A Week in the life of a UN Information Centre

Those who often, or sometimes, ask, What do these Information Centres do, even if they themselves use their services, are advised to take a closer look. In addition to about 35 mandated events which they are expected, by the General Assembly, by the international community and by the various offices of the Secretariat, to cover; in addition to the feedback they send daily to Headquarters and their active defence of the UN whenever any item appears anywhere; and in addition to lectures, seminars and meetings they organize -- UNICs extend substantive help to a variety of visiting emissaries, every one of whom places utmost urgency on their visits.

Unlike accountants, media communicators cannot always show the outcome of every minute's work. The time spent in averting a negative article can never be measured nor even reported in clocked terms.

Take, for instance, a week in the life of one Information Centre: Paris. In addition to performing their daunting functions, the last week of June witnessed the following major activities:

A major joint event between French President Jacques Chirac and UNDP Administrator Mark Malloch Brown to launch the Human Development Report.

The Secretary-General's visit.

Deputy Secretary-General Louise Frechette's impressive appearance at Forum 2000 - For a Better World, organized jointly between the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the World Bank.

A meeting of European Ministers on development questions.

A roundtable discussion, five years after the 1995 World Summit for Social Development held in Copenhagen, Denmark, on the subject of poverty and sustainable development.

The appointment of a new French UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations.

It is only because of total dedication and professional commitment that these outstanding staff, all in the Information Centres, are able to deliver.