19 October 2011
Statement by Mr. Mohammad Reza Sahraei
Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Before the Special Political and Decolonization Committee
On the agenda item 55: “Questions relating to information”
66th Session of the United Nations General Assembly
(New York- 19 October 2011)
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Let me begin by expressing 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 and China.
Department of Public Information (DPI) has a pivotal role in communicating the massage of the United Nations and promoting an informed understanding of the work and purpose of the United Nations among the peoples of the world. In our view, the most important mission of the Department should be providing accurate, impartial, balanced, comprehensive, timely and relevant information to the public on the tasks and responsibilities of the United Nations in order to strengthen international support for the activities of the Organization with the greatest transparency. In this regard, I 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, I encourage the Department of Public Information (DPI) to continue to play its effective role in promoting and raising awareness of this event.
The gap in information and communication technology between the developed and developing countries has continued to widen. 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. I 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, DPI, on its part, should maintain and improve its activities in areas of special interest to developing countries and contribute to bridging the existing gap between the developing and developed countries in crucial field of public information and communication.
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 Occupied Palestinian Territory.
The Islamic Republic of Iran reiterates 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, I 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.
We believe that promoting the dialogue among civilizations and cultures will tremendously increase the understanding among people, and to this end we call upon the DPI to continue to encourage and facilitate dialogue among civilizations and to formulate ways and means to promote this concept in the activities of the United Nations in various fields, based on the relevant UNGA resolution.
The role 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, I 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, Madam. Chair to assure you of our full and continued support to the work of the committee.