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Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations
at the Special Political and Decolonization Committee of the 62nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Agenda Item 35: "Questions Relating to Information"
New York, 19 October 2007
As this is the first time the Philippines is taking the floor during this session of the Special Political and Decolonization Committee, allow us to congratulate you and the members of your bureau on your election. We would like to assure you of the Philippine Delegation's constructive participation as you lead the work of the Fourth Committee to its successful conclusion.
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank and commend your predecessor, Ambassador Madhu Raman Acharya of Nepal, for effectively steering the Fourth Committee during our 61 st Session.
Our delegation would also like to express its appreciation to the Undersecretary General for Communications and Public Information, Kiyo Akasaka, for his participation in the interactive dialogue that updated us on the work of the Department of Public Information (DPI).
The Philippines also wishes to associate itself with the statement delivered yesterday by Thailand on behalf of the member-countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Before proceeding, please allow also to express our sympathy to Pakistan over yesterday's terror attack that claimed the lives of over a hundred innocent men, women and children. We grieve with the people of Pakistan even as we mourn our own losses in a terror bomb attack that struck Manila early this morning that left eight persons dead and more than a hundred wounded. We lend our voice to the collective expression of indignation over this campaign of terror being waged by the forces of hatred .
Selling the United Nations story to the rest of the world is not an easy task. Yet, the DPI has risen to the challenge and has delivered the good news about the UN to a large and diverse global audience as possible.
In this regard, the Philippines would like to commend Undersecretary General Akasaka and the men and women of the DPI both here at UN headquarters and in the field. Without their efforts, the peoples of the world will not have the kind of appreciation and understanding they now have of our organization and the kind of work it does in the service of mankind.
The Philippines has been closely monitoring the work of the DPI since it began reorienting itself and my delegation is more than pleased with what it has seen thus far, most especially its successful efforts during the first semester of 2007 alone to further generate and sustain global public interest on the key thematic priorities of the UN用eace and security, climate change, the Millennium Development Goals and human rights.
We are impressed with how the DPI has been able to pursue the UN's communications agenda, particularly its efforts to broaden the organization's worldwide reach by strengthening its partnerships with member-states, the rest of the UN system and civil society. We also wish to point to the DPI's effective utilization of traditional media outlets and the Internet and the expansion and enhancement of its relations with the members of the working press.
The Philippines would like to underscore the vital role the DPI plays in helping create a better and peaceful world for all of us. In particular, we would like to invite attention to the efforts of the DPI to promote and strengthen dialogue among civilizations and the culture of peace as a means of enhancing understanding among nations.
We would like the DPI to continue pursuing these efforts and provide the necessary support by using the mass media to foster religious and cultural understanding. In this connection, the Philippines would like to express its appreciation to the DPI for supporting our efforts to promote interfaith cooperation, particularly during the recent High-Level Dialogue on Inter-religious and Intercultural Dialogue, Understanding and Cooperation for Peace that the Philippines spearheaded along with Pakistan and a number of other member-states.
As a troop contributing country, the Philippines places significant value to the important role the DPI plays in highlighting the achievements and challenges of modern-day UN peacekeeping. We look forward to seeing the DPI work more closely with the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) in telling the story of UN Blue Helmets from all over the world who risk their lives to restore and maintain peace and help rebuild lives shattered by conflict.
In this regard, we welcome the DPI's efforts to enhance its outreach on peacekeeping, particularly to troop-contributing countries. The DPI should not only focus its attention on receiving states but should expand its information campaign to as many TCCs as possible in recognition of the invaluable contributions these member-states make to UN peacekeeping. We are convinced that it is the UN that is in the best position to tell the story of the UN peacekeeper in whatever medium it deems fit.
Allow us to close by once again commending the DPI for a job well done in bringing the message of the United Nations to the world. Thank you.
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