European Union External Action

EU Statement: United Nations 4th Committee: Questions relating to Information

New York, 17/10/2019 - 20:34, UNIQUE ID: 191017_8
Statements on behalf of the EU

17 October 2019, New York – Statement on behalf of the European Union and its Member States delivered by Sébastien Brabant, Head of Coordination, Press & Information Section, Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations, at the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly Fourth Committee on Agenda Item 54: Questions relating to information

 - As delivered -

 

Mr. Chair,

I have the honor to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.

The Candidate Countries the Republic of North Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Serbia*and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia, align themselves with this statement.

Let me start by congratulating Ms. Melissa Fleming for her recent appointment as Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications, and commending her predecessor Alison Smale for her tireless work towards making this department fit for the challenges of the 21st century. We wish Ms. Fleming every success in this position. You can count on the European Union's continued support.

At a time of ever greater challenges - both to the multilateral system and to quality information for citizens -, we highly value your efforts aimed at making the Department more agile and modern in its operations, engaging increasingly with all stakeholders including civil society, and focusing particularly on young people. The diversity of tools available in our modern world, including traditional media, social media and other forms of outreach, requires an ever greater creativity, as well as a capacity to listen and to react, which we – as institutions – need to constantly improve.

Le 75ème anniversaire de l'ONU, l'année prochaine, offre une occasion unique de démontrer aux citoyens à travers le monde, la force des valeurs que nous partageons collectivement, mais également de démontrer très concrètement que le multilatéralisme, dont l'ONU est au cœur, est le seul moyen de relever les défis planétaires qui affectent nos vies de manière quotidienne. À cet égard, nous rappelons le fort attachement de l’Union européenne à la participation d’un large éventail de représentants de la société civile, de la jeunesse et d’autres partenaires à toutes les activités qui mèneront à cette importante commémoration en 2020.

Mr. Chair, we read the SG's report with great interest. Here a few observations I would like to share with you:

- The report underlines the increasing interest in the UN's activities, as reflected by the rise in social media account followers, as well as the increasing traffic to the integrated multimedia UN news website. We also note the enhanced quality and clarity of the campaigns run by the DGC over the last year, and the increased interest in UN meetings made available by UN-TV webcasts, as well as other social media outlets.  

- Nous saluons l'engagement du Département de la communication globale envers le multilinguisme, à la fois en tant que valeur fondamentale de l'ONU et comme facteur essentiel de responsabilité et de transparence. Le multilinguisme est une condition préalable à la mise en œuvre effective du mandat du Secrétariat, à l'efficacité et à l'efficience de l'action internationale et à la mise en place d'un système multilatéral équilibré et représentatif du monde actuel. La confiance dans l'action de l'ONU repose sur la transparence, et donc sur l'accès à l'information dans les différentes langues officielles. L'Union européenne compte 24 langues officielles et, malgré les défis que cela comporte, nous sommes convaincus que l'adhésion de nos citoyens est indispensable pour le succès de nos politiques. A cet égard, il est essentiel que, malgré les contraintes budgétaires, nous continuions à communiquer l’agenda et les valeurs des Nations Unies à travers différentes langues et plateformes  médiatiques.

- Este año, Naciones Unidas ha centrado una mayor atención en la juventud, en todos los continentes, y damos la bienvenida a las distintas estrategias de comunicación desarrolladas en este sentido, en especial los continuados esfuerzos en torno a la divulgación educativa. Apoyamos especialmente todas las actividades dirigidas a la sensibilización y el empoderamiento de la juventud en los temas más importantes que les conciernen, incluidos los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible y el clima. La iniciativa "Impacto Académico" y la Cumbre de la Juventud sobre el Clima del pasado septiembre constituyen dos proyectos emblemáticos en este ámbito, en el cual los Estados Miembros de la Unión Europea participan activamente. 

- Partnerships and multi-stakeholder engagement are key to our success in addressing the world's problems. Achieving the SDGs will not be possible without involving both public and private sectors. It is also vital to actively join forces with civil society and we welcome the various initiatives that you have undertaken to strengthen these partnerships.

- Implementation of UN reform aimed at making this organisation 'fit for purpose' should also remain a communication priority - in the run up to the 75th anniversary and beyond -, showing the direct benefit of the UN for Member States and citizens alike.

- We continue to support the UN initiatives in the digital arena, which affects so many aspects of our daily lives. This includes the implementation of the recommendations made by the High‑level Panel on Digital Cooperation, whose aims are twofold: realising the potential of technology, while safeguarding against risks and unintended consequences. We also welcome the UN Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech launched in June and we stand ready to work together with the Department of Global Communications on addressing this area of growing concern.

Las políticas de comunicación no funcionan en un vacío. Permítame reiterar el firme compromiso de la Unión Europea con la libertad de expresión, la libertad de información y la libertad de prensa. Estas libertades están siendo atacadas en todo el mundo, incluida Europa.

Cada día, hay periodistas intimidados, acosados o incluso asesinados - y tienen que ser protegidos. Medios de comunicación libres, independientes y plurales son esenciales para el correcto funcionamiento y la consolidación de la democracia y el Estado de derecho.

Mr Chair, as you are well aware, the EU and its Member States are not only leading supporters and contributors to the UN system, but they also share the same priorities. This was demonstrated most notably by our high-level engagement throughout the year in support of an ambitious climate agenda, the sustainable development goals, and the promotion of all human rights.

You can count on our continued commitment in making best use of our public diplomacy toolbox towards achieving our common objectives – to the benefit of our citizens.

Thank you for your attention.

 

* The Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.

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