United Nations entities worldwide marked the International Translation Day (30 September) through a series of events and activities. Adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its resolution 71/288, the Interntional Translation Day celebrates the role of language professionals in connecting nations and fostering peace, understanding and development.
Starting from 15 September 2020, eStatements, which is a dedicated section of the digital version of the Journal of the United Nations, replaced the PaperSmart portal. Part of a single-entry digital tool providing access to all information related to meetings, eStatements is used to upload and access statements delivered at United Nations meetings. The technically outdated PaperSmart portal was decommissioned. Queries about eStatements can be addressed to this email.
The first online freelance accreditation test for temporary English interpreters was held on 20 August 2020. Led by the United Nations Office at Geneva, freelance testing by the Department for General Assembly and Conference Management has now gone truly global, harnessing interpretation evaluation expertise from all four duty stations and enabling participation by applicants worldwide. Successful candidates will be placed on the reserve list of English interpreters for employment on temporary appointments with the United Nations.
In accordance with the established practice mandated by the General Assembly, the Department for General Assembly and Conference Management holds informational meetings with Member States each year to consult with them on the improvement of language services and to provide a channel for communication on terminology issues and on the quality of services rendered. The 2020 language-specific informational meetings was held in August in New York, according to the following schedule:
- Arabic: Tuesday, 25 August, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (Session 1)
- Chinese: Tuesday, 25 August, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. (Session 2)
- English: Wednesday, 26 August, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (Session 3)
- French: Wednesday, 26 August, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. (Session 4)
- Spanish: Thursday, 27 August, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (Session 5)
- Russian: Thursday, 27 August, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. (Session 6)
On Charter Day (26 June), the Under-Secretary-General for General Assembly and Conference Management, Movses Abelian, joined the call to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the signing of the founding document of the United Nations, by participating in an online campaign in support of the values the Organization stands for.
Celebrating Russian Language Day (6 June), United Nations entities held a series of virtual events in New York, Geneva and Vienna, including a poetry reading, a literature recital, theatrical performances and discussions about the Russian language.
The winners of the fifteenth Saint Jerome Translation Contest were announced online on 29 May 2020. Organized by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, the Contest attracted 136 entries from competitors in the general category from around the world, who translated into the six official languages of the United Nations plus German. In addition, entries were received from 65 students enrolled at 23 partner universities, which also actively promoted the Contest and handled the pre-selection of the best entries.
United Nations system entities celebrated Spanish Language Day through a series of activities, including a webinar about gender-inclusive language, a quiz about the Spanish language, a conversation with award-winning playwright Borja Ortiz de Gondra and a poetry reading in Spanish.
English Language Day was celebrated at the United Nations on 23 April 2020.
Chinese Language Day was celebrated at the United Nations on 20 April 2020. A virtual exhibit of Chinese poetry was launched online to mark the occasion.
The 2020 United Nations Language Competitive Examination for Spanish Translators, Editors and Verbatim Reporters was open for applications from 20 March to 18 April 2020.
Marking the French Language Day on 20 March, the French Translation Service at United Nations Headquarters in New York released quiz (in French) on francophone expressions from various French-speaking countries.
International Mother Language Day was celebrated at various United Nations entities through a series of events and activities.
The 2020 United Nations Competitive Examination for French Interpreters was open for applications from 20 February to 25 March 2020.
The Under-Secretary-General for General Assembly and Conference Management, Movses Abelian, became an International Gender Champion, joining a network of leaders of United Nations entities to break down gender barriers and promote gender equality.
The Journal of the United Nations website introduced an automated PDF download feature, which allows users to print the latest PDF version with real-time updates up until the point of generation.
The fifteenth St. Jerome Translation Contest, launched by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia on 30 September 2019, closed on 31 January.