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29th Session (2007)

General Debate: Cape Verde

Statement by Ms. Ana Pires, Representative of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Cape Verde to the United Nations (2 May 2007)

Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, we wish to congratulate you and the other members of the Bureau, on your election for the chairmanship of this twenty-ninth session of the Committee on Information. We take this opportunity to assure you of our cooperation for a productive and successful session.

Allow us also to extend our warm congratulations to His Excellency Mr. Kiyo Akasaka on his appointment as Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information. Knowing his capital of experiences and skills, we are confident that the Department will be in good hands. We thank him for his outstanding presentation.

We extend our appreciation to Mr. Shashi Tharoor, for the excellent manner in which he discharged his mandate, and H.E. Mihnea Motoc, Permanent Representative of Romania, for the job well done at this Committee during its previous two sessions.

We would also like to welcome the Dominican Republic and Thailand as new members of the Committee.

The Capeverdian delegation associates itself with the statement delivered by the distinguished delegate of Pakistan on behalf of G77 and China.

Mr. Chairman,

There is more and more information on the role and efficiency of the United Nations being spread around the world, but their sources are not always impartial and reliable. The task before the UN Department of Public Information is therefore a very challenging one.

We are aware of the important work being carried out by the Department of Public Information in ensuring high quality information services and in disseminating information, in real time, to the whole United Nations membership, while conveying and building a positive public image of the United Nations.

The Secretary General's reports, which we welcome, provide useful information about those activities and possible ways for their further development.

We have taken good note of the activities linked to the new information and communication technologies, as well as the new strategic directions for the library services (the campaign on "Stand-up against Poverty", United Nations counter-terrorism online book, Candweb, Mandate Review database and others).

We are pleased with the reorientation process and its innovative improvements and we seize this opportunity to stress the importance of highlighting the Organization's activities in commemoration of 60th Anniversary of Human Rights Declaration. Furthermore, we appreciate the DPI role in promoting important issues on the international agenda and we encourage their continuous dissemination with the seriousness and priority they deserve.

We also commend the good working relationship between DPI and the Committee on Information, and lay emphasis on the importance of an enhanced cooperation and coordination between DPI and all other departments and entities within the United Nations, providing coherent public material in an inclusive and integrated manner. Moreover, due attention should continue to be given to the activities of peacekeeping operation missions.

Despite all efforts the DPI has deployed over the past years and the progress achieved in implementing its re-restructuring plan, much remains to be done. The information divide between north and south is still wide, even within individual countries. Marginalization in the access to information is still a reality for large sections of populations in developing countries, due to lack of financial, technical and technological resources.

To reach the widest audience, efforts should be pursued in increasing access to new ICTs, while improving traditional communication means, the place and importance of which remain undeniable. In this context, cooperation with local broadcasting agencies should be strengthened.

We reiterate our appreciation for and commend the work carried out by the Portuguese Radio Unit, in particular increase in services provided, audience and broadcasting partnership, in a context of staff shortage. We urge the DPI to review the resources affected to the Unit, for the consolidation of progresses achieved and to ensure a more balanced management of perspectives from the Portuguese speaking countries, in particular those of the African Portuguese speaking counties. A closer cooperation among the latter and the Unit is also desirable. Cape Verde stands ready to play its part.

Mr. Chairman,

The necessity to achieve an optimal balance between addressing the information needs of specific regions and ensuring cost effectiveness has been clearly set out. We consider, however, that pursuit of cost effectiveness should not be made at the expense of an effective outreach to the public in specific regions.

Improving functioning of and strengthening the UNICs in developing countries is essential.

We appreciate the way the Western European centre has being performing its functions and commend its Portuguese desk for the work accomplished. Yet, it is imperative to tackle the specific needs of African Portuguese-speaking countries, which are still not sufficiently addressed. In this context, the Capeverdean delegation looks forward to the establishment and full operationalisation of the Luanda Centre.

In conclusion, my delegation reiterates its readiness to work effectively with other representations, for a positive outcome of our session, and to support DPI in its endeavors.

Thank you.

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