The Sixth International Government Communication Forum (IGCF 2017) was officially inaugurated on Wednesday with keynote speeches from H.H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, Emphasizing the role of education and development in the growth of the Emirate of Sharjah, the Ruler of Sharjah recounted how it all began 32 years ago, with the first children’s centre in the UAE being based in Sharjah. The University City of Sharjah was established 12 years later. The generation that accompanied these projects is now an integral part of society.
Under the patronage of the Ruler of Sharjah, the sixth edition of the International Government Communication Forum (IGCF 2017) runs at Expo Centre Sharjah. Themed ‘Societal Participation Comprehensive Development’.
He expressed his happiness at the Forum’s theme that called for societal participation and commended the organisers for their efforts in including all segments of society and the UAE population, within the scope of this year’s Forum.
"Today, we welcome around 5,500 pupils and approximately 1,200 students annually graduate across 350 masters and 120 PhD programmes. In addition, we are increasingly interested in focusing our efforts on scientific research, and have therefore allocated US$120 million for this purpose."
Speaking on the theme of comprehensive development, Sheikh Sultan Al Qasimi defined sustainable development as the prioritisation of humanity to allow progress. Development should revolve around the family as a central unit, as well as the individual across different stages of life -- from childhood, to adolescence, to old age, he stressed.
He lamented the lack of societal participation necessary for sustainable development.
Addressing the theme of Societal Participation and Comprehensive Development, the Ruler of Sharjah said that for true societal development, humans must be the source and core focus of such inclusive development, regardless of ethnicity and background. He also emphasised the need for health insurance for all segments of the population, especially the elderly, to ensure their continued care as the nation moves ahead.
Later, the Ruler of Sharjah toured various media stands and workshops and interacted with their representatives and experts.