The work of the Documentation Division hinges on the multinational and multilingual character of the United Nations. Parliamentary documents that are submitted in one language undergo a miraculous transmutation into five other languages – all official languages of the Organization – and sometimes six, since some are also translated into German. The efforts of the staff enable delegates of Member States and other participants in intergovernmental meetings to have in hand, in their preferred language, official reports, organizational and working papers, and resolutions and decisions from first drafts to adopted compilations. Without their daily regimen of documents, delegates are unable to function and meetings grind to a halt.
The Division, with over 600 staff, comprises the following organizational units:
- Editorial Service
- Translation Services: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish
- German Translation Section
- Contractual Translation Unit