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        General Assembly
26 January 2011

Original: English

Committee on Information
Thirty-third session
25 April-6 May 2011

Activities of the Department of Public Information: strategic communications services

Report of the Secretary-General

    The present report, prepared in response to General Assembly resolution 65/107 B, summarizes the key advances made by the Department of Public Information from July 2010 to February 2011 in promoting the work of the United Nations to the global audience through its strategic communications services.

    Strategic communications services, which is one of three subprogrammes of the Department and implemented by its Strategic Communications Division, is responsible for devising and implementing communications strategies on priority issues and providing communications support for key United Nations events and initiatives.

    Activities of the other subprogrammes of the Department — news services and outreach services — are described in separate reports of the Secretary-General (A/AC.198/2011/3 and A/AC.198/2011/4).


In its resolution 65/107 B, the General Assembly took note of the reports of the Secretary-General on the activities of the Department of Public Information submitted for consideration by the Committee on Information at its thirty-second session and requested the Secretary-General to continue reporting to the Committee on the activities of the Department.

In the same resolution, the General Assembly called upon the Department to provide specific information on a number of its activities. The Bureau of the Committee on Information advised the Department to present the requested information in three parts, in accordance with the three subprogrammes of the Department: strategic communications services, news services and outreach services.

The present report, 1 which considers the strategic communications activities of the Department, is divided into two parts. Part One addresses thematic communications campaigns in such areas as peacekeeping, violence against women, the Millennium Development Goals, climate change, human rights, the question of Palestine, the International Year of Youth, the World Summit on the Information Society and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). Part Two examines the role and activities of the network of United Nations information centres.


II. Thematic campaigns


G. Question of Palestine

35. As part of its special information programme on the question of Palestine, the Department, in cooperation with the Government of Portugal, organized the eighteenth International Media Seminar on Peace in the Middle East, held in Lisbon on 22 and 23 July 2010. The Seminar focused on the role of the media, particularly new media, in advancing the Middle East peace process. The Seminar involved over 100 participants — 29 of them Israelis and Palestinians — including current and former policymakers, Government officials, civil society representatives and academics, in addition to journalists.

36. In order to strengthen the skills and capacity of young Palestinian journalists and expose them to the work of the United Nations, especially its various activities and programmes affecting the lives of the people in their region, a five-week training programme for Palestinian media practitioners was conducted from
8 November to 10 December 2010. Eight Palestinian journalists, including six women, participated. Week-long trips to Washington, D.C., and Geneva were organized, which included visits to media organizations and meetings with key officials. The Department produced a feature short film about the programme, which will be used to promote the programme. In a survey conducted at the end of the programme, most participants indicated their overall satisfaction.

37. In commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, which was observed on 29 November 2010, the Department undertook several activities, including the display of the permanent exhibit on the question of Palestine during the meetings at United Nations Headquarters.



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