A top Pakistani diplomat, speaking on behalf of Group of 77 (developing countries) and China, Wednesday called on the U.N. to focus on climate change that is adversely affecting all countries, as the recent devastating floods in Pakistan and Venezuela, and to offer solutions to deal with the phenomenon.
“We commend the (Global Communications) Department’s strategic communications response to a broad range of new and ongoing challenges — COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and proliferating conflicts,” Ambassador Munir Akram told the General Assembly’s Fourth Committee, which discusses special political and decolonization matters.
Read more: Climate Change: Past, Present and Future
Speaking in a debate on questions relating to information, he said the department, in cooperation with the countries concerned, and with the relevant organizations and bodies of the United Nations system, must continue to enhance global public awareness about reinforcing multilateralism, unprecedented humanitarian crises and global needs, in particular strategic coordination in humanitarian relief.
Pakistan is the current chairman of G77 and China, which now has 134 members and is the United Nations’ biggest intergovernmental group of emerging countries.
The G77 chairman underscored the importance of delivering accurate, reliable and impartial information, and avoiding the editorialization of breaking news stories and news alerts.
The department, he said, must establish and further strengthen partnerships with new and traditional media to address hate speech narratives and to promote tolerance, non-discrimination, pluralism and freedom of opinion and expression.
Referring to the growth of fake news and disinformation on online platforms, Ambassador Akram urged the Department to intensify its support for United Nations efforts to counter disinformation and to promote messages of tolerance, peaceful coexistence and interfaith and cultural harmony.
On behalf of G77, the Pakistani envoy expressed concern about violence against journalists and media workers and stressed the need to ensure accountability for crimes committed against them. “In this regard,” he added, “we strongly condemn the killing of Palestinian-American Journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and stress the need to ensure accountability.”