45th OANA Executive Board Meeting

Minutes of the 45th OANA Executive Board Meeting,

7 November, 2019 Seoul, Republic of Korea

AAP(Australia), Anadolu(Turkey), AZERTAC(Azerbaijan), Bernama(Malaysia), BNA(Bahrain), IRNA(Iran), Kyodo(Japan), TASS(Russia), VNA(Vietnam), Xinhua(China), Yonhap(South Korea)

Absent Members: NNA(Lebanon), PTI(India)

Opening the 45th Executive Board Meeting of the Organization of Asia Pacific News Agencies (OANA) in Seoul, the OANA Secretary General Vugar Seidov conveyed his message welcoming all the delegates participating in this meeting, along with his deep appreciation for Yonhap colleagues’ amazing hospitality, wonderful organization and great cooperation in helping the OANA events proceed at the highest level.
He added that this EBM is the last one that he is chairing in his capacity of the Secretary-General, reminding that three years have passed since the last General Assembly in Baku, which was the 16th General Assembly

[Approval of the minutes of the 44th EBM in Hanoi on 19 April, 2019]
Secretary-General asked the EBM members to approve the minutes of the last EBM, which took place in Hanoi in April, 2019. The minutes was approved by all the board members.

[Approval of the agenda of the 17th General Assembly]
Secretary-General asked the EBM members to approve the agenda of the 17th General Assembly, which was worked out jointly by the current chair agency AZERTAC and the host Agency Yonhap. The agenda was also approved by all the board members.

[Nomination of the agency-candidate for the presidency in 2019-2022]
Secretary-General mentioned that the OANA members had voted to accept Yonhap’s kind initiative and invitation to hold the next General Assembly in South Korea three years ago and asked Yonhap to self-nominate or any volunteer to formally nominate Yonhap as the next president in 2019-2022.
Kyodo kindly nominated Yonhap for the next presidency in 2019-2022, noting the important and significant role of Yonhap in OANA.

Secretary-General confimed there were no furher nominations and asked for EBM members' formal voting. All the board members unanimously and formally endorsed the nomination of Yonhap as the presidency in 2019-2022.

Congratulating Yonhap's nomination for the next presidency in OANA, Secretary-General told that he will annouce Yonhap's candidacy as the nomination by the Executive Board at the General Assembly on the next day(Nov.8).

[Place of the 18th General Assembly]
IRNA’s managing director Mr.Seyed Zia Hashemi made his brief speech proposing to host the 18th General Assembly in Tehran, Iran in 2022. For the sake of formality, Secretary-General requested any other invitations and confirmed no invitation. He also told the board members to formally raise their hands to accept the invitation. All the board members formally accepted the IRNA’s invitation to host the next GA.

[Nomination of Executive Board, Technical Committee and Ethics Committee members for 2019-2022]
Secretary-General briefly recommended to re-nominate the current Executive Board, Technical Committee and Ethics Committee members for 2019-2022, with one exception though.

∙ EBM members
= AAP (Australia), Anadolu (Turkey), AZERTAG (Azerbaijan), Bernama (Malaysia), BNA (Bahrain), IRNA (IRI), Kyodo (Japan), Montsame (Mongolia), NNA (Lebanon), VNA (Vietnam), TASS (Russia), Xinhua (China), Yonhap (The Republic of Korea)
∙ Technical Committee members
= Antara (Indonesia), AZERTAG (Azerbaijan), Kazinform (Kazakhstan), KUNA (Kuwait), Mehr (IRI), PPI (Pakistan), TASS (Russia)
∙ Ethics Committee members
= AAP (Australia), AZERTAG (Azerbaijan), Kyodo (Japan), WAM (UAE)
Yonhap Representative Ms. Dong-min Lee spoke to support Mr. Seidov's nominations. The EBM members endorsed the nomination and authorized the Secretary General to take it for the final vote at the General Assembly.

[Nomination of the four agencies-candidates for the Vice-Presidency in 2019-2022]
Secretary-General briefed on the unwritten tradition whereby the outgoing President becomes Vice-President. He confirmed that this tradition was proposed by TASS and approved by the Executive Board several years ago. Then, he questioned that all the Executive Board Members would support the nomination of AZERTAC for the vacant position of a Vice-President following the election of Yonhap as the chair agency.
The Board members voted to support the nomination of AZERTAC for the vacant seat of a Vice-President. Secretary-General made another proposal on the addition of a new provision to the Statute, whereby the outgoing President becomes the Vice-President, and along with the three other Vice-Presidents, they all together represent the chronological sequence of the last four agencies-presidents of OANA. In other words, every agency-president of OANA after the end of its presidency becomes Vice-President for the next 4 consecutive terms, naturally, staying also as the member of the Executive Board, too. He proposed to have this proposal discussed for the next EBMs. He emphazed that there won't be any need to elect Vice-President at the General Assemblies if the new related provision to the Statute will be added in 2022.
In conclusion, Secretary-General suggested AZERTAC, TASS, Anadolu and Xinhua as the candidates for Vice-Presidency for the next three years.
All the Executive Board members approved his recommendation for the candidate Vice-Presidents. Secretary-General promised that he will announce the Executive Board's recommendation of the four agencies to be elected as the Vice-Presidents and put it on voting.at the General Assembly next day.

[Forming of the Election Committee in case there are more than one nomination and the secret voting becomes necessary at General Assembly on any of the above issues]
Secretary-General proposed to form the Election Committee just in case a secret voting will be required due to more nominations made by other OANA members at the General Assembly. As the members of the Election Committee, he recomended to include the outgoing Secretary-General, the designate Secretary-General and one representative from each agency-candidate in order to guarantee the transparency of the counting of votes. Then, all the Board members agreed with his suggestion.

[Symbol of Presidency and its handover at General Assemblies]
Secretary-General proposed to use the OANA flag as an interim symbol only for this one time for the formal procedure of the handover of Presidency from the outgoing chair agency to the successor-agency at the General Assembly. Furthermore, he added he can ask the designate Secretary-General to introduce her proposal on the permanent symbol at one of the forthcoming Executive Board meetings (for example, a symbolic pen, microphone, cup, wall-plate, etc., with the words ‘President of OANA’ engraved on it with the organization’s logo).
The board members approved his proposal on the symbol of Presidency and its handover at the General Assembly.

[Announcement of withdrawals from, applications to join, OANA]
Secretary-General briefed on the Khabar Agency's intention to withdraw from the OANA and the WAFA agency's application for joining the organization. He explained about UNESCO vs. UN; full member vs. observer and suggested to recommend the General Assembly to accept WAFA as an observer in full compliance with the new Statute.

[The Seoul Declaration of OANA]
Secretary-General asked the designate Secretary-General Dong-min Lee to make a brief introduction on the Declaration and Ms.Lee briefed on Yonhap's initiative to propose the adoption of the Seoul Declaration; purpose and intent, meaning and cause etc.

Yonhap said the Seoul Declaration was written to point out the challenges that OANA member agencies facr together from fast-evolving technologies and proliferation of fake news. Yonhap also said OANA's support for Korea's peace process is in step with one of the purposes of OANA to commit itself to peace and make a statement about what the organization stands for.

All the board members approved the draft of the OANA Seoul Declaration 2019.
Secretary-General promised to take it to the General Assembly for its final adoption

Secretary-Generla mentioned the minutes of the current EBM would be finalized in a few hours and distributed to the OANA members tonight before the General Assembly convenes tomorrow.

Secretary-General formally called for the 46th Executive Board Meeting to be convened immediately after the 17th General Assembly, chaired by the new President.