Oct 22, 2019, 9:35 AM
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Iran warns against misusing social media

New York, Oct 22, IRNA - Deputy Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to United Nations said that ICT must serve international understanding to achieve peace, adding that inaccurate reporting and distorted information can have negative impacts on countries and their citizens.

"Information and communications technologies including social media are useful and effective tools in connecting the peoples with different faith and cultures all over the world. However, at the same time, Social media can run the risk of misuse and abuse," Eshagh Alhabib Ambassador, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations said addressing the Special Political and Decolonization Committee on the agenda items 54: "Questions relating to information" 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

He added: "Inaccurate reporting and distorted information can have negative impacts on countries and their citizens."

The full text of Al Habib’s speech is as follows:

Mr. Chairman,

At the beginning, I would like to thank Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications for her informative and insightful presentation yesterday. I align myself with the statement made by the State of Palestine on behalf of Gil and China.

Mr. Chairman,

My delegation recognizes the importance of the Committee on Information as the main intergovernmental policy-making body to provide guidance on UN policies in the field of communication and public information.

We also attach great importance to the work and the function of the Department of Global Communication (DGC) which aims at enabling the UN to establish better communication and connection with the international community and the people around the globe and by addressing the issues of high importance for the international community in an impartial and timely manner.

Mr. Chairman,

Information and communications technologies including social media are useful and effective tools in connecting the peoples with different faith and cultures all over the world. However, at the same time, Social media can run the risk of misuse and abuse. Inaccurate reporting and distorted information can have negative impacts on countries and their citizens. We categorically reject such a practice and reiterate our position that the use of such technologies should be fully compatible with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, international law, in particular the principles of sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs of States.

We encourage the DGC to continue to promote all initiatives aiming at maintaining and promoting international peace and security. In this regard, my delegation highlights the importance of promoting initiatives such as "A World Against Violence and Violent Extremism" (WAVE) and "Dialogue among civilization", the two initiatives of the current and ex-president of the Islamic Republic of Iran at the 68^ and 53^^ United Nations General Assembly respectively one of them aims to combat Violence and Violent Extremism that lies at the root of many disasters in some parts of the world, including in the Middle East region, and the other initiative focuses on the dialogue as a powerful means of understanding among the nations.

Distinguished Colleagues

Chief among the issues that we face today is the rampant unilateralism forced upon the international community and the undermining of international agreements, by the current US administration. The application of arbitrary unilateral coercive measures, including economic terrorism as an illegitimate instrument of foreign policy, is one of the outcomes of this aggressive unilateralism, which is imposed extraterritorially in defiance of the rule of law. It infringes upon the right of nations to development and leads to the violation of basic human and humanitarian rights of peoples.

 We are seriously concerned that the continuation of such abhorrent practice by the US administration can lead to a very ominous situation at the international level with colossal repercussions for the international peace, security and development.

In this regard, we urge the Department of Global Communications to contribute to raising awareness of the international community on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the socioeconomic development of the targeted countries.

The Islamic Republic of Iran continues to emphasize the important responsibility of the United Nations vis-a-vis the Question of Palestine.

Iran fully supports raising international awareness regarding the negative consequences of occupation and embargo on Palestinian people.

We commend the DOC for its special information programme on the question of Palestine, including the training programme for Palestinian journalists.

We support the work of the United Nations Information Centers (UNICs).

UNICs can play significant role in disseminating the messages of the United Nations as well as promoting its public image, especially in developing countries.

To better achieve these important goals, strengthening the UNICs, in particular in developing counties, should be on the agenda of the DGC.

In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, my delegation supports multilingualism.

Multilingualism contributes to the achievement of the goals of the United Nations, as set out in Article 1 of the Charter of the United Nations. In this regard and as emphasized in the paragraph 29 of the draft resolution B submitted for adoption to the Fourth Committee today, we urge the DOS to disseminate information, in addition to the six official languages of the UN, in other languages, including the Persian language that is spoken by tens of millions of people and is widely regarded as the root of not only great culture and civilization but is also a source of understanding and solidarity among several nations.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman

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