15 October 2009
Statement by Mr. Amir Hossein Hosseini
Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran
at the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee)
on the agenda item 34: “Questions relating to Information”
64th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (New York – October 15, 2009)
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
I would like to begin by expressing our appreciations to the Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, Mr. Kiyotaka Akasaka for his comprehensive and useful statement. We believe that such a lively dialogue and interaction would be beneficial for both the Member States and the Department of Public Information.
My delegation associates itself with the statements made by the distinguished Permanent Representative of Sudan on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
As you are aware, the General Assembly resolution 34/182 has affirmed that the Assembly should play the primary role in elaborating, coordinating and harmonizing United Nations policies and activities in the field of information towards the establishment of a new, more just and more effective world information and communication order.
Since its inception, DPI has acted as the voice of the United Nations and has embarked on promoting global awareness on the work done by the Organization, using various old and new communication tools and information technology. My delegation recognizes the significant role of DPI in this regard and reiterates our conviction that DPI should always commit itself to reach out to the widest possible audiences; provide accurate, relevant, impartial, balanced, and timely information to the international community on the work of the Organization; promote the public image of the United Nations by serving as the first source of news for the UN Member States; continue to build on its already established meaningful partnership with the Committee on Information, and take all possible measures to assist the developing nations to bridge the digital gap.
We commend DPI for its efforts in addressing important global issues such as UN reform, attainment of the MDGs, sustainable development, the dialogue among civilizations, and culture of peace, respect for religious, cultural and historical values. The United Nations Information Centers (UNICs) important role in public awareness activities at national level has been always considered as a strong point for DPI. My delegation reiterates its support for multilingualism and parity of languages in all UN activities.
We are of the view that the DPI’s emphasis on emerging global issues such as financial and economic crisis, A(H1N1) influenza outbreak, food crisis and climate change, should not affect its attention to some old but very vital issues like the realization of the rights of self-determination and development. In this context, we would like to refer to the desperate situation of the innocent Palestinian people. The occupation of Palestine and denial of the Palestinians’ right of self-determination is the main reason for the continuation of the conflict in the Occupied Territories.
DPI, among other issues, should duly address the issue of the gross violation of all human and humanitarian rights of the Palestinian people living under occupation, especially perpetration of war crimes and crimes against humanity against them as partly mentioned in the recent report of the Human Rights Council’s Fact-finding Mission on Gaza. DPI should also embark on better informing the public about the negative impacts of the humanitarian situation prevailing in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and the work of the UN to alleviate this situation.
Media is not only a means for information sharing but also a very effective and powerful tool for the advancement of expansionist policies and promotion of certain cultures for subjugating other nations with different social and cultural backgrounds. The modern media has helped certain powers to embark on an agenda of global dominance. Media is widely being used and abused by them as a tool of cultural and political hegemony and materialization of aggressive and interventionist policies against certain nations. It is being used to distort the realities, manipulate the public and induce them to support recycled or new big lies.
We should not lose sight of the fact that today we are facing a new type of foreign aggression in the form of the soft war. Supported by the state-of-the-art arsenal of technology, the monopolized army of the media attacks its targets with a very high volume of assorted well-crafted news, and imposes a massive wave of censorship against them. This is an undeclared war that is clearly undermining cultural, religious, social, economic and political life and heritage of other nations. Certain nations and cultures are under the constant bombardment of a whole host of sources of mass media including, inter alia, TV networks, newspapers, magazines and internet. They calculatingly manipulate events to glorify the image of some countries and to build a negative image for those who are regarded by the former as adversaries. The United Nations is also subject to the same threat. Media and other means of propaganda are among the main tools used by the same circles to leave their desired effects in this organization.
Despite this fact, we can see that the hard work of peace-loving nations and peoples is bearing fruits. Today, more new people-centered media with messages totally different from those affiliated to the hegemonic powers are attracting a lot of new audiences. With the help of the UN, especially DPI, this trend could make a significant contribution to strengthening the voice of the victims of this war. While relying on their own capacities and potentials, these nations need to promote cooperation among themselves and embark on activities such as information sharing and dissemination, news dispatching, and technical cooperation and assistant. There is no doubt that the media is a powerful tool that is able to show its advantages only in the able hands of competent users. Otherwise, it will be used to spread lies and conspiracies and bring about irrecoverable disasters.
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, I would like to assure you and the distinguished members of the Committee of my delegation’s support to the work of the UN in the field of information.