Wed 04-03-2020 19:39 PM
SHARJAH, 4th March, 2020 (WAM) -- H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, signalled the start of the ninth edition of the International Government Communication Forum in Sharjah on Wednesday, stating that "communication for the public" has been at the heart of Sharjah’s 40-year cultural project.
"I have not written a single letter instructing people on what to do. Our leading cultural, scientific and artistic developments and achievements – this global forum, for instance – have been outcomes of the participatory dialogue and open government-citizenry communication. I call this ‘popular communication’," said Dr. Sheikh Sultan, during his address at the two-day forum.
"Communication for the public is supposed to serve the people. Its objectives are, therefore, very different from communication adopted by entities not serving people. It must be directed towards informing people, encouraging dialogue, bringing positive changes in the fields of health, education and security, and making the delivery of public services more transparent and effective through the use of the right channels of communication," he added.
The Ruler of Sharjah emphasised that accountability for the success of public communication lies with multiple stakeholders from across various sectors, and not just the government. "People in charge of internal and external communication in companies, journalists, PR professionals, website designers and media figures will together carry out these responsibilities," he pointed out.
"Good communication allows people to be able to enjoy various public services and enhance their lives. Sharjah has achieved this," he said.
"Why is there a pressing need to transform the role of government communication from a one-way message delivery service to a two-way and participatory process?" asked Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Media Council, adding that the multifaceted challenges governments face around the world with regard to the health, environment, security and cultural sectors are because of the media spreading misinformation, or fabricated news affecting the trust between them and their people.
"Through our years of research here in Sharjah, we have sufficiently established that communication is a key enabler of trust between governments and the governed, and a strategic driver of sustainable development. We need to incorporate mechanisms that will generate faster responses from the government to the public, between people from different cultures and between governments, globally," Sheikh Sultan added.
He hailed the efforts and leadership of the Sharjah Ruler for having transformed the emirate over the past five decades into a regional hub for cultural advancement and for furthering its pioneering experience in cultural communication.