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STATEMENT BY H.E. MR. LUIS DE MATOS MONTEIRO DA FONSECA,
OF THE MISSION OF THE REPUBLIC OF CAPE VERDE TO THE UNITED NATIONS,
AT THE GENERAL DEBATE
OF THE UN COMMITEE ON INFORMATION
DURING ITS 26TH SESSION
28 APRIL 2004
I am pleased to convey to you and to the Bureau the congratulations of my delegation for your election. Your distinguished qualities and able leadership is the assurance to us that, at the end of this session, significant results will be attained.
I also want to commend the Under Secretary General, Mr. Shashi Tharoor for the contribution he gave to this Session with the statement he delivered at the beginning of this Session, introducing the Secretary General's Reports and highlighting the main aspects of DPI activities and challenges, as well as for the noticeable achievements of the important Department he heads.
My delegation associates itself with the statement of the G-77 and China. We also wish to express our full support for the statements made by the distinguished Representative of Brazil on behalf of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP) and by His Excellency Manuel Domingos Augusto, Vice-Minister of Social Communication of Angola
Important improvements adopted by DPI in the dissemination of information by the electronic media, has made it possible for millions of persons to follow, in real time, the important activities held in or related to the United Nations. The quality of the webcasts has significantly improved as well as the web pages dedicated to information. In this particular, I would like to underscore the noteworthy accomplishment of the Portuguese language Unit of the United Nations Radio and its website, which has been contributing to spread the ideals of the United Nations among the nearly 250 million Portuguese speaking people spread over all continents.
Particularly in the least developed of the Portuguese speaking countries, radio is the most effective and more widespread used means of communication. For this reason we commend the DPI for their efforts in order to improve the output of their services.
Despite the fact that Portuguese is spoken by nearly 250 million people and it is the official language of 8 countries, their access to UN information is limited, because most of the documents are not translated into Portuguese.
That is why we consider it important that the units dedicated to the dissemination of information in Portuguese should be maintained and strengthened.
The generous offer by the government of Angola to host the regional hub for the African Portuguese Speaking Countries, including the construction, in Luanda, of a building to accommodate the UN Centre, should be recognized and taken into due consideration. My delegation commends this concrete expression of the Angolan government's willingness to effectively contribute to the goals of the United Nations.
In the same vein we support the Brazilian government's view that that the Rio de Janeiro Centre, currently the only Portuguese language UNIC left after the closure of the Lisbon Centre, should be maintained - not only for this fact, but also in view of the size of the Brazilian population that counts for about half of the population of South America.
My delegation reiterates its support for the reforms that are being undertaken in order to increase efficiency, improve the quality and increase the flow of UN public information and communications, which will certainly impact the perception that the world has of our organization and bring peoples closer together. We hope they will also effectively contribute to reduce the divide between developed and developing countries as regards access to information.
Accordingly, my delegation will shortly introduce its application for membership of the Commission which, we hope, will be favourably considered by its current members.