Media Access Guidelines
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 that the United Nations reserves 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. The UN grounds pass is non-transferable and misuse will result in its confiscation.
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 Global Communications, Department of Safety and Security (DSS), the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General (OSSG) and the United Nations Correspondents Association (UNCA) governs all 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.
All Correspondents who are granted access to UNHQ must abide by the policies in place, including the United Nations Code of Conduct to Prevent Harassment, Including Sexual Harassment, at UN System Events. 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. Journalists shall have due regard to the dignity, privacy and integrity of all individuals.
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ground rules governing access, including the abovementioned standards of ethical behavior may have their accreditation withdrawn or suspended by the United Nations.
Bulletin boards have been provided by the Department of Global Communications 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.” The Department of Global Communications 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 floors may only do so in designated areas and with prior approval from the Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit (MALU), and for the length of time agreed by MALU, which will work with the Department of Safety and Security to ensure that security, 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 and additional unannounced restrictions may be implemented due to security and safety issues without notice.
Access for Various Categories of Correspondents
1. Resident Correspondents
a. Resident Correspondents without equipment may enter through the staff entrance at 42nd Street or the Visitors’ Entrance at 46th street during normal opening hours for these entry points. Resident Correspondents without equipment may enter through the 43rd Street Entrance only when all other entrance points are closed.
b. All Resident Correspondents accessing the premises with TV and/or photo equipment are subject to security screening. From Monday through Friday, entry will take place through the Visitors Entrance at 46th Street and 1st Avenue from 0600-1900 hours. On Saturday and Sunday, entry will only take place through the 46th street entrance between 1000-1800 hours. There is no entry at the 43rd Street entrance when in possession of equipment of this nature, except when a meeting is taking place.
c. Resident Correspondents can sign in a maximum of five (5) guests. The guests must be escorted at all times from point of entry to point of departure of the HQ Complex.
d. All persons seeking entry to the complex are subject to security screening without notice when deemed necessary by the Department of Safety and Security.
2. Non-Resident Correspondents
a. Non-Resident Correspondents can access UNHQ through the Visitors’ Entrance at 46th Street and 1st Avenue between 0800-1900 hours from Monday through Friday. Non-resident Correspondents only have access to UNHQ on weekends or after hours accompanied by a resident correspondent or when a meeting is advised as taking place. Entry will be allowed two hours prior to the start of the meeting. At the conclusion of the meeting, the non-Resident correspondent must exit the premises within an hour, unless accompanied by a resident correspondent. Entry may be authorized through the 43rd Street Entrance only when the Visitors’ Entrance is closed and for the purposes of meeting coverage.
b. Non-Resident Correspondents may access non-restricted 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.
3. Temporary Correspondents
a. Temporary Correspondents may only access UNHQ through the Visitors’ Entrance at 46th Street and 1st Avenue. Entry may be authorized through the 43rd Street Entrance only when the Visitors’ Entrance is closed and for the purposes of meeting coverage, following the same rules for non-resident Correspondents.
b. Temporary Correspondents may access non-restricted 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. Temporary Correspondents are not permitted to sign in guests.
Media Access at UNHQ
1. Open Meetings
a. Accredited Correspondents are permitted access to open meetings in designated areas within the conference rooms, chambers or GA Hall. 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. For escort to media booths, camera crews and photographers must go to the MALU office on the second floor of the Secretariat Building (S-250).
b. No escort is required to access the seating gallery at open meetings. Seating galleries of Conference Rooms 1,2,3 are accessible from the first floor of the Conference Building. Seating galleries of the Security Council Chamber, Trusteeship Council Chamber, ECOSOC Chamber are accessible from the third floor of the Conference Building. Seating gallery of the GA Hall is accessible from the fourth floor of the GA Building. Seating gallery of Conference 4 is accessible from the Visitors Lobby.
c. Photographing and video recording is only permitted from the media booths.
d. Correspondents are not authorized on the floor of a conference room while a meeting is taking place.
e. Designation of a meeting as being a "Closed Meeting" implies that it is not open to Correspondents nor to broadcasting or other forms of coverage.
