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HE the GCCSG: The Arab Media Forum is Considered One of the Most Influential Regional and International Forums in the Media Landscape, Keeping Pace with the Latest Developments in the Media Field, and a Platform for Honouring Pioneers and Icons

His Excellency Mr Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwi, Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), stressed that the Arab Media Forum is considered one of the most influential regional and international forums in the media landscape as it keeps pace with the latest developments in the media field, adding that it’s also a platform for honouring pioneers and icons.

Moreover, His Excellency also stressed that facing the challenges posed by modern media and dealing with its repercussions is a shared responsibility that we must all confront, and benefit from each other’s experiences in this field.

This came during His Excellency’s participation in the 22nd session of the Arab Media Forum, which is taking place on May 28-29, 2024, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), under the gracious patronage of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the United Arab Emirates, Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai.

The event is featuring the participation of more than 4,000 Arab media leaders, prominent media figures and personalities, editors-in-chief, content creators, senior writers, and a elite of specialists in the media field.

In the beginning of his speech, His Excellency expressed his gratitude and appreciation to His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the United Arab Emirates, Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai for his gracious patronage of the 22nd session of the Arab Media Forum, which has become a beacon of thought and creativity in the Arab media, and reflects the UAE’s commitment to enhancing dialogue and exchanging ideas about the future of media in our region.

On this occasion, His Excellency praised the role of the UAE, especially the city of Dubai, in hosting this prominent event that brings together elite of minds and talents in the world of media in order to support the media and provide an ideal environment for its growth and prosperity.

“This has allowed us to witness with our own eyes how the Arab Media Forum has taken firm steps and achieved remarkable accomplishments since its establishment about a quarter of a century ago, to become a dialogue space that brings together media professionals from different countries,” His Excellency stated.

Moreover, His Excellency expressed his pride as a proud GCC-Arab citizen in the role played by this forum as a platform to enhance the dialogue aimed at the advancement of nations and the development of minds.

He noted that the forum carries the Arab media on the shoulders of diverse voices and approaches, in line with our traditions and customs, while also being responsive to modern developments. This enables the forum to provide content that enriches the cultural and social landscape in the region, His Excellency stressed.

He also mentioned in his speech that the GCC believes in the importance of diversity, dialogue, and building relationships on the foundations of peace and harmony. He noted that the civilizational history of the Arab and Islamic nations in the Gulf region is imbued with noble humanitarian values that transcend time and place.

“This ancient civilization seamlessly intersects with the region’s present-day development, creating a harmonious fabric that integrates with the technologies of the future. As a result, the GCC countries have become a meeting point for continents and civilizations, as well as a maker of global initiatives and a guarantor of security and peace for the world. This has led the world to repeatedly choose the GCC region to host key and important international events and conferences across various fields,” His Excellency underscored.

“The GCC media plays an influential and pivotal role in the march of the Cooperation Council and its achievements, thanks to the support from Their Majesties and Highnesses, the leaders of the Council countries. This backing for the media is a basic pillar in the ambitious future visions, as it has included the freedom of dialogue, exchange of views, and promotion of constructive criticism, as well as empowering youth and making way for women to lead media institutions. Through the launch of the first Arab satellite channel in 1991, the GCC media led the Arab media scene, followed by hundreds of television channels, and the media landscape in the GCC has become a host for all types of media, with hundreds of newspapers, television and radio channels, in addition to thousands of e-platforms that enjoy regional and global circulation and influence,” His Excellency pointed out.

His Excellency explained that studies indicate that the GCC people are among the world’s biggest users of social media platforms, with about 58 million users, equivalent to 96.55% of the population of the Council’s countries.

His Excellency also referred to the significant impact of the media on human life, the making of events, the change of policies and convictions, in the era of accelerating intelligence, which has brought many positives that must be taken advantage of, despite the concerns about the future negative effects of the media due to the reliance on artificial intelligence.

“It is also important to continue efforts to regulate the rules that ensure fairness of rights, freedom, privacy, and human partnership, as the digital transformation and the spread of social media platforms, without considering the dangerous content, have contributed to making some platforms a mean for many negative phenomena, such as promoting drugs, recruiting terrorist elements, influencing policies and the economy, and broadcasting misinformation, which requires joint international efforts to establish foundations, legislation and restrictions on the use of artificial intelligence in the media. Undoubtedly, there is a huge challenge in the media industry, represented in the lack of a fair balance in reporting events, away from interests and pressures, which makes the truth the first victim of wars and conflicts, as we see daily in the coverage of some media outlets of the crimes of the Israeli occupation whose flames have engulfed the Palestinian people in Gaza, with an ugly duality with the coverage of the war between Russia and Ukraine,” His Excellency stressed.

Concluding His Excellency’s speech, he emphasised that despite the future challenges facing the GCC states, numerous regulations and legislations have been enacted regarding media content and the use of artificial intelligence, as well as enhancing cybersecurity in the media fields.

“The countries of the Council have outlined their comprehensive vision and strategies for the role and importance of the media, to ensure that the media is not just a conveyor of news, but a positive influence in shaping the future of our societies, especially as we believe in the importance of the need for Arab media with common and unified goals that meet the aspirations of its peoples,” he stated.

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