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UN should use media to spread facts on international issues: UAE

posted on 23/10/2004: 700 views

The UAE has urged the united nations to enhance its information programmes and activities to publicise the facts in some security and political issues on its agenda, particularly issues related to resistance against occupation, foreign invasion and colonisation, as well as disarmament, combating terror and of human rights violation.

This, the UAE said, should be done in a way that would create awareness globally on those issues. The call was made in a UAE address to the 59 session of the general assembly of the United Nations' Fourth Committee on the theme 'Questions Relating to Information'. The statement was read by statement by Abdulla Mohammed Fadel al-Nuaimi member of the UAE delegation to the UN general assembly.

Al Nuaimi said that although the print and electronic media, as well as other means of telecommunications, including the internet and the satellite TV channels, have made generous contributions in guiding globally political, economic, social and environmental developments, these great development did not only bring positive developments in international relations, but had also reflected negative aspects of these relations, including the widening digital gap between the advanced nations and the developing ones.

"This goes to show the inequality among the peoples of the world, particularly in the area of having the means of publicising information, and this has contributed immensely to the isolation of people in the developing world and to the worsening of their development problems,” he said.

Following is the full text of al Nuaimi's statement: Mr. Chairman, on behalf of the delegation of the United Arab Emirates, it gives me great pleasure to start my statement by congratulating you on your election as chairman of this committee. Given your political and diplomatic skills, we are confident that you will be able to direct the activities of this committee successfully.

I also wish to thank the assistant-secretary-general for public information and his bureau for their efforts in promoting and amplifying the message of the United Nations and its objectives in terms of consolidating international peace and security. Mr. Chairman, the growing impact of media and modern communication technologies on the process of formation of political, economic and social trends in the world during the last few years has led to creating a tremendous and positive change in the international relations.

However, it has widened the digital divide between the developing and developed countries due to the inequitable access, use and acquisition of means of transmission of information, which eventually led to marginalizing the developing countries to a great extent, and aggravating their development problem.

Lack of access to modern communication technologies in developing countries, due to their inadequate resources and abilities, compels us more than ever to emphasis on developing a comprehensive and effective strategy on international co-operation with the objectives of increasing financial and technical aid extended to developing countries for the purpose of carrying out necessary reforms and developing their information structures and systems.

The strategy should also aim at training human resources in fields of information, communications, and providing free broadcasting of information and mass public programs with a view to enhancing the integration and the participation of those developing societies in the international development programs. In this context, we would like to express our concern about the consistent attempts of western media, especially in the wake of 11 September 2001 attacks, with the aim of offending cultures of some developing countries, including Islamic nations and threatening their sovereignty which fuelled feelings of hate and racial discrimination against those countries.

We therefore demand western media to develop an international code of conduct for information and communications based on principals of credibility and transparency in disseminating information. The code should also aim at developing, rationalizing, and integrating the existing information means and channels, in order to promote public outreach programs on goals of development, and to strengthen human integration and mutual respect for cultures and religious beliefs of people, away from any forms of extremism or racial discrimination.

Mr. Chairman, the delegation of the United Arab Emirates would like to express its satisfaction at the activities of the department of public information and of the committee on information in the united nations, and commend their efforts in keeping up with the growing responsibilities of the united nations in the face of increasing regional and international challenges.

In this context, we affirm the importance of developing their activities, not only in disseminating the principals and purposes of the charter of the united nations system and its various activities, but also in supporting the efforts aiming at narrowing the digital divide between developing and developed nations, and in supporting the key priority issues in fields of economic, social, environmental and health development.

We also back up the efforts aiming at disseminating facts relating to a number of political and security issues considered by the united nations including combating and ending of existing cases of foreign occupation, disarmament, counter terrorism and violation of human rights. We also emphasis the importance of strengthening co-operation and coordination between the department of public information, and other un agencies and programs in order to ensure gathering and disseminating information pertaining to these key issues, increasing public awareness on these issues, and enhancing participation of civil societies in plans and programs addressing these problems.

While the UAE follows up closely the reforms carried out by the secretariat general during the past two years in terms of reorganization and orientation of the department of public information by means of closing and merging of some of its regional offices, and rationalizing its expenditure, we affirm the importance of taking into consideration the impact of these changes on the implementation of information programs called for in the relevant resolutions of the general assembly, particularly, those aiming at dissemination of facts relating to the Palestinian question and suffering of its population.

In this connection, we call for the following:

1- Developing skills and abilities of international staff working in the department of public information and its regional offices, and expanding its broadcast network services, including radio and TV broadcasting and its web site.

2- Promoting Arabic language services similar to other official languages used in the UN, especially in translation of documents, publications, press releases, and interpretation of conferences, and live broadcasting. Arabic services should also be enhanced in the UN radio, TV, library, treaty section and other departments in the UN, pursuant to the relevant resolutions of the general assembly.

3- Developing and increasing number of workshops, interactive seminars, briefings and training courses organized by the department of public information for the broadcasters and journalists from developing and poor countries in order to enhance their information skills, and to improve their ability to use modern information technologies.

4- Promoting partnership between the department of public information and country and regional development programs with a view to helping those programs to achieve their development objectives represented in combating poverty and deterioration of environment, promoting children rights, empowerment of women, combating aids, eradication of illiteracy, development of human settlements and other efforts aiming at solving other population related problems.

Mr. Chairman on conclusion, we call for promoting the international co-operation in fields of information, communications technologies, flow of information, dissemination of facts, and exchange of knowledge in order to establish and promote a culture of peace, tolerance and dialogue among civilizations, and to strengthen interaction and harmony among peoples. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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