2. Areas of General Access
a. Conference Building: All Correspondents - resident, non-resident and temporary - have access to the First Basement and First Floor areas in front of the conference rooms, as well as the Third Floor, without interfering with the Guided Tours.
b. Secretariat Building: All Correspondents - resident, non-resident and temporary - have access to the lobby, second floor (location of the press briefing room, MALU, Media Documents Centre, and Office of the Spokesperson), as well as the third and fourth floors (location of the offices of Resident Correspondents, bullpen, MALU studio and UNCA club).
c. In areas of general access, Correspondents are permitted to record interviews and conversations with diplomats, staff, officials and journalists, subject to their prior consent. Photographing and filming, including smart phone video recording or live broadcasting, requires MALU approval. Hiding recording or filming equipment is strictly forbidden.
d. With the approval of UN Security and MALU, a stakeout area will be set up as needed at the Secretariat VIP entrance.
e. Filming is not permitted in the various cafeterias. Media access to the Delegates Dining Room for events is determined by the organizers.
f. It is not permitted to film and/or photograph security systems, offices and/or installations.
g. Artworks exhibited at UNHQ are subject to copyright; therefore it is advisable not to film
and/or photograph them for distribution and/or publication.
3. Additional Access Privileges
a. Correspondents may interview UN officials on any floor of the Secretariat building, except the 38th floor, if they have a scheduled appointment. TV crews must notify MALU prior to any scheduled interview above the 4th floor.
b. Resident Correspondents conducting TV “stand-ups,” interviews, or general filming outside, within the UN grounds, should notify MALU, who will inform Security prior to the event. Non-Resident Correspondents and temporary Correspondents should also notify MALU and may require MALU escort.
4. Security Council Stakeout
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 stakeout area for interviews and/or stand-ups need to inform MALU, who will notify Security. Non-Resident Correspondents will need a MALU escort to the stakeout area.
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 may not conduct separate interviews or “stand-ups.”
d. TV camera crews must remain on the upper level of the stakeout area at all times when the Security Council is in session. The lower level is reserved for UNTV, photographers, and all other Correspondents. Correspondents and photographers on the lower level should accommodate, as much as possible, camera operators on the upper level to avoid blocking the shot.
e. 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 can the North ramp and South staircase, and the corridor leading to the Security Council be blocked. No filming/photography in the lounge south of the stakeout area.f. Resident Correspondents without equipment who accompany diplomats along the corridor from the North Delegates’ 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 Delegates’ Lounge.
5. Second floor, North Delegates’ Lounge and Corridor (Conference Building)
a. Resident Correspondents without camera equipment are allowed unescorted access from the Security Council stakeout to the North Delegates’ Lounge. Photographing and filming, including smart phone video recording or live broadcasting, is not permitted in other areas on the Second Floor outside the Security Council stake-out area except with MALU approval and escort. Only hand-held audio recorders may be used for interviews in these areas.
b. Resident Correspondents can escort guests to the North Delegates’ Lounge outside working hours 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.
d. No filming or photo-taking is permitted in the North Delegates’ Lounge or in the West Foyer (Indonesian Lounge).
e. Non-resident Correspondents must be escorted by MALU (if approved) on the Second Floor, outside the Security Council stake-out area, at all times and are subject to the same restrictions as resident Correspondents.
6. 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. Stand-ups, interviews, flash photography and TV lights are not permitted in the booth when the GA is in session.
d. No Correspondents are authorized on the floor of the General Assembly Hall while a meeting is taking place.
e. With the approval of UN Security and MALU, a stakeout area for Correspondents, photographers and TV crews will be made available at the East Foyer, when high-ranking officials are holding meetings of significant news value as determined by the Spokesperson’s Office or MALU. The stakeout may be limited to the beginning and ending of the meeting, for arrival and departure of participants.
7. ECOSOC Stakeout
With the approval of UN Security and MALU, a stakeout area will be made available at the delegation seating area, in front of the windows, at the entrance to the ECOSOC corridor, when officials are holding meetings of significant news value as determined by the Spokesperson’s Office or MALU. The stakeout may be limited to the beginning and ending of the meeting, for arrival and departure of participants.
8. Delegates’ Entrance
Correspondents may wait only inside the building, behind the glass barrier, to photograph/film delegates entering and departing. Prior approval by MALU is required.
9. Photo Opportunities for the Secretary-General
a. Photo ops are only open to TV camera operators and photographers, who need to come to the MALU office (S-250) at least 30 minutes prior to the event for escort. 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. Filming and photograph taking are limited to the official photo opportunities only, and are strictly forbidden elsewhere on the 38th floor.
b. In some events, owing to logistics or space considerations, select media will have to provide pooled coverage.