Sr Bernadette Mary Reis, fsp – Abu Dhabi
An important step forward has been made in the implementation of the Document on Human Fraternity. On Tuesday, the second day of the Arab Media Convention for Human Fraternity, a Code of Ethics for media professionals was introduced and convention particpants were encouraged to sign it. Judge Mohamed Abdel Salam, former adviser to the Grand Imam, and member of the Higher Committed, introduced this important initiative.
Msgr Yoannis Gaid, representing Pope Francis, and also a member of the Higher Committee, also spoke regarding this initiative. He said that we can speak of a “before and after the Document” on Human Fraternity. He thanked those members of the media who have read the Document on Human Fraternity and who have already begun incorporating the values expressed in it. Msgr Gaid invited his audience to encourage other media professionals to read the Document, saying that no person with a human heart could refuse to work in the spirit of that Document.
Code of Ethics for Human Fraternity
Dr Sultan Al Remeithi, Secretary General of the council of Muslim Elders also introduced the Code of Ethics which contains the following principles:
It is important to preserve freedom of expression as a human right.
Media professionals should promote the value of friendship and mutual acceptance of others in co-existence.
That all type of hate speech be rejected, especially regarding religion.
That all expressions dividing humanity be rejected.
To highlight how innocent civilians are affected by war and violence.
That in support of the sanctity of human life, media professionals do nothing to promote acts of war and violence against humanity, including publishing discourses justifying bloodshed or favouring war.
To avoid the use of stereotypes.
That the media be in solidarity with migrants and uphold their right to a dignified life.
That content containing human values be encouraged.
That the media promote and protect the family
Encourages the promotion of the rights of women as human rights.
The Importance to promote the rights of the disabled and not to publish anything negative against them.
That the media respect rights of children and help in the fight against trafficking of children
That media professionals be formed to adopt these principles in their work
All of those present were invited to be among the first to sign the Code which the drafters hope might one day become an international code of ethics for the media.