(Nicosia, 13/11/11): The role played by community media in the recent Arab Spring uprisings is one of the highlights of the international Community Media Forum Europe (CMFE) Conference, which starts in Nicosia on Thursday 17 November. This three-day event, hosted by the Cyprus Community Media Centre (CCMC), will take place in Nicosia’s Buffer Zone. A special plenary on Community Media and the Arab Spring is being organised, in collaboration with the World Association of Community Radio broadcasters (AMARC) and International Media Support (IMS). It will bring together key activists from the Arab world to discuss the role played by citizen media in recent events in the Eastern Mediterranean region. “There is no doubt that the revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa affected our decision in selecting Cyprus as the venue for the conference”, said Pieter de Wit, President of CMFE. “Positioned at a crossroads between Europe and the wider Middle East, Cyprus, and CCMC in particular, is ideally positioned to support movements for democratic reform in the region, as well as to promote integration of the region with rest of Europe”, added De Wit. The conference will bring together over 100 delegates from across the globe to discuss the importance of Community Media as a distinct sector across the European media landscape. The development of Community Media in Cyprus will also be high on the agenda of the conference, with European academics and practitioners planning to call for greater recognition of the sector within the current media landscape with the signing of the “Cyprus Community Media Declaration”. “This is an opportunity for decision makers to learn the benefits that community media can bring to Cyprus as a whole”, said Michalis Simopoulos of CCMC. “In testing times such as the present, when the relationship between the people and their representatives is being put to the test, Community Media is ideally placed to amplify the concerns of ordinary citizens and strengthen levels of trust between them and their leaders”, added Simopoulos. The conference is supported by the European Union under the ‘Europe for Citizens Programme 2011’, the United Nations Development Programme, Action for Cooperation and Trust in Cyprus (UNDP-ACT), the European Commission Representation in Cyprus, and the Goethe Institute. For full programme details, please visit: http://tinyurl.com/7k75y5j.