Media is crucial for crisis management, conflict resolution: Foreign Ministry spokesperson

Sami Hegazi
4 Min Read

Ahmed Abu Zeid, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that the media is crucial for crisis management and conflict resolution, in a speech he delivered on Sunday.

He was speaking at the opening session of the training course on “The role of the media in covering and resolving conflicts for Egyptian journalists,” organized by the Cairo International Center for Conflict Resolution, Peacekeeping, and Peacebuilding (CCCPA), in cooperation with the Office of the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Abu Zeid said that the region, whether the Middle East or Africa, is facing an unprecedented spread of armed conflicts, which affect not only the peace, security, and stability of the region but also the daily life interests of the citizens.

He said that the media workers have an additional responsibility to cover these events and to understand these conflicts and their geopolitical dimensions, with professionalism and objectivity, especially in the current stage of polarization and hostility.

Abu Zeid cited the crisis in the Gaza Strip, where 132 journalists were killed by indiscriminate and inhumane shelling, as the best evidence of the risks surrounding journalists and media workers in conflict zones.

He said that the four-day training course focuses on the role of media in conflict resolution, peacebuilding, and sometimes conflict prevention.

He said that the media can play a role in preventing the outbreak of these conflicts and that it is important to enable the media cadres working in covering conflicts to understand the nature, complexities, and backgrounds of these conflicts.

He said that the training course also aims to help the media workers understand the dynamics of conflicts, use dialogue in the media as an effective tool to resolve them and acquire the necessary skills to use alternative means of conflict resolution and find innovative solutions.

Abu Zeid concluded that the reality surrounding Egypt and the scale of the conflicts and disputes have made every journalist working in the field of foreign affairs in Egypt a “war correspondent”, who reports daily news about wars and killings with a lot of information, some accurate and some inaccurate, and that they should be equipped with this experience and knowledge.

The director of CCCPA reviewed the role of the center, which has trained about 27 thousand people in various fields during the 30 years since its establishment. He pointed out that peace studies, which is a new scientific field that emerged after the end of the Cold War, are interested in the media and its role.

Canada’s acting ambassador to Cairo, councilor Matt Friesen, said that the training course is an integral part of the efforts to achieve sustainable development and peace. He noted that access to sensitive and accurate information is vital.

He stressed that journalists have a very effective role in revealing the facts about conflicts and that achieving sustainable peace is closely linked to women’s participation and gender equality in the media.

The training course is attended by several diplomatic, media, academic, and expert editors from major media institutions.

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