At any time anywhere, anyone can go to the Meetings Coverage website and find out what is going on at the United Nations.
Press Officers of the Meetings Coverage Section, United Nations Department of Public Information, capture in writing the deliberations of United Nations meetings as they happen. Within two to three hours of adjournment of a meeting, a press release in both English and French is posted on the Section’s website, giving a blow-by-blow account as well as an overview.
Coming from political science, international affairs and journalism backgrounds, Press Officers also have to have good ears and fast fingers, often “taking it from the floor” – writing a synopsis at the same time while listening to a speaker deliver a statement. That summary must accurately render in concise, clear words, the gist of what is being said.
Many times, Press Officers will have a written copy of a delegation’s intervention and must quickly encapsulate eight or nine pages into one to three paragraphs. The capacity for synthesizing or "l'esprit de synthèse" guides the Section and its Press Officers.
Carefully reviewed by Editors and Editorial Assistants who check the accuracy, terminology and writing quality of draft copies, these press releases are jargon-free, easily understood synopsises for the public, press, Governments and civil society to keep informed of international issues being discussed in the Security Council, General Assembly, Economic and Social Council, as well as other United Nations bodies.
The Meetings Coverage Section is part of the Press Service in the News and Media Division.