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Media accreditation and Liaison Unit

UPDATED Guidelines on Media Access at United Nations Headquarters

All card holders are held to abide & adhere by the following guidelines by acceptance of and use of their issued U.N. Media ID Card:

All UN Media ID Card holders acknowledge the United Nations Department of Public Information as well as the Safety & Security Service reserve the right to deny or withdraw accreditation of journalists from media organizations whose activities run counter to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations or who abuse the privileges so extended or put the accreditation to improper use or act in a way not consistent with the principles of the Organization or established journalism ethics and standards.

In accepting a U.N. Media ID Card you are agreeing to the terms of these
United Nations Media Guidelines

The following agreement between the Department of Public Information (DPI), Department of Safety and Security (DSS), the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General (OSSG), the Office of the President of the General Assembly, and the United Nations Correspondents Association (UNCA) governs media access at United Nations Headquarters.

During times of heightened security, additional restrictions may apply.
            The purpose of these guidelines is to grant as much access as possible to members of the media while safeguarding and protecting the United Nations Headquarters complex (UNHQ) and ensuring the safety, security and comfort of all of its occupants: staff, delegates and media alike.

            While ensuring safety and security is the starting point of policies at UNHQ, it is equally true that journalists play an essential role in the United Nations work and therefore their ability to cover United Nations activities must be facilitated to the greatest extent possible.

            Accredited correspondents who are granted access to UNHQ must abide by the policies in place. They are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner in their interaction with other members of the UN press corps, UN officials, and diplomats. 

             Where unexpected circumstances arise, the approach will be to avoid confrontation, maintain civility and find the fastest, safest and most secure acceptable solution. Those correspondents who violate the ground rules on access may have their accreditation withdrawn or suspended.

            Bulletin boards have been provided by DPI to the media for the posting of notices. All notices should be posted only on those bulletin boards. Signs posted on doors are limited to entry restrictions – for example, “do not disturb” or “on air.” DPI will provide a name-plate for each accredited media organization.

            Correspondents wishing to store furniture and equipment outside of their offices on the 3rd and 4th floor may only do so in designated areas and with prior approval from MALU, which will work with the Department of Safety and Security to ensure that safety and fire protocols are complied with.

            The parties to this agreement will meet once a year, or as needed, to review policies, which can be revised and should be applied based on a spirit of mutual cooperation and respect for the two simultaneous requirements of security and access. Wider consultations with other parties may be held as needed.
Access for Various Categories of Correspondents:                                                  
1.   Resident Correspondents
a.         Resident Correspondents may enter through the staff entrance at 42rd Street or the Visitors’ Entrance at 46th street.

b.         All Resident Correspondents accessing the premises with TV and/or photo equipment must pass through security screening. They must use the Visitors Entrance between 08:00 and 19:00 hours daily. They may enter through the 43rd Street Entrance (post x103) at all other times.

c.         Resident Correspondents may sign in up to five (5) guests. The guests, while on the premises, should be escorted at all times by the Resident Correspondents who are responsible for ensuring that their guests abide by the regulations and rules in place.

2.    Non-Resident Correspondents
a.         Non-Resident Correspondents may only access UNHQ through the Visitors’ Entrance at 46th Street and 1st Avenue between 08:00 and 19:00 hours. They may access through the 43rd Street Entrance (post x103) when the Visitors’ Entrance is closed. Non-resident correspondents do not have access when no meetings are taking place at UNHQ, unless escorted by a Resident Correspondent.

b.         Non-Resident Correspondents may access authorized areas of the building unescorted after they and their equipment have passed through security screening, unless DSS has declared a heightened period of security.

c.         A security clearance sticker will be placed on all equipment.

d.         Non-Resident Correspondents are not permitted to sign in guests.

e.         Non-Resident correspondents will be required to read these guidelines and sign an agreement that they will adhere to them.

3.    Temporary Correspondents
a.         Temporary Correspondents may only access UNHQ through the Visitors’ Entrance at 46th Street and 1st Avenue between 08:00 and 19:00 hours.

b.         Temporary Correspondents are not permitted to sign in guests.

Media Access to Restricted Areas in UNHQ

1.         Additional Access Privileges
a.         All accredited correspondents have access to the areas of the First Basement in front of the Conference Rooms without escort.

b.         Resident Correspondents may interview UN officials on any floor of the Secretariat building, except the 38th floor, if they have a scheduled appointment. In addition, resident broadcast correspondents must notify MALU prior to the scheduled interview above the 4th floor. Non resident and temporary accredited correspondents require MALU escort above the 4th floor.

c.         Resident broadcast correspondents conducting TV “stand-ups” outside, within the UN grounds should notify MALU, who will inform Security prior to the event. In case this is not feasible, the correspondents must notify the Security Operation Center directly (3-6666). For “stand-ups” at other UNHQ locations, see below for further guidance.

