/AS DELIVERED/

 

 

 

Statement by H.E. Mr. Baatar Choisuren

Permanent Representative of Mongolia

to the United Nations

 

at the Special Political and Decolonization Committee

on the Agenda Item 33:

“Questions relating to Information” 60th session

of the United Nations General Assembly

/14 October 2005, New York/

 

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

Since this is the first time that my delegation takes the floor, allow me to join the previous speakers in expressing my sincere congratulations to you on your well-deserved election to the Chairmanship of this Committee. My sincere felicitations also go to other members of the Bureau. Rest assured of my delegation’s full confidence, and our support and assistance to you in discharge of your duties.

 

I also thank your predecessor, Ambassador Swe of Myanmar for the commendable manner in which he led our deliberations during the previous session. I thank Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information Mr. Shashi Tharoor for his comprehensive and as always very eloquent briefing to this Committee.

 

I take this opportunity to express my delegation’s sincere condolences and heartfelt sympathy to the Governments and peoples of Pakistan, India and Afghanistan over the tragic loss of life and destruction caused by an earthquake last week.   

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

My delegation fully associates itself with the Statement made by Jamaica on behalf of the Group of 77 and China. I would like, nevertheless, to make a few brief remarks from my national perspective.

 

Information is a powerful tool in the hands of those who own it. Rapid development of information technologies (IT), especially Internet, have made it possible to deliver live coverage of events around the globe directly to the homes of people and thus can only be compared in terms of its overall impact to the invention of radio. Yet, the widening digital divide prevents many of us from making most of the immense opportunities provided by modern technology. The global news coverage continues to be mostly controlled by powerful private media, which provides information services catered to the needs and interests of its target audiences in the North. Moreover, the enormous volume of information generated today on a daily basis, presents a challenge to smaller nations like Mongolia as their voices may drown in an information ocean.

 

The story of the United Nations is our story. Its voice is our voices combined together. My country therefore attaches great importance to the work of the DPI as the public voice of the Organization, and through it, of all of us, big and small alike. Bringing objective information on global matters, raising awareness on issues whose coverage is most often than not commercially unattractive has been a duty of the DPI, and I commend it for its commitment this task.

 

My delegation congratulates Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information Mr.Tharoor and his team for the completion of the reform and reorientation of the DPI. His enthusiasm, dedication and leadership have resulted in a transformed DPI, with a new mission statement, a new operating model and a new organizational structure, a new and ambitious DPI, which is using the Millennium Declaration as a guide to achieve greater public impact and help fulfill the substantive aims of the United Nations.  Having said that I must say that against today’s ever-changing information landscape and technological progress DPI will need to continue to adapt and evolve itself. The 3 year reform and reorientation process maybe over, but change will continue.   

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

The DPI has been proactive in organizing a chain of events in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of our world body. We warmly appreciate the DPI’s media campaign for UN renewal targeting at both the policy makers and general public. It is now high time to focus on maintaining the unique momentum generated by the September Summit and to promote its outcome globally, with a special emphasis on development aspects. 

 

The Department has demonstrated creativity in spreading the message of the Organization through different means. Production of a major Hollywood movie centered on the UN thematic was a welcome innovation. Likewise, my delegation notes the articles published by the Secretary-General and Under-Secretary-General Shashi Tharoor in Washington Times, Financial Times and other major newspapers and magazines. Continued cooperation with private media and NGOs will be of crucial importance in promoting the United Nations in the world, however, national governments also have a role to play in this respect.   

 

My Government strives to make its contribution to bring the UN story to the people. A comprehensive plan of action was approved containing a wide range of activities.  We are organizing in collaboration with UN agencies such as UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA, WHO, UNIDO, UNESCO, UNIFEM awareness-raising weekly campaigns on ongoing projects and programs and their impact on the daily lives of people. Furthermore, holding of a national conference on the implementation of and follow-up to the 2005 World Summit Outcome, production of a documentary “Mongolia and the United Nations”, organization of a contest for best articles among students of secondary schools on the theme “Who knows the United Nations best”, a contest of posters on the theme “The United Nations in 60 years”, UN classes and open days at secondary schools and universities, articles and memoirs on UN-Mongolia cooperation in various national media outlets is but a short list of what we are doing and a testimony to the commitment of my Government to this Organization.

 

In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, let me express my belief that publication of a book for general public on the major achievements and successes of the United Nations over the 60 years of its existence would be another valuable installment in the activities planned by the Department for the anniversary. 

 

I thank you.