Press Releases

    For information - not an official document     Zur Information - kein offizielles Dokument    Pour information - document sans caractère officiel
           9 November 1999
    Information Committee Adopts Final Report, Winds up Session

    Calls On Assembly to Add Liberia, Mozambique, To Board, Urge Pursuit of Modular Parity Between Official Languages

     NEW YORK, 5 November 1999 (UN Headquarters) -- The General Assembly would note, with appreciation, the efforts of the Secretary-General to develop and enhance the United Nations Web sites in all the official languages of the Organization, under an amendment to a resolution approved this morning by the Committee on Information as it adopted its final report and concluded its twenty-first session.

     [The amendment in question was in reference to the report of the Secretary-General on the continuous development, maintenance and enrichment of United Nations Web sites, and to his report on the multilingual development, maintenance and enrichment of United Nations Web sites.]

     Meeting in resumed session to continue preparation of its report for adoption by the Assembly, the Committee adopted an amendment to paragraph 35 of the text on United Nations public information policies and activities.  By its terms, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to pursue those efforts and continue to develop proposals for consideration by the Committee at its next session, having in mind the goal of achieving modular parity between the official languages, and stressing that the goal should be achieved in a cost-effective manner and with a focus on textual context.

     Further, by the terms of the amendment, the Assembly would welcome the establishment of the Geneva Diplomatic Community Network which has improved the dissemination of information among the permanent missions in Geneva, the United Nations Office in Geneva and other international organizations based in Geneva, and request the Secretary-General to continue providing his support to that important programme.

     Also this morning, the Committee approved a draft decision by which the Assembly would appoint Liberia and Mozambique to the Committee, thus expanding it from 93 to 95 members.

     Before the adjournment of the meeting, the representative of Egypt asked for an update regarding a proposal he made when the Committee met last May, with regard to the creation of a forum by the Working Group, during the recess period, whereby policies and strategies in the field of information could be discussed.

     The Committee Chairman, El Hassane Zahid (Morocco), said that discussions had been held with the Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, Kensaku Hogen, and members on that proposal.  However, further consultations were needed to identify a specific topic for that forum.

     Egypt's representative added that while he did not, at present, have a specific theme to offer, it might be useful to deal with the issue in an information meeting of the Working Group.

     In closing remarks, the Chairman expressed his gratitude to Mr. Hogen and the entire staff who enabled the Committee to complete its work.  He hoped that the Assembly would adopt the Committee's report so that the measures included in the resolutions could be implemented.

     Mr. Hogen thanked all delegates for their input.  The Department of Public Information would do its best to implement the Committee's decisions, including those relating to the United Nations Web sites, based on the discussions held during the session.

     For further background on the Secretary-General's reports considered by the Committee during its resumed session, see Press Releases PI/1194 issued on 1 November and PI/1195 issued on 3 November.

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