23 April 2013
Statement by H.E. Mr. Hossein Dehghani
Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative ofthe Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
at the General Debate of the 35th Session of the United Nations Committee on Information
(New York- 23 April 2013)
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In the Name of God the Compassionate the Merciful
Let me begin by congratulating you on your assumption of the Chairmanship of the Committee and wish you and the members of the Bureau a successful and fruitful work at this session. I am confident that under your outstanding leadership, this session will achieve productive results. I would also like to thank Mr. Peter Launsky Tiefenthal, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, for his informative presentation on the activities and strategies of the Department of Public Information (DPI).
My delegation associates itself with the statement made by the distinguished Permanent Representative of Fiji on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
The Islamic Republic of Iran attaches great importance to the work of the DPI, as the voice of the Organization in disseminating information about its work for achieving the greatest impact. 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. We believe that continued improvement of the partnership between the DPI and the Committee on Information (COI) is essential in promoting the work of the United Nations and issues of importance to the international community
Hereby, I should also commend the role of the UN Secretariat in helping us hold the official commemorative ceremony of the International Day of Nowruz on 18 March 2013, 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.
Continuing “digital divide” remains a stumbling block for many developing countries to take full advantage of the unfolding cyber revolution. 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 facts and news and engineer events and developments, especially those relating to developing countries. In this regard, I should refer to the unjustifiable move, taken by certain western countries, in imposing a ban on the broadcast of more than 20 Iranian satellite television and radio channels. The Islamic Republic of Iran strongly condemns this move and considers it as a clear violation of international law and regulations and also blatantly in conflict with the claims about defending freedom of speech and free flow of information. This move is considered an effort to monopolize information dissimilation and, as such, it is also a violation of human rights, as it impedes the free flow of information and tramples people’s right to hear all sides of stories. We strongly urge those countries to abide by the principles of freedom and democracy and take immediate action aimed at revising this unreasonable decision. We also call upon relevant United Nations organs, especially DPI, to play its effective role in promoting and protecting the right of all peoples to free flow of information.
My delegation would like to take this opportunity to refer to the continued 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 in Palestine with a view to shedding more light on the negative impacts of the illegitimate occupation on humanitarian situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
My delegation continues to note the important role the DPI plays in propagating the culture of dialogue among civilization. We believe that promoting the dialogue among civilizations and cultures will tremendously increase the understanding among peoples 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. In this regard, we look forward to the report of the Secretary-General requested by the General Assembly resolutions 60/4 of 20 October 2005 and 67/124 of 18 December 2012. We encourage the DPI and the Network of the UN Information Centers to raise awareness on the significance of the High Level Meeting of the General Assembly on nuclear disarmament which is to be held on 26 September 2013, in New York. It is the first high level meeting of the GA devoted to this important subject.
The work of the UN Information Centers around the world in disseminating information, in particular about the UN system, is of paramount importance. Today 63 United Nations Information Centers are operating throughout the world, including in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The role of these information centers has been particularly effective in developing countries where they have played a critical role in enhancing access to information on events in the wider international community, and in helping to narrow the technological gap. Close consultation and better coordination between UNICs and the host countries, helping them to have access to new information and communication technologies, allocation of adequate resources to these centers and careful attention to the cultural, social and economic characters and needs of different countries and regions in the work of these centers are among important elements that should duly be taken into account.
The Islamic republic of Iran fully supports the efforts aimed to facilitate 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 other languages which are widely regarded as the roots of great cultures and civilizations, including the Persian language, which is a major source of solidarity among several nations in our region and an invaluable cultural and civilization heritage in the world.
Allow me, in conclusion, Madam Chair to assure you of our full and continued support to the work of the Committee.