الإثنين 26 محرم 1439 - 20:28 بتوقيت مكة المكرمة الموافق 16-10-2017
General Assembly approves IINA's transformation into Union of News Agencies. Image from UNA.
Jeddah (UNA) - The Fifth session of the General Assembly of the International Islamic News Agency (IINA), a specialized media organ of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which held on Tuesday at the headquarters of the OIC General Secretariat in Jeddah, approved the plan to develop IINA and convert it into a Union of OIC News Agencies (OIC-UNA).
The OIC-UNA shall operate within the OIC framework and serve as an umbrella for the news agencies and training centers. Its main objectives shall include highlighting and defending the issues of the Muslim World, foremost of which is Palestine and Al-Quds Al-Sharif, and combating the discourse of racism, hatred, extremism, racial discrimination, and Islamophobia.
Saudi Minister of Culture and Information and Chairman of the Executive Council of IINA Dr. Awwad bin Saleh Al-Awwad told the General Assembly that IINA is going through a new phase with the view to converting it into a union of OIC news agencies. He indicated that this requires the support of all OIC member states to enable IINA-cum-UNA to carry out its mission and complete its projects and plans to achieve the objectives of the Muslim Ummah in the field of media.
Dr. Al-Awwad added that the new entity would enhance its role in supporting and qualifying the capabilities of media professionals in all member news agencies, and launching programs and projects that highlight Islamic issues and the OIC message more broadly.
For his part, the OIC Secretary General Dr. Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen called for the joint Islamic action in the field of media to receive more attention to serve the causes of the Islamic Ummah and defend its interests. He added that the joint Islamic action in the field of media has not yet reached the levels we seek that would effectively address the unfair campaigns targeting our religious and cultural symbols and values, which are manifestations of Islamophobia that are worsening day after day.
Al-Othaimeen added that IINA is on the threshhold of a new phase represented by the development vision and its efforts to turn into a union of news agencies of the OIC member states. This will enhance coordination among these agencies, raise the level of media coverage of prominent Muslim issues and encourage investment in human resources working in the media sector in the OIC member states to improve their skills and raise their professional and media performance.
On his part, President of Saudi Press Agency (SPA) and Chairman of the General Assembly of IINA Abdullah Al-Hussein said that the move to transform into a union allows IINA to broaden its scope of work to serve as a forum for media activities, a center for unifying and guiding them towards common issues, and a communication channel with the international media.
The General Assembly endorsed the inter-sessional resolutions of the Chair of the Executive Board, the appointment of the Director General Issa Khaireh Robleh and the Comprehensive Plan of Action within the OIC Program of Action 2025. The meeting also endorsed the draft resolutions on the role of news agencies in member states in supporting the cause of Palestine and Al-Quds Al-Sharif, supporting the joint action of national news agencies in the OIC member states, role of IINA Training Center in supporting the capabilities of media professionals in member news agencies, role of news agencies in combating the rhetoric of terrorism and Islamophobia, participation in the OIC Award for distinguished media professionals, and the role of news agencies in supporting the implementation of the OIC media program for Africa.
The General Assembly also approved the request of the Republic of Djibouti to host the sixth session and elected the members of the Executive Council for the new session: UAE, Oman, Djibouti, Gambia, Benin, Cote d'Ivoire, Pakistan, Azerbaijan and Malaysia, as well as permanent members: Saudi Arabia, Palestine and the OIC.
It is noteworthy that, IINA was founded by a decision of the 3rd OIC Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers which was held in Jeddah in Muharram 1392 H (February/March 1972). This was in execution of the decision of the 2nd OIC Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers held in Karachi,  Pakistan. It disseminates daily news bulletins in Arabic, English and French languages.
SM/UNA
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