Media must help create a harmonious world: Sultan

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Media must help create a harmonious world: Sultan Afkar Abdullah / 24 February 2014 Sharjah Ruler talks about role of journalists at the International Government Communication Forum  His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, has urged the media to restore the spirit of humanity in people, and inculcate in them moral and cultural values. Addressing the inaugural session of the Sharjah International Government Communication Forum (IGCF) 2014 on Sunday, Dr Shaikh Sultan said: “Media organisations must remain vigilant and approachable, uphold work and moral values, and help create a world that safeguards public harmony.” He was speaking in the presence of esteemed leaders such as Mikhail Gorbachev, the forum’s guest of honour and former president of the Soviet Union; Felipe Calderón, former president of Mexico; and Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs. The opening speeches also featured an address by Shaikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qassimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Media Centre (SMC). He said: “Two years ago, the forum was launched at a time when governments across the world witnessed sweeping political and social changes, which led to a greater interest in enhancing government communications.” “Recent studies reveal that listening, responsiveness and prompt ethically correct reaction are the first criteria for people in choosing a government. This clearly indicates that things have changed; we too must change. It is essential now for us to understand the specificities of the people and their challenge — not just deliver job, healthcare, and education opportunities. He added: “Today, we are missing an important person, Dr Abdullah Omran Taryam, who established the first printing press in the UAE and was the first voice that called for change. In my last meeting, he said that he was glad that Sharjah was moving in the right direction.” Dr Shaikh Sultan also toured the conference facilities and inspected the equipment and services provided at the venue. He also stopped by the memorial wall dedicated to the late Dr Abdullah Omran Taryam and left a message that said: “To the spirit of a good friend and companion since childhood and until the end of days, me and all your loved ones pray for your forgiveness and ask God’s blessing upon your children, who are as dear as you were to us.” The opening ceremony featured a short documentary on various people from different countries expressing the level of satisfaction with their governments, as well as their perceptions on how governments can be more connected and responsive to citizens’ needs and voices. In addition to a number of heads of government departments, members of Sharjah Executive Council and members of the Sharjah Advisory Council, the opening ceremony drew the presence of dignitaries and heads and directors of government departments and organisations, media and communications professionals from various Arab and foreign countries, and representatives of regional and international corporate and government communication departments. Themed “Different Roles … Mutual Interest”, IGCF 2014 will continue to discuss the positive impact of government communication on the relationship between governments and their audiences including citizens, government officials, private sector, public utility commissions and different media stakeholders. The first regional government communication event was organised by SMC in 2012. The forum discussed relevant communication challenges that were triggered by the socio-political occurrences in the Arab world. For more news from Khaleej Times, follow us on Facebook at , and on Twitter at @khaleejtimes Continue reading →

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