UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan has urged the United Nations Department of Information (DPI) to maintain neutrality in reporting news coverage of events and ensure that their reports were unbiased.
Speaking in the Committee on Information, which overseas the work of DPI, Pakistani delegate Masood Anwar said neutrality in UN reports was “very important.”
“We urge DPI to ensure that this neutrality is maintained and there is no bias for or against any member state in their reports,” Anwar, who is press minister at the Pakistan Mission to the UN, told delegates on Wednesday.
In his remarks, he called for developing a long-term strategy to create awareness about the two landmark decisions taken by the United Nations — Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Paris Climate Agreement — so as to help deliver on the promises that member states had made to improve the quality of life for peoples around the world, especially those in the developing countries.
The Pakistani delegate said those two UN moves “most important” as they have a long-term impact on Planet Earth and on the lives of the people.
Pakistan, for its part, had developed a comprehensive long-term sustainable development policy framework, Vision 2025, taking into account the universally agreed Goals, he said. “We are strengthening our institutional structures at all levels to achieve the SDGs and accelerate climate action to tackle global warming.”
Drawing attention to the important work done by United Nations information centres, he expressed support for the activities undertaken by the country office in Pakistan.
Referring to Pakistan’s historic role as a major troop contributor to UN Peacekeeping Operations, Anwar said DPI needed to do more to project the UN’s role and contribution to the maintenance of peace and security through peacekeeping, and not allow actions of a few to dominate the narrative.
Noting that conflict and strife mar the global horizon today, the Pakistani delegate said the international community had to maintain unity in fighting the hydra-headed monster of terrorism and extremism.
“Countering the narrative of these twisted ideologies is imperative,” he said. “While remaining steadfast in our fight, we also need to address the root causes. Festering disputes, illegal military interventions, inter-racial tensions and defamation of religions, all provide fertile ground for conflict”
DPI could also play an important role in defusing tensions and promoting interfaith harmony, he said, adding it should develop programmes and social media campaigns at regional and international levels, involving journalists, civil society and academia to foster interfaith harmony to accomplish the objective.
Pakistan, on its part, is redoubling its own efforts in this direction, he pointed out. The Pakistan Mission organized a well-attended side event on the occasion of the World Interfaith Harmony Week this year on Countering Xenophobia through Interfaith Cooperation.
“We also organized a “Sufi Night: Music of Peace” concert at the UN General Assembly to spread the message of peace.”