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DPI/Information sur la question de la Palestine - Comité de l'information de l'AG - débat et déclarations générals - Communiqué de presse Français
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Source: Department of Public Information (DPI)
2 May 2007


General Assembly
PI/1772

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Committee on Information
Twenty-ninth Session
4th Meeting (PM)

NEW COMMUNICATIONS HEAD THANKS INFORMATION COMMITTEE MEMBERS FOR CONFIDENCE

EXPRESSED IN DEPARTMENT, ‘AS IT STRIVES TO TELL THE UN STORY’

Responds to Questions Raised During 3-Day Debate on Range of Issues,
Including Information Centre Integration, Raising Awareness of Peacekeeping


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Background

The Committee on Information met this afternoon to conclude its general debate.  It was expected to hear once again from the Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, Kiyo Akasaka, on issues raised by delegations during the three-day exchange of views.  For background, see Press Release PI/1768 of 27 April.

Statements

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DANIEL CARMON ( Israel) ...

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He, once again, expressed his concern about the implementation of General Assembly resolutions on the Palestinian Information Programme.  By its very definition, that programme promoted a one-sided narrative.  In the past, he had recognized Under-Secretary-General Shashi Tharoor’s efforts to make the seminars and materials emanating from the Department as objective as possible.  However, as a result of the Palestinian Information Programme, Israel continued to be the only Member State that was the target of such political bias.  Especially at a time of United Nations reform and revitalization, that programme should be substituted, in due time, with a more balanced and constructive joint effort concerning peace in the Middle East, aimed at the promotion of tolerance, peace education, mutual understanding, and the prevention of incitement.

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MALICK THIERNO SOW (Senegal) ...

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Recalling that, on 1 December 2006, the General Assembly had renewed the Department’s decision to organize international, regional and national meetings and symposiums with a view to sensitizing public opinion on the question of Palestine and to continue to assist the Palestinian people in training Palestinian journalists, he congratulated the Department for its actions in that regard and encouraged it to step up its efforts on that very important matter.  He also encouraged the Department to continue to actively follow the situation, to offer its cooperation and support to Palestinian civil society organizations, and to marshal even more solidarity and support from the international community for the Palestinian people, with the overall goal of promoting the exercise of their inalienable rights and for the peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine.

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AHMED GEBREEL ( Libya) aligned himself with the Group of 77, saying that he did not have much more to add to what was already said by the Group Chair, Pakistan.  He only wished to add one observation:  while nobody questioned the Department’s vital role in transmitting the voice of the United Nations in terms of decolonization, promoting the culture of peace and tolerance, and bolstering dialogue among civilizations, including its treatment of the Palestinian question, the United Nations visitors’ tours did not address the question of Palestine very much.  Among the purpose of those tours was to make visitors aware of the Organization’s peacekeeping operations and the disarmament issue.  Yet, there were few murals and pictures dedicated to the Palestinian issue; in fact, that issue was relegated to a small corner.  Hopefully, the Department would take into consideration the question of Palestine as a bigger part of the visitors’ tours.

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SOUAD ALAOUI ( Morocco), aligning herself with the Group of 77, ...

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She noted that, in his statement, the Under-Secretary-General had said that the Department would focus on four themes:  peace and security; climate change; the Millennium Development Goals; and human rights.  She said due attention should also be given to issues such as the Palestinian question, migration and its causes, Africa’s development, and the dialogue between civilizations.  ...

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Right of Reply

YUSSEF KANAAN, Observer for Palestine, replied to comments made by the Israeli representative on the Special Information Programme on the Question of Palestine, saying those arguments were usually based on unfounded accusations of partiality or waste of resources.

He said the Department’s Programme on the Question of Palestine was useful for raising awareness among the international community on the question of Palestine and the situation in the Middle East.  The Programme disseminated information on all United Nations system activities relating to the question of Palestine and issued publications on different aspects of the question, including on efforts being exerted towards the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  The information distributed by the Programme was factual and impartial, and valuable for contributing to an atmosphere of dialogue that was supportive of peace efforts.  It also offered an annual training programme for Palestinian journalists from the Occupied Palestinian Territory, which was an opportunity that would not otherwise be available to them.  Such activities were beneficial, positive and constructive, and should be supported.

He said the General Assembly resolution mandating the Programme received the overwhelming support of a majority of Member States each year.  It was the Membership that decided which programmes were necessary and useful, and there was clear consensus that the Special Programme on the Question of Palestine was one of them.

He said the Programme was clearly in line with the permanent responsibility of the United Nations towards the question of Palestine until it was resolved in all aspects in accordance with international law.  In that regard, it was incumbent on the United Nations to do its utmost to promote awareness of the question of Palestine to promote dialogue and understanding, and so promote the efforts to achieve a just, lasting and peaceful settlement.

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Closing Remarks by Under-Secretary-General

KIYO AKASAKA, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, ...

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In terms of promoting dialogue and understanding, he remarked on the “Unlearning Intolerance” seminar series, which began three years ago and which had “left its imprint in the civil society and academic worlds”.  The most recent seminar had been on cartooning for peace, and related events were held in Geneva, Brussels and Moscow.  Exhibits had also been held on “An Encounter of Civilizations” and “A Palestinian Narrative”, as well as one on the Roma and Sinti minorities.  ...

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For information media • not an official record

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