SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates – The eighth edition of the international government communication forum kicked off on Wednesday in the United Arab Emirates, focusing on the importance of improving human behavior and its impact on government communication institutions.
The two-day event is taking place at the Sharjah Expo Center, bringing together a total of 70 global government communications experts to engage in discussions during 34 sessions.
“The forum provided the relevant infrastructure, legislation, services and strategic initiatives to develop government institutions,” UAE Supreme Council Member and ruler of Sharjah, one of the Persian Gulf state’s seven emirates, Sultan al-Qasimi, said in his opening speech in which he also highlighted the need for society to be aware of recent technologies.
Al-Qasimi stressed the need to start following modern systems in the government to promote services.
“At one time, they (government bureaucrats) use the new system. And at another time, they go back to using the old system because they do not know the appropriate way to convince others,” Al-Qasimi said.
The forum is hosting workshops, self-discovery stations and several interactive activities, as well as an expo entitled: “50 Years of Expo: Participant to Host” which is set to showcase the history of the UAE at the international Expo.
The inaugural session saw a recorded message from US media icon Larry King, who was not able to attend personally due to health issues.
King discussed fake news and the need for each government to do more to be closer to its people.
Canadian-British animator and writer Richard Williams, who is attending the forum, discussed the need to develop and improve education and the current exam system.
Williams stressed that, in the future, people would be hired based on how they employ their own skills.
Roger Fisk, the political campaign, marketing and media director for former US President Barack Obama, also attended the event, and spoke on how technology can change people’s lives.
The United Arab Emirates is union of emirates made up of Abu Dhabi (the capital), Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain. Each emirate has its own ruler and together the seven rulers of the seven emirates comprise the Federal Supreme Council. The UAE has a huge expatriate population of roughly 9 million with only 1.5 million natural Emirati citizens living in the Persian Gulf state.