KUWAIT: The work of the 98th regular session of the standing committee for Arab Media kicked off on Monday as part of the activities of the 16th regular session of the meetings of the Executive Office of the Arab Information Ministers Council, which the Palestinian issue tops its agenda, along with many vital media issues.

At the beginning of his speech during the opening ceremony, Minister of Information and Culture and the Minister of State for Youth Affairs Abdulrahman Al-Mutairi conveyed the greetings of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, His Highness the Deputy Amir and Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, and His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, to the participants and their wishes that the work of the current session will be a success that serve the goals and aspirations of the Arab nation.

In his speech, Al-Mutairi said that the Palestinian issue tops the agenda of the current session, showing the official and well-known Kuwaiti stance in support of the Palestinian people until they obtain their full legitimate rights in an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital, in accordance with international references, relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative (API). He stressed the keenness of the ministry of Information in Kuwait to follow up, monitor and publish news of the Palestinian issue daily through its official media channels, to reflect the commitment of Kuwait to the Arab media strategy emanating from the League of Arab States and its principles, which is at the forefront of the Palestinian cause and API.

Unified strategy

The meetings on Monday and Tuesday deal with many important media issues, including the Palestinian cause, addressing terrorism, providing community protection for the phenomenon of rumors and misleading information, developing a unified strategy for cooperation with all international media companies, and adopting the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, he indicated. These issues require close Arab cooperation between countries, media organizations and institutions in order to achieve positive interaction towards these issues given the wide spread and rapid development of electronic media technologies, he added.

From this standpoint, he said that the responsibilities of the media and its vital role in supporting the institutions of countries and their people while containing the effects of all the issues and circumstances they face are multiplied, recalling the earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria recently, and referring simultaneously to Kuwait’s role, especially in the media aspect, in shedding light on this tragic event and initiating a campaign for donations and those affected, as well as field news coverage of humanitarian aid convoys.

In his speech, Al-Mutairi congratulated Qatar for their success in hosting the 2022 World Cup in terms of professional organization and advanced and distinguished infrastructure. In turn, the Assistant Secretary General and Head of the Media and Communication Sector of the Arab League Ambassador Ahmad Khattabi said that the meetings of the Standing Committee for Arab Media are a permanent and pivotal mechanism to follow up on joint media work and carry out the service of Arab issues, in accordance with the requirements of the statute of the Council of Information Ministers. He referred to the committee’s role in shedding light on the diversity and richness of the Arab cultural heritage through various media, and in studying the strategies and plans referred to it to strengthen the potential for cooperation, integration and exchange of experiences.

He thanked the member states, media organizations and unions that work under the umbrella of the Arab League for their continuous efforts to give the Arab media more impetus to consolidate its noble mission of community awareness, public opinion-making, and promotion of national development and democratic construction, and to defend Arab interests and rights, foremost of which are the legitimate rights of the Palestinians through mobilizing the Arab media to show solidarity against the systematic incursions of the Zionist occupation authorities, the reckless attacks of settlers in Palestinian villages and cities, and the false practices that affect the unique nature of Jerusalem and its special legal status in accordance with the resolutions of international legitimacy.

Media action plan

Based on the guidance of the open and consensual constructive atmosphere that characterized the work of the permanent team assigned to the role of media in combating terrorism, he looked forward, within the framework of this esteemed committee, to discuss the items on the agenda, including giving concrete meaning to the media action plan and similar guiding documents, especially the Arab media strategy for sustainable development.

He underlined the importance of devoting a media and communication support that interacts with the national and regional efforts to implement the goals of the UN agenda 2030 according to a participatory approach in which all partners, including executive and elected institutions, civil society and professional associations, are involved in order to improve the living conditions first and foremost for the Arab citizen.

He expressed his aspiration in this session to move forward towards developing a unified strategy for financial dealings with major international media companies and to include media education in educational curricula, noting the successful steps taken in this regard in close cooperation with the General Secretariat, the Jordanian Ministry of Communication and the Arab Satellite Broadcasting Corporation. He commended the efforts of Kuwait, which has a pioneering role in serving joint Arab cooperation, including the field of media, wishing the work of this session a successful performance in preparation for submitting its recommendations to the Executive Office of the Council of Information Ministers during its next meeting.

The activities of the 16th session started on Sunday, under the presidency of Iraq, in the presence of representatives of organizations and federations practicing media tasks under the umbrella of the Arab League and organized by the Ministry of Information in Kuwait. - KUNA