||Reaching Out to a Global Audience|
Reaching Out to a Global Audience
As a global organisation, the United Nations
cannot serve the world’s nations all by itself. Its work depends on the
involvement and support of the world’s governments and people. Support, however,
cannot come without the knowledge and understanding of the UN’s 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
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
, 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
, 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.