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III. Repositioning the Department of Public Information
A. Strategic Communications Division
19. Strengthened coordination between the Department of Public Information and other Secretariat departments is essential for the development of an effective United Nations outreach to the world public. The Strategic Communications Division exists primarily to undertake that task and to serve as the interface with the other Secretariat departments. To serve each client office, the Division has identified a focal point in one of the four sections of the Communications Campaign Service, which cover development; Palestine, decolonization and human rights; peace and security; and Africa. It will be the job of the focal point to be knowledgeable on the priority issues and activities of the client office. The Department of Public Information will hold an annual meeting with each client department, at the head of department level, to outline the year’s activities and to decide on communications priorities. The meetings will be preceded by meetings at the working level to elaborate creative briefs for each client office. The focal points, in close collaboration with the client offices, and on the basis of the annual meeting, will identify the target audiences and develop the information programme and media strategy for each priority issue. That will be communicated to the other divisions of the Department of Public Information and to the United Nations system through the United Nations Communications Group.
20. The thematic promotional campaigns will be implemented using all the Department’s assets, including its multimedia outlets (print, radio, television, Internet), outreach to civil society, private sector partnerships and, at the local level, the United Nations information centres. That successful approach was used by the Department during the past few years to promote major United Nations global conferences. A new issue-driven communications strategy for each department, rather than one which is event-driven, is being developed to promote the Organization’s work, building on the experience and success of the global conferences campaigns.
21. In addition, the ongoing activities included in the programme budget for the biennium 2002-2003 will be implemented, including the publication of the quarterly magazine Africa Recovery in English and French, which will now serve as one of the outputs of a new Africa Section, devoted to promoting Africa’s development. Other continuing mandated activities include the annual Palestinian media practitioners training programme, the annual international media seminar on peace in the Middle East, the annual Year in Review publication about United Nations peace operations and the updating of current publications on various thematic issues.