2 June 1998

Press Release


The special session of the General Assembly on the world drug problem will be held at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 8 to 10 June. The buildings will be closed to the public during this period and access will be restricted to those persons who are accredited and wearing a United Nations grounds pass.

The Media Accreditation Centre will be located in the Labouisse Hall of UNICEF House on 44th Street between First and Second Avenues. The Centre will be open from 6 to 8 June. Office hours are: Saturday, 6 June, from 12 noon to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 7 June, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Monday, 8 June, from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. On Tuesday and Wednesday, 9 and 10 June, media can receive accreditation at the UNITAR building, located at 801 First Avenue on the corner of 45th Street. The UNITAR building will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday. Prior to 6 June, media can receive accreditation from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Visitors Lobby of the General Assembly building, which is located at First Avenue and 46th Street.

Those correspondents already possessing a valid United Nations grounds pass will not need additional accreditation for the special session. All others must apply for accreditation as follows: applications may be made in advance by completing a form available from the Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit, room S-250, tel. (212) 963-6934; fax: (212) 963-4642, or at the Accreditation Centre.

All members of the press corps accompanying heads of State, heads of government or heads of delegation must complete an application form for accreditation. That form must be attached to an official letter from the permanent mission concerned, addressed to the Chief, Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit, Media Division, Department of Public Information (DPI) at the above address. The letter must list the names of the media representatives with their functional titles and affiliation.

After arrival in New York, all members of the press corps accompanying the head of State, head of government or head of delegation must present themselves to the Accreditation Centre, where they will have their photographs

taken and be issued a United Nations grounds pass upon presentation of national passports and another valid photo ID.

All other media wishing to cover the special session will have a United Nations grounds pass issued at the Accreditation Centre upon presentation of a letter of assignment from their editor-in-chief, addressed to the Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit, along with two pieces of photo identification (such as passport, national press credentials, police press pass, drivers license, and so on). For security reasons, each member of the press corps will be required to wear both a United Nations grounds pass and a national press ID at all times.

Entry and Screening Procedures

The designated press entrance for the Assembly's special session will be the visitors' gate located at First Avenue and 46th Street. All media representatives will be required to present a valid United Nations grounds pass to United Nations security officers at the entrance gate. The visitors' gate will open at 5:30 a.m. on Monday, 8 June. Media representatives will enter the Conference Building at the first basement (1B) entrance through the North Garden doors, where personnel and equipment will be screened.

All press personnel are advised to arrive early to allow sufficient time for screening. Last-minute arrivals will encounter delays and may be further delayed should First Avenue be temporarily closed for motorcades.

Media Centre

In addition to the facilities normally available to the press on the third floor of the Secretariat Building, the ExPress Bar located on the third floor of the General Assembly building will serve as an overflow area for the press corps, particularly the official photographers and cameramen waiting to enter the booth assigned to them. This location will be equipped with a television monitor, carrying the proceedings in the Plenary Hall, telephones and electrical outlets.

The United Nations will establish a Media Centre for the local and visiting press corps in Conference Room 1, which will provide the following technical services:

-- Television sets carrying live proceedings on closed circuit television in English;

-- Video and audio distribution boxes to record proceedings with provision for language selection -- with floor audio and full interpretation

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into the six official languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish);

-- Paging system for general announcements to the media;

-- Telephone lines (credit cards required) and electrical outlets (110 volts) to enable journalists to use their lap-top computers with modems;

-- Documents distribution, including press releases; and

-- Distribution of tickets to the Press Gallery.

An information desk will be staffed at all times from 8 to 10 June to assist journalists with both substantive and organizational questions. The telephone numbers at the Media Centre are: (212) 963-0689/1101/8212.

United Nations Audiovisual Materials

Photographs, videotapes and audiotapes are available from the United Nations. Each day during the special session, the offices which provide these services will be open from 9 a.m.

Photographs will be available to delegations for a nominal fee and to accredited correspondents free of charge. Photographs of morning speeches will be available during the afternoon of the same day; afternoon speeches, the following morning. Please direct inquiries and requests to: United Nations Photo Library, room S-805L; tel: (212) 963-6927 and fax: (212) 963- 1658.

