UNITED NATIONS. U.N. CORRESPONDENTS DISPERSED. "RIGHT OF RETURN" QUESTIONED.

 

15 DECEMBER 2009

U.N. CORRESPONDENTS DISPERSED. "RIGHT OF RETURN" QUESTIONED.

By the end of the year, all news media reporters accredited to U.N. Headquarters will have moved out of their assigned offices. Most of them have been there for years. Like U.N. Secretariat Staff, they have to move elsewhere to allow for the "second phase" of the renovation process.

Printed media correspondents have already been re-assigned. The Library building is their new house. Not as familiar as their original hangout, but practical enough to hang around the meeting rooms. News Agencies are taking more time. Too many plugs and connected equipment. However, they will have to leave sooner or later -- by January 2010.

While told the measures were temporary, most reporters are concerned whether they will be returned to their original space, or similar accommodations after renovations. To begin with, they don't know how much time it will take -- estimates waver between two to four years. Then there is no certainty as to who will go back when. Taking a page from comments by dispersed staff, correspondents are now wondering about their own "right of return." They recall that a year ago, there was an attempt to charge for their rent-free space. Will they be negotiating space allocations in one year, two years, four years?

Meanwhile, with the advent of a year of confused office space, don't expect enthusiastic reporting.