The Strategic Communications Division (SCD) formulates communications strategies on priority issues and carries out communications campaigns to support the substantive goals of the Organization. The Division also manages the network of 63 United Nations information centres and offices around the world.
Based on the Department’s communications priorities for the year, the Division reaches out to a global target audience through information products (web sites, posters and publications), outreach activities carried out by information centres, and through the international media.
The integration of social media platforms, including social networking tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr and YouTube, is an increasingly important component of the Department’s communications strategies.
Issues covered by the Communications Campaigns Service
Peace and Security
The Peace and Security Section promotes UN work on priority peace and security-related issues, including conflict prevention, peacemaking, peacekeeping, peacebuilding, disarmament and counter-terrorism. It designs and manages the implementation of global communications strategies on those issues; produces and disseminates public information materials; and undertakes promotional and outreach activities.
It also provides strategic communications support and backstopping to public information components of UN peacekeeping and special political missions; and assists in the development of communications policies and standard operating procedures for public information components in UN field peace missions. The section plans and oversees an annual training course for senior public information officers serving in UN peacekeeping operations and special political missions.
In all its activities, the section works closely with the relevant substantive offices and departments in the UN Secretariat and communications partners in UN field peace missions. It participates in the work of various Integrated Task Forces and working groups set up in the Secretariat to address specific peace and security-related issues.
The Development Section, promotes the UN's work in the areas of economic and social development and the environment. Main areas of work include the Sustainable Development Goals, climate change, health (HIV/AIDS, malaria, pandemic influenza), gender equality issues and ending violence against women, environmental issues (forests, water, biodiversity, oceans, desertification), least developed countries and sustainable development.
The section also promotes the work of the Economic and Social Council, major economic and social reports, information and communication technologies for development, and issues around aging, youth and persons with disabilities.
On all these themes, the section works closely with the relevant substantive offices in the UN Secretariat and with communications partners across the UN System. Inter-agency task forces of the UN Communications Group have been set up for various priority issues -- such as on climate change, the Sustainable Development Goals and the UN Conference on Sustainable Development -- in order to share information, coordinate messages and develop and implement System-wide communications campaigns.
Palestine, Decolonization and Human Rights
The Palestine, Decolonization and Human Rights Section is responsible for the overall implementation of DPI’s Special Information Programme on Palestine. The section also designs and manages the implementation of global information campaigns to promote UN work on human rights, indigenous issues, decolonization, democracy and the rule of law.
The section carries out an annual training programme for young Palestinian journalists, as well as the annual International Media Seminar on Peace in the Middle East.
It also partners with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in the observance of Human Rights Day around the world and on other human rights issues throughout the year, including the activities of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and her office, the Human Rights Council, the independent experts and special rapporteurs and the various treaty bodies.
The section helps publicize reports and documents on the rights of indigenous peoples, including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the work of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
Through the "Lessons from Rwanda: The United Nations and the Prevention of Genocide " information and educational outreach programme, the section mobilizes civil society for Rwanda genocide victim remembrance and education in order to help prevent similar acts in the future, as well as raising awareness of the lasting impact of genocide on the survivors and the challenges that they still face today.
The Africa Section promotes the aims of the New Economic Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and publicizes its achievements as part of the Department’s efforts to focus global attention on the issues critical to Africa’s development. This is done in close collaboration with the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa and the Economic Commission for Africa.
Africa Renewal, the Department’s flagship magazine on Africa, provides the basis for much of the Division’s work to promote NEPAD. The Section’s website, Africa Renewal Online, provides up-to-date information and analysis of the major economic and development challenges facing Africa today. The Section works with the media in Africa and beyond to promote the work of the UN, Africa and the international community to bring peace and development to Africa.