Statement by Mr. Toufiq Islam Shatil, Deputy Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations at the 46th session of the Committee on Information on 30 April 2024 at Conference room 1, UNHQs

Mr. Chair,

I congratulate you for assuming the Chairmanship of the Committee. I also join others commending you and the members of the Bureau for the excellent leadership and the work done by the Committee. We welcome Haiti and Uganda in the Committee as new member.

We thank USG Melissa Fleming for her informative and comprehensive briefing. I also thank her team for their dedicated work and contribution.

My delegation aligns itself with the statement delivered by Uganda on behalf of the G 77 and China.

We take note of the comprehensive reports submitted by the Secretary-General on Activities of the Department of Global Communications in the three interrelated areas: campaigns and country operations services, news services and outreach and knowledge services.

Mr. Chair,

The whole world is going through a tough time due to war and conflict around the world. Not only the people in conflict areas but also every country have been facing the burnt of conflict in many ways. In today’s interconnected world, we have witnessing the negative impact of misinformation, disinformation and hate speech. The present scenario, once again, reminds us the urgency of ensuring information integrity, and responsible and effective use of information and communication technology.

In this regard, we commend the activities and contribution of Department of Global Communication. Especially for running dedicated campaigns for publicity and awareness, reaching diverse audience and partnering with different stakeholders.

Mr. Chair,

Allow me to highlight a few points,

First, we are concerned on 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. Furthermore, due to growing use of different digital platforms including social media and use of artificial intelligence, it is imperative to have greater efforts for information integrity. In this regard, we commend DGC’s efforts for the development of a voluntary code of conduct for information integrity on digital platforms.

Second, we have also seen flood of misinformation and disinformation regarding conflicts after the escalation of Israel-Palestine conflicts since October 2023. We commend DGC’s Crisis communications coordination especially activating crisis communication cell. It is urgent to disseminate information and create awareness regarding this unprecedented humanitarian crises and atrocity crimes.

Third, we are encouraged to see DGC’s particular focus on Sustainable Development Goals, peace and security, climate change and human rights, including gender equality while conducting its outreach and knowledge activities and dedicated campaigns.  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 to 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.

Fourth, we commend DGC’s continuous efforts to promote multilingualism. It is our duty to save the small languages from extinction as part of promoting multilingualism that will help to build an inclusive, creative, and tolerant society. We are encouraged to see the contribution of the network of 59 United Nations Information Centres, which produced, translated and adapted materials in 153 languages in addition to the United Nations official languages. In Bangladesh UNIC is playing commendable role in complementing the government’s efforts towards multilingualism by promoting the language of ethnic minorities, in disseminating information on UN’s work in Bangla, and supporting to organize Model United Nations conferences. We believe, UNIC’s activities should be strengthened and supported with adequate resources.  We also thank DGC 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.

Fifth, as the leading troop and police contributing country in UN Peacekeeping, we emphasize the continuation of DGC’s campaign and outreach programme encompassing UN Peacekeeping. We also emphasize on combating the anti-UN propaganda and the awareness raising on reducing the environmental foot print of UN in the field. Furthermore, we call upon DGC to contribute to the UN’s efforts in promoting a culture of peace. We also 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.

Sixth, we have been discussing inclusivity especially the engagement and participation of women and youth in almost all discussions in the UN. DGC has a major role to play to increase the engagement with women and youth. We commend DGC’s continuous cooperation with SG’s Envoy on Youth. We also encouraged to see the work of DGC with DPO, DPPA and UN-Women regarding the Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) on women and peace and security.

Seventh, as a country of more than 10 million expatriates all around the world, we would like to see dedicated work from the DGC for the migrants. Especially, it is critical to raise awareness about their rights, publicize their contribution and save them from exploitation and abuse with campaign programme and information sharing.

Eighth, we have been witnessing the surge in the use of digital services in almost every sector. At the same time, we are experiencing how digital divide creating inequality among the nations. We need to accelerate DGC’s work to address the digital divide among developed and developing countries as well as inside the country.

Finally, we acknowledge the commendable activities of DGC in observing different International Days including the observance of the International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime. At the same time, we encourage DGC to undertake activities in raising awareness of the past genocides. 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. In this regard, we also request DGC to raise awareness on the atrocity crimes committed against the Rohingyas.

Mr. Chair,

Before concluding, I would like to reiterate Bangladesh’s full support and cooperation in the Committee’s work under your leadership. We are also looking forward to successful adoption of the resolutions.

I thank you all.