Videotapes of speeches are available for a fee in NTSC only, in VHS, U- matic (3/4"), and Betacam SP formats. Tapes ordered in advance will be available for pick-up immediately following the speech. Tapes ordered afterwards will be available by the next day. To request a videotape of a speech, contact: tel: (212) 963-7652 and fax: (212) 963-3860.

Live television feeds are available through commercial carriers; contact tel. (212) 963-7650 for information.

Please note that unilateral television production services will not be available from United Nations Television during the special session.

Audio cassettes of speeches will be available, free of charge, from the United Nations Audio Library, located on the first basement concourse level (1B), in room GA-27; tel: (212) 963-9272 or 963-4186 and fax: (212) 963-3860.

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Speeches are normally available in the original ("floor") language in which they were delivered. Special requests for the recording of the interpreter's version in one of the six official languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish) should be made in advance, and are subject to the limitations of the recording facilities.

Accredited correspondents are provided with audio cassettes of news items free of charge. Delegates may request one cassette of each speech free of charge. Additional copies, back orders and other special requests are subject to charge and are handled by the Sound Recording Unit, room GA-13C, tel: (212) 963-7658.

Other Arrangements

Pool coverage: Owing to logistics and space consideration, nearly all visual media coverage will be done by selected media pools. These pools are reserved exclusively for United Nations Television, United Nations photographers, international wire services and photo agencies. In the case of print media, the United Nations Correspondents Association (UNCA) will notify the DPI of its representative.

The official press corps accompanying a head of State, head of government or a head of delegation, including the official photographer, will not be permitted to participate in these pools. The one exception will be the luncheon in which their head of State, head of government or head of delegation participates, where the official photographer will be allowed to join the pool. In all instances, these pools will be accompanied by a liaison staff from DPI, tel: 963-6934 and fax: 963-4642.

Visual coverage in General Assembly Hall: Official photographers and official television crews will have an opportunity to cover the speech of their head of State, head of government or head of delegation on a rotating basis, from the press booths surrounding the General Assembly Hall. Owing to space limitations, they may not remain to cover the other speeches. A limited number of still photographers, escorted by DPI liaison staff, will also be allowed to take photographs from the "bridge" at the back of the General Assembly Hall during the speech. These operations will be coordinated from the third floor liaison desk in the General Assembly building, tel: 963-7756 or 963-3353.

Tickets to Press Gallery in General Assembly Hall: There are 53 seats available for media representatives in the Press Gallery of the General Assembly Hall. Tickets will be distributed in the Media Centre, half an hour before the meeting on a first-come first-served basis.

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Copies of Speeches for the Press: Delegations wishing to make the speech of their head of State, head of government or head of delegation available to the press have been requested to provide a minimum of 100 copies to the Media Centre in Conference Room 1, located in the first basement (1B), and 100 copies to the documents distribution counter in the third floor press area. No copying facilities will be available for these speeches.

United Nations Press Release Coverage: The DPI will provide press release coverage in English and French of open meetings of the special session. They may be obtained from the third floor documents counter and in the Media Centre. Further queries should be directed to the News Coverage and Accreditation Service, tel: (212) 963-7211 or (212) 963-2360.

Background Material: For press materials, information about the negotiations and issues, suggestions for interviews and other related assistance, contact DPI's Development and Human Rights Section, tel: (212) 963-1786, 963-5851 or 963-0353; fax: (212) 963-1186.

Briefings for Journalists: Daily briefings will be held for journalists during the special session immediately following the noon briefing of the Spokesman of the UN Secretary-General. All briefings will take place in room S-226.

Arrangements for Coverage of Bilateral Meetings: Photo opportunities will be available for bilateral meetings that are open for coverage. Media representatives covering these meetings will be asked to assemble at the third floor liaison desk, from which point they will be escorted by a liaison officer from DPI.

Press Conferences and Interviews: Room S-226 has been identified as the venue for press conferences during the special session. The list of press conferences will be announced daily.

Interviews can be arranged during the special session by DPI staff members at the Information Desk in the Media Centre, or in advance by calling 963-0353/5851/1887.

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