iGA Participates in 7th GCC eGovernment Ministerial Committee Meeting

Muscat, Under the patronage of General Sheikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, Minister of Interior and Chairman of the Ministerial Committee for Information and Communication Technology (MCICT), the Information and eGovernment Authority (iGA) represented Bahrain at the 7th meeting of the GCC eGovernment Ministerial Committee.

The event was chaired by Saeed bin Hamoud Al Mawali, Oman's Minister of Transport, Communications, and Information Technology.

Mohammed Ali Al Qaed, iGA Chief Executive, Dr. Khalid Almutawah, Deputy CE of Operations and Governance, and Mahmood Hamad Almansoori, Advisor Technical Affairs, were present.

The meeting discussed efforts by the United Arab Emirates to enhance the GCC ePortal, restructuring its user experience and cybersecurity to align with international best practises. In addition, the committee members approved the ethical use of AI in the GCC guide proposed by Bahrain.

The meeting addressed the consolidation of committees and working groups specialising in cybersecurity under the GCC umbrella. They approved the establishment of the GCC Ministerial Committee for Cybersecurity, discussing its structure and scope and approving the transfer of responsibilities from the National Cybersecurity Incident Response Team (CSIRT) and the Digital Trust Services Working Group to the new committee and its affiliates.

The Ministerial Committee received presentations from member countries, including Bahrain's presentation on the implementation of the eGovernment Guiding Strategy, Oman's presentation on electing members of the Shura Council for the 10th term in 2023 using the electronic system (Intakhib), and Saudi Arabia's presentation on the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) 2024. The Committee shared these presentations with the other GCC countries for their consideration and benefit.

The meeting underscored the need to implement the decisions of the 153rd session of the Ministerial Council concerning the protection of ethical, religious, and family values in Gulf societies. It emphasised the importance of countries utilising their capabilities and institutions to protect religious and ethical values, support the institution of marriage and family, and enact legislation and policies to strengthen these areas. The role of religious, educational, cultural, social, and civil society organisations and the private sector in promoting awareness of common religious and ethical values was highlighted, along with activating the role of all types of media, research centres, and studies in promoting sound human values and enabling the institution of marriage and family through an integrated communications strategy.

The Ministerial Committee was briefed on the efforts made by the Executive eGovernment Committee to overcome the difficulties that Gulf information centers encounter with data exchange. The Committee approved the participation of entities responsible for credit data in GCC countries in the eGovernment Network. These entities should be licensed by the central banks of member countries.

The meeting also reviewed the Secretariat General’s report on implementing the decisions of the 6th meeting of the Ministerial Committee, held in 2020. It was agreed to hold the 8th meeting in October 2024, with the Secretariat General and the country holding the presidency tasked with determining the location and date of the meeting.

Source: Bahrain News Agency