His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.

Sharjah Ruler to deliver keynote address on IGCF 2014 opening

: Monday, February 17 - 2014 @ 10:33

Sharjah Media Centre (SMC) announced that on February 23, the opening of the upcoming International Government Communication Forum 2014, prominent political, media and academic leaders from around the world will be present.

The eminent panel of speakers include Mikhail Gorbachev, last ruling President of the Soviet Union; Felipe Calderón, former President of Mexico; James Wolfensohn, former President of the World Bank; H.E. Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs/ Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs; and Alastair Campbell, Director of Communications and Strategy for Prime Minister Tony Blair.

His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, will launch IGCF 2014 on February 23 with a keynote address during the official opening ceremony. Mikhail Gorbachev, IGCF 2014’s Guest of Honour, will then share his personal experiences in managing internal and external communications to improve international relations in erstwhile Soviet Union, which was isolated from the rest of the world. He is also expected to focus on his historic role in ending the Cold War with the United States and the lessons learned from changing the communication approach to overcome barriers and curb crises.

Following the opening ceremony, the first session titled ‘Role of government communications and reputation management in attracting Foreign Direct Investments (FDI)’, will discuss the close relationship and direct link between reputation and monetary systems, and the role of communication and public relations in managing reputations and securing direct investments. The session will be headlined by Felipe Calderón, who was the 56th President of Mexico from 2006 to 2012. Under the stewardship of Calderón, the Mexican economy registered stability, economic growth and health coverage in 2012. Also sharing the podium at this session is James Wolfensohn, 9th President of the World Bank Group, well known in the Middle East region for his role as a Special Envoy for Gaza disengagement for the Middle East Quartet, consisting of the United Nations, European Union, United States and Russia.

His Excellency Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs/ Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs, and former Chairman of the National Elections Committee in 2006, will share insights on overseeing the UAE’s first elections by creating an information technology team that established what was claimed to be the first e-voting system in the Middle East. Tim Sebastian, former presenter of BBC’s popular ‘HARDtalk’, who is known for discussing topical issues in the Arab and Islamic worlds, will moderate the session.

The second session titled ‘The relationship between government communication and social media activists’ will examine whether governments are effectively leveraging social media for communicating with their audiences and how social media and public reaction have contributed to achieving administrative changes. The session will examine whether social media can serve as an effective bridge and intermediation tool in communication between government agencies and the public. Jon Duschinsky, Founder and CEO of The Conversation Farm that was created in 2012 with some of the world’s leading creative thinkers to resolve significant global problems is also set to share his insights at this session.

Other headlining this session include media veteran Dr Sulaiman Al Hattlan, Founder and CEO of Hattlan Media, and Fadi Salem, Director of the Governance and Innovation Programme, Mohammed bin Rashid School of Government. Zeina Yazigi, popular TV host at Sky News Arabia and former presenter of a political show titled ‘Arab Street’, will moderate the session. Parweeen Habib from Dubai Media Incorporated will represent the community in this session as part of ‘the green seat’ initiative, which allows public opinion makers to participate with the speakers during the sessions, and present their perceptions and opinions.

An interactive presentation by Nik Gowing will wrap up the second day’s activities at IGCF 2014. Renowned television personality Gowing is a senior news anchor at BBC World News, with extensive reporting experience in diplomacy, defence and international security. He will debate on ‘Acute vulnerabilities of power, politics and systems in the new public information space’ and discuss with the audience how government communication mechanisms can be made more transparent, while remaining true to the general policy of the state. Talking points will include how far governments should go when it comes to using social media platforms in order to reflect their points of view, and what the newly evolved government communications structures look like.

Set to run under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, from February 22-24 at Expo Centre Sharjah, IGCF 2014 is expected to bring together more than 2,000 senior executives, media professionals from the private and government sector, eminent broadcast media experts and government communication professionals, as well as students of communication and media studies. Themed ‘Different Roles…Mutual Interest’, the forum will comprise two training workshops, three panel discussions, two case-study presentations, an interactive session, and a brainstorming session.

The first regional government communication event was organised by Sharjah Media Centre in 2012. The forum discussed relevant communication challenges that were triggered by the socio-political occurrences in the Arab world. IGCF 2014 is a first-of-its-kind event that articulates the SMC’s efforts to develop government communication mechanisms for the benefit of government institutions in the UAE and wider region.

For more information please contact:
Bahar Erdogan
Global Communications Coordinator
Media Department
Government Communication Unit
Sharjah Media Centre
Tel: +971 6 5123456

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Monday, February 17- 2014 @ 10:33 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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