Note 5669
5 June 2001


Press Release
Note 5669

                                                                  Note No. 5669

                                                                  5 June 2001

Note to Correspondents



New York, 6-8 June

The special session of the General Assembly for the overall review and appraisal of the implementation of the Habitat Agenda will be held at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 6-8 June.  The building 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 in a temporary facility from 4-8 June.  It will be located at the North Lawn.  Access will be by the entrance at Forty-seventh Street and First Avenue.  Its hours of operation are:  Monday, 4 June, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesday, 5 June, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Wednesday, 6 June, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday, 7 June, 9 a.m. to 5 p. m; and Friday, 9 June, 8 a.m to 5 p.m.

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) 963-6934/7164; Fax: (212) 963-4642.

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, News and 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, driver's licence, etc.).  For security reasons, members of the press corps will be required to wear both their United Nations grounds pass a national press ID at all times.

Entry and Screening Procedures

The designated press entrance for the Assembly’s special session will be the visitor’s gate located at First Avenue and Forty-sixth Street.  All media representatives will be required to present a valid United Nations grounds pass to the United Nations security officers at the entrance gate.  The visitors’ gate will be open at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, 6 June.  If media with equipment need to arrive prior to 8 a.m., they have to make special arrangements by calling (212) 963-6934 to arrange clearance.

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, a Media Center will be set up in Conference Room 1, located on the first basement in the Secretariat Building.  The Media Centre is for the local and visiting press corps and 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 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 laptop computers with modems.

-- Documents distribution, including press releases

-- Distribution of tickets to the Press Gallery.

An information desk will be staffed at all time from 6-8 June to assist journalists with both substantive and organizational questions.  The telephone numbers at the Media Centre are: (212) 963-9611/9612/9613.

United Nations Audio-Visual Materials

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

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

Videotapes of speeches are available for a fee in NTSC, in VHS, and Betacam SP formats.  Tape orders in advance will be available for pick-up immediately, if possible, following the speech.  To request a videotape of a speech, contact: Tel: (212) 963-0656, 963-1561 or 963-7652 (voicemail); Fax: (212) 963-4501 and  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 (1-B), in room GA-27; Tel: (212) 963-9272 or 963-9270; Fax: (212) 963-3860.

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-13-C, Tel: (212) 963-7658.

Other Arrangements

Pool coverage: Owing to logistics and space considerations, 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 DPI of its representative.

The official press corps accompanying a head of State, head of government or head of delegation, including the official photographer, will not be permitted to participate in these pools.  In all instances, these pools will be accompanied by a DPI liaison staff member.  Tel: (212) 963-6934; Fax: (212) 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 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: (212) 963-7756 or (212) 963-3353.

Press Gallery in General Assembly Hall

As conditions permit, tickets will not be required to enter the Press Gallery of the General Assembly Hall.

Copies of Statements for Press

Statements of heads of  State, heads of government or heads of delegation will be available as provided by delegations in the Media Centre in Conference Room 1, located in the first basement (1-B), and at the Press Documents Distribution Counter, located on the third floor of the Secretariat building.  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 Media Centre and from the Press Documents Distribution Counter on the third floor.  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) 963-0499 or (212) 963-6877; Fax: (212) 963-1186.

Briefing for Journalists

Daily briefings will be held for journalists during the special session immediately following the noon briefing of the Spokesman for the 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 (212) 963-0499/6877/4200.

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For information media. Not an official record.