KUWAIT CITY, Nov 24, (KUNA): Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs and acting Minister of Information and Minister of State for Youth Affairs Sheikh Mohammad Al- Abdullah Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah on Tuesday said the Arab region is going through a stage of delicate developments and challenges where news and information play a key role in formation of human thought and orientation.
News agencies represent main source for news and information, a fact that stresses imperative of adopting a balanced information message, characterized by transparency and impartiality, at a time where the world is facing development and openness in media that need to develop expertise and human cadres, said Sheikh Mohammad Al-Abdullah, in a speech he addressed, in his capacity as Representative of His Highness the Prime Minister, at opening of 43rd Conference of the General Assembly of the Federation of Arab News Agencies (FANA). He stressed on the need to support media development efforts, as the only way to achieve progress and prosperity and provide a decent life for the Arab peoples as well as to face deliberate media campaigns that aim to tarnish image of Islam and Muslims.
It is important to care for Arab youth and restore their confidence, instilling a spirit of loyalty and belonging, and increasing their awareness as well as facing rumors that spread across social networks and other unknown sources of advertising to provide accurate information in a fast way, he said. He also stressed the need to fight terrorism, which is now expanding around the world, as well as facing the extremist ideas with greater guidance toward moderation.
Comprehensive and sustainable development is a key for solving a lot of problems, especially poverty and underdevelopment in the areas of science and technology, where media should be up to the challenges and responsibilities, he said.
The Arab region is going through accelerating back-to-back significant events, a matter which creates huge responsibilities for the Arab news agencies to work harder and maintain their status as major safe sources for news, outgoing president of FANA and Saudi Press Agency (SPA) Chairman Abdullah bin Fahd Al-Hussein told the opening session. Al-Hussein added that the Arab agencies offer distinguished, effective and respectable media amid an information and technological revolution.
FANA is on the right path, making for the future with steady steps to achieve its main goals for enhancing joint action and fostering cooperation among the member agencies, Al-Hussein said. Over the past two years, under Al- Hussein’s presidency, FANA fulfilled its missions and carried out its programs and activities, he said, appreciating efforts by the member agencies, the FANA Secretariat and the federation’s secretary general. Then Al-Hussein handed over FANA presidency to Board Chairman and Director General of Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) Sheikh Mubarak Al- Duaij Al-Ibrahim Al-Sabah.
He expressed confidence that the new president Sheikh Mubarak Al-Duaij would lead the federation for more achievements and successes, for his experience, good traits and enlightened thinking. FANA Secretary General Farid Ayar said that Arab consolidated and interactive media is an urgent need at present to face the enormous challenges, with an eye on the future. He lauded FANA’s persistent efforts to boost positive interaction among the Arab news agencies.
Addressing the session, new FANA president and KUNA Chairman Sheikh Mubarak Al-Duaij Al-Ibrahim Al-Sabah said that the media is facing tremendous challenges due to the accelerating changes and developments in the Arab world. The present stage creates colossal responsibilities and burdens that prompt more unity and cooperation to face challenges and risks, he said. The Arab media has plenty of expertise and efficiencies, yet there is a dire need to make the best investment of the available potential and to exchange views and ideas, he said.
Sheikh Mubarak Al-Duaij stressed the need for an “enlightened renewable and variant (media) discourse” based on creativity, to target people as a major goal, especially youth, the national wealth of the Arabs. He called for getting closer to them, interacting with their thoughts, to offer them media content that promotes their thinking, skills and creativity. Youth have been targeted through bizarre thoughts that sought to attract them to violence, extremism and terrorism, which came to form the biggest challenge for the security and stability of many world countries, Sheikh Mubarak Al-Duaij said. He added that Kuwait was the target of despicable acts of terrorism at the end of the last century. The country has recently been hit by terrorist attacks that were all failure thanks to the State’s wise leadership and unity and cohesion of the Kuwaiti people who stood united in the face of threats to their nation.
In the meantime, Sheikh Mubarak Al- Duaij called the Arab news agencies for broader support to development in the Arab countries, through urging people to take part and interact with these efforts. He expressed thanks to SPA chief Abdullah bin Fahd Al-Hussein for his sincere efforts during his two-year tenure as FANA president, and also to the federation’s secretary general Farid Ayar. The 43rd Conference of FANA General Assembly, Nov 23-26, discusses a multitude of topics, such as cooperation among the member agencies, staff training, and agreements with regional and international counterparts.