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Department for General Assembly and Conference Management

Official Records Editing Section

The Official Records Editing Section is responsible for issuing the official records of the major United Nations organs (adopted texts such as resolutions and decisions) in the six official languages and for the issuance of final authentic texts.  The core function of the Section is to eliminate inadvertent ambiguities and to ensure consistency across language versions.  Editors also ensure that United Nations terminology is respected and that editorial standards, policy and practice are followed.  Political sensitivities are, however, uppermost in editors’ minds when they suggest solutions to editorial problems.  The process requires extensive consultation with committee secretaries, author departments and sponsoring delegations, and translation services.

Unlike editors in the Editorial Control Section, who work in the single language of a submitted document, usually English, editors in the Official Records Editing Section work in multilingual teams on all six language versions of a text.  Immediately prior to the release of a given document, editors meet in concordance sessions to review the final product in order to ensure that all substantive and structural elements are the same in all languages, all amendments have been inserted, all nuances have been conveyed correctly, all references have been verified, all terminology issues have been resolved, and all questions have been raised and answered satisfactorily.  In a certain sense, as the single version of a document that leaves the Editorial Control Section becomes six documents, the six versions of a document in the hands of the Official Records Editing Section become a single document, that is, six language versions of a document that say the same thing.

Documents produced by the Section serve as a reliable source for United Nations multilingual terminology databases and for computer-assisted translation memories.  The Section has issued a French version of the United Nations Editorial Manual Online and versions in the other official languages will follow.  It is committed to improving the electronic delivery of all of its products and pioneered the delivery by an editing unit of a camera-ready text in all six languages.


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Last Update: 23 May 2011 / Ann GETZINGER