7 May 2018

Importance of academia highlighted in the 40th session of the UN Committee on Information

The United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) reports each year to the Committee on Information (COI) through the report of the Secretary-General about the outreach services of the Department of Public Information. Here are some highlights of the 40th session:

07 May 2018 - During the general debate of the 40th session of the Committee on Information (COI) that was held last week at United Nations Headquarters in New York, a number of Member States of this intergovernmental body highlighted the critical importance of academia as a partner of the United Nations.

The representative of Egypt, speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, expressed its appreciation to the Department of Public Information (DPI) for its outreach efforts, which includes those made towards academia, considered critical in light of the common challenges faced by the international community.

The delegate of the European Union noted the importance of strategic alliances with academic institutions as they can serve as potential influential multipliers for the United Nations' messages. In the same line, the representative of Nepal said that these partnerships with universities help promote the work of the United Nations.

There is a lot of interest in these particular partnerships, remarked the representative of Costa Rica.  The delegate from Brazil encouraged DPI to continue to develop activities and dialogue with the academic community. Information strategies carried out by the United Nations towards academia, were also welcomed by the representative of Ukraine.

Academic institutions are key players in social media campaigns at the international level, expressed the delegate of Pakistan. These engagements with academia were mentioned by the representative of Morocco and also by the representative of the Russian Federation, who emphasized the importance of universities in training translators and interpreters.

Furthermore, references were made to the successes of the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI). The delegate of the Republic of Korea commended the consistent efforts of DPI in facilitating exchanges between the United Nations and institutions of higher education to foster global citizenship, a topic addressed in a recent event co-organized by UNAI. UNAI is a platform for disseminating information about the United Nations among university students, pointed out the delegate of Iran as echoed by the delegate of Japan. The delegate of India welcomed the ongoing initiative carried out by UNAI to highlight the contributions of universities to the Sustainable Development Goals.

The COI is a subsidiary body of the General Assembly composed of 115 Member States of the United Nations and established under its resolution 33/115 C of 18 December 1978. The COI gathers once a year to examine United Nations public information policies and activities, to evaluate and follow up the efforts made and the progress achieved by the United Nations system in the field of information and communications and to promote the establishment of a new, more just and more effective world information and communication intended to strengthen peace and international understanding and based on the free circulation and wider and better-balanced dissemination of information and to make recommendations thereon to the General Assembly.