Top global cultural ambassadors to speak at IGCF 2020

  • Thursday 27, February 2020 02:02 PM
Sharjah 24: Omar Saif Ghobash, UAE’s Assistant Minister for Cultural Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; and Irina Bokova, President of the Academy for Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin and former Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO); will be headlining a session on cross-cultural communication on the first day of the ninth edition of the International Government Communication Forum (IGCF) 2020, which takes place on March 4 – 5, at the Expo Centre Sharjah.
One of the main sessions of IGCF 2020 titled ‘Cross-cultural Communication’, will bring these prominent cultural personalities together, for an expert assessment of the commonly used tools, platforms, opportunities and challenges in cross-cultural communication. They will also speak about its impact on culture itself, especially in the era of globalisation, and its role as a driver of socioeconomic prosperity.

The high-profile two-day global summit, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, is organised by the International Government Communication Centre (IGCC), a subsidiary of Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB).

The session’s speakers will shed new light on the importance of investing in culture to strengthen the reputation of organisations and governments in order to achieve the desired, positive impact on the target audience. They will also emphasise ways in which the “story” of any given entity, project, product or country can be incorporated within the cultural fabric of societies, ensuring that it grows and spreads organically.

The session will seek to deliver insights into the best ways to invest in arts, literature, heritage and traditions to effectively penetrate the collective consciousness of communities.

Session will benefit from the speakers’ in-depth insights and global experiences

Omar Saif Ghobash began his career with the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a diplomat at the UAE Mission to the United Nations. In 2017, he became the Ambassador of the UAE to France. Prior to that, from 2008 to 2017, he was UAE’s Ambassador to the Russian Federation. In 2019, Ghobash was appointed the Assistant Minister for Cultural Affairs in the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation. He also serves on the board of trustees at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation at King’s College London and the Emirates Diplomatic Academy in Abu Dhabi.

Ghobash is also the author of Letters to a Young Muslim, a series of personal and insightful letters to his sons, in which he offers a vital manifesto that tackles the dilemmas facing not only young Muslims but everyone navigating the complexities of today’s world.

The 2020 edition of IGCF will focus on four main pillars: ‘Embedding a culture of engagement in government’, ‘Technology as a community enabler’, ‘Communication through culture’, and 'Holistic well-being'.

Irina Bokova is the first woman and the first Eastern European to hold the position of the Director General of UNESCO. While heading UNESCO from 2009 to 2017, Irina Bokova was actively engaged in the UN efforts to adopt the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, including quality education for all, gender equality and the protection of the world’s cultural heritage. She actively promotes dialogue among cultures and mutual respect against violent extremism and terrorism. She was particularly active in defence of cultural heritage in conflicts in Mali, Syria and Iraq and in denouncing extremists’ destruction of heritage as a tool of war. As a result, the UN Security Council adopted several landmark resolutions on the link between maintaining peace, security and the protection of cultural heritage.