His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, signalled the start of the ninth edition of the International Government Communication Forum (IGCF 2020) on Wednesday in Sharjah, saying delivering ‘communication for the public’ has been at the heart of Sharjah’s 40-year cultural project.
“Forty years have lapsed since Sharjah’s cultural project began. This project hasn’t been written but rather has been in the form of oral guidance. I haven’t written a single letter instructing people on what to do. Our leading cultural, scientific and artistic developments and achievements – this global forum, for instance – have been outcomes of participatory dialogue and open government–citizenry communication. I call this ‘popular communication’,” said His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan Al Qasimi, in his address to the two-day forum.
Emphasising that the Emirate set out on a journey to design and implement a public communication programme in 2010, the Sharjah Ruler said, “It is time to uncover the truth.”
“Communication for the public is supposed to serve people. Its objectives are, therefore, very different from communication adopted by entities not serving people. It must be directed towards informing people, encouraging dialogue, bringing positive changes in fields of health, education and security, and making the delivery of public services more transparent and effective through the use of right channels of communications,” he added.
The Sharjah Ruler emphasised that accountability for the success of public communications lies with multiple stakeholders from across various sectors, not just the government. “People in charge of internal and external communications in companies, journalists, PR professionals, website designers, and media figures will together carry out these responsibilities,” he pointed out.
“Communication’s core function is that of an enabler. Good communication accompanies people to be able to enjoy various public services and enhance their lives. Sharjah has achieved this,” stressed the Ruler of Sharjah.