2.         Security Council
a.         All accredited correspondents may access the Security Council stakeout area without an escort from MALU while the Security Council is in session or someone is addressing the media at the stakeout.

b.         When the Security Council is not in session, Resident Correspondents with equipment  who intend to use the area for interviews and/or stand-ups need to inform MALU, who will notify the officer on post (post 200 South) or the Security Operation Center. Non-resident correspondents will need a MALU escort.

c.         Correspondents may move around in the stakeout area and conduct interviews. This area may not be used as a permanent workspace for the media. When a speaker is using the microphone, or when the arrival of a speaker is imminent, correspondents must remain behind the steel fence and not stand or walk through the area between the fence and the wall with the flags and the Guernica tapestry. When a speaker is using the stakeout microphone, correspondents may not accompany diplomats who transit through the area between the wall and the steel fence.

d.         TV camera crews must remain on the upper level of the stakeout area at all times when the Security Council is in session, unless escorted by MALU. The lower level is reserved for UNTV and all other correspondents.  Media will have unescorted access to the extended area of the Security Council stakeout, on the North side of the North steps. 

e.         On-the-record interviews at the Security Council stakeout should be conducted with correspondents behind the steel fence. No interviews are permitted on the stairs. Under no circumstances should the North and South staircases and the corridor leading to the Security Council be blocked.

f.         Correspondents who accompany diplomats along the corridor from the Delegates North Lounge towards the Security Council must pass behind the stakeout wall or the steel fence when they reach the stakeout area when someone is speaking at the stakeout microphone at that moment. The same applies when walking in the opposite direction from the Security Council to the North Lounge.
3.         Second floor, Delegates Lounge and Corridor (Conference Building)
a.         Resident Correspondents without camera equipment are allowed unescorted access from the Security Council stakeout to the Delegates North Lounge.

b.         Resident Correspondents may have unescorted access to the Delegates’ Lounge. Only hand-held voice recorders may be used for interviews. No camera equipment is permitted in the Delegates North Lounge.

c.         Resident Correspondents can escort up to five guests to the Delegates’ Lounge via the Conference Building elevators and use the same route when exiting.

c.         The hallway leading to the office of the President of the General Assembly is a restricted area. All correspondents requesting access to this area must obtain permission from the Office of the President of the General Assembly.

4.         General Assembly Hall
a.         Accredited correspondents may have access to the General Assembly Hall for stand-ups or interviews only if the GA is not in session and with prior approval and escort from MALU.

b.         Accredited correspondents may have access to the designated photo booths, escorted by MALU, for the purpose of filming or shooting an event.

c.          No correspondents are authorized on the floor of the General Assembly Hall while a meeting is taking place.

5.         ECOSOC
a.         With the approval of UN Security and MALU, a stakeout area for correspondents and TV crews will be made available at the delegation seating area, in front of the windows, at the entrance to the ECOSOC corridor when high-ranking officials are holding meetings of significant news value as determined by the Spokesperson’s Office or MALU.

6.         Open Meetings
a.         Accredited correspondents are permitted access to open meetings in designated areas within the conference room.  If these areas are in addition to the fixed press areas, they will be designated by MALU in consultation with the Chairperson of the meeting.

b.          No correspondents are authorized on the floor of a conference room while a meeting is taking place. .

7.         General Access
a.         Conference Building: All correspondents, resident, non-resident and temporary, have access to the First Basement areas in front of the conference rooms.

b.         Secretariat Building: All correspondents, resident, non-resident and temporary, have access to the second floor (press conference room, MALU and Office of the Spokesperson), as well as the third and fourth floor (offices of Resident Correspondents, bullpen, DPI TV studio and UNCA club).

c.         Resident TV & Radio correspondents and their crew are permitted to film and record and interview diplomats and officials, unless they object, in areas of general media access, such as the Secretariat lobby areas, 2nd floor and 3rd floor of the Secretariat and 1st Basement (1B).  All other areas will require a MALU escort.

d.         TV crews will not be permitted in the Delegates Dining Room on the 4th floor. Filming in these areas is only permitted with prior approval by MALU.

8.          Photo Opportunities for the Secretary-General
a.         Photo ops are only open to TV crews and photographers, who need to be screened, along with their equipment, 30 minutes prior to the event in the MALU office (S-250). No tripods are allowed and no questions are permitted during these photo ops, unless explicitly agreed in advance by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

9.         Stakeout Locations
a.         Fixed: MALU presence is required.

(i)        Security Council
(iii)      Secretariat Entrance (Old 102)

b.         Discretionary: MALU presence is required.
(i)        ECOSOC (West Wall Window)
(ii)       Ad-hoc as needed with approval of HQ Security.


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