The network of 63 United Nations Information Centres are key to the Organization’s ability to reach the peoples of the world and to share the United Nations story with them in their own languages. These centres, working in coordination with the UN system, reach out to the media and educational institutions, engage in partnerships with governments, local civil society organizations and the private sector, and maintain libraries and electronic information resources.
United Nations Information Centres (UNICs) are the principal sources of information about the United Nations system in the countries where they are located. UNICs are responsible for promoting greater public understanding of and support for the aims and activities of the United Nations by disseminating information on the work of the Organization to people everywhere, especially in developing countries.
By translating information materials into local languages, engaging opinion-makers and placing op-ed articles by senior United Nations officials in the national media, or organizing events to highlight issues or observances, the network of UNICs is one of the main vehicles through which the United Nations tells its story to the world. They give global messages a local accent and help bring the UN closer to the people it serves.
Information Centres are part of the Department of Public Information (DPI). The first two UNICs were established in 1946. At present, there are 63 Information Centres, Services and Offices worldwide. The United Nations Regional Information Centre in Brussels, Belgium, covers 21 countries in Western Europe. In addition, the Information Centres in Cairo, Mexico City, and Pretoria, where there are high concentrations of media outlets, are responsible for working strategically with Centres in neighboring countries to develop and implement communications plans to promote United Nations priority themes in a way that has special resonance in their respective regions.