24 October 2008
Re-issued as received
United Nations Information Centres Launch Redesigned Website Telling Organization's Story in 130 Languages
Vienna, 24 October (UN Information Service) - To mark United Nations Day 2008, the Department of Public Information is launching today the newly redesigned United Nations Information Centres website, http://unic.un.org. The website serves as a portal to the Department's network of 63 Information Centres worldwide, whose work is at the core of the Organization's efforts to tell the United Nations story to people around the world, often in their own languages.
The website is noteworthy in that it provides information about the United Nations in 130 languages, including the six official languages of the Organization. "This website enables our Information Centres to bring the UN story to people around the world and to do so in their local languages," explains Kiyo Akasaka, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information. The website includes information on both current activities and also milestone agreements such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, available in 109 languages (including eleven local Ghanaian languages), and the Millennium Development Goals, available in more than 60 languages.
"The site reflects the invaluable contribution of the United Nations and its network of Information Centres to this year's observance of the International Year of Languages, highlighting the importance of preserving linguistic diversity," added Mr. Akasaka, who was appointed by the Secretary-General in May as the United Nations Coordinator for Multilingualism.
The website features the activities and products of the individual Centres, most of which are located in developing countries. Content has been added to explain the public information work of the United Nations at the national level. It provides reliable, up-to-date information to a wide range of constituencies around the world, including journalists, government officials, civil society representatives, students, educators and researchers.
The new design also incorporates navigation features that make it more user-friendly. Visitors can click on the map in the centre of the page to find contact information for each Centre. A "Voices from the field" section features short video clips, in local languages, of the Centres' staff describing their work.
Visitors can learn about the activities of the Information Centres in a blog which allows them to easily navigate and to search, thanks to convenient menus using tags and categories. The website uses RSS [Really Simple Syndication] feeds, a technology that enables visitors to automatically receive updates about the Centres' activities.
The United Nations Information Centres are located in the following 63 countries: Algeria; Argentina; Armenia; Australia; Austria; Azerbaijan; Bahrain; Bangladesh; Belarus; Belgium; Bolivia; Brazil; Burkina Faso; Burundi; Cameroon; Colombia; Congo; Czech Republic; Egypt; Eritrea; Georgia; Ghana; India; Indonesia; Islamic Republic of Iran; Japan; Kazakhstan; Kenya; Lebanon; Lesotho; Libya; Madagascar; Mexico; Morocco; Myanmar; Namibia; Nepal; Nigeria; Pakistan; Panama; Paraguay; Peru; Philippines; Poland; Romania; Russian Federation; Senegal; South Africa; Sri Lanka; Sudan; Switzerland; Thailand; Togo; Trinidad and Tobago; Tunisia; Turkey; Ukraine; United Republic of Tanzania; United States; Uzbekistan; Yemen; Zambia and Zimbabwe. Several centres cover more than one country. The United Nations Regional Information Centre in Brussels, for example, services over 20 countries and its website provides information in 13 languages.
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For more information, please contact:
Information Centres Service, Department of Public Information
Telephone: (+1-212) 963-0063