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STATEMENT BY H.E. MR. CHOISUREN BAATAR,
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF MONGOLIA TO THE UNITED NATIONS,
AT THE GENERAL DEBATE OF THE UN COMMITEE ON INFORMATION
DURING ITS TWENTY-SEVENTH SESSION
20 APRIL 2005
At the outset, allow me to join the previous speakers in expressing my sincere congratulations to you on your election to the Chairmanship of this twenty-seventh session of the Committee on Information, as well as to the rest of the Bureau. Rest assured of my delegation's full confidence, and our support and assistance to you in discharge of your duties. My heartfelt salutations also go to H.E. Iftekhar Chowdhury, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh, for the commendable manner in which he led our deliberations during two previous sessions.
I also take the opportunity to welcome the new members of the Committee - Cape Verde, Iceland, Luxembourg, Madagascar and Qatar.
I thank Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information Mr. Shashi Tharoor for his comprehensive address to this Committee and for excellent arrangements made for this year's interactive dialogue with delegates. Despite many other meetings going parallel to it in this building, the now annual interactive dialogue once again attracted great attention of the Member States and presented us with an opportunity to directly engage with officials responsible for various fields of activities of the Public Information Department, and with representatives of other departments, namely the Department of Peacekeeping Operations.
My delegation fully associates itself with the Statement made by Jamaica on behalf of the Group of 77 and China. I would like, nevertheless, to make a few brief remarks from my national perspective.
Mongolia highly commends the DPI for the excellent work it has been doing to project a positive image of the United Nations in this challenging time when the Organization is increasingly targeted in various press and media sources, especially private media. Indeed, this alarming trend of vilifying the world Organization has been continuing for the last 3 years and has reached a critical point this year with allegations of mismanagement, corruption and lack of transparency and accountability in some of its activities evolving into challenges to its very raison d'ętre, effectiveness and relevance. While stressing that glossing over whatever actual deficiencies and shortcomings should not in anyway be tolerated, let me express my conviction that we must not at the same time let such certain facts to overshadow the whole spectrum of diverse and crucially important work that the United Nations is doing to make the world around us a better place. Neither can we allow certain allegations to undermine the unique legitimacy, credibility and moral standing of this Organization.
The DPI as a voice through which the Organization speaks has a unique role to play – it has the prime responsibility to provide Member States and general public a comprehensive, timely and true account of various activities of the UN to promote development, peace democracy and human rights worldwide. Mongolia, therefore, is pleased that the DPI, while grappling with the task of countering the negative publicity of the United Nations, has maintained its regular programme, and guided by its mission statement continued to focus on promoting global awareness and greater understanding of the work of the UN in priority area as set out in the Millennium Declaration, such as poverty eradication, conflict prevention, sustainable development, human rights, HIV/AIDS, international fight against terrorism and special needs of Africa.
Let me echo your words that "the Committee is meeting at an extraordinary time in the history of the Organization. It will turn sixty years in any way you measure it". Indeed, the notion of 60 years has a special symbolic meaning in my country – Mongolia. It is 60 years - unlike 100 in Western calendar tradition - that forms a full cycle according to our traditional lunar calendar. We strongly believe that bold decisions and actions are needed as we enter a new cycle and a new era.
In this respect, we warmly appreciate that the DPI has already developed and started campaigning for UN renewal targeting at both the policy makers and general public. Indeed, the September Summit is ought to be a milestone, a decisive point that should galvanize the international community to meet the development challenges which confront mankind, reinforce the spirit of collective security and respect for human rights and promote democracy. This crucial date will present another opportunity to underline importance of coordinated information activities. DPI will, thus, have a prominent role to play in the overall success of the exercise - 60th anniversary and review of the state of implementation of internationally agreed development goals, through communicating the necessary information to the public, and assisting in awareness raising on the inter-linkages between development, peace, human rights, democracy and rule of law as set out in the Secretary-General's recent report "In Larger Freedom".
Mongolia fully concurs with the words of Mr. Tharoor that the DPI has made a "measurable progress" over the last 3 years and was able in general to implement those aspects of the reform proposals on enhancing public information that were within the authority of Secretary-General. I want to warmly commend Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information Mr. Tharoor for his enthusiasm, dedication and leadership he has always demonstrated throughout the reorientation process that has now come to its completion. Today we have a transformed DPI, with a new mission statement, a new operating model and a new organizational structure, a new and ambitious 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.
My delegation applauds the DPI for its successful redesigning of the UN website making it more user-friendly and supports efforts towards achieving parity among all official languages. The website is, speaking in literary terms, a virtual "well of knowledge", and a cost effective and extremely useful tool of disseminating information in this digital era, not least to small and developing states and countries that don't host United Nations Information Centers. The fact that the website continues to register an increasing number of hits in all languages testifies to the quality of its design and its content.
Being a small delegation to the UN we find the Official Document System (ODS) as an important and readily accessible and reliable source of reference of all official UN documents, which is also highly regarded in our capital. We have called for making the system freely available as a meaningful step to further enhance this service. In this respect, I would like to warmly welcome the fact that the ODS is now open to the public at large.
Let me also thank the DPI for the timely issuance and good quality of the reports before us.
In conclusion, I would like to assure you that my delegation will exert its efforts in a constructive and open manner to achieve a positive outcome of this session of the Committee.
I thank you.***