28 April 2011
H.E. Mr. Ambassador Eshagh Al Habib
Deputy Permanent Representative of
the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
at the General Debate of the 33rd Session of
the United Nations Committee on Information
(New York- 28 April 2011)
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Since this is the first time my delegation is taking the floor, I would like to offer my congratulations to you upon your election to the Chairmanship of this august body. I would also like to avail myself of this opportunity to convey through you my warmest congratulations to other members of the Bureau.
I express my appreciation to Mr. Kiyotaka Akasaka, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, for his comprehensive and informative presentation on the activities and strategies of the Department of Public Information (DPI).
My delegation associates itself with the statements made by the distinguished Permanent Representative of Argentina on behalf of the Group of 77 andChina.
Department of Public Information (DPI) as the voice of the United Nations has the central roll in promoting the purposes and image of the Organization by disseminating its messages accurately throughout the world. In our view, the most important mission of the Department should be providing all people with accurate, balanced, comprehensive, timely and relevant information on the tasks and responsibilities of the United Nations in an impartial and transparent manner in order to strengthen international support for the activities of the Organization. In this regard, we emphasize the important role of the Committee on Information (COI) in examining United Nations public information policies and activities, and stress the necessity of the close cooperation and more coordination between the DPI and the Committee on Information.
I commend the role of the Secretariat, especially Department of Public Information, in holding the first official commemorative ceremony of the International Day of Nowruz on 21 March 2011, in accordance with resolution 64/253 of 23 February 2010, co-organized by all the co-sponsors of the Resolution as well as other events on this occasion. In this regard, we encourage the Department of Public Information (DPI) to continue to play its effective role in promoting and raising awareness of this event.
The continuation of digital gap and lack of necessary resources and technical equipments are among the main challenges for most part of the developing world. Developing countries are suffering from an unjust, inequitable, partial and monopolized world of media. It is regrettable that certain developed countries, by taking advantage of their monopoly of modern communication technology, are continuously trying to distort the facts and fabricate the events and realities, especially those relating to developing countries. We believe that international community should take necessary steps in rectifying the imbalances in the use of information and communication technologies by all member States in order to make the world of media more just, equitable and impartial.
In this regard, we encourage the Department of Public Information to play an effective role in the establishment of a new order of global information and communication based on free circulation and balanced dissemination of information. To this end, we believe that in order to acquire necessary tools and capacity, DPI, on its part, should enhance its technological infrastructure on a continuous basis with a view to improve its activities in the field of public information and communications, especially in the areas that are of special interest to developing countries.
I would like to take this opportunity to refer to the escalating catastrophic humanitarian situation of the innocent Palestinian civilian population and to emphasize the important responsibility of DPI in raising international awareness regarding the question of Palestine, with a view to shed more light on the negative impacts of the illegitimate occupation on humanitarian situation in the OccupiedPalestinian Territory.
We are of the view that recent heinous act of burning a copy of the holy Qur’an in the United States is the worst example of extremism and contradicts the efforts of the United Nations to promote tolerance, intercultural understanding and mutual respect between cultures and religions. We strongly believe that Islamophobia and defamation of Islam geared towards denigrating and dehumanizing Muslims, insulting the deep-seated religious feelings, and violating their fundamental human rights. In this regard, we call upon the DPI to use its worldwide presence in order to counter this phenomenon and foster respect for all religions and cultural values and religious tolerance.
I believe that promoting the dialogue among civilizations and culture will tremendously increase the understanding among people, and to this end I encourage the DPI to play its role in implementing the UNGA resolution on dialogue among civilizations and cultures.
I am of the view that the work of the UN information centers (UNICs) in disseminating information is of the great importance. These centers are indeed, the real interface between the United Nations and the international community, and have crucial role in enhancing the public image of the Organization. Close consultation and better coordination between UNICs and the host countries; provision of new information and communication technologies and allocation of adequate resources to these centers; and careful attention to the cultural, social and economic characters and needs of different regions in the work of these centers are among important elements that should duly be taken into account .
The Islamic republic of Iran attachés great importance to the efforts of DPI in ensuring multilingualism. In this regard, we reiterate that the Department should continue to diversify its efforts to encompass not only all the six official languages of the United Nations, but also those local languages which are widely regarded as the roots of great cultures and civilizations, including Persian language, which is a unique source of integrity and solidarity among several nations in our region, and the most invaluable cultural and civilizational values in the world.
Allow me, in conclusion, Mr. Chairman to assure you of our full and continued support to the work of the committee.