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13 MAy 2009
RP CALLS ON UN TO TAKE FURTHER STEPS TO PROMOTE
NEW YORK—The Philippines has called on the United Nations to take further steps to support ongoing efforts to propagate not only the culture of dialogue among civilizations but also to promote religious and cultural understanding through the mass media.
In his statement before the just concluded 31st Session of the Committee on Information, Ambassador Hilario G. Davide, Jr., Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations, said the UN Department of Public Information (DPI) should lend its facility for the dissemination of interfaith activities.
Ambassador Davide cited in particular the Tripartite Forum on Interfaith Cooperation for Peace chaired by the Philippines and made up of Member-States, non-government organizations, and the United Nations system, including the DPI.
“As the leading proponent of the interfaith initiative in the United Nations, the Philippines would wish a closer interaction between the DPI and the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, which serves as the focal point in the UN Secretariat on inter-religious and intercultural matters,” Ambassador Davide said.
“That global peace can be achieved by interfaith dialogue is an obvious understatement. Hence the UN must give special stress to this initiative through the DPI,” the former Supreme Court Chief Justice said as he thanked the DPI for its assistance in promoting the General Assembly Meeting on Interfaith Cooperation held in November.
In his statement, Ambassador Davide also cited the efforts of the DPI to promote a better understanding of various issues that are of importance to the international community. He said the thematic communications campaigns the DPI has been undertaking in support of the Millennium Development Goals, financing for development, human rights and climate change must be sustained and expanded.
The Filipino envoy also mentioned DPI’s Stand Up and Take Action for the Millennium Development Goals campaign that brought together as many as 116 million people worldwide.
“The UN Information Center in Manila worked together with President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her Cabinet to earn for the Philippines the distinction of having mobilized a record-breaking 35 million people who literally stood up against poverty,” Ambassador Davide said.
Stressing that effective information dissemination is crucial to the success of any peacekeeping operation, Ambassador Davide underscored the important role of the DPI in serving as the media backbone of UN peacekeeping operations.
“The Philippines welcomes the efforts of the DPI to generate popular support in Member-States that contribute troops to peacekeeping operations, such as in projecting the important role of UN Blue Helmets in helping keep the peace in various conflict areas worldwide,” he said.
According to the ambassador, the Philippine Mission to the United Nations has been working closely with the DPI in disseminating information on the activities of Filipino peacekeepers who serve in various peacekeeping missions abroad.
“This working relationship must be strengthened and improved in order to more effectively project to the public the important role played by the men and women from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police in helping keep the peace overseas,” he said.
Ambassador Davide also noted the efforts of the DPI in utilizing available new technology to further amplify the work of the United Nations. He said the Philippines would like to see the DPI continue to make full use of new technology to allow the public better and faster access to information about the United Nations, especially on pressing global issues that affect them.
“It is reassuring that the UN is evolving with the use of new technology and communication tools such as instant text messaging and web conferencing as well as the expanded use of blogs, Google video, Youtube and Facebook and other web-based social networking sites,” he said.
Ambassador Davide cited such activities undertaken by the DPI as the Txt4Peace that was conducted to raise awareness on the International Day of Peace on September 21 where some 20 million messages were sent.
“The Philippines, which is considered the texting capital of the world with an average of 400 million text messages sent per day, is ready to participate and support this undertaking,” he said. ###
ELMER G. CATO Second Secretary & Press Officer Philippine Mission to the United Nations 556 Fifth Avenue, Fifth Floor New York, New York 10036 Tel. No. 212.764.1300 Extension 38
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