The Arab League on Sunday commenced its regular meetings on the role of media in countering terrorism and hate speech in Dubai.

Attended by delegations from 15 member states, the meetings are jointly hosted by the Dubai Press Club and Watani Al Emarat Foundation in collaboration with the Secretariat General of the Arab League.

The meetings, running until November 19, will discuss a number of critical issues that affect the region’s development and the wellbeing of its communities.

President of Dubai Press Club Mona Al Marri said the choice of Dubai as the venue for the meetings is consistent with its selection as the Capital of Arab Media for 2020 by the Arab Information Ministers Council, which recognises Dubai’s instrumental role in the development of the region’s media industry over the past twenty years.

Al Marri said: “His Highness Shaikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has articulated a clear vision for the media’s role in serving Arab communities and advancing their development. He has placed particular emphasis on the part the media can play in countering terrorism and hate speech.”

Al Marri affirmed the UAE is committed to continue cooperating with friendly countries to counter terrorism, extremism and discrimination. Discussions such as those fostered by the Arab league meetings are vital to promoting openness and tolerance.

“The media must work to increase awareness about the dangers terrorism poses to our societies. Such efforts are critical to containing and defusing this phenomenon.”

Dr. Fawzi Al Ghweil, Director of Technical Administration of the Council of Arab Information Ministers at the Arab League, said: “One of the most important reasons for the spread of extremism in our communities is the weakness of moderate Islamic discourse. We need to examine why moderate Islam declined so that we can help revive it in a strong way.”

He said the Arab League organises such events as part of its efforts to counter terrorism and promote a moderate discourse through media.

Dherar Belhoul Al Falasi, Director General of Watani Al Emarat Foundation said: “Our experience has proved that a balanced and moderate media is the most effective tool to spread tolerance and combat hate speech and extremism. The UAE has been extremely successful in upholding the values of tolerance, coexistence and understanding. The media has played significant role in achieving this.”