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STATEMENT BY MINISTER JIRO KODERA,
REPRESENTATIVE OF JAPAN TO THE UNITED NATIONS,
AT THE GENERAL DEBATE OF THE UN COMMITEE ON INFORMATION
DURING ITS TWENTY-EIGHTH SESSION
26 APRIL 2006
I would like to congratulate you on your assumption of the Chairmanship. I am confident that under your guidance our work at this session will be most productive.
I wish to express my appreciation to Mr. Shashi Tharoor, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, for the very comprehensive and policy-oriented presentation that he delivered on Monday.
Japan highly appreciates the reform efforts being made by the Department of Public Information under the leadership of the Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information. We believe that the implementation of the Department's public relations programs through extensive use of the new information and communications technology, development of the United Nations Web site and the reform of the United Nations library services and functions are tangible results of such efforts on its part. We hope that DPI will continue its efforts to strengthen itself, as we hold the view that it will have an even greater role in informing the people of the world on United Nations' activities in future.
This year marks the 50th Anniversary of Japan's membership in the United Nations. We believe that this will be a good opportunity for the people of Japan to deepen their understanding of and interest in the United Nations. It is in this spirit that my government decided to contribute to UNIC Tokyo 37 million yen this year as well as last, despite the ongoing efforts to rein in budget costs in Japan. We are assured that, under the leadership of its new director, UNIC Tokyo will make its utmost efforts to produce maximum results by maintaining close communications with DPI and undertaking strategic PR activities.
The current impetus for reform came out of the agreement resulting in the Outcome Document at the 2005 World Summit. The momentum has continued to grow, and some major reforms have already been implemented. Japan strongly hopes that these efforts for reform will be continuously made in order to ensure that the United Nations will be able to cope effectively with issues of global concern.
The Member States are currently discussing mandate review. We believe that the primary purpose of mandate review is not cost-cutting per se nor the elimination of targeted activities. The more important purpose should be the reallocation of resources based on the priorities of the relevant issues in order to enable UN activities to be conducted more efficiently. In other words, Japan regards mandate review as a means to transform the United Nations into a more powerful international organization which addresses more precisely the realities of international society.
The Report of the Secretary-General on mandate review (A/60/733) was issued at the end of last month. In this report, it is suggested that the Member States may wish to consider eliminating the duplication of work between the Committee on Information and the Fourth Committee, shortening the debate in the Fourth Committee, limiting the Fourth Committee's consideration of items to the adoption of a draft resolution, reducing the number of reports requested by the Committee on Information and issuing resolutions only on a biennial basis, among other measures.
Japan holds the view that, in accordance with the purpose of mandate review, it would be pertinent for the Member States to consider the significance of the Committee on Information as well as the relationship between the Committee on Information and the Fourth Committee.
Japan reiterates its determination to continue to work in close cooperation with the United Nations and its Member States to strengthen and support United Nations public information activities.