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14 April 2024

World leaders speak at the 2nd GCF in Sharjah

By Majorie van Leijen

The second Government Communication Forum has begun on Sunday at the Expo Center, Sharjah.

Among the speakers were Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan, UAE's
Minister of Foreign Trade Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qassimi, former Secreatry-General of the Arab League Amr Moussa, and former US
Ambassador to the United Nations Andrew Young.

In the presence of His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, world
leaders discussed government communication with citizens, as the theme of this years’ event is 'Effective Communication…Unified Message'.

Recep Erdogan referredv to communication as something that must come from the heart, and not only through modern communication means. “The world has become a global village, but people are moving away from each other,” he said.

Kofi Annan reminded the public of the basic principles of a state: peace and security, development and the rule of law and respect of human rights. He addressed the diminishing trust of citizens in their governments, highlighting the role of the media in creating an inclusive national dialogue.

The opening speech was held by Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmad Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Media Council. “One cannot know a person
except through what he says and does,” he said, emphasising the importance of effective communication for governments and citizens.

He earlier explained: "Enhancing government communication is not only a local or Arab matter, but is pertinent to all governments around the
world – even if the factors influencing them are different. Civil movement, whether political, economic, social, or humanitarian, is witnessed across the world. Such protests have placed pressure on governments to think of creative ways of communication with people and how to respond positively to their demands, questions, concerns, and possible fears.

"There is a clear need to extend more support to governments that are committed to stimulating and developing relations with their people. This philosophy is clearly endorsed by Sharjah, which aims to provide a platform that supports the efforts of regional governments in developing effective communication methods and channels.”

The Government Communition Forum is a two-day event hosting public speakers, a series of panel discussions and workshops with industry
thought leaders and senior government officials.

With the closure of online registration today, the total number of applicants from around the world reached 2,000, which is a 300 per cent growth in the number of people set to attend the event as compared to last year, when the forum was first held.