Statement by Minister Takahiro Nakamae
Delegation of Japan
On the 35th Committee on Information
22 April 2013
First, I would like to join the other speakers in thanking Ambassador Lyutha S. Al-Mughairy of Oman for chairing this meeting of the 35th Committee on Information. I am confident that, through your strong and able leadership, the 35th Session of the Committee will be a productive and efficient session and as always, Japan will extend its full support to you and the bureau of the Committee as we actively participate in this important discussion.
I would also like to extend my appreciation to Mr. Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal, Under-Secretary-General of the Department of Public Information (DPI) for delivering the comprehensive statement on the department’s activities, as well as the reports of the Secretary-General A/AC/198/2013/2, 3 and 4 regarding the activities of the Department in the areas of strategic communications services, news services, and outreach. I hope that DPI will continue its important work in enhancing its effectiveness, efficiency and accountability, while actively engaging in public relations activities which provide timely, accurate and coherent information on the works of the Organization.
DPI is instrumental to the United Nations as the principle department which communicates the work of Organization to the world’s diverse audience, giving comprehensive coverage to the principle and high-priority activities of the United Nations. Without such important work being done effectively and efficiently, the United Nations would not gain the essential support necessary from the international community on the vast activities and efforts of the Organization. I would like to express Japan’s gratitude to DPI for continuously identifying priorities and strategically communicating them to the world in a prompt and timely manner which garners the necessary support for the work of the Organization. In particular, the thematic campaigns on disarmament, peacekeeping operations, counter-terrorism, the MDGs, climate change, UNiTE to end violence against women, and various other human rights and sustainable development campaigns contributed greatly to raising awareness and the effectiveness of such campaigns was therefore increased. I would also like to commend the Strategic Communication Division’s management of field offices and the network of United Nations Information Centres (UNICs) around the world, including UNIC Tokyo, which implement and provide communications support to a number of UN initiatives including the thematic debates at the local level. In this regard, Japan places a particular importance on the work of UNIC Tokyo and will continue its support for its activities, most recently making a voluntary financial contribution of Yen 22,123,000 (USD $284,870.00) to UNIC Tokyo to expand the public information activities in Japan.
Japan understands the challenges in balancing the use of traditional and new communication tools with accessibility while moving in a fiscally responsible way towards the achievement of an economically green transformation. In this regard, I would like to commend the UN’s efforts at the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development held in June 2012 which not only showcased leading technological and social innovations which can be adapted towards a green economy, but also pioneered the UN PaperSmart system in partnership with QuickMobile in reducing the conference’s paper waste, and setting an example for future conferences and events to be environmentally friendly and fiscally sound. The devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy on UN Headquarters which damaged much of the publishing equipment must now be looked at in the context of the long term goals of the Organization. Japan expects DPI to continue to exercise fiscal discipline while analyzing effective mechanisms for enhancing communication technology which all Member States can take advantage of.
In this regard, Japan also expects DPI to further promote greater internal communication, networking closely within the Organization and UN agencies as well as the private sector to avoid the duplication of work and publishing and allowing DPI to function better within the existing resources. Japan supports initiatives which utilize the innovative technologies, social media tools and partnerships with civil society, business, and other relevant groups to produce and distribute information in an environmentally friendly and cost-neutral manner, and reiterates the Secretary-General’s call for doing more with less.
In the past, Japan has always noted the outstanding efforts of DPI in enhancing understanding of the work of the Organization to the public. In particular, the Outreach Division has taken a number of initiatives to increasing global engagement with the UN and civil society involvement in the Organization’s activities. Most notably, the UN Academic Impact (UNAI) Initiative launched by the Secretary-General in 2010 has experienced an increased range of activities by its member institutions. Japan would like to keep enhancing its partnership with the initiative, and looks forward to introducing its projects and activities to universities and academic institutions in Japan. In this regard, I am glad to introduce that Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, during his visit to Japan this February, conducted a lecture for students from UNAI Japan members and it was a great success thanks to the excellent organization of UNAI member institutions and UNIC Tokyo.
Japan also welcomes the News Services Division’s continued expansion of activities regarding the delivery of news and UN featured programs for use by radio and television broadcasters. In particular, Japan commends and encourages the United Nations partnerships with All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Lufthansa which have provided in-flight programming of UN activities, priorities and stories to their customers. Japan hopes that these partnerships will expand to include more airlines and commercial transit businesses which can increase UN exposure to people worldwide effectively.
Furthermore, Japan believes DPI’s partnerships with Hollywood and the entertainment industry has proven to be a successful outreach method. With celebrity advocates such as the Messengers of Peace, campaigns raising awareness worldwide on the challenges and issues which the UN addresses has become not only effective but also popular. The UN Day Concert featuring Stevie Wonder which was broadcast live on TV and webcast highlighted the support of renowned celebrities and musicians for the work of the UN and increasing the UN’s public exposure on cost effective platforms such as webcast and the cooperation of major television networks. I would also like to emphasize that Japan also supported a Japanese filmmaker with the exceptional cooperation of DPI in facilitating the filming of the movie “Human Trust,” where scenes of the international community debating in the GA Hall were filmed. The film will premiere in the fall of this year, and will be featured in some of the International Film Festivals. Japan hopes that highlighting the United Nations in media will further engage the public to recognize the role of the UN as a forum for international debate and problem solving.
Although much progress has been made towards the digitalizing of the official records of the United Nations since 1946, Japan shares its concern with DPI that the vast work of document digitalization has much to be accomplished. Therefore, Japan expects DPI to develop an appropriate timeline for the completion of document digitalization which will ensure that these important historical documents will be everlasting for the future generations to reflect upon and learn from.
In conclusion, Japan reiterates its commitment to continue its support of DPI’s activities as it works to provide the world with accurate and timely information on the Organization, and we look forward to participating actively in the discussions held in this session of the Committee on Information.