by Ambassador Kiyotaka Akasaka,
Representative of Japan
At the 23rd session of the Committee on Information
2 May 2001, United Nations, New York
Japan associates itself with the statement made by the Netherlands on
behalf of the Group of Western European and Other States, and would like to make
a few additional comments.
I wish to begin my remarks by congratulating the new members of the
bureau on their election. I would
like to welcome Mr. Shashi Tharoor as the interim head of the Department of
Public Information, and to express the appreciation of my delegation for his
introductory statement. Although
his predecessor, Mr. Kensaku Hogen, now Japanese Ambassador to Canada
accomplished much and greatly contributed to enhancing the effectiveness and
efficiency of the DPIís activities, it is clear that more needs to be done,
especially at this time when the international order is changing dramatically
and the evolution of information technology is accelerating day by day. My delegation is confident that, under the guidance and leadership of Mr.
Tharoor, the DPI will meet these challenges in a most effective way.
This Committee has convened to discuss ways and means of strengthening
the public information activities of the United Nations and the DPI in
particular. People around the world
need to be apprised of decisions and actions taken by the UN and the experiences
of UN-related organizations in the field, as well as information the UN has
gathered on such vital issues as the environment, development, conflict
prevention, AIDS and other communicable diseases. Through its public information activities the UN should also promote
awareness on human rights and the welfare of children, as well as a sense of
interdependence among all peoples. It
must do so in a way that is relevant to the targeted population, in terms of
content and technology.
task is indeed enormous. In view of
the limited resources available to it the DPI will be able to fulfill its
mandate only by rationalizing its activities, adopting new technologies, and
cooperating with and mobilizing the private sector. In this regard, Japan considers that the proposal which the Group of
Western European and Others will submit during our discussion of the draft
resolution will be most useful. It
is our sincere hope that this discussion will proceed in a constructive
atmosphere and that the final resolution will be a balanced and action-oriented
one that will serve as a useful tool in guiding the work of the DPI in the
delegation strongly supports the "UN House" initiative taken by
Secretary-General Annan as a practical way to strengthen the public information
capability of the UN in many Member States. Consolidating various UN-related offices scattered around a country into
one UN House will not only increase the efficiency of the activities of those
offices but will also heighten the visibility of the UN presence and enhance
peoplesí understanding of its activities. I am therefore pleased to inform this Committee that, during his visit to
Japan last January, the Secretary-General attended the official opening of the
UN House in Tokyo where UNIC, UNU, UNICEF, UNHCR and other offices are brought
together in one location. The
Government of Japan values highly the work of UNIC Tokyo as the core public
information unit in this newly established UN House. Also, let me add that the building and the land on which the UN House is
located was provided by the Tokyo Municipal Government on a rent-free basis.
Lastly, I would like to comment upon the United Nations Information
Technology Service (UNITeS), which was proposed in the Millennium Report of the
Secretary-General and is to be carried out by the UN Volunteers. Japan has contributed US $500,000 to this project in the belief that it
has the potential to be a catalyst in the effort to bridge the digital divide. Regrettably it is the only country to have done so. I would
like to take this opportunity to call upon other Member States to join us in
supporting the UNITeS.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.