Minister welcomes KJA board member reelection to IFJ executive committee

Dehiran Aba Al-Khail and Jassem Kamal

TUNIS: Kuwait Journalists Association (KJA) board member Dehiran Aba Al-Khail has won a seat in International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) Executive Committee elections. The Kuwaiti journalist garnered 225 votes in the process held on the sidelines of the 30th IFJ Congress held in Tunis. KJA Treasurer and Kuwaiti Delegation Head Jassem Kamal said Aba Al-Khail’s win of 225 out of a total 260 votes was deemed an accomplishment for Kuwait and its journalism. “It also reflects Kuwait’s world reputation as a regional beacon of the freedom of expression and responsibility,” he said. But, he said, this achievement requires more efforts by Kuwaiti journalists to maintain their key media role in the region and the world.

Historic role
Meanwhile, Aba Al-Khail boasted about his win of an IFJ seat as a recognition of the historic role of the KJA and journalism at Gulf, Arab and international levels. This success has been notched up thanks to Kuwait’s good reputation and close relations with other countries, chiefly Arab ones, along with Arab integration within the IFJ. Held in Tunis for the first time the Middle East and Africa, the 30th IFJ Congress concluded here on Friday, with the attendance of 300 union leaders representing 600,000 journalists. The IFJ, the world’s largest organization of journalists, represents 600,000 media professionals from 187 trade unions and associations in more than 140 countries.
Established in 1926, the IFJ is the organization that speaks for journalists within the United Nations system and within the international trade union movement. First established as the Fédération Internationale des Journalistes (FIJ) in 1926 in Paris, it was relaunched as the International Organization of Journalists (IOJ) in 1946, but lost its Western members to the Cold War and re-emerged in its present form in 1952 in Brussels.

Protecting press freedom
In the meantime, Minister of Information and Minister of State for Youth Affairs Mohammad Al-Jabri said the reelection of a Kuwaiti journalist to the membership of the executive committee of IFJ signals Kuwait’s contribution to the efforts to promote the profession and protect the press freedom. “The Congress took place from June 11 to 14 in Tunisia, the first time in a Middle East country,” Minister Jabri said, appreciating Aba Al-Khail’s contributions to the KJA and journalism in Kuwait. “Kuwait is the first Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member country to be represented in the IFJ executive committee,” he noted.
The minister reaffirmed the ministry’s commitment to working with the KJA, as a civil society institution, to ensure free press in line with the insight of the political leadership represented by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and the His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah. – KUNA