Need for a more just and effective global information system

UNITED NATIONS, May - Addressing the U.N. Committee on Information, the chairman of the Group of 77 underlined the importance of communications in bringing the message of developing nations to the world at large.

Ambassador Makarim Wibisono said there was a need for the establishment of a new, more just and effective global information system.

“We continue to believe that there is a need to establish a balance in the dissemination of information, to ensure a diversification of information sources and to attain a mutually beneficial partnership in the information sector,” he told the Committee.

In an information age where new media technologies are opening up new vistas and horizons, he said, the vast majority of peoples cannot be deprived of the reality of the situation surrounding them, as well as benefiting from a better quality of life.

Ongoing struggles against poverty, malnutrition and illiteracy are being waged by millions of people globally. If a more comprehensive mass media coverage could be accorded to these struggles, the world would be better informed and motivated to provide their best efforts towards the attainment of the common interests of economic progress and social emancipation, he added.

He said the Group was looking forward to studying in greater detail the Secrtetary-General’s plan and strategy regarding the orientation of the Department of Public Information. “Indeed, such proposals can be rendered more beneficial if the views of member states are fully taken into account,” he added.

He also pointed out that over the past few decades, the U.N. Information Centres (UNICs) have been a key component of U.N. outreach, especially for developing countries where there is a need for greater understanding of its activities.

In light of this, and taking into account the results of some integrated centres, the Group of 77 and China express their concern over the problems encountered with the integration of UNICs with UNDP field offices.

“It deserves emphasis that the process of integration should be implemented on a case-by-case basis while taking into account the view of the host state,” he said.

Simultaneously, the views of member states should be seriously considered during the development of proposals concerning the restructuring of UNICs and the establishment of regional hubs by the Secretary-General.