The UN Department of Public Information (DPI) is dedicated to communicating the ideals and work of the United Nations to the world; to interacting and partnering with diverse audiences; and to building support for peace, development and human rights for all. Inform. Engage. Act.
DPI was established in 1946, by General Assembly resolution 13 (I), to promote global awareness and understanding of the work of the United Nations.
DPI includes three Divisions, all of which are involved in their own capacity to promote the elimination of violence against women and girls.
The Strategic Communications Division formulates communications strategies on priority issues and launches global campaigns. The Division manages the network of 63 United Nations Information Centres and offices around the world that relay UN priorities locally. It also supports the public information components of peacekeeping missions, including in their communications work on women affected by armed conflict.
The News and Media Division produces and publishes news and information on the UN’s priorities and activities through radio, television, print, the Internet, video-conferencing and other media tools. It builds partnerships with media organizations and other target audiences. It helps and supports the work of journalists and news organizations covering the work of the United Nations.
The Outreach Division engages and educates people and their communities worldwide to encourage support for the ideals and activities of the United Nations.
The Department of Public Information continued to provide communications support to the Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign, including through managing the campaign website (endviolence.un.org) and related online platforms. Several social media platforms managed by the Department, including the UN Twitter account – which had approached 100,000 followers – regularly featured content on violence against women. News and developments in the global campaign to end violence against women were also covered by the UN News Centres in all the official languages. In English and French alone, 55 stories on the subject were produced, covering issues including violence against women in times of conflict and activities of United Nations experts and intergovernmental bodies. The Department produced a total of 17 official press releases related to the issue in English and French as part of coverage of six intergovernmental meetings, and another six press conferences at United Nations Headquarters.Hide
DPI promoted the 45th session of the Commission on the Status of Women/15-year review of the Beijing Platform and International Women’s Day 2010, including the issue of violence against women. The Department conducted media outreach and produced information materials, including a poster and information kits for media, delegates and civil society. The Department facilitated a four-week online discussion on “Women and the Media”, one week of which focused on violence against women journalists. In all regions the Department’s network of UN Information Centres organized numerous activities and events to mark International Women’s Day, several of which focused on violence against women. The United Nations Information Office in Baku held a series of town hall meetings in remote villages and districts in Azerbaijan, which also included a session on early marriage and gender-based violence. In Sri Lanka, a one-day interactive forum on the theme "Discrimination against women: Our side of the story", organized by the United Nations Information Centre in Colombo, with the support of Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, generated recommendations for institutional measures to tackle gender discrimination and gender-based violence. The United Nations Information Centre in Yaounde organized a group discussion on violence against women journalists with media professionals in Cameroon. Two articles on gender-based violence were published in DPI’s quarterly Africa Renewal magazine: “Security reform key to protecting women” (January 2010), and “Even with peace Liberian women struggle” (April 2010). The Department’s UN Television produced programmes on the subject, including short features under the UN in Action series on women in prison in Afghanistan; women on the frontline in Liberia; and a programme entitled “Haiti: Violence Against Women.” In addition, UN Television produced two long-form reports for its half-hour magazine programme “21st Century”, aired by broadcasters in different regions of the world. These covered women in Liberia and the violence faced by female journalists in Iraq. Seven footage packages were prepared for broadcasting partners, through UN Television’s UNifeed team, which addressed violence against women, and presented United Nations activities to prevent it. In partnership with UNFPA and UNIFEM, DPI produced and broadcasted a series of radio programmes called “Beijing + 15” which explored the impact of the commitments made at the Beijing Women’s Conference on the lives of girls today. UN Radio staff travelled to Africa, Europe and Latin America to tell the stories of 15-year-old girls, and hear about their problems, including on the subject of violence. The series were adapted from English into Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish, Kiswahili and Portuguese, and were broadcasted by many UN Radio partners including, for example, Moldova National Radio.Hide
The UN Department of Public Information (DPI) supported and facilitated activities carried across the System for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25 November), as well as for the V-Day “One Billion Rising for Justice” initiative in February 2013. On the occasion of the International Day, a partnership was established with Google to include on their homepage a special “doodle” linking to DPI’s International Day website. The Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, took part in UN Women’s portraits photo gallery “I wear Orange because” on the occasion of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence. DPI’s network of 63 UNICs joined with UN Country Teams and others to organize over 100 public outreach activities throughout the world to mark the International Day, including exhibits, round-tables discussions, press conferences, and film screenings. UNICs also translated information materials on the issue into various languages including Turkish, Portuguese, Persian and Polish. DPI highlighted VAW and the “Orange Your