Antelias, January 12th, 2001
1. In its first statement of the new year and the beginning of the third millennium, the World Forum of Professionals in the Secular and Religious Media in Lebanon hopes that relieves at all levels at all levels which talked about certain officials, mainly media ones, become true, especially that lots of publicists are still complaining from “red lines” and increasing limitations on the freedom of opinion and expression. The Forum renews its hope in the fact that the President of the Executive power and the ministry of Information would be able to realize the promises they committed themselves to in front of the Lebanese, in order to guarantee, protect and consolidate public freedoms as the Constitution and Lebanese laws require.
2. The Forum can not but express its deep regret about the lost of the tripartite media which affected Lebanon and the media body with the absence of the President Charles Helou, the Cheikh Mohamed Mahdi Chams El Dine and the Father Antoine Gemayel who were characterized by giving a lot to the media, loving Lebanon and supporting its issues and fundamental values, namely their will to have life union, belief freedom and poverty service.
3. On the occasion of the Universal Day of Peace which was lately celebrated by the bishopric committee “justice and peace”, under the sign of “dialogue of cultures for a civilization of love and peace”, the Forum calls all mass medias to give this subject all the interest needed, for it consolidates the principles on which Lebanon is based, namely the right to differentiate and to respect the opinion of the other, without any discrimination in religion, confession, language, region, and belief, and far from imposing what is thought to be true, via force and violence methods which are against the democratic spirit of coexistence characterizing Lebanon and every civilized society. Lebanon constitutes, in this frame, an example in the world, despite some passing impurities. Thus, it is inevitable to preserve it and guarantee its freedom of cultural and religious plurality.
4. The Forum salutes the televised emission transmitted by the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation (LBC) on the New Year eve in the program of “Wa’if Ta Illak” (a reporter stops a walker and asks him a question. If the answer is right, LBC makes his dream come true) directed by Peter Khoury, for what it contains of human and high spiritual values. Thus, the emission represents a pattern of high media action which can be accomplished by media institutions when they shed the light on fundamental social issues, in a successful trial to resolve and reduce them.
Translated by: Joyce Tary