UN drafts first media openness guidelines

The United Nations will attempt to be more open about its activities and encourage more direct contact between policy-makers and the media, according to its first ever media guidelines.

The United Nations will attempt to be more open about its

activities and encourage more direct contact between policy-makers and

the media, according to its first ever media guidelines.



The UN has had a traditionally secretive approach to media relations,

which the organisation believes may have led to it receiving negative

press.



Under the guidelines, which are already being implemented although

official documentation is currently in the draft stage, all UN officials

will be encouraged to be more open with the media.



The guidelines have been welcomed by Ahmad Fawzi, director of the United

Nations UK Information Centre. He said: ’It means we are a more

open-minded organisation. It makes my job easier because senior

officials are not reluctant to agree to interviews with the media. They

are also more comfortable communicating to me about the work they are

doing, which previously was a very complex job.’



The changes are the result of a process of opening up by the UN,

instigated by Kofi Annan when he was appointed secretary general in

January 1997.



Under Annan’s predecessor, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, most officials were

forbidden to give interviews, or were too afraid to talk.



The proposals allow every member of the secretariat to speak to the

press, with the caveat that they speak within their area of competence,

provide facts, not comment, and that politically-sensitive issues are

left to senior officials or those specifically authorised to speak about

a matter.



No one, however, is allowed to ’presume or pretend to speak for the

secretary general’. This follows reports last year when the media quoted

’confidants’ of Annan, whose opinions where later dismissed as

unfounded.



Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Latest Articles

WPP sees PR revenue recovery thwarted by strong pound

WPP sees PR revenue recovery thwarted by strong pound

Burson-Marsteller parent company WPP has reported a 4.1 per cent drop in PR and public affairs revenue despite organic growth continuing across the regions in the final quarter of 2013.

Max Clifford trial jury finishes sixth day of deliberations

Max Clifford trial jury finishes sixth day of deliberations

The jury in the trial of celebrity publicist Max Clifford on 11 charges of indecent assault has been sent home and will reconvene tomorrow morning for a seventh day of deliberations.

Analysis: Fishburn chiefs keep eyes on future despite mounting departures

Analysis: Fishburn chiefs keep eyes on future despite mounting departures

Fishburn's management have defended their reinvention of the 23-year-old agency amid industry mutterings, fed by a series of director-level departures, about the direction in which it is going.

Hit or Miss? EasyJet backs Shakespeare Day campaign with world record attempt

Hit or Miss? EasyJet backs Shakespeare Day campaign with world record attempt

EasyJet aimed to break the world record for the highest ever theatrical performance for Shakespeare's 450th birthday yesterday with the Reduced Shakespeare Company performing on a flight from Gatwick to Verona.