I thank USG Fleming for her informative briefing. I also thank the Rapporteur of the Committee on Information for presenting report on the 45th session of the Committee on Information (COI). My delegation sincerely appreciates the work of COI in the implementation of the Global Communication Strategy.
We take note of the report of the Secretary General submitted under this agenda item. My delegation aligns itself with the statement delivered by Cuba on behalf of G-77 and China.
We appreciate the work of the Department of Global Communications in the last one year through its sub-programmes. We commend its activities to support the United Nations in advancing the work across its three pillars.
We are also encouraged to see the increase in reach as well as in audience engagements in the website of the United Nations. DGC’s efforts on reaching global audience with the latest news and work of the United Nations is praiseworthy.
Allow me to highlight a few points;
First, in the 45th session of COI, many member-States expressed concerns about the proliferation of misinformation and disinformation surrounding the existential threat of climate change, the interrelated shocks to the food supply, and fuel prices, in addition to other global challenges. Moreover, we have heard from the USG yesterday regarding flood of misinformation and disinformation during conflicts especially after escalation of Israel-Palestine conflicts on 07 October.
We have witnessed how misinformation and disinformation are instigating violence and instability. At the same time, hate speech formulated with misinformation and disinformation are stimulator for xenophobia and intolerance.
We acknowledge DGC’s efforts in coordinating crisis communications and enhancing the capacity of the United Nations system in this regard. We urge to strengthen these efforts in conflict situations especially in Gaza where millions of people are in dire humanitarian need.
We also request DGC to raise awareness on the atrocity crimes committed against the Rohingyas in Myanmar.
Second, we commend DGC’s role in supporting United Nations’ climate action especially creation of stories and multimedia features. It is critical to reach wider audience to make them aware of the risk and also share the encouraging work of the United Nations. At the same time, we urge for diversified programmes and tailored approach for most climate vulnerable countries to suitably increase the reach.
Third, we are concerned on rising anti UN sentiments in some host countries of the Peacekeeping Operations. We request the DGC to continue its activities to highlight the role and contributions of UN Peacekeeping operations in an equitable manner and also to formulate innovative ideas to combat misleading propaganda against the peacekeeping operations. In this regard, we commend the continuation of Service and Sacrifice campaign with its fifth phase. We also request the DGC to work with the Department of Operational Support on the issues related to environmental management in the peace operations.
Fourth, while DGC has been playing instrumental role in disseminating UN’s efforts for international peace and security, it’s engagement with the Peacebuilding Support Office of the UN should be increased. We would like to see more publicity of the work of the Peacebuilding Commission to reach the people on the ground with the information on peacebuilding efforts of the United Nations.
Fifth, we reiterate our appreciation for DGC’s work to promote multilingualism and efforts to save the small languages from extinction. Multilingualism reflects the spirit of inclusivity and tolerance. We thank DGC once again for partnering with us in observing the International Mother Language Day on 21st February, which promotes respect for pluralism, diversity, tolerance and the value of multi-lingual education.
Sixth, we underscore the importance of the work of the UN Information Centre (UNIC). For example, in Bangladesh UNIC is playing commendable role in complementing the government’s efforts towards multilingualism by promoting the language of ethnic minorities, disseminating information on UN’s work in Bangla, and supporting to organize Model United Nations conferences. We believe, the UNIC’s activities should be strengthened and supported with adequate resources.
Seventh, we want to reiterate our request to undertake activities in raising awareness with regard to genocide and atrocity crimes. We feel that presenting to the world the lessons of past genocides and the forgotten genocides like the genocide in Bangladesh in 1971, would supplement our joint efforts to prevent further Genocide.
Finally, we take note of the principles towards a United Nations Code of Conduct mentioned in the Policy Brief of the Secretary-General entitled “Information Integrity on Digital Platforms”. We believe, this will be good basis for further discussion in finalizing the “Pact of the Future” in the next year.
I would like conclude by reiterating our full support to the work of the Committee on Information and looking forward to the adoption of the resolutions by consensus.
I thank you Madam Chair.