Federal National Council passes bill on NMC


The Federal National Council on Tuesday passed a federal bill regulating the responsibilities of the National Media Council.
According to Article 2 of the bill, the NMC is a federal government body affiliated with the Cabinet and has a corporate character and a mandate to undertake the responsibilities of overseeing and supervising media in the UAE. It has the legal capacity to undertake all activities to ensure achievement of its goals.
The council also approved two other bills on fees levied by federal courts and amendments to Federal Decree Law No. 5 of 2012 on combating cybercrimes. Article 3 states that the NMC will have its headquarters in Abu Dhabi City and will set up branches and offices inside and outside the UAE.
The approval of the bills came at a session chaired by Dr. Amal Abdullah Al Qubaisi, Speaker of the FNC and attended by Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State, Chairman of the Board of National Media Council and Director-General of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC); Sultan bin Saeed Al Badi, Minister of Justice; and Nourabint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs.
Al Jaber said he was proud to attend the FNC session and praised the body’s members for their enthusiasm, interest in and knowledge about the importance of the media sector and the role being played by the NMC.
“This will facilitate the NMC’s work. I fully understand the role of the members. We recognise the fact that chalking up the media policy is something that cannot be achieved without the participation of all federal and local departments,” Al Jaber said.
He said the NMC agrees on all observations and proposals made by the FNC’s relevant body after extensive consultations with the country’s media organisations.
The speaker of the FNC stressed that the legislative body provides full support to the NMC as the largest strategic partner involved in covering the FNC’s activities and its role in discussing issues that are important for nationals and members of the community.
Al Jaber said the bill came amid developments in media sectors both domestically and internationally and after the NMC was tasked with new national responsibilities.
“This makes it necessary to issue a modern law to regulate work and chart and co-ordinate a media policy that is consistent with the general goals of the UAE, manages the country’s international image and defends its achievements and ambitions,” he added.
The bill, he said, provides an appropriate legal foundation for dealing with modern media activities. “Regionally as well as internationally, the UAE is now one of the richest communities in terms of media content, which makes it necessary to enact legislation maximising the benefit from this media richness.”
The current printing and publications law, from the NMC’s derives its powers, does not provide a sufficient legal cover for the NMC to carry out its duties and responsibilities in an optimal manner.
Recommendations issued by the FNC in 2013 were instrumental in proposing the said bill on media. “At the NMC, we believe that teamwork is innovative and cannot be restricted by inflexible frameworks and centralised authorities with direct powers. That is why we fully recognise the important of the national role that we should play as a regulator, and an overseeing and coordinating body without interfering in the executive affairs of national media organisations that contributes towards the overall development taking place in the UAE.”

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