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Gov’t addressing ‘public mistrust’ issue out-of-the-box — premier

Razzaz responds to youth call for a meeting, says more to come

By JT - Oct 18,2018 - Last updated at Oct 18,2018

Prime Minister Omar Razzaz meets with young people in Amman on Thursday (Petra photo)

AMMAN — Prime Minister Omar Razzaz said that the government, since its inception, has realised that the real problem it faces is “the lack of trust between the successive governments and citizens”, and is approaching that in an unconventional manner.

Razzaz made the remarks during a meeting with youth activists that was attended by Minister of State for Media Affairs Jumana Ghunaimat, Minister of Culture and Youth Mohammad Abu Rumman and the Secretary General of Ministry of Youth Thabet Nabulsi, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The meeting was set up after Razzaz responded to a youth initiative, launched through social media platforms, to hold a meeting between a group of young people representing the various governorates and the prime minister, for a conversation over national concerns and youth issues.

At the end of the three-hour meeting held on Thursday, with 27 young men and women representing various walks of life and areas, civil society organisations, trade unions, activists and entrepreneurs, Razzaz acknowledged that the meeting was fruitful and involved real added value that would encourage the government to hold frequent meetings with the youth sector in the near future.

He stressed the importance of these meetings, through which the government is keen to learn about the views of young people and their aspirations, pointing out that the dialogue triggered would lead to the envisaged outcomes.

“We seek to restore trust on different grounds, away from the traditional model of absolute trust that no longer exists in our world, but rather the trust based on consensus over the diagnosis of problems and... priorities”, he added.

For her part, Ghunaimat pointed out the importance of communication between the government, youth and the media, stressing that the media is an oversight authority. 

She reiterated the government’s commitment to providing answers to all the questions raised, citing as success stories the way the government communicated with the public during the “the terrorist attack in city of Salt and the tobacco [corruption] case, where the information was provided with transparency”.

She explained that the communication between the government and the citizens will be institutionalised through “Your Right to Know”, a web-based platform that the government has devised to improve communication with the public.

She also stressed the importance of rehabilitating media institutions to move from the status of government media to state media, with a focus on a clear structure of information flow and a workable mechanism to respond to rumours.

Abu Rumman said that his ministry has projects, initiatives and ambitions to achieve for the youth, pointing out the “enormous efforts” to approach the problems faced by the young generation.

The meeting’s coordinator, Sultan Khalayleh, outlined how the idea of the meeting evolved, saying it was put forward on social media platforms and caught by Razzaz, who immediately agreed to the gathering. The activist noted that the young people who expressed desire to participate in the meeting amounted to 840.

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