Note No. 5729
1 May 2002


Press Release
Note No. 5729

Note to Correspondents


New York, 8-10 May 2002

The special session of the General Assembly on children will be held at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 8 to 10 May.  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.

Media Accreditation

The Media Accreditation Centre for the special session will be in a temporary facility (tent) located in the North Garden Playground area, at the

48th Street entrance and First Avenue.  Once accredited, media will be required to exit out of the North Garden Playground area via the 48th Street gate and proceed to the visitors entrance at 46th Street.  Media can obtain accreditation at the Media Accreditation Centre as of 29 April, during normal working hours, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.  Additional hours for the Centre are as follows:

Saturday, 4 May   12 noon to 8 p.m.

Sunday, 5 May       8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Monday, 6 May       9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tuesday, 7 May      9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Wednesday, 8 May    7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Thursday, 9 May     8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Friday, 10 May      8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Late appointments will be accepted on 7 May by the Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit/Security and Safety Service by arrangement with Lieutenant Joanne McCreary, tel.: (212) 963-7533.

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 by submitting a completed form available from:

-- The Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit, room S-250, United Nations, New York, NY 10017. Tel.: (212) 963-6934/7164/2393/2392; fax: (212) 963-4642

-- The Media Accreditation Centre

-- The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Web site at:

-- United Nations information centres and offices around the world

The completed form should be faxed, along with a letter of assignment, to (212) 963-4642.  It is not possible to send an acknowledgement, but journalists may follow up by telephoning (212) 963-6934/7164.

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 following address:  United Nations, Room S-250, New York, NY 10017,

fax: (212) 963-4642.  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 heads of State, heads of government or heads 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 the editor-in-chief of the news organization, addressed to the Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit, along with two pieces of photo identification (such as a passport, national press credentials, a police press pass, a driver’s licence, etc.).  For security reasons, members of the press corps will be required to wear both their 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, which will be open at 6 a.m. on Wednesday, 8 May, and at 7 a.m. on Thursday and Friday, 9 and 10 May.  All media representatives will be required to present a valid United Nations grounds pass to the United Nations security officers at the entrance gate.  If media with equipment need to arrive prior to 7 a.m., they should 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 Centre will be set up in Conference Room 1, located in 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:

General Assembly proceedings can be seen and heard in floor language, with English and French available using the earphones at each seat.  Other languages can be recorded using the mult-box set up in the room;

Press conferences, for which room 226 will be the primary venue, can be seen on television in English using the earphones available at each seat.  Other languages, when available, can be recorded using the mult-box set up in the room;

-- Video and audio distribution boxes to record proceedings with provision for language selection -– with floor audio and, for General Assembly proceedings, 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;

-- A limited number of computers with Internet access and printers;

-- Documents distribution, including press releases;

-- Distribution of tickets to the Press Gallery (opening session only).

An information desk in the Media Centre will be staffed from 7:30 a.m. to   9 p.m., Wednesday to Friday, 8-10 May, to assist journalists with both substantive and logistical questions.  The telephone numbers at the Media Centre are

(212) 963-9611/9612/9613.

United Nations Audio-Visual Materials and Services

Photographs, videotapes and audiotapes are available from the United Nations.  Each day during the special session, the offices that 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, when possible, during the afternoon of the same day; afternoon speeches, the following morning, when 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, VHS and Betacam SP formats.  Advance tape orders will be available for pick-up immediately, when possible, following the speech.  To request a videotape of a speech, contact: tel.: (212) 963-0656 or 963-1561; fax: (212) 963-4501.

Live television feeds are available through commercial carriers.  For information, call tel.: (212) 963-7650.

Please note that unilateral television production services will not be available from United Nations Television during the special session.  The plenary session will be broadcast on Time Warner Cable TV, Channel 78.

A live webcast of all plenary sessions will be accessible starting at 9 a.m. on 8 May on the following webpages:, where it will be archived following the special session, and

Audio cassettes of statements 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.

Statements 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.

Use of studios for interviews:  There is very limited studio and booth space available for journalists to conduct interviews.  Several radio booths, operated by UN technicians, are available in the Media Centre.  These facilities, as well as Studio Two (for radio only), can be booked by calling (212) 963-7458.

For television interviews, kindly book in advance by calling (212) 963-2392 or 963-6934.  For these studios, media must bring their own equipment, including lights for television.

Other Arrangements

Pool coverage:  Due 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 heads of State, heads of government or heads 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.  Due 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:  For the opening plenary meeting on 8 May, tickets to the Press Gallery in the General Assembly Hall will be issued starting at 8:30 a.m. in the Media Centre.  There are 53 seats reserved for the media.

Copies of Statements for Press:  Statements of heads of State, heads of government or heads of delegations 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:  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, suggestions for interviews and other related assistance, prior to the special session, contact the UNICEF Media Section, Patsy Robertson,

tel.: 326-7270, e-mail:; or Liza Barrie, tel.: 326-7593,

e-mail:; or the Department of Public Information, Laufey Love, tel.: 963-3507, e-mail:  From 8 to 10 May, contact the information desk in the Media Centre, tel.: (212) 963-9611/9612/9613.

The press kit for the special session on children and other background materials can be found at and  During the special session, these sites will provide up-to-date information about documents, schedules, special events and NGO activities.

Briefing for journalists:  Daily press briefings by the Spokesman for the Secretary-General and the Spokesman for the President of the General-Assembly will be held during the special session at noon in room S-226.  There will also be a daily press briefing held by a UNICEF spokesperson, immediately following the noon briefing, 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.  A schedule of bilateral meetings will be issued daily.  Delegations wanting photo coverage of their bilateral meeting should have the approval of the delegation with whom they are meeting, then fax their schedule to (212) 963-4642, or deliver it to room S-250.

Press Conferences and Interviews:  Room S-226 has been identified as the primary venue for press conferences during the special session.  The list of press conferences will be announced daily in the Media Centre and will be posted at, as well as on the special session Web site.

Interviews can be arranged during the special session by DPI and UNICEF staff members at the Information Desk in the Media Centre, or in advance by calling (212) 326-7279, (212) 326-7593 or (212) 963-3507.

For interviews with the President of the General assembly and other matters related to the President, please contact his Spokesman, Jan Fischer,

tel.: 963-6855, e-mail:

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For information media. Not an official record.