General Assembly General Assembly


At the outset, we would like to thank Maher Nasser became Acting Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications for the detailed report on the work of the Committee on Information. We also appreciate the reports of the Secretary General on the activities of the Department of Public Information. These reports provide an excellent overarching view of the extensive work done by the DPI.

2. India would like to congratulate the Chair, Ambassador Jan Kickert of Permanent Mission of Austria for his election as Chair of the 39th session of the Committee of Information, as well as other office bearers and Bureau members on their election to the Committee and assure them of India's continued support to the Committee.

3. The DPI's outreach through various media and social media platforms to communicate the UN's agenda is impressive and commendable. The scale and impact of these efforts point to the great relevance of DPI in the UN system.

4. It is heartening to note the extensive activities undertaken by the DPI on the occasion of the first anniversary of the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs represent a collective commitment by the world community towards ensuring fair, equitable and sustainable growth for all. It is important that the DPI maintains an intensive focus on SDGs-related work done by the UN and conveys this to the world community through all available forums.

5. The Government of India remains committed to the 2030 Agenda. Its development philosophy, 'sab ka saath, sab ka vikas' or 'development with all, and for all,' encapsulates the essence of the SDGs. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said, 'These goals reflect our evolving understanding of the social, economic and environmental linkages that define our lives'. India's national planning body, the NITI Aayog, has undertaken a mapping of the government schemes as they relate to the SDGs and their targets, and has identified lead and supporting Ministries for each target.

6. The DPI's continuing focus on Climate Change is critical in the context of the growing challenge of global warming and the threat that this poses to poor and developing economies. As one of the world's largest economies, India is very conscious of the importance of the Paris Agreement and its responsibilities, while working to bring sustainable development to 1.2 billion people. We are, therefore, happy to note that the DPI had produced a short video marking the ratification of the Paris Agreement by India and shared it widely across several social media platforms. Prime Minister Modi's re-tweeting of the video further helped the dissemination of the message by bringing thousands of views of the same in record time.

7. The DPI's activities in support of UN's flagship activity of Peacekeeping Operations are of relevance and interest. As a major troop contributing country, India maintains its longstanding engagement with peacekeeping operations and is appreciative of the range of activities of the DPI in supporting these. We are happy to note that DPI is focusing on close management of the Peacekeeping website and the Web Editorial Board is developing a new web platform for field missions. While the Peace Keeping website is maintained in the six official languages, we urge DPI to consider whether regional language versions tailored for wider access in major troop contributing countries could be developed.

8. The UN Information Centers remain the foot soldiers for the UN throughout the world to advance the UN agenda. In this context, we are pleased to note the DPI's commitment towards engaging with them and publicizing their activities. We particularly appreciate the focus on capacity building and, specifically, the initiative with the UN Foundation to strengthen capacity building in terms of promoting the SDGs. We are happy to see that UNIC Delhi has remained active and has begun 2017 with a slew of programs. A few of these programs which may be highlighted were a rally supporting environmental conservation by students in Delhi on 19th February. Another event featured a seminar organized a seminar on the occasion of International Women's Day on 8 March by the Aligarh Muslim University.

9. While we note the DPI's commitment towards multilingualism, given the multiplicity of languages and available resources, we urge the DPI to look at enhancing language capacities at Regional Information Centers to ensure true multilingual approach. For example, the DPI could look at working with Information Centers in South Asia to produce content in important languages with millions of speakers, which also have a regional spread like Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu etc. Putting out content on SDGs and climate action in local languages can multiply the reach and impact of DPI's efforts.

10. We are happy with the continuing focus on the DPI's UN Academic Impact Initiative and India is happy to participate in the same. As a country of young people, India appreciates the DPI's youth and educational outreach and the Model UN programs. We value the DPI's work with the Office of the UN Secretary General on Youth. The UN's Holocaust Outreach Program remains an important activity given the need to educate younger generations about the horrors of genocide. In the background of the DPI's exhibition titled 'State of Deception: the power of Nazi propaganda' on Jan. 24th, three leading schools in Delhi organized exhibitions and other events on the subject on March 3rd, 2017.

11. We support the DPI's outreach to the creative community and its effort to enhance the UN landscape through encouraging non-traditional activities, like music and dance as a means of communication of many UN messages.

12. It is in this spirit that the Permanent Mission of India organized a classical dance performance at the UN by the UN Advocate on Gender Equality in India, Aishwarya Dhanush, a leading dancer, on the occasion of International Women's Day 8 March. The performance was centered on women's empowerment. We are also pleased to note that 'Half Girlfriend' became the first Bollywood feature film to film on location at the UN Hqrs. in New York in September 2016. Aspects of the story line of the film focus on SDGs 4 & 6. Further collaboration is envisaged around the release of the film in 2017.

13. The international Day of Yoga on June 21st has become a highlight of the UN Calendar with a large and enthusiastic participation. We are grateful to DPI for providing strong support and extensive coverage of the event. In the context of the UN's emphasis on the issue of violence and violent extremism, the celebration of the birthday of the apostle of peace Mahatma Gandhi on October 2nd, as the International Day of Non-Violence is most appropriate. We look forward to working with DPI in celebration of both these important days in the UN Calendar.

14. The DPI's work with regard to the Dag Hammarskjold Library is of great value and importance. The digitization program and the development of integrated library systems between the Dag Hammarskjold Library and the Geneva Library is an important step and we fully commend and support this effort. The incorporation of the Sanskrit version of the UN Charter in September 2016 in the UN system through the Hammarskjold Library was a significant development. We thank the DPI and the Sanskrit scholar Dr. J.K. Tripathi for helping Sanskrit, the oldest living language and the mother language of the Indo-Germanic family of languages, find a place in the UN system.

15. We would like to conclude by assuring India's full support to the DPI and its endeavor to project the work of the UN.

Thank You.