Director General of the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) Nguyen Duc Loi has called on regional media to be a bastion of truth, delivering the message of hope and honesty even in the most critical times to forge peace and cooperation in the Asia-Pacific.

He made the statement at the 15 th General Assembly of the Organisation of Asia-Pacific News Agencies (OANA) which opened in Moscow , Russia on September 19.

Opening the event, Chairwoman of the Russian Federation Council Valentina Matvienko underscored the news agencies’ important role in forming the world agenda and driving political solutions, adding that the demand for quality information is increasing in the context of booming internet and social networking websites.

Director General of Russia ’s Itar-Tass news agency Sergey Mikhailov said OANA members provide information to two-thirds of the world’s population each year.

He said with the rising role of the Asia-Pacific region, news from this region of the world is in high demand and of comparable status to media coverage in Europe and the US.

In his congratulatory message to OANA, Russian President Vladimir Putin wrote that as one of the oldest and most prestigious organisations of news agencies in the world, OANA cooperation is greatly beneficial to Asia-Pacific stability and prosperity.

During the two-day event, 44 high-ranking delegations from 35 countries worldwide will exchange their views on the state of media agencies and their capacity for building trust and cooperation.

They will also discuss globalisation, the possibilities for multi-media connectivity and new business challenges.

On the afternoon of September 19, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev hosted a reception for delegations to the OANA General Assembly conference.-VNA