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UN publicity organs must highlight on ME issues: Al Za'abi

posted on 18/10/2006: 1053 views

New York - The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has called for the strengthening of the Public Information Department's Arab Section, based on the principle of equality among the six official United Nations languages.

In a UAE address to the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonisation), which convened here last night to discuss the role of the media in creating worldwide awareness on political, economic, development and environmental issues, which the UN is trying to deal with, Hamad Obaid Ibrahim Al Za'abi, Member of the UAE delegation at the UN, said the UN Public Information Department should use some of its resources to publicise developments relating to the Palestinian question and the Middle East situation, particularly facts about the suffering of the Palestinian people, caused by Israeli ill-practices in the occupied territories, including East Jerusalem and the Syrian Golan.

He said the astonishing developments in digital technology, in the last two decades, had not only brought about positive development in international relations, but also contributed to the widening of the economic and social gap between North and South and the marginalisation of poor countries, adding that a balanced and free flow of information was needed to promote principles of tolerance, non-discrimination and mutual respect.

He pointed out that developing countries should be given the necessary financial, scientific and technological resources to enable them to access information and communication technologies, to suit their national needs. He said reforms should be undertaken in the infrastructure used for information systems, and practical training programmes should be conducted for managers responsible for outreach in the areas of education, health, social and environmental awareness.

He expressed concern over ongoing attempts by the media of some countries to homogenise and deliberately ignore the concerns of the developing world, including attempts to distort the reality and historical, cultural and religious facts of certain people, especially Muslims. He urged the authorities in those countries to act to prevent future occurrences of such irresponsible practices, which were fuelled by hatred, extremism and racial discrimination.

He said such acts also threatened the security of those countries. He, therefore, called for an international code of ethics for information that would ensure mutual respect among different religions and cultures. (Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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