17 March 2003

French Language Television Channel -- TV5 -- to Be Available to UN Delegates, Media, Staff Under Agreement With International Organisation of La Francophonie

NEW YORK, 14 March (UN Headquarters) -- Following the signing of a memorandum of understanding this morning between the United Nations and the International Organisation of La Francophonie, delegates, non-governmental organizations, media and staff at Headquarters will have access to the French language television channel TV5.

"Giving access to TV5 programmes at United Nations Headquarters is a concrete step for the promotion of a multilingual working environment and for giving some space to French as the other working language of the Secretariat", said Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information Shashi Tharoor.

The agreement, signed in New York by Mr. Tharoor and TV5 President Serge Adda, gives the United Nations access to French language programmes broadcast on TV5. A subsidiary of the International Organisation of La Francophonie, TV5 consists of news, current affairs and information programmes.

Access to TV5 will be free of charge, for an initial period of three years, according to the agreement. Once installed and running, TV5 would be maintained like every other channel on the United Nations in-house system, only requiring intervention in the event of equipment failure. The contribution by TV5 would not result in any additional obligations for the United Nations.

Established in 1970 with its headquarters in Paris, the 51-member International Organisation of La Francophonie is an institution based on the sharing of a common language and common values.

* *** *