SAT-7 PRESENTS AT UNITED NATIONS PANEL
SAT-7 was recently invited to share its activities in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in a United Nations round-panel discussion. Many leaders – including advocates from various religions– commended SAT-7 for its holistic approach and were amazed at the wide reach our satellite channels have.
In January 2019, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addressed the General Assembly of the UN and the public by sharing his concerns that hate speech is becoming a real-life threat to society. He stated that unless something is done to break that cycle, we will experience very dangerous situations and atrocities, much like what we’ve seen in the previous two world wars – something that our world would not want to experience again. He stressed that tackling hate speech should be a global priority and committed that the UN will work in 2019 to implement a new UN-wide plan to address it so as the UN can become a platform for action to repair broken trust in a broken world and deliver for people.
As part of the plan, the Mission of the United Kingdom to the United Nations and the British human rights organisation Article 19 invited civil society organisations to a roundtable discussion at the UN headquarters.
As a member of the Freedom of Religion and Belief (FORB) platform, SAT-7 was invited to participate in these meetings, represented by SAT-7 Development Manager Nicoletta Michael. The aim of the meetings was to look at the best ways to address religious intolerance in line with existing UN standards, and draft an action plan by Spring 2019.
SAT-7 presents its social impact projects
During the meetings, Nicoletta Michael had the opportunity to present the work of SAT-7, as a media organisation in the MENA region for over twenty years. Nicoletta highlighted the unique ethos of the organisation and its production and broadcasts of social impact programs that promote tolerance, acceptance, respect and critical thinking. Special emphasis was given to the government funded projects Needle and New Thread, Puzzle, and the new Current Affairs Project.
Coming together for a common purpose
Nicoletta’s presentation was well-received, and feedback was positive.
“There was a real openness for people to work together and everyone recognised the importance of all agents, governments, religious groups, media, NGOs, and society as a whole to come together,” shares Nicoletta. “It’s a time to stop thinking as individuals, and instead start creating synergies.”
Nicoletta explained how guests and participants were amazed at the work that SAT-7 does in such a difficult environment, and how the ministry has been able to maintain a presence and work in the region for 25 years. They were also impressed that SAT-7’s channels are not censored, are a-political, and manage to have positive impact over viewers by engaging with them through various platforms.
“Our relationship with our viewers is a relationship of dialogue, not monologue,” says Nicoletta.
Acknowledgment from participants of different backgrounds
SAT-7’s work also received acknowledgement from various participants and advocates of different faith backgrounds who were impressed by its wide range of programming designed for everyone – children, women, adults, and youth
During her presentation Nicoletta explained that SAT-7’s approach and methodology can be the solution to many of the obstacles that others were identifying and struggling to address.
“I explained to them that to approach the challenge of rising intolerance and tackle hate and discrimination a proactive, positive and alternative approach is needed,” says Nicoletta. “On the ground initiatives – as effective as they are in helping individuals – are limited in the amount of people they can reach. However, by combining our efforts and using the strategic platform of SAT-7, we can reach more than 25 million, including refugees, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), the marginalised, those out of reach, those behind closed doors, and so many more.”
EDUCATION BEYOND TELEVISION
Alongside broadcasting on the SAT-7 ARABIC and SAT-7 KIDS satellite channels, the SAT-7 ACADEMY brand of programs are also available on social media platforms such as YouTube and Facebook, where viewers can choose and watch entire episodes, and engage with the SAT-7 ACADEMY Audience Relations and Social Media Officers.