Please, check against delivery
STATEMENT MR. N.E. NDEKHEDEKHE, MINISTER,
PERMANENT MISSION OF NIGERIA TO THE UNITED NATIONS,
AT THE GENERAL DEBATE OF THE UN COMMITEE ON INFORMATION
DURING ITS TWENTY-EIGHTH SESSION
25 APRIL 2006
I seize this opportunity on behalf of the Nigerian delegation to congratulate you and members of your Bureau for the able manner you are conducting the affairs of this Committee and to assure you of our support. We commend the Secretary-General for the elaborate and detailed reports he has presented to the Committee. In the same vein, we wish to pay tribute to the Under Secretary-General, Mr. Shashi Tharoor, for his Statement. The Statement was an eloquent testimony to the Under Secretary-General’s commitment to the mandate of his Department.
Undoubtedly, the DPI is the veritable link between the United Nations and the public that the Organization serves. This means that the perception of the Organization by the public will largely be affected by the ability of the Department to carry out its mandate and the extent to which it is able to reach out to all peoples of the world. It is in this context that my delegation wishes to comment on a few aspects of the Secretary-General’s reports. However, before I do so, I wish to state that Nigeria associates itself with the Statement delivered by South Africa on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
We appreciate the rationale behind the ongoing rationalization of the United Nations Information Centres (UNIC). However, such a rationalization should not be at the expense of the less endowed societies where access to modern technology is limited. The effect of over-rationalization will shut the United Nations from the majority of the people that it is supposed to serve. In this regard, we would support increase of resources to DPI to enable it reach the largest possible audience across the globe.
While we commend the DPI for its achievements, we believe that more could be done in a number of areas. For instance, DPI needs to forge closer working collaboration with local radio stations in Member States through the use of local languages. The graphs on page 6 of the Secretary-General’s Report as contained in document A/AC.198/2006/4 prove two things; namely, that the radio remains the most effective means of reaching the largest amount of audience in developing countries and that de-emphasizing this means of information is tantamount to cutting off large groups from information on UN activities.
In addition, while we observe with satisfaction the achievements recorded by the DPI in countering the negative reports directed at the Organization and its leadership, we are of the opinion that the Department could do more in promoting, not only in Africa and Asia but also in the other regions of the world, the activities of NEPAD which has come to symbolize a new hope for Africa’s development.
Before concluding my statement, I would like to pay tribute to the management and staff of DPI who have positively contributed to the work of delegates through Press Releases, the websites and the regular workshops organized by the Dag Hammarskjöld Library, among others.
I thank you.***