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Committee on Information

PI/2256

The newly named Department of Global Communications is instilling a culture of collaboration and innovation and undertaking measures to create broader public engagement needed to tackle global challenges, the Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications told the Committee on Information today as it opened its forty-first session.

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Expressing concern about widening global inequality and deepening divides between peoples, speakers addressing the Committee on Information today urged the Department of Public Information to position itself as a critical resource for — and advocate of — the world’s most marginalized communities, as the 115‑member body entered the second day of its fortieth session.

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The Department of Public Information was undergoing a process of “review and reform” of how it communicated United Nations values in a world where trust in major institutions was increasingly difficult to maintain, and “fake” stories competed with legitimate news for public attention, the Committee on Information heard today as it opened its fortieth session.

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Acting without a vote today, the Committee on Information closed its thirty-ninth session by approving a two-part draft resolution, the second of which emphasized the need to promote multilingualism, bridge the digital divide between developed and developing countries, and maintain the use of traditional media, among other topics.

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Against a backdrop of spiking extremism, proliferating “fake news” and an increasingly fragmented global media space, the Department of Public Information must continue to disseminate factual, impartial information, in accordance with the United Nations Charter principles of sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of States, speakers stressed today, as the Committee on Public Information continued its annual session.

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The Department of Public Information was harnessing its multilingual news platforms, worldwide network of information centres and outreach efforts to communicate compelling United Nations stories to a global public increasingly accessing news through tablets and mobile platforms, its Acting Head told the Committee on Information today.

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Inclusivity, multilingualism and a balance between new and traditional forms of communications were critical in the work of the Department of Public Information, especially around the Sustainable Development Goals, Under-Secretary-General for Public Information Cristina Gallach said today, as the Committee on Information concluded its general debate.