A FAREWELL TRIBUTE TO UNDER-SECRETARY-GENERAL FOR COMMUNICATIONS AND PUBLIC INFORMATION, KIYO AKASAKA
It is my privilege to thank Mr. Kiyo Akasaka for his work as Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information. In the five years I have known him, I have been taken by his scholarly approach to his work. In particular, I would like to highlight his concern for world peace.
As a representative of Peace Action to Civil Society, I had the opportunity to work with Mr. Akasaka on the 62nd Annual DPI/NGO Conference held in Mexico City, which addressed issues of Peace and Development. Mr. Akasaka understood the concerns of the participants who came from the developing world whose first priority was putting limits on small arms, which were creating such havoc in many of their countries. At the same time, he echoed the words of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that we must find a way to rid the world of weapons of mass destruction, a particular concern of the participants from the developed countries.
In commemoration of the International Day of Peace, Mr. Akasaka urged “young women and men everywhere to demonstrate the power of connection by reaching out to each other, and rallying together, in the common cause of the dignity and human rights to which their peoples aspire.” To that end, he urged the media to report the news objectively, particularly when covering events in Israel and Palestine. In a new world of social media he called on those involved in both traditional and new media to explore how they can foster a climate conducive to peace in the Middle East. Journalists and civil society in general have a critical role to play as well.
Chuck Hitchcock, Chair
NGO/DPI Executive Committee