25 October, 2012
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”
67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly
New York- 25 October, 2012
In the Name of God the Compassionate the Merciful
Let me begin by expressing my appreciation to Mr. Peter Launsky Tiefenthal, 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 Algeria on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
The DPI’s role is pivotal in helping to fulfill the substantive purpose of the United Nations by strategically communicating the activities and concerns of the Organization with the greatest public impact in a situation where the United Nations confronts a variety of complex challenges and opportunities. 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 in holding theofficial commemorative ceremony of the International Day of Nowruz on 22 March 2012, 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 information and communication technology revolution has greatly increased the possibilities for disseminating and sharing information and knowledge. Meanwhile, we are faced with a widening gap between the developed and developing countries. 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.
In this regard, I should refer to an unjustifiable move has been taken by certain western countries to impose a ban on the broadcast of 19 Iranian satellite television and radio channels in Europe. The Islamic Republic of Iran strongly condemns this move and considers it as the clear violation of international law and regulations and also a flagrant contradiction to the claims about defending freedom of speech and freedom of press. This move is considered an effort to exercise news monopoly and is also a violation of human rights, which impedes the free flow of information and enlightenment of public opinion. We strongly urge those countries to take into consideration the necessity of respecting the principles of freedom and democracy and take immediate action aimed at revising this illogical decision. We also call upon relevant United Nations organs, especially DPI, to play its effective role in promoting and protecting the right to freedom of opinions and expression.
The Islamic Republic of Iran strongly condemns a blasphemous and anti-Islam movie which insults the deep-seated religious feelings of Muslims around world, and violates 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.
My delegation would like to take this opportunity to refer to the serious deterioration of the humanitarian and economic situation of the innocent Palestinian people 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.
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. We look forward to the report of the Secretary-General requested by the General Assembly resolution 60/4 of 20 October 2005.
Today 63 United Nations Information Centers are operating throughout the world, including in the Islamic Republic of Iran. 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 fully support the effort to enable the emergence of a more linguistically equal world, in which information is disseminated not merely in the official languages of the UN, but also in 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. Chair to assure you of our full and continued support to the work of the committee.