Second Govt Communication Forum opens in Sharjah
SHARJAH, Feb 24, 2013 (Khaleej Times - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
In a speech delivered on the first day of the second Government Communication Forum, the Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoan says governments and their people need to join hands in order to work together and better understand each other.
The forum, which started on Sunday, was inaugurated by His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, in the presence of special guests including former Secretary-General of the UN Kofi Annan and former Secretary-General of the Arab League Amr Moussa.
Over 2,500 delegates are attending the forum.
During the opening ceremony, Erdoan's speech focused on the importance of verbal interaction: "We live in a world where communication technology has shrunk the planet into a global village, and yet the world is more divided than ever before...We should remember that at the heart of every effective communication are words that are sincere and truthful, which originate from the heart of its speakers and reach the hearts of its listeners..."
Emphasising the importance of improving the methods of communication between governments and their people, especially in light of the major changes taking place in the world in general and the Arab region in particular, Erdoan said: "Communications must encourage the government and the people to get closer, to understand each other and work together."
Talking about his experience as the UN Secretary-General, Annan said: "The future needs to be built on three pillars: Peace and security, equitable and just development, and the rule of law that upholds human rights."
Annan also talked about the role of effective communication in overcoming obstacles witnessed in the world today: "Effective communication leads to cooperation and trust, which is key to successfully tackling global challenges".
He said the level of trust between the governments and citizens at present is low and despite living in a world that is so wired through myriad forms of devices and technology "we are still not communicating effectively".
"A serious set of threats and challenges, such as social unrest, terrorism and climate change are outpacing us, which in turn has fuelled discontent and anger among the populace", he said.
Chairman of the Sharjah Media Centre Shaikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, delivered the opening speech: "Sharjah took on itself the task of building a meaningful platform to promote dialogue between governments and peoples...and ultimately enhance the effectiveness of communication between its various government departments. We do this as part of our objective to identify mechanisms for crafting a unified message."
The forum also hosted a 'Live Interview' session featuring Amr Moussa and Andrew Young, former US Ambassador to the UN. Drawing upon the recent revolution that swept Egypt, Moussa said the pace of change in the Arab world may not be uniform, but is nevertheless unstoppable. "A lack of adequate, effective communication between the government and the people in the Arab world is just one of the many reasons behind the revolutionary changes in the region. Gone are the days when governments were able to monopolise communications channels."
Stressing on the fact that solutions will not be reached immediately, Young said it was important to maintain reasonable expectations: "...nothing worthwhile can be achieved by violence. Rather, we need to hear clear voices of reason that point the way through transformation. One important aspect is to build the economy, since unemployment is the heart of many social ills".
The two-day forum centres around the need for switching the current principles of government communication from "talking to people" to "talking with people".
___ (c)2013 the Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates) Visit the Khaleej
Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates) at www.khaleejtimes.com Distributed by MCT
[ Back To Technology News's Homepage ]