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Statement by Mr. PAN Xiongwen of the Chinese Delegation at the 30th Session of the United Nations Committee on Information
30 April 2008


Statement by Mr. PAN Xiongwen of the Chinese Delegation
at the 30th Session of the United Nations
Committee on Information

30 April 2008

Mr. Chairman,

I would like to congratulate you, Mr. Andreas Baum, and Mr. Xavier Rosa, on your election as Chairman and Vice Chairman. I am confident that under your leadership, this Committee will continue to play an important role in formulating and reviewing the policies of the United Nations on public information.

China appreciates the informative presentation made at the commencement of the 30th session of the Committee on Information (COI) by the Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, Mr. Kiyotaka Akasaka.

I would like to thank and commend USG Kiyotaka Akasaka and the Department of Information (DPI) for Monday afternoon's interactive dialogue with representatives of Member States. Such dialogues are constructive, worthwhile and of significant help and value, particularly to new Members of the Committee and those who attend the COI session for the first time. The constructive interactions between DPI and the Members of the Committee are essential to the shared objective of ensuring that DPI continues to play a key role in promoting a positive public image of the United Nations.

The Chinese Delegation expresses its appreciation to USG Akasaka and DPI for the timely presentation of concise and detailed reports requested by the Committee in its 29th session and required by General Assembly resolution A/RES/62/111B. These reports provide Member States with a good overview of the work of DPI, including its accomplishments, plans, challenges and constraints, and will be of practical use in our deliberations.

The Chinese delegation agrees to and supports the statement made by Antigua and Barbuda on behalf of the Group of 77 and China. Now I wish to emphasize the following points:

I. The Chinese delegation welcomes and appreciates the reform conducted by DPI to improve its work, and notes with appreciation that DPI, despite its resource constraints, continues to diligently and conscientiously fulfill its duties, making steady progress in various areas by optimizing the use of its resources and improving its work methods, efficiency and effectiveness.  In recent years, DPI has adopted a more strategic approach to its work, focused on setting well-defined communications goals with a view to impacting targeted audiences. While achieving greater coherence within the UN system, DPI has been mindful of the necessity of improving the synergy between Headquarters and the field offices, and has given priority to mobilizing NGOs and other social forces in a joint endeavor to communicate the work of the United Nations. DPI has also fostered a culture of evaluation to assess its activities more effectively. China is encouraged by the continuously improving overall performance of DPI and has confidence in the Department's sustainable development in the future.

II. The Department of Information, as the primary communicator of the UN's indispensable and unique role and as the focal coordinator for information policies of the UN, should further strengthen its coordination and collaboration with the substantive departments, UN funds and programs and the specialized agencies.  China reiterates its view that the responsibility of publicizing the work of the United Nations should not fall solely on DPI. Other organs and agencies of the UN also need to enhance their information and publicity awareness and work voluntarily and actively to enhance and publicize the positive image of the United Nations. DPI should strengthen planning and coordination, and formulate inter-agency publicity strategies and plans. Such mechanisms as the UN Communications Group and issue-based task forces should be fully utilized. With a clear division of labor, in publicity and public relations, among departments, bodies and organs, and through coordinated and concerted efforts, they can tell good UN stories.

III. The United Nations should play a more effective role in ensuring that information is balanced, by providing accurate, impartial and objective information and unequivocally voicing its opposition to bias and prejudice.  Constantly receiving negative publicity, the Organization should sturdily criticize, rebut and remedy garbling, distortion, sensationalism and provocation, fabrication and falsification, and other misleading and misinforming practices by unethical news media, and encourage media organizations to cultivate and uphold high ethical standards so that they can better play their watchdog role. There should be a just and favorable atmosphere and environment for news coverage. In the meantime, special attention should be given to the issue of development. The UN should help more media outlets and general public correctly appreciate the significance of development so that the public opinion can be guided away from the incorrect tendency to focus on issues of peace while neglecting those of development.

In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, I would like to assure you of China's support as you guide the work of this Committee. Please also be assured of our continued support to the Under-Secretary-General and DPI.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


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