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Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee)
Summary record of the 23rd meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Wednesday, 17 November 1999, at 3 p.m.
Chairman: Mr. Zacheo....................(Cyprus)
later: Mr. Kazhura .....................(Belarus)
Agenda item 91: Questions relating to information (continued)
The meeting was called to order at 3.10 p.m.
Agenda item 91: Questions relating to information (continued) (A/54/21 and Add.1 and A/54/415)
1. Mr. Al-Bader (Kuwait) endorsed the statements made on behalf of the Arab Group ...
3. He supported the request that the Department should endeavour to meet the interests of the developing countries so that they could acquire new information technologies; the special information programme on the question of Palestine should be implemented in accordance with the relevant United Nations resolutions. The Department should also devote more attention to promoting public awareness of United Nations peacekeeping operations.
68. Mr. Kanaan (Observer for the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC)), said ...
70. He emphasized the cooperation between OIC, UNESCO and ITU and the efforts made by the OIC General Secretariat, the Al-Quds Committee, the Islamic Standing Committee for Information and Cultural Affairs and other OIC bodies. Two specialized institutions of OIC, namely the International Islamic News Agency and the Islamic States Broadcasting Organization, were adopting a new methodology that kept abreast of modern transformations generated by new information and communication technologies. With that methodology, those institutions desired to counter the ever-increasing challenges in the information domain, such as campaigns aimed at obliterating the Islamic identity of the peoples of the OIC countries and distorting their beliefs.
71. With regard to the role of the United Nations in the sphere of information and communication, he drew attention first to the need for efforts to narrow the gap between the developed and the developing countries in the communications field in order to enable the latter to acquire more advanced means of communication, preserve national sovereignty and cultural identity and participate in the free and balanced exchange of information. Second, he drew attention to the need for continued development, maintenance and enrichment of United Nations Web sites with a view to achieving equal treatment of the six official languages, including Arabic, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 53/208 C, and the need for DPI to continue its activities in the field of publications, radio and television services and the United Nations libraries. Third, he expressed support for the suggestion that a Web page dedicated to dialogue among civilizations should be developed. Fourth, he stressed the need for DPI to continue its special information programme on the question of Palestine and to extend its assistance to the Palestinian people in the field of media development and the promotion of the Bethlehem 2000 project. In that regard, he said that in order to take its place in the information and communication field, the Organization of the Islamic Conference looked forward to enhancing and strengthening its cooperation with the United Nations. The secretariats of the two organizations and their affiliates would discuss that issue and others at their coordination meeting, to be held in Geneva in the year 2000.