18 October 2013
Statement by H. E. Mr. Mohammad Khazaee Ambassador and Permanent Representative
of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nation
Before the Special Political and Decolonization Committee
On the agenda item 55: “Questions relating to Information”
68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly
New York, 18 October 2013
In the Name of God the Compassionate the Merciful
At the outset I would like to congratulate you and other members of the Bureau on your election. My felicitation also goes 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 Fiji on behalf of the G77 and China.
The principal purpose of DPI is to promote the work of the United Nations by providing accurate, impartial, comprehensive, timely and relevant information to the widest possible globe audience 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 COI.
Nowadays, we are witnessing a dramatic increase in acts of intolerance, extremism, intimidation, violence and terrorism, which claim innocent lives and displace people. We believe that fighting extremism and preventing violence require collective action and cooperation of international community, as they constitute immediate threat to the security and well-being of human societies. In this connection, the Iranian President, His Excellency Dr. Rouhani, during his speech at the 68th session of the UN General Assembly called for a “World Against Violence and Extremism”(WAVE). While Underlining the important role played by the United Nations in promoting culture of tolerance and non-violence through its relevant organs and programmes, we encourage the DPI to undertake a new effort and play its crucial role in promoting the idea of the World against Violence and Extremism (WAVE).
We underline the urgent need to bridge the existing gap between the developed and developing countries in the field of public information and communication. We therefore strongly advocate a new and just order that is based on a free and balanced flow of information to the world’s people in a transparent manner. The United Nations system should play a proactive role in that regard by creating an indispensable environment for universal access to information and communication technologies for all nations. In this regard, I should refer to an unjustifiable move taken by certain western countries to impose a ban on the broadcast of several Iranian satellite television and radio channels. The Islamic Republic of Iran strongly condemns this move and considers it as the gross violation of international law and regulations and also a flagrant contradiction to the claims about defending freedom of speech and freedom of press. 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 role in promoting and protecting the right to freedom of opinions and expression.
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 resolutions, including paragraph 48 of the resolution B contained in document A/67/21. We look forward to the report of the Secretary-General requested by the General Assembly resolution 60/4 of 20 October 2005.
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.
Without doubt, UNICs ,particularly in the developing world , have a crucial role in enhancing the public image of the United Nations and in disseminating its message. These centers must, therefore, be strengthened. To this end, we encourage DPI to continue to work closely with the host countries in these efforts. Of course, it is quite clear that without allocating adequate budgetary resources DPI can not achieve its goals in this regard.
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.
Allow me, in conclusion, Mr. Chair, to assure you of our full and continued support to the work of the committee.