25th Session (2003)
General Debate: Azerbaijan
Statement by the Delegation of the Republic of Azerbaijan (30 April 2003)
Taking up this opportunity, let me at the outset, on behalf of my delegation to warmly congratulate you and the members of the Bureau on your election and assure you of the support and full cooperation of my delegation in the work of the Committee.
We would like also to extend our deepest appreciation of the former Chairman of the Committee, His Excellency Ambassador Milos Alcalay for his able stewardship at a time when the reorientation process of the Department of Public Information was in full swing.
We are also appreciative to Mr. Shashi Tharoor, Under-Secretary General for Communications and Public Information for his versatile statement made the day before yesterday.
My delegation supports the new organizational structure of the Department of Communication and Information put into effect on November 1st 2002. We believe that the recently established a Strategic Communications Division, a News and Media Division and an Outreach Division will be supportive tool for the DPI in pursuing its activities.
We also recognize that the DPI first of all should concentrate on the issues: the eradication of poverty, conflict prevention, sustainable development, human rights, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the needs of the African continent and the battle against international terrorism.
We share the views that it is important to retain the parity in the use of the six official languages and attain multilingualism in the work of the DPI. Since the information provided by the DPI and its worldwide outreach are both extensive and exhaustive, I believe it is of paramount importance to ensure that its publications are correct and precise.
The Republic of Azerbaijan places significant importance to the issues of the use of information and communications technologies. In this connection, the United Nations should take an active part in bridging the digital divide. My country is interested in cooperation with the most developed countries on bridging the digital divide with the view to achieve stable information society. We support the initiatives to set up regional information and telecommunication centers and will gladly consider ICT projects in this regard.
We agree that because of its universal reach radio is essential mean of communication for the United Nations. It is noteworthy that today more than 133 million people listen to United Nations Radio at least once a week in one of the six official languages of the UN and Portuguese. We think that United Nations radio should give more attention to regional focus and regional voices. As the Under-Secretary-General has rightly said, the programmes of United Nations Radio have served to open up the Organization, to make its work more transparent and to give it a local voice, which is the aim of all our information activities.
We believe that the newly established The Steering Committee for the Moderation and Integrated Management of the United Nations Libraries will definitely improve the provision of library services and give impulse to create more dynamic network of library services within the United Nations.
Nowadays taking into account the importance of the United Nations peacekeeping operations, the DPI should ensure the coordination with the respective missions in the field and at headquarters in order to avoid duplication of functions.
Since we are preparing to commemorate the World Press Freedom Day on 3 May, my Delegation would like to reaffirm our commitment to free press and its crucial role in modern society.
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, we support the efforts undertaken by the DPI in continuing the reform, revitalization process. By the strong willingness of my delegation to actively contribute to the objectives of public information activities we will closely cooperate with DPI.