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60 Ways the UN Makes a Difference

 UNDPI in brief 
Reaching Out to a Global Audience
Working for Belarusians

Reaching Out to a Global Audience

As a global organisation, the United Nations cannot serve the worlds nations all by itself. Its work depends on the involvement and support of the worlds governments and people. Support, however, cannot come without the knowledge and understanding of the UNs activities. This function is performed by the United Nations Department of Public Information (UNDPI), established in 1946 by Resolution 13 (1) of 13 February 1946.

DPI informs a global audience on the activities and aims of the United Nations. It communicates the complex work of the United Nations system through a multiplicity of outreach efforts and campaigns, including the United Nations web site http://www.un.org, radio and television, press releases, publications, documentary videos, special events, public tours and library facilities.

DPI is comprised of three divisions and a network of UN information centres.

The Public Affairs Division conducts promotional information campaigns on global priority issues, organises special events and exhibits, arranges issue-oriented press activities, manages workshops and special programmes for journalists, educators and researchers. It partners with civil society and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and serves as an information source on the United Nations. Likewise, the Public Affairs Division organises various outreach activities, including guided tours of the UN Headquarters.

The News and Media Division facilitates access to the mass media on news and information about the United Nations and its activities. It transmits daily news via radio and the Internet, produces various broadcast and video programmes, provides live television feeds and photo coverage of United Nations meetings and events, and provides press accreditation.

The Library and Information Resources Division facilitates access to United Nations documents and publications through the Dag Hammarskjold Library , both directly and through its Internet site, as well as its network of more than 50 depository libraries around the world. This division also provides cartographic services and manages publications and sales programmes.

The network of United Nations Information Centres (UNICs) , Services and Offices (UNISIAs) connects UN Headquarters with people around the world. Located in 78 countries, these branch offices help local communities obtain current information on the United Nations and its activities.

In order to reach an even broader audience, UNICs maintain daily contact with local and national media outlets. UNIC staff publish press releases, contribute newspaper articles, and appear on national radio and television programmes. Several centres produce programmes of their own which are broadcast by local stations. Journalists rely on the UNIC as an authoritative source of information on the United Nations, and regularly attend press briefings.

UN General Assembly Resolution 53/59 of 3 December 1998 recommended that the UN Secretary General continue efforts on formulating proposals with regard to re-orienting the work of the United Nations in the field of information and communication. The Resolution stressed that the Department of Public Information should maintain and improve its activities in special interest areas, developing countries, and those with special needs. According to the United Nations Secretary General, the United Nations needs to strengthen the culture of information and encourage all UN system organisations to consider public information and communication as an integral part of their programmes.

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