16 January 2014

IAPA TO MEET IN BARBADOS IN APRIL

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The beautiful island of Barbados, situated in the eastern Caribbean is preparing for the next IAPA Midyear Meeting, to be held April 4-7.
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The preparations are being coordinated by a formidable Host Committee chaired by Vivian-Anne Gittens of The Nations News. The meeting will take place in the Hilton Barbados Resort, which is located five minutes from Bridgetown and just 20 minutes from the Sir Grantley Adams international airport.

Right now, due to a high hotel demand, it is essential that you make your reservations as soon as possible, as the hotel cannot make bookings after February 28.

The program features panel discussions, seminars and special presentations highlighting leading figures of the hemisphere and leaders of the American press with focuses on the Caribbean, where media are facing attacks by governments, with difficulties to access official sources. There has also been an increase in defamation and contempt laws. The Press Freedom Committee will hold a day-long session of evaluations of the most relevant problems being faced by the press of the hemisphere and the British Commonwealth.

Attached you will find the registration and hotel reservation forms and we will be grateful if you would return them as soon as possible.

Program

The center of the Barbados program will focus on various problems occurring in the Americas. The panels will review the behavior of the media, both private and public, and the different situations arising from both scenarios. Another group of specialists will discuss the economy of the Caribbean and the news media; there will also be a roundtable looking into the work and genres of media.

Special attention will be given to commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Declaration of Chapultepec, drawn up on March 11, 1994 at the Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City. The Chapultepec Committee will review the impact the Declaration has had in its 20 years of existence and highlight major achievements in the defense of freedom of expression. In addition to this, the program will include the official opening ceremony, where the Barbados Prime Minister Freundel J. Stuart has committed to assist.

The Press Freedom Committee is preparing several panel discussions, one of them on the impact of press regulation in the United Kingdom -the Royal Charter- and its possible effects on the press of the British Commonwealth.

Another panel discussion will entail the evolution of press freedom in the hemisphere. We have invited OAS Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Catalina Botero, to speak on the subject and make a detailed analysis of the situation.

The problems of freedom of the press in the United States, the ongoing accusations of spying and government outbursts against news media will also be the subject of debates during the midyear meeting.

The Press Institute seminars will focus on small and medium-sized newspapers that enhance journalistic culture. Some seminars will be directed to digital development and online audiences, others will look at the most effective way of using news in official media. They will also touch upon the discussion of online advertising and its diverse use in promotion of sports programs, and finally the development of mobile apps and their use in promotion of tourism programs and small and medium-sized local media companies.

A conference on language development in the Caribbean, involving academic experts who will offer an explanation of one of the most important cultural developments of this Caribbean region will also be available.

Culture and nature

The Barbados social program will have a strong emphasis on the island’s beauty. It is contemplating visits to places of great charm and interesting history.

During the first day of the meeting, a visit to Bridgetown, a low-density urban area that houses some 80,000 people and covers a large part of Saint Michael parish has been scheduled. Delegates will visit the famous Mount Gay distillery, which gives the island an historic character and where a sampling of rum and the famous Bajan food will take place.

There will also be a visit to the high-end Limegrove Lifestyle Centre, featuring internationally renowned stores, and tour of city neighborhoods with ocean views and visits to historic monuments.

On Saturday, the main day of discussion of press freedom, the activities will be held at the hotel. In the evening, a welcoming reception and dinner at the Old Fort, a part of the hotel facing the Caribbean Sea, with folklore presentations from local stars and bands will take place.

Planned for Sunday is a visit to Harrison Cave, an extensive subterranean natural formation brought about by water-borne limestone erosion. This place was first mentioned in historical documents in 1795. It comprises a great variety of natural phenomena, such as stalactites and stalagmites alongside lagoons and waterfalls that will amaze visitors.

In the evening there will be a dinner at Ilaro Court, the official residence of the Barbados Prime Minister, located amid beautiful gardens at the top of a hill.

Finally, for the Monday the Host Committee has prepared a tour of the island and lunch at a typical Barbados restaurant (Atlantis Restaurant and Hotel), with an impressive view of the sea.

There is also the possibility of a cricket match.

HOTEL AND TRANSFER

The Hilton Barbados Resort hotel is surrounded by splendid turquoise waters, perhaps the most charming characteristic of Barbados, and its guests are welcomed by pleasant tropical breezes wafting through the lobby. Beside the hotel are white sand beaches and a number of restaurants, among them the Careenage Bar & Grill, which features live shows and an haute cuisine restaurant. You will also be able to enjoy the Lighthouse Terrace for breakfast with a lovely view of the adjacent beaches and Water’s Edge Restaurant, located on the Caribbean seafront, specializing in refreshing drinks.

Barbados in April enjoys a pleasant tropical temperature. The average temperate is 79°F (26°C).

We extend our invitation and stress that we would appreciate sending in your hotel reservation by the deadline. We look forward to welcoming you in Barbados and are at your disposition to answer any question you may have regarding your attendance.

We will see you in Barbados!

Regards,

Julio E. Muñoz

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