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26th Session (2004)

General Debate: Mongolia

Statement by H.E. Mr. Baatar Choisuren, Permanent Representative of Mongolia to the United Nations (28 April 2004)

Mr. Chairman,

I wholeheartedly join the previous speakers in congratulating you for the very efficient and able manner in which you are conducting the proceedings of the committee. I also thank Under-Secretary-General Shashi Tharoor for his comprehensive opening address as well as the interactive dialogue with delegates which presented the participants an opportunity to converse directly with the officials responsible for various fields of activities of the Public Information Department and get answers to the their questions.

I would also like to take the opportunity to welcome the three new members States of the Committee — St. Vincent and Grenadines, Suriname and Switzerland.

Mr. Chairman,

While my delegation associates itself with the Statement Ambassador of the State of Qatar made on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, I would like to make a few brief comments from my national perspective.

We all remember that the last meeting of the Committee on Information met at a difficult for the United Nations time. In light of the escalating crisis in Iraq the ability of the UN to deal with international crisis and emerging new challenges was questioned. The Organization itself and the DPI were subjected to severe test. At that time my delegation endorsed the new structure of the Department and the new operating concept for the United Nations information centers. It also expressed the view that new structure of the DPI had already been put in test by the Iraqi crisis. And the lessons learnt should be applied in the continuing process of improvement of the United Nations communications and public information activities.

We are of the view that DPI has contributed positively in regaining by the United Nations its international standing as the most representative and legitimate body. It would not be an exaggeration to say that this, among other factors, was achieved through promotion of global awareness and enhanced understanding of the UN activities, and by projecting its image in a proper perspective.

Broadly speaking it was the positive outcome of the reform and restructuring process of last several years. In other words it was the result of the successful campaign of "Bringing the United Nations closer to the people". Today we have a transformed DPI, with a new mission statement, a new operating model and a new organizational structure, a DPI which is using the Millennium Declaration as a guide to achieve greater public impact and help fulfill the substantive aims of the United Nations.

Our delegation appreciates a new strategic direction adopted by the DPI, namely a client-oriented approach, a greater system-wide coordination and a culture of evaluation. We are pleased to note the Department has formulated 170 performance indicators which will enable program managers to assess their activities and it has completed its first annual program impact review.

My delegation applauds the DPI for its successful redesigning of the UN website. The website beside being very cost effective medium to disseminate information, it opened virtually unlimited access to the pool of information on wide spectrum of the UN activities. Being a small delegation to UN we find the Official Document System (ODS) as an important and readily accessible and reliable source of reference of official UN documents. As a matter of fact ODS is also highly regarded in our capital. We understand that making the system freely available will further enhance this service.

My delegation also commends DPI for its leadership of the UN Communications Group and its role in formulating and implementation of information campaigns with the specialized agencies and other bodies of the UN system, its activities to promote publicize the Assembly's work, its closer working relations with the Office of the Assembly President and the office of the Spokesman for the Secretary-General.

While endorsing the rationalization of the UN information centers around a regional hub, we still holds the view that the special needs of the developing countries should be kept in mind in restructuring of the United Nations information centers and the rationalization should be implemented in close consultations and with cooperation of the Member States concerned. We share the view that the hub in Western Europe has just been put into operation and it will take some, sometime before we can make a concrete evaluation of its success as well as its impact on the Department's work.

Until the first global information summit produces an international strategy to ensure equal access by both developed and developing countries to the enormous potential of new communication technologies the traditional means of communications popular in many developing countries should be used to the fullest extent. We, therefore, support the project on the development of international radio broadcasting capacity for the United Nations.

We are of the view that the reform measures aimed at strengthening and rationalization of the DPI have achieved tangible results. I would like to refer to you Mr. Chairman. Speaking at our last Session you said that it was our good fortune that the DPI was headed by a person as Under-Secretary-General Shashi Tharoor, who was the right person, at the right place, at the right time. A view that I fully share with you Mr. Chairman.

Thank you Mr. Chairman.

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