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Statement by Ambassador Zhang Yishan Deputy Permanent Representative of China to UN at 4th Committee of 59th GA Session on Information
(21 October 2004)

2004/10/21


Mr. Chairman,

The Chinese Delegation has carefully studied the report on information submitted by the Secretary-General and the report of the 26th Committee on Information (COI). We wish to thank Under Secretary-General Shashi Tharoor for his introduction. The Department of Public Information led by Mr. Shashi Tharoor is shouldered with important mission of publicizing the purposes, the work and the role of the United Nations. We would like to express our appreciation to the DPI for its spirit of vigorous reform and innovation and the achievements made in recent years.

The Chinese Delegation attaches importance to the work of COI, which is an important mechanism in formulating and reviewing UN public information policies and giving guidance to various activities. We hope to see a bigger role played by the COI in the sphere of information of the United Nations.

Now, I will share with you some opinions and proposals in terms of priorities of UN information work.

1. To advocate the UN Charter and promote multilateralism. The United Nations will embrace the important occasion of its 60th anniversary. Over the past six decades or so, though the United Nations has witnessed ups and downs and is still faced with a wide spectrum of challenges and difficulties, it is the shared understanding of the international community that the cause of maintaining world peace and stability and promoting common development of mankind cannot be separated from multilateralism and a powerful United Nations. The international community is also profoundly aware of the fact that after nearly 60 years of vicissitudes, the UN Charter remains the norm guiding international relations. The purposes and principles of the UN Charter and especially such cardinal principles as "respect for State sovereignty, non-interference in other countries' internal affairs, peaceful solution to international disputes and strengthening international cooperation" have kept their solemnity, authority and effectiveness. We hope that the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the United Nations will be used as an opportune moment to mobilize the general public of the world to enhance the spirit of the UN Charter, and call on countries to reaffirm their commitments to the United Nations and multilateralism.

2. To focus on development and effectively guide the public opinions. There has existed in the United Nations the tendency of making political issues primary and economic ones secondary. In fact, such tendency has been in existence in world media and public opinions as well. Words such as terrorist attacks, WMDs and genocides are always most popular on newspapers and TV programs, while poverty, hunger and environmental degeneration seldom making the headlines. Over the past year, the DPI has carried out publicity activities in HIV/AIDS, digital divide and African countries' needs. The DPI/NGO Annual Conference this year has chosen MDGs as its theme. We appreciate the above efforts made by the DPI and hope that the DPI and all Member States will earnestly attach importance to the issue of development, publicize the Millennium Development Goals in ways that are popular among the general public, and guide and encourage the media to focus more on the subsistence, public health and development of the large number of developing countries, thus instilling new vitality into the process of materializing the Millennium Declaration and the MDGs.

3. To enhance dialogue among different civilizations and language parity. We support the DPI and its agencies in using printed materials, broadcasting, TV and internet to transmit news and information of the UN system in an accurate, objective and balanced manner, and in advocating dialogue, tolerance and co-existence among different civilizations. This is of important realistic significance in the current world situation. We are in favor of reinforcing multilingualism capacity of UN website and broadcast. We are glad to note that during June 2003 and June 2004, the Chinese website, in terms of page views, registered the highest growth of the UN website. We hope that the departments concerned will take steps to increase financial and human resources and allow all official UN languages to acquire full and equal usage.

On rationalization of the network of UN information centers, a question of common concern, we are in favor of a step-by-step approach based on closer consultations with relevant Member States and full consideration to the gap between the developed and developing countries in terms of information technology and communication.

Mr. Chairman,

The Chinese Delegation has all along attached importance to and supported UN information work. We have increasingly expanded our cooperation with the United Nations in public information and communication. The two sides successfully held in Beijing in June this year the International Media Seminar on Peace in the Middle East. There will be more joint efforts in coming November and next year to hold in China the International Training Workshop: Education and Public Information Outreach on the MDGs and the International Training/Education Program for Strengthening Global Youth Information Network. Thanks to the joint endeavor, exchanges and cooperation are also broadening between UN Radio and TV Station and the Chinese media. The Chinese Government is ready to continue, through its own earnest efforts, to support the UN in its information work, and strive tirelessly for establishing a just international information and communication order and realizing the purposes and objectives of the United Nations.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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