-agency as well as your sovereign nations a blessed and happy New Year of restored hope and peace in Asia's and the Pacific's truly pacific future.

Aslan Aslanov
President, Organization of Asia-Pacific News Agencies