Statement under Agenda Item 53: Question relating to Information at the Fourth Committee of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, 18 October 2016, Conference Room 4

Statement under Agenda Item 53: Question relating to Information at the Fourth
Committee of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, 18 October
2016, Conference Room 4
Mr. Chairman,
At the outset, we would like to thank the Under Secretary General and other officials for
their informative presentations.
We take note of the report of the Committee of Information and the report of the
Secretary General submitted under this agenda item. We appreciate the general thrust
of the work of the Department of Public Information under the motto of ‘Inform.
Engage. Act’.
We take note of DPI’s communication and outreach activities to promote multilingualism,
including through social media platforms and to mark the observance of
various important International Days. Our delegation has been in discussion with DPI
over the possibility of observing the International Mother Language Day on 21 February,
as designated by UNESCO. The particular significance of observing this Day lies in
promoting respect for pluralism, diversity, tolerance and the value of multi-lingual
education, especially at a time when visible manifestation of xenophobia and
intolerance appears to be on the rise and when numerous small languages are on the
verge of extinction due to a range of factors.
Sustaining Peace:
The agreement reached among Member States on the comprehensive notion of
‘sustaining peace’ has been an important achievement for the UN in 2016. We see a
clear need for further explaining the conceptual framework of ‘sustaining peace’ to the
wider membership and audiences beyond. The aim of ‘sustaining peace’ is to cut across
all major organs and bodies of the UN, and build synergy and coherence in their
respective mandated work through the entire spectrum of the organisation’s conflict
resolution and peace initiatives. We believe DPI could help further promote this
objective through its targeted communications and outreach initiatives.
We also encourage DPI to remain engaged with efforts to promote a ‘Culture of Peace
and Non-violence’ as part of its outreach to children, youth and the larger public
audience. It requires our sustained investment in education and awareness raising to
build resilience against war, violence and hatred in human minds.
The UN’s information campaign efforts in favour of nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation
also needs to be designed in a way to mobilize greater public engagement
than we witness in recent times.
Countering terrorism and violent extremism
The Secretary General’s Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism has been an
important value addition to the UN’s efforts at implementing the four mutuallyreinforcing
pillars of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (GCTS). The DPI can further
build on its partnership with CTITF to spread words about the key elements and thrusts
of the Plan of Action in order to inform national and regional level dialogues and
DPI’s expertise could be a useful resource in supporting strategic communication
strategies and tools to offer viable alternatives to terrorist ideologies and narratives.
Humanitarian Issues:
In recent times, we have seen the ominous trend of violation of the fundamental
humanitarian principles on several fronts: during armed conflicts by both States and
non-state actors, hindering humanitarian assistance, including through attacks and
blockades, and denial of entry and protection space to refugees and asylum seekers
from conflict-torn areas. Against this backdrop, the World Humanitarian Summit and the
High-level Summit on Large Scale Movement of Refugees and Migrants Movements this
year had critical political messages to impart that need to be resonated through a
worldwide public audience.
We look forward to DPI’s value-added contributions during our work of developing a
Global Compact for Safe, Regular and Orderly Migration in the next two years. As the
current Chair of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD), Bangladesh
underscores the importance of forging global public opinion in favour of a sound and
comprehensive framework to govern and manage international migration.
Development issues:
We encourage DPI to build on its relevant, visible and impact-oriented work on
promoting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and keep up the momentum
particularly during the initial years. One way of optimizing DPI’s resources would be to
highlight both success stories as well as stories that reveal the existing and emerging
challenges that deserve the international community’s attention. We recommend that
DPI continues to give enhanced exposure to some of the structural challenges faced by
the Least Developed Countries, and stress the importance of fulfilling international
commitments to addressing those challenges. This year’s Mid-term Review of the
Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA) for LDCs can be a useful compass for guiding the
possible areas of intervention in communication and outreach.
Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction:
DPI had played an important role in generating international public opinion during the
lead up to the landmark Paris Agreement on Climate Change last year. As the
Agreement in ratified by a growing number of Member States, UN’s public outreach
focus should now be trained on emphasizing the importance of implementing the
Agreement through highlighting good practices and evolving challenges.
DPI can play a further useful role in expounding the technical elements and
commitments in the Paris Agreement and the Sendai Disaster Risk Reduction
Framework for easy understanding of the general public.
Mr. Chairman,
To conclude, we wish to put on record our appreciation for the supporting role played
by the UN Information Centre (UNIC) based in Dhaka, especially for its ongoing efforts to
disseminate the values and principles of the UN Charter among our youth across the
nation. We also value their contribution in disseminating critical messages concerning
sustainable development, migration and development, peacekeeping, human rights and
general and complete disarmament that constitute priorities for Bangladesh’s
engagement with the UN.
I thank you.