Questions relatives à l’information - Débat de Quatrième Commission – Communiqué de presse (extraits)
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As the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) met this afternoon to take up questions relating information, it had before it the Secretary-General’s report on that issue (document A/65/277).
That report highlights the Secretariat’s recent communications campaigns by the United Nations Department of Public Information on key issues, such as the Millennium Development Goals, international peace and security, human rights, the question of Palestine, and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). Particular attention was also paid to the network of United Nations Information Centres, new information and communications technologies, and the global Model United Nations for students.
Statement by Under-Secretary-General
KIYO AKASAKA, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information noted that today’s meeting was taking place six months after the last session of the Committee on Information and provided the Department of Public Information with an opportunity to update Member States on the progress made to implement its General Assembly mandate. The Secretary-General’s report (document A/65/277) highlighted the recent work of the Department, which continued to apply a strategic approach to its work in the areas of development, peace, security and human rights. That work was characterized by advance planning, partnerships, clear organization and coordination, responsible use of resources and programme evaluation.
Continuing, he said that in light of the changing reality of what and how news was produced, the International Media Seminar on Peace in the Middle East, in July in Lisbon, had examined the role of new media in fostering peace in the region. Organized by his department in cooperation with the Government of Portugal, the July seminar had also focused on the role of Israeli and Palestinian women in achieving peace and security in the Middle East, in connection with the 10th anniversary later this month of the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) on women and peace and security. He thanked Portugal’s Government for hosting the event, which was attended by 26 Israelis and Palestinians and 100 international participants.
Beginning the discussion after Mr. Akasaka’s presentation, the representative of Libya said the Under-Secretary-General had highlighted the various important activities being carried out by the Department of Public Information, and that his delegation valued its many efforts. Regarding the question of Palestine, he said that on the United Nations website there was an online booklet called “the question of Palestine and the United Nations” which, when it was viewed in that way, posed technical problems to the online reader, as it was not always possible to access all parts of that booklet.
He also said that parts of that booklet carried “many ambiguities”. This was particularly important because the Department not only reached millions, but had become a reference point for writers, researchers and academics as a source of official information. In brief, he said, Libya wished to know how the booklet on Palestine was prepared, and if there had been any coordination with the parties concerned. He also asked about the burning of the United Nations flag in Haiti, and wondered why that event had not been covered in the United Nations online press.
Responding to that representative’s questions, Mr. Akasaka said that the booklet on Palestine and the United Nations had been revised a year ago. It had been written and revised in consultation with the other concerned departments. The booklet had also been shown to the parties concerned, and the Information Department had taken every care to be precise and impartial, and so far, had not been confronted with any issues regarding that publication. If there was any incorrect or inappropriate parts in that booklet, he said, the Department was prepared to revisit and revise it if necessary. Concerning the recent issue regarding the burning of the Qur’an, he recalled that the Secretary-General had made a very strong statement on that issue, which was available on the United Nations website.
WALEED AL-SAIYANI ( Yemen), speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, ...
The Group of 77 appreciated and supported the work of the Department and looked forward to its continuation, he said. The Group emphasized the importance of the Department’s Special Information Programme on the Question of Palestine, which raised awareness and supported efforts for achieving peace in the Middle East. In that respect, the Group of 77 commended the Department for its implementation of that important Programme and, among other aspects, its annual training of Palestinian media professionals from the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
MANSOOR CISS ( Senegal) ...
... In addition, Senegal was pleased that the Department continued to carry out its Special Information Programme on the Question of Palestine. He called on all delegations to support all decisions and recommendations on the information activities regarding Palestine. He paid a tribute to information professionals, who often put their lives at risk, and who worked with skill to make the United Nations voices heard.
ALLAL OUAZZANI TOUHAMI ( Morocco) ...
Continuing, he encouraged the Department to continue its outreach on the Question of Palestine, and regarding training of Palestinian journalists, stressed the importance of capacity-building. He called for more resources to train such journalists, especially in the area of e-media. ...