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Media forum resumes session

posted on 25/07/2002: 2006 views

In preparation for the World Summit on Sustainable Development, scheduled in Johannesburg for next Aug.26- Sept.4, the first Regional Arab Media Forum which started yesterday spoke about various issues pertinent to the Summit. Five papers were presented during morning session which was chaired by Ibrahim Al Abed, Director General of Emirates News Agency (WAM). On the Forum's objectives and United Nations Environment Programme( UNEP), Shirin Zorba, UNEP's Regional Media-in-charge said that the Forum was meant to reach two main goals, the first was to review, appraise outcome of Arab preparations for the Summit and look forward to post-Johannesburg phase.

"We hope that this forum will act as a springboard for an effective participation by the Arab media in the endeavours being exerted to achieve sustainable development,"Shirin said. She called for civil society's establishments to participate in achieving the sustainable development through an institutionalized framework.

Dr. Mahmoud Abdul Rahim, Regional Director and Representative of UNEP's West Asia's Bureau, pointed out in his paper to perspectives and challenges facing the Johannesburg Summit. He said that the first Summit, held in 1992 in Brazil's Rio De Janeiro, had convened amid optimistic atmosphere following the collapse of the Socialist block and end of the cold war. "In that Summit various environmental issues were tackled, but , alas , no mechanism for solving these problems was set up" he added.

In a paper on Arab preparations for Johannesburg Summit, Fatima Al Mallah of the Arab League affirmed that the priority of Arabs in the upcoming Summit should be given to desertification since it was the problem that almost all the Arab states were encountering. She stressed the need for cooperation between developing countries to fight off globalization repercussions that might hinder achievement of the sustainable development.

Al Mallah called on Arab countries to make use of modern information technology and telecommunications in order to explore new avenues to economize utilization of resources. She urged developed countries to honour their obligations as provided in accords signed with the Arab states. Dr. Saad Al Numairi, environmental advisor at the Federal Environmental Agency (FEA), reviewed in his paper the national report of the UAE,which will be presented to the Johannesburg Summit.

The 11-chapter report surveys efforts exerted by the UAE in the environment and socio- economic fields. Al Numairi indicated that the UAE's Gross National Product (GNP) totalled Dh. 248.9 billion in 2001, with oil sector's share reaching 28 per cent and other sectors' 72 per cent. The Forum was then briefed on the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative ( AGEDI ) by Majid Al Mansouri, Acting Secretary General of the Environmental Research and Wildlife Development Agency (ERWDA). The evening session focused on environmental media issues followed by thorough debate on means of upgrading the performance of the media and accessibility to data and information. The session was chaired by George Kordahi, a famous T.V presenter in the Arab world. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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