STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY AMBASSADOR MUNIR AKRAM, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF PAKISTAN TO THE UNITED NATIONS, DURING THE INFORMAL BRIEFING OF MS. MELISSA FLEMING, THE UNDER-SECRETARY FOR GLOBAL COMMUNICATION TO THE MEMBERS OF COMMITTEE ON INFORMATION (New York, 23 March 2022)
The Group of 77 and China expresses its appreciation to the honorable Under-Secretary-General, Ms. Melissa Fleming, to have arranged this meeting to update members of the Committee on the recent activities of the Department of Global Communication.
The Group of 77 and China appreciates the recent activities carried out by the Department of Global Communications (DGC) specifically in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the efforts to achieve sustainable development, including climate action during the pandemic.
The Group also appreciates the redoubled efforts of the Department to cover events and stories about misinformation and disinformation, to help people to recognize authoritative sources and distinguish fact from fiction, such as the 'Pause' initiative and other digital literacy campaigns./
The Group also appreciates other initiatives in particular the "Service and Sacrifice" campaign, thanking troop- and police-contributing countries for their service in United Nations peacekeeping operations. We encourage the expansion in its coverage and scope.
The Group encourages the Department of Global Communication to continue its efforts in the areas of Climate change and Covid-19, with an additional focus on the economic downturn in the developing countries and the grave challenge posed for the achievement of the SDGs and Agenda 2030 during the "decade of action".
The range of measures undertaken by the Department should be strengthened on the basis of the principle of multilingualism, diversity, accuracy, timely dissemination of information, and increased efforts to reach the maximum audience specially those located in developing countries.
On behalf of the Group, I would like to make a few recommendations on the overall operations of the DGC:
First, the DGC should continue to stress the importance of ensuring global and equitable access to safe, timely, and effective Covid-19 vaccines as a public good, at affordable prices specifically to developing countries
Second, Department of Global Communications must continue to contribute to raising the awareness of the international community and initiate programs to analyze the nature of digital divides, discuss strategies to bridge the digital divide.
Third, DGC can run dedicated programs on the misuse of information technologies to spread disinformation and particularly on online platforms.
Fourth, DGC may generate discussions on the Secretary General's proposal to promote a global code of conduct through advocacy, awareness-raising, and by utilizing its expertise.
Fifth, DGC should provide multilingual and multi-media coverage, producing targeted content according to the needs of audiences, on issues such as sustainable development bridging the existing gap between the developed and the developing countries.
Sixth, DGC must also promote the efforts of Member States, especially developing countries to facilitate the transition to sustainable and resilient development.
Seventh, The DGC must strengthen its efforts in raising awareness of the successes and addressing the challenges faced by peacekeeping operations in close cooperation with the Department of Peace Operations, the Department of Operational Support, and the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, and the Member States.
Eighth, The DGC must continue to support and strengthen the UN information centers and carry out the rationalization process of such centers in consultation with all concerned Member States, the countries served by those information centers, and other interested countries in the region.
Ninth, The DGC may work with the Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO) towards a more formalized engagement aimed at increasing the visibility of the Peacebuilding Commission.
On behalf of the group of 77 and China, I thank you once again for your briefing and we look forward to a constructive engagement during the course of the 44th session of COI ahead.
I thank you.