STATEMENT BY AMBASSADOR JIRO KODERA
REPRESENTATIVE OF JAPAN
AT THE 29th SESSION OF THE COMMITTEE ON INFORMATION
1 May 2007
At the outset of my statement, I would like to congratulate you on your assumption of the Chairmanship. I am confident that this session will bear productive work under your able stewardship.
I would also like to express my sincere congratulations to Mr. Kiyotaka Akasaka, the new Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, on your assumption. I sincerely hope that, with your rich experiences of multilateral diplomacy, you will be able to successfully steer the works of the Department of Communications and Public Information. I would also like to express our full support for the strategic approach to attain the goals of the Department briefed by Mr. Akasaka on Monday.
The Secretary-General's reports provided extensive information on the DPI's works in the past year, of which we particularly support the strategic use of UN Information Centers or UNICs in the world, along with utilization of new information technology to enhance the efficiency of the DPI's works, and development of the UN website. These have surely contributed to the effective and efficient use of the limited resources of the Department. We commend that DPI is trying to make even greater efforts to advance reform under the leadership of the Under-Secretary-General of the Communications and Public Information, and sincerely hope that DPI will continue these efforts to realize renovation.
If we perceive DPI as the Commander of operation, UNICs in the world play important roles as stations that relay the messages from the headquarters. UNICs can promote the world's awareness on the works of the United Nations by sending the DPI's messages to every corner of the world in a most timely and accurate way. UNICs can tailor, as appropriate, the DPI's messages in accordance with the characteristics of the respective country and the region they serve. We sincerely hope that DPI will continue to utilize UNICs in its strategy and that necessary coordination will be achieved for UNICs to be able to play leading public information roles in their local areas.
The UNIC Tokyo has been playing an invaluable role as DPI's relaying station in Japan. Last year to commemorate the Fiftieth Anniversary of Japan's membership in the UN, UNIC Tokyo held the UN Children's Painting Contest and the Photo Exhibition of the Japanese UN Staff. We would like to express our appreciation to the Secretary-General's report (A/AC.198/2007/2) for introducing these programs. UNIC Tokyo also created a special page featuring the Fiftieth Anniversary on its website by posting many video messages by individuals who have served in the UN or who are very active in various spheres from politics to art in Japan and the world. We view these efforts as most effective for deepening Japanese national's understanding of the UN and enhancing their interest in the works of the UN. We hope that UNIC Tokyo will further develop in the future as it is the only UN organization that emits information in Japanese language. It is out of this conviction that the Japanese Government extended its voluntary contribution of 45.7 million yen in 2007 to UNIC Tokyo despite the ongoing efforts to rein in budget costs in Japan. This contribution stands 20 percent increase from that of last year.
As I mentioned earlier, Japan celebrated the Fiftieth Anniversary of its membership in the United Nations last year. In December, 2006, the commemoration ceremony was held in Tokyo with the presence of Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress and with the attendance of many dignitaries from Japan and other countries. The Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations also hosted several cultural events in New York, including the classical music concert by the Asian Artists & Concerts, a non-profit organization whose goal is to help young musicians from Asian countries transition to professional musical arena, at the General Assembly Hall in May, 2006, and "The Faces of Angkor" UN Exhibition in cooperation with the Permanent Mission of Cambodia to the United Nations in June, 2006 at the UN Visitor's Lobby. I would like to take this occasion to express our heartfelt appreciation to DPI for extending professional guidance and sincere assistance to make these events possible.
Japan reiterates its determination to continue to extend its cooperation to the works of the Department of Communications and Public Information so that DPI will continue to exert its efforts to as the primary UN public relations activities and to further develop strategies in its works.
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