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Statement by Ambassador Zhang Yishan, Deputy Permanent Representative of the People's Republic of China at the 25th Session of the Committee on Information

2003/04/29


Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, please allow me to congratulate you and the other members of the bureau on your election. I am confident that under the leadership of an astute and seasoned diplomat such as yourself, this session of the Committee on Information will be crowned with success. Our appreciation also goes to the Chairman of the last session, Ambassador Miols Alcalay of Venezuela, and the bureau he headed for their stewardship of the Committee in the past two years. Yesterday Under-Secretary-General Shashi Tharoor made a comprehensive and detailed presentation to the Committee, which has enabled us to better understand the progress made by the Secretariat in its information-related activities since the Committee last met and will help its deliberations at the current session.

The Chinese delegation associates itself fully with the statement made by the representative of Morocco on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on the issues before the committee.

Now, I would like to further elaborate on the position of my delegation on several issues of particular interest to us.

Mr. Chairman:

The United Nations is the most representative intergovernmental organization in the contemporary world and plays an irreplaceable role in maintaining peace and promoting the common development of mankind. The DPI is tasked to disseminate to all corners of the world information about the mission, the efforts and the achievements of the United Nations in maintaining peace, promoting development and eradicating poverty. In the year under review, the DPI, under the leadership of Mr. Shashi Tharoor, has made new progress in this work.

We support the Secretary-General's appeal to put the World Summit on the Information Society in the service of bridging the digital divide and realizing the MDGs. We expect a vigorous role by the DPI in this undertaking.

The Chinese delegation welcomes the report of the Secretary-General on the Implementation of the Pilot Project on the Development of an International Radio Broadcasting Capacity for the United Nations. The report clearly shows that in a world characterized by rapid technological advances and the constant emergence of new means of communications, United Nations Radio, set up over 50 years ago, is still going strong and able to continue to play its important role of communicating the voice of the United Nations to the world at large. It is a medium that possesses a unique advantage unmatched by other means of communication, especially in so far as the developing countries are concerned.

Mr. Chairman,

In recent years, UN Radio has carried out cooperation with China's national and local radio stations. There are now about 26 million people tuning in to the Chinese program of UN Radio weekly in mainland China, representing about 20% of UN Radio's total worldwide audience. UN Radio is thus developing into an important link between China and the United Nations. China is grateful for the efforts made by the United Nations and will continue to encourage cooperation between its broadcasters and UN Radio. It should be noted that 26 million is just 2% of China's population of 1.3 billion, meaning the DPI has a great opportunity and a vast potential for further developing its Chinese listenership. China hopes that the DPI will take further steps to upgrade the capacity of its Chinese-language programme to enable more Chinese listeners around the world to better hear the voice of the United Nations.

The ever-evolving information technology has popularized the use of the Internet. The United Nations website has become an important channel of communication and information campaigns for the DPI. We welcome the establishment of the Internet Service in its News and Media Division and hope that the Department will take this opportunity to put together the requisite resources, define the relevant goals and take practical measures to strengthen the staff working on the Arabic, Chinese and Russian pages of the UN Website, particularly the Chinese team, in a step toward redressing the imbalance in the development of the UN site among the six official languages.

Mr. Chairman:

We have always highly valued and supported the work of the DPI. The Chinese Government has decided to co-sponsor with the DPI next year in Beijing a symposium for international media on the Middle East question. We are sure that with our joint efforts, the meeting will achieve its objectives. We will continue to be active in our support for the DPI and our participation in the COI to make our contribution to the promotion and establishment of a new international information and communication order.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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