Meeting Servicing Unit
The staff of the Meetings Servicing Unit ensure that the physical set-up of all conference rooms, in particular the podium where the officers sit, is in accordance with United Nations protocol and the entitlement of the body that is meeting and that it meets with the approval of the committee secretary. While the meeting is taking place, the staff serve as the liaison between the secretary and other staff members involved such as the interpreters, the précis-writers and verbatim reporters, and the press officers. Meetings Servicing Assistants distribute all necessary material, which may include the list of speakers, copies of statements to be made, official documents and informal papers, to all who require them so that everyone can follow the proceedings of the meeting easily. The work of the interpreters, for example, is greatly facilitated by having a written copy of an oral presentation before them as the speaker is delivering his or her statement. Copies of official statements may also be distributed to delegates and others in the conference room. Meetings Servicing Assistants also interact with delegates by providing them the assistance and the materials that they may require. All of that work both before and during meetings serves as the oil to keep the meeting running smoothly.
During summit-level meetings and international conferences, the staff of the Unit are also in charge of organizing and scheduling bilateral meetings for high-level governmental officials in attendance. The process of diplomacy at the United Nations takes place in meeting venues large and small, and the Unit is on the front line.