25 August 2006

Committee on Information Forwards DPI's Proposed Strategic Framework to Committee for Programme and Coordination

NEW YORK, 24 August (UN Headquarters) -- The Committee on Information, in a resumed session, today took note of the Proposed Strategic Framework of the Department of Public Information (DPI) and forwarded it to the Committee for Programme and Coordination for its review.

The central purpose of the Proposed Strategic Framework, contained in document A/61/6 - Programme 23 as orally amended, is to help fulfil the substantive aims of the United Nations by strategically communicating the activities and concerns of the Organization in order to achieve the greatest public impact.

According to the proposed framework document, the work of the Department is driven by the following core strategies:  a new client orientation with United Nations system bodies; the targeted delivery of its communication products and services to global audiences, particularly influential opinion leaders and youth; the enhanced use of the latest information and communication technologies; and the building of an expanded grass-roots support base through partnerships with civil society organizations.

The Programme is divided into three subprogrammes:  strategic communication services; news services; and outreach and knowledge-sharing services.  For each subprogramme, the proposed framework lists expected accomplishments of the Secretariat, as well as indicators of achievement.

The objective of the strategic communication services is to broaden understanding of, and support for, the work of the United Nations on priority thematic issues.  The objective will be accomplished by providing greater strategic focus to the activities of the Department, including those of the network of United Nations information centres (UNICs).  Through the client planning process, the priority issues and activities of substantive departments will be identified and communications plans will be developed, including publicizing key messages and reaching out to target audiences.  The United Nations Communications Group will be utilized to enhance the coordination of communications activities.

The subprogramme on news services aims to strengthen support for the United Nations by increasing the geographic range and frequency of use by media outlets and other users of timely news and information products about the Organization.  That objective will be accomplished through the timely delivery of accurate, balanced and, where feasible, customized news and information materials and services -- radio, television, photographic, print and Internet -- to media and other users globally, utilizing new information technologies to reach a wider audience more quickly.  Multilingualism and developing-country media will be particular priorities of outreach efforts.

The objective of subprogramme 3, on outreach and knowledge-sharing services, is to enhance understanding of the role, work and concerns of the United Nations and to encourage the exchange of ideas, information and knowledge in support of the goals of the Organization.  The subprogramme will be implemented by the Outreach Division, which includes the Civil Society Service, the Dag Hammarskjöld Library and Knowledge-Sharing Centre, other United Nations libraries, the Sales and Marketing Section and the secretariat of the Publications Board.

The objective will be accomplished by expanding the Division's relationships with internal and external partners and by involving those audiences in the concerns addressed by the United Nations.  Increased focus will be placed on coaching and training, support for staff and delegates on information management using technological tools, and strengthened internal communications at the global level.  Full use will be made of the opportunities provided by information and communication technology, including the Internet, webcasting and videoconferencing, to reach larger audiences.  Management and preservation of the collections of the Library and digitization of the official United Nations collections will be addressed to ensure improved access and preservation.

The Steering Committee for the Modernization and Integrated Management of United Nations Libraries, led by the Department of Public Information, works in partnership with other United Nations libraries to establish common policies, standards and services, including methods for evaluating and measuring the performance of library services.

At the outset of the meeting, the Committee, at the request of the representative of the Russian Federation, observed one minute of silence to commemorate the victims of the 22 August plane crash near the Ukrainian city of Donetsk, in which 170 people from the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Germany, France, Finland and the Netherlands died.

Amendments to the proposed framework strategy were made by the representative of the Russian Federation.  The representative of South Africa, on behalf of the "Group of 77" developing countries and China, also made a short statement.

The Committee on Information will meet again at a date to be announced.

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