Apr 28, 2021, 10:53 PM
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FM spox calls for global unity to lift illegal sanctions

Tehran, April 28, IRNA – Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh called for global unity, solidarity and international cooperation to eliminate unilateral coercive measures against Iran, including illegal sanctions.

In a speech to the UN General Assembly Information Committee through videoconference, he focused on the behavior of certain countries that use new communication technologies to distort and misrepresent events and realities of other countries.

During his address to the 43rd meeting of the UN General Assembly Intelligence Committee, he referred to the differences in the use of information and communication technology which has widened the irreparable gaps between developed and developing countries in the field of information and communication technology.

Mr. Chairman,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great privilege for me to address you today at the 43rd session of the Committee on Information. I would like to take this opportunity and extend my sincerest congratulations to you and the other members of the Bureau on your election. Furthermore, the Islamic Republic of Iran associates itself with the statement made by the Republic of Guinea on behalf of the G77 and China.

We recognize 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 connections with the international community and the people around the globe by addressing issues of high importance for the international community in an impartial and timely manner. In today’s monopolized world of media, the DGC’s role is more crucial than ever in advancing the Organization’s wider objectives. It must be able to convey accurate information to the attention of people all over the world in order to contain and counter disinformation of all forms in the global connectivity matrix.

Mr. Chairman,

Disparity in the use of information and communications technology has immeasurably widened the existing gaps between the developed and developing countries in the field of public information and communication technology, and as a consequence, vast segments of the population in developing countries have yet to benefit sufficiently from the present information and communication technology revolution. Regrettably, certain countries continue to take advantage of their monopoly of modern communication technologies to distort and fabricate the events and realities in other countries, especially in the developing world, thus tarnishing the image and damaging the interests of the latter. Such a detrimental and undesirable situation demands immediate attention by the international community. The United Nations must take the necessary measures to curtail the growing digital divide between developed and developing countries and put an end to this harmful trend in the world of media against the developing world. Bridging the digital divide between the developed and developing world and placing information and communications technologies at the service of development in a fair and just manner is a must, and the DGC is expected to play a more effective and greater role in this domain by, inter alia, raising public awareness.

We underscore the importance of ensuring that the use of such technologies should be fully compatible with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and international law, in particular the principles of sovereignty, the non-interference in internal matters, and the internationally recognized rules of civil coexistence and friendly relations among States.  In this regard, we reiterate our strong rejection and condemnation over the misuse of such technologies, in particular, through the proliferation of misinformation and disinformation by certain countries against developing countries, including my Country.

Distinguished Colleagues,

The existing emergency arising from the COVID-19 pandemic demands urgent action by the international community in order to save lives and uphold the ability of countries to maintain the necessary level of their health care systems. Under such circumstances, the impact of Unilateral Coercive Measures (UCMs), in particular illegal sanctions, imposes additional economic, commercial and financial burdens on targeted countries while constraining the effectiveness of their response to the pandemic. Whereas Governments are obliged to protect their population from COVID-19 and to save the lives of those impacted, these countries have been effectively prevented from doing so due to economic and other types of sanctions imposed by certain States that are inconsistent with the principles of international law or the Charter of the United Nations. In this regard, Iran reiterates its call for global unity, solidarity, and international cooperation for the elimination of unilateral coercive measures as has been emphasized in the omnibus resolution on the COVID-19 pandemic adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2020. Meanwhile, we urge the Department to continue its efforts towards raising awareness and disseminating information on the negative impact of UCMs on the capacity of affected countries to respond effectively and efficiently to the pandemic.

The current climate of intolerance and hate toward Islam and Muslims in various parts of the world provoked by anti-Muslim media outlets and the inflammatory as well as bigoted rhetoric of certain political figures in the West are a matter of grave concern. It is high time for the international community to condemn this phenomenon and take the necessary measures to prevent this violation of basic human rights of Muslims. In that regard, we urge the DPI to continue its efforts in promoting respect for all cultures, religions and civilizations and call attention to the serious implications of growing Islamophobia.

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

supports raising international awareness regarding the negative consequences of the occupation and embargo on Palestinian people. We commend the DGC for its special information programme on the question of Palestine, including the training programme for Palestinian journalists.

In conclusion, we underline the growing demand for content in languages in addition to the official languages of the United Nations. We encourage the Secretariat to continue exploring alternatives to ensure the issuance of various media products in all official languages and non-official languages, including the Persian language which is spoken by more than one hundred million people around the globe and widely regarded as the root of great culture and civilization and source of understanding and solidarity among several nations.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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