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IV. Communications campaigns: speaking with one voice
27. The Department has also made concerted efforts to reach out to the public and to the media in the Arab world. An innovation of particular importance has been the designation in the Department of a focal point for Arab media. Relevant press materials have been translated into Arabic and distributed by the focal point in a timely manner to some 300 media outlets in the Middle East and beyond and to the network of United Nations information centres in the region. In forging links with the Arab media, special emphasis has been placed on direct contacts via telephone and e-mail to provide information on questions relating to the United Nations and the Middle East. The Department has also continued its work within the framework of its special information programme on the Question of Palestine. In October 2003, the Department organized an international media seminar in Seville, Spain, with the theme “Towards a two-State solution”. The seminar provided a forum for over 150 media representatives and international experts to discuss, among other things, the role of the media in the conflict, and the role of culture, literature and education in facilitating a dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians, and the role of civil society in achieving peace. The twelfth seminar in this series is scheduled to take place in Beijing in June 2004.