|Statement by Mr. LIU Yutong of the Chinese Delegation at the Fourth Committee of the 63rd Session of the UN General Assembly on Agenda Item32: "Questions Relating to Information"|
New York, 22 October 2008
The Chinese delegation wishes to express thanks to Under-Secretary-General Kiyotaka Akasaka for his informative statement on the agenda item. Under Mr. Akasaka's leadership, the DPI has continuously made new progress and innovation, which we highly appreciate.
In the just concluded general debate of the 63rd session of the General Assembly, delegates from 192 countries, including 111 heads of state or government, made statements on the financial crisis, food security, UN reform and regional hotspot issues. In addition, the United Nations convened the High-level Meeting on Africa's Development Needs and the High-level Event on the Millennium Development Goals. This shows that as the most representative and authoritative intergovernmental organization, the United Nations is receiving extensive attention and playing an increasingly important role in major international issues.
The information activities of the United Nations are aimed at publicizing the UN activities to the entire world, and contributing to the purposes and objectives of the Charter of the United Nations. Over the past year, the DPI has made fruitful efforts to better accomplish such a mission. It optimized the allocation and use of resources, improved its efficiency, identified priority projects and tailored the publicizing objectives to the needs of the audiences. The DPI also worked to strengthen the coordination among various UN agencies and mobilize NGOs to participate in publicizing the UN projects. It fostered a culture of evaluation to effectively assess work performance. China highly appreciates the efforts made by the DPI.
At present, the international community is confronted with many global issues such as climate change, environmental degradation, shortage of resources, frequent outbreak of diseases and natural disasters, and spread of terrorism. In particular, the interrelated and intractable problems concerning financial, energy and food security are posing severe challenges to the world. Under such circumstances, no country can stay aloof or address the problems alone. The United Nations is playing a unique role in this regard. The DPI may redouble its efforts in the above areas to promote the UN spirit of "equality, mutual benefit and cooperation", and encourage governments and peoples of all countries to meet the challenges through concerted efforts. We also believe that the DPI should remain committed to cultural exchanges between countries, strengthen dialogue among civilizations, and promote friendly contacts between NGOs, civil society, academic institutions and the media, as well as youth exchanges between different countries.
To better address the global issues we are facing now, especially the new challenges brought about by the financial, energy and food crises, and promote the establishment of a balanced, impartial and effective new order for information and communication, the DPI needs to scale up its efforts in the following areas:
First, it should attach great importance to development. We have passed the midpoint for the achievement of the MDGs, but the concerns of developing countries are far from being resolved and the gap between the rich and poor is still widening. In the final analysis, many hotspot issues in the world, such as food crisis, energy shortage, terrorism and climate change, are actually issues of development. The DPI needs to increase its input to educate the media and public, draw their attention to the importance of development, and encourage them to promote the common development and prosperity across the globe.
Second, the United Nations should provide accurate, impartial, objective and balanced information. It should firmly and explicitly rebut and redress the unhealthy practice in some media coverage such as quoting out of context, wanton exaggeration, distortion and falsification, and misleading propaganda. The news media should be encouraged to honor their ethical and professional codes of conduct and play a better role in media scrutiny. An atmosphere for objective and impartial news coverage should be fostered in the United Nations.
Third, the DPI should continue to promote dialogue and exchanges among civilizations. The media should be encouraged and guided to play a constructive role in promoting the friendly interaction among civilizations and religions, opposing discrimination and prejudice based on religion, race or culture, and promoting harmony and common development of various cultures.
Fourth, efforts should be made to ensure that developing countries benefit from the modern communication and dissemination technologies. Though internet is now extensively used and communications technologies are constantly upgraded, we should not forget that many developing countries still rely on traditional means of communications. The information activities of the United Nations should help narrow, rather than widen the existing disparities between different countries and regions in information flows.
Finally, it is necessary to provide more assistance and facilitation to the media of developing countries. The DPI needs to expand and develop cooperation and exchanges with the media of developing countries and provide more human resources and technological assistance to strengthen their capacity to develop and disseminate information through their national strength. We appreciate the efforts made by the Dag Hammarskjöld Scholarship Fund to provide financial assistance to journalists from developing countries. We encourage the DPI to continue its training and internship programs for journalists from developing countries. We suggest that the DPI make greater efforts to accommodate the needs of the media from developing countries when organizing media pools.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.