UN now better equipped to publicize its work, says head of information committee

Antonio Pedro Monteiro Lima, Chairman of the Committee on Information

4 May 2009 – The United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI) is now better able to spread the message about the important work carried out by the Organization, the chair of the body tasked with reviewing activities in this area said today.

“DPI, as the public voice of the Organization, is tasked with communicating its messages in the clearest and most comprehensive manner,” noted Ambassador Antonio Lima of Cape Verde, as he opened the 31st session of the Committee on Information.

Mr. Lima said the three reports that have been submitted for the consideration of the 112-member Committee clearly outline the concrete measures implemented by DPI to expand its operation, sharpen its focus and build new partnerships in countries around the world.

“Indeed, as the reports indicate, DPI now is better equipped, more focussed and technologically better prepared,” he told the meeting.

The head of DPI said the three reports tried to provide a clear picture of the Department’s progress in widening outreach and improving performance. In those efforts, several clear trends had emerged, underlining that complex issues required proactive and strategic approaches.

“DPI’s adoption of a strategic approach has had a meaningful impact on what we do and how we do it,” Kiyo Akasaka, Under-Secretary General for Communications and Public Information, told delegates.

Guided by the decisions of Member States and the vision of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, DPI’s communications priorities for this year centre on the UN development agenda, including the set of anti-poverty targets with a 2015 deadline known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), peace and security in a number of conflict zones, human rights, climate change disarmament and non-proliferation, and the financial crisis, Mr. Akasaka said.

The Department continues to pay close attention to providing timely, accurate, impartial, comprehensive, relevant and coherent information about the UN and its work, he added.

“This is a challenging task, at a time when the media and general public demand quick and clear sound bites, but where our role is to inform the public about a complex array of issues – from the balance between peace and justice, to the nature of different conflicts, to the rights and responsibilities of individuals and States.”

The Committee – which is also charged with promoting a more effective global information and communications order to strengthen peace and understanding – will during its current session review three of DPI’s sub-programmes: Strategic Communications, News Services and Outreach Services.


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