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16 November 1987
SPECIAL POLITICAL COMMITTEE MEETING
Monday, 16 November 1987
at 10 a.m.
SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 25th MEETING
: Mr. FREUDENSCHUSS (Austria)
later: Mr. AL-KAWARI (Qatar)
later: Mr. GONZALEZ (Chile)
AGENDA ITEM 78: QUESTIONS RELATING TO INFORMATION (continued)
The meeting was to called to order at 10.25 a.m
12. Mr. AL-KAWARI (Qatar)...
... His delegation especially commended DPI's role in the dissemination of information about the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.
41. Mr. ALI (Kuwait) ...
45. His delegation particularly welcomed recommendation 31 of the recommendations of the Committee of Information, as contained in its report (A/42/21), to the effect that DPI should be requested to continue to cover adequately and accurately all United Nations activities pertaining to the situation in the Middle East and the question of Palestine. His country considered the question of Palestine to be its central preoccupation, alongside those of
48. Mr. IDRIS (Sudan) ...
50. The industrialized countries, using the enormous capacities of their information media to give substance to trivial and groundless arguments, continued to defend the illegal practices of the racist régime in South Africa. The same media generally ignored the right of the Palestinian people to establish an independent State in its own territory under the leadership of its sole legitimate representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization. ...
(Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) reminded the Committee that the full title of agenda item 4 (a) of the last session of the Committee on Information was "Promotion of the establishment or a new, more just and more effective world information and communication order intended to strengthen peace and international understanding and based on the free circulation and wider and better balanced dissemination of information". The
of communication was certainly to strengthen peace and international understanding, and the approach to the item in the Special Political Committee should not be abstract but should relate to practical methods of establishing such a world communication order. The media should focus more on the peaceful aspects of information than on acts of violence.
72. The information currently disseminated about developing countries was not always accurate or fair. Very often the first comment on an explosion in some part of the world was that so far no faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) had claimed responsibility for it, thus automatically linking the PLO with any violent act. Such comments were not designed to promote peace and understanding among peoples but rather maliciously conceived to attack one people and its struggle for independence. The preceding day, a major New York newspaper had carried a story about the constructive and positive talks at the Arab Summit in Amman that had not reported the true events but rather the incorrect and malicious reactions of the writer. No publicity had been given in the press to the acquittal by Israeli courts of four criminals who had shot a girl in Gaza, even though a coroner had established that the bullets which had killed her had come from their guns, or to the acquittal of the members of the Israeli State terrorist squad who had killed two Palestinians. Freedom of circulation of information and expression should be adhered to, especially by those who so often quoted article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
73. There was often a conspiracy of silence in the Western press, especially that of the United States, as in the case of the attempt to violate the obligations arising from an international treaty between the host country and the United Nations. He believed that a new world communication order would help to ensure that such information was not glossed over but readily available throughout the world.
74. The new Under-Secretary-General for Public Information was to be congratulated on her courage in undertaking her formidable talk, especially when she knew in advance of the attempts made to distort the image and impugn the prestige and effectiveness of the United Nations and that, in a country which withheld some
$400 million in dues from the United Nations and used it as a means of financial terrorism, anything might happen.
75. He was happy to note that the recommendations of the Group of 18 had emphasized the need for DPI to fulfill its mandate set forth in General Assembly resolutions.
76. The PLO appreciated the way DPI had carried out the mandate set forth in General Assembly resolution
, paragraph 2, to disseminate information on the activities of the United Nations system relating to the question of Palestine, to update publications, to organize fact-finding news missions to the area and regional and national encounters for journalists.
77. The aggressors against the Palestinian people always complained that the material produced by DPI was biased and did not express their point of view. One way to remedy that would be to allow for United Nations committees to visit the occupied territories.
78. Another subparagraph of the same draft resolution requested DPI to publish brochures and booklets on the various aspects of the question of Palestine including Israeli violations of the human rights of the Arab inhabitants of the occupied territories. That information was available from letters published by various United Nations bodies but was never disseminated throughout the United Nations system. He would like to see such violations reported in the media every day. The United Nations had their own monitors in the area and did not have to wait for reports from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) or the Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories. DPI should immediately disseminate information on such violations and, whenever possible, have audio-visual material to provide to the media around the world so that everyone should know the Nazi-lie crimes being perpetrated in occupied Palestine.
79. It might be difficult for DPI to do all that he suggested, but he did not see how financial constraints could hinder the establishment of relations with non-aligned and other regional news agencies from the developing world.
The meeting rose at 1 p.m