STATEMENT BY H.E. Mr. FRANCISCO SEIXAS DA
AMBASSADOR AND PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF PORTUGAL TO THE UNITED NATIONS
TO THE 23rd SESSION OF THE COMMITTEE ON INFORMATION
NEW YORK, 2 MAY 2001
takes this opportunity to compliment His Excellency Mr. Milos Alcalay,
Ambassador of Venezuela, for his assumption as Chairperson of this Committee and
to extend our congratulations to the other new members of the Bureau.
We would also
like to warmly welcome the Interim Head of the Department of Public Information,
Mr. Shashi Tharoor, and to thank him for his comprehensive and lucid statement
at the opening of this session. Portugal states its full cooperation with the
DPI and supports Mr. Tharoor’s strive to “energize” the Department.
Before going any
further, Portugal fully associates itself with the statement addressed to this
Committee by the representative of the Netherlands, on behalf of the Western
Group, and with the statement made by my colleague of Mozambique, on behalf of
the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries, CPLP.
therefore, will focus on specific areas that are dear to us.
examined in detail the important reports (A/AC.198/2001/2 to A/AC.198/2001/9)
placed before us by the Secretary-General, to whom we express our gratitude and
appreciation. We find these documents incisive and very much coherent with the
“Millenium Report” that highlights the central role that information and
particularly new information technologies plays for the United Nations in its
task of helping to build a more equitable world communications and information
In this regard,
Portugal wishes to emphasize the excellent work achieved by the United Nations
Information Center in Lisbon, as it helps to enlighten the Portuguese people
about the objectives of the Organization, either by providing multiple
information at the Centers’ facilities or by posting information guidelines on
the new UNIC’s web site in Portuguese language. The UNIC in Lisbon is also to
be commended as it plays another important role in disseminating information to
other Portuguese-Speaking Countries where the UN does not have the same means to
inform the public, such as Angola.
the utmost importance to the message of the United Nations through its radio
broadcasts and, specifically, to the Portuguese-language programme, that has
completed more than four decades of being the UN’s primary information service
to the Portuguese-speaking peoples, spread on five continents.
audience of more than 230 million people benefits from the news, features,
analysis and interviews put together on a daily basis here, in New York. Indeed,
thanks to the outreach and quality of the UN Radio’s Portuguese-language
programme, the Lusophone Community is better aware of the Organizations’ role
in today’s world.
Portugal is particularly satisfied with the
agreements established between UN Radio and RDP, the Portuguese public
broadcasting radio, which reaches as far as East Timor, Kosovo, Brazil, Angola,
Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, São Tomé e Príncipe and South Africa.
We are strongly
convinced that the demands and working responsibilities of the
Portuguese-language programme to cover all UN objectives in those, and other
areas, requires the strengthening of the capacities of this service.
Portuguese-language programme is the only non-official language service that
strives, today, to offer an amount of work equal to that produced by the six
official languages in the UN Radio. Such task is performed today by one single
producer, Mr. João Lins de Albuquerque, whose tireless efforts towards meeting
the goals of the United Nations in the complex field of public information is
highly commended by us.
We know the
financial constrains of the Department of Public Information. However, we think
that, through creativity and skillfully allocating resources, it is possible to
reinforce the Portuguese-language programme service towards a better efficiency
We believe that
DPI recognizes this need. Such awareness is testified by the support given, via
the Departments’ News and Media Services Division, to the initiative of the
web page of its Portuguese-language radio programme, to be launched on May 8th.
Let me point out,
Mr. Chairperson, that the President of the Portuguese Republic, His Excellency
Mr. Jorge Sampaio, has already sent his message of support for this new
challenge of the UN Radio.
The new web page
will be made available without DPI having to commit further budgetary resources.
Such accomplishment is to be fully credited to Mr. João Lins de Albuquerque,
from the UN Radio, and Mr. António Carlos Silva, from the Multimedia Unit, who
have been putting additional work into making this initiative come true.
Portuguese-language programme found, thus, a valuable platform to improve its
information services towards reaching the same technological level already
available to the six UN official languages.
Portugal asks for
the support of the Department of Public Information and of this Committee to
give the practical means so much needed by the Portuguese-language programme to
carry on its most valuable service. We believe that the creation of one
additional producer post would meet such demands.
Thank you, Mr.