Verbatim Reporting Service
Combining the skills of transcription, translation and editing, verbatim reporters ensure the substantive accuracy of all statements given at a meeting, while maintaining a uniformly high style standard. Verbatim reporters correct grammatical errors, clarify the order of presentations without changing the meaning, verify quotations and insert necessary references, and check facts and details against the documentation of the body concerned and all available databases.
In accordance with prescribed models for parliamentary procedures, verbatim reporters employ standardized formulas when dealing with procedural matters and the conduct of voting. They must be thoroughly up to date on all matters discussed in meetings of intergovernmental bodies, which often requires extensive research in different areas. Their work represents the permanent historical record – in written form – of all oral statements that were made at the meeting. Whereas in the past it was necessary for verbatim reporters to be present at all meetings, they are now able to work from digital sound recordings of meetings, which are transmitted electronically.
The Verbatim Reporting Service produces in extenso records, in the six official languages of the United Nations, of the meetings of the General Assembly, the Security Council and other intergovernmental bodies. As official records, they are meant to answer the questions of who spoke at the meeting, what exactly was said and what was decided. A verbatim record serves as the edited transcript of the proceedings, and each language version contains the statements delivered in that language plus translations of speeches given in the other languages.