On World Press Freedom Day: IRYANI CALLS ON MEDIA TO BUILD NEW PARTNERSHIP [Archives:1998/18/Front Page]

May 4 1998

Dr. Abdul-Kareem Al-Iryani, Prime Minister of the Care-Taker Government, called on the media to accept a new partnership. “We all share the same objective of helping evolve an active and strong media. It is towards that end that I extend an offer for a new partnership with the government,” he said.
Speaking in the inaugural session of a seminar sponsored jointly by UNESCO and the Yemen Times on the occasion of May 3rd – World Press Freedom Day – Iryani acknowledged that Yemen’s good press law has not been optimally implemented.
“We all share in the blame – the government, political parties, media, and the journalists’ syndicate. We can and should work together to push ahead in our country’s transformation,” he added.
Also speaking in the same session, Information Minister Abdul-Rahman Al-Akwa’, insisted that he was interested in contributing to its growth. “I urge journalists to interact positively with us in building a viable national media.” Regarding the journalists’ syndicate, he said, “We don’t want to interfere. We do want it to come to life. That is the challenge ahead of us.”
In his welcome address, Prof. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf, Editor of the Yemen Times, pointed to the wide gap separating the letter of the press law and the practices. “While we do have a good law, there are many visible obstacles facing journalists,” he said. However, he went on to show that Yemen does enjoy a relatively better environment of press freedom than all the countries of the neighborhood.
Mr. Najeeb Fraiji, the Director of the UN Information Center in Sanaa delivered a statemnet on behalf of the UN Seceretary-General, Mr. Kofi Anan.
Seven experts gave papers assessing the present situation and proposing steps for the future. The Yemen Times will run summaries in its issue next week.