World" campaign on its UN social media platforms – including Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Tumblr and Sina Weibo, in the six official languages, plus an additional 20 languages covered by UNICs. DPI’s UN Radio produced programmes on violence against women and girls in the six UN languages plus Kiswahili and Portuguese. UN Television covered the issue in several of its features for the magazine programme 21st Century, including on human trafficking of women and girls into Europe as well as “corrective rape” in South Africa. DPI’s UNifeed disseminated 19 related news stories. DPI’s News Centre produced 28 news stories highlighting the issue, available online, through social media and by email. The Department disseminated press releases, stories on iSeek and Delegate, briefings, and visual brand materials for the "End Rape in War" campaign managed by the Office of SRSG. DPI also provided photographic and webcast as well as coverage of a wide variety of events on VAW. The UN Academic Impact organized several activities to raise awareness of the issue amongst the academic community, including with an event held in March 2013 in association with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) on Sexual Violence in Conflict.Hide
The UN News Centre of the Department of the Department of Public Information continued its coverage of the global campaign to end violence against women, particularly in English and French. In these two languages alone, a total of 62 stories were written, covering the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and reports prepared by human rights officials and experts. Several social media platforms managed by the Department of Public Information, including the UN Twitter account (twitter.com/un) regularly featured content on violence against women. During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence 16 tweets for 16 days were developed along with 16 Facebook updates for 16 days. The Department of Public Information was involved in the commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women under the theme “Leadership of Corporate Sector in Empowering Women and Ending Violence against Women and Girls”, through the development and dissemination of UNiTE campaign and other press materials. In Beirut, the UN Information Centre held a press conference and partnered with university students to distribute UNiTE campaign material. Social media were utilised to raise awareness of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women by several UN Information Centres, including those in Pretoria, Tunis, and Vienna. The Department’s UN Radio produced coverage of activities surrounding the International Day and the 16 days of activism against gender violence, in the Organization’s six official languages, in Portuguese and Kiswahili. UN Radio covered the use of rape and sexual violence as a tactic of war in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, featuring statements by the Secretary-General and the High Commissioner for Human Rights. A UN Radio programme highlighted aspects of a World Bank report on violence against women, and included interviews with members of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.Hide
The UN Television of the Department of Public Information covered the issue of violence against women in the following programmes: “Haiti: The Enemy Within”, on the situation of women and girls in Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake; “Bosnia: Healing the Wounds of War”, on the legacy of wartime rape in Bosnia-Herzegovina; “Senegal: Beyond Tradition”, on female genital mutilation; and “Jordan: In the Name of Honour”, on the campaign against “honour” killings in Jordan. UN Webcast covered 8 events related to violence against women, including media appearances by Margot Wallström and Michelle Bachelet, and the official observance of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. A total of 29 official press releases (in English and French) on the issue of violence against women were produced by the Department of Public Information, including coverage of four inter-governmental meetings and four press conferences at UN Headquarters. The Department raised awareness about the issue of violence against women throughout the UN Secretariat via several stories published on iSeek, the Organization’s intranet and deleGATE, the information site aimed at diplomatic missions (www.un.int). Several articles of the Department focused on violence against women, such as: “Who Speaks for the Poor and Why Does it Matter?” and “Adolescent Marriage: Crossroad or Status Quo?” (UN Chronicle magazine), “African women’s long walk to equality” (Africa Renewal magazine).Hide
On 17 November 2008, the Secretary-General appointed Academy Award-winning actress Charlize Theron as United Nations Messenger of Peace, tasked with promoting efforts to end violence against women. DPI facilitated a press conference in New York to announce the appointment, in which Ms. Theron participated. The event had extensive media coverage. DPI also undertook activities to promote the campaign on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.Hide
DPI produced and disseminated in all its media outlets information on United Nations work to eliminate violence against women. These products were used by global broadcast and journalistic partners and were made available to the general public. Working in the six UN official languages as well as Kiswahili and Portuguese, UN Radio covered the issue of violence against women in news reports, interviews, and feature programmes. Features drew attention to different aspects of the issue, including domestic violence, the needs of women and girls in the aftermath of conflict, the Secretary-General's launch of a “Network of Men Leaders”, and celebrity advocacy to end the practice of rape as a weapon of war. UN Television produced programmes for broadcast partners around the world and in long-format magazine programmes attention was drawn to violence against women in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and domestic violence in Afghanistan. UNTV’s live pool and daily highlights packages provided news syndicators with coverage of relevant Secretary-General’s speeches and messages, meetings of the Security Council and press briefings. UNTV also made available on the Internet a number of materials, including coverage of the 30th anniversary commemoration of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the launch of the “Network of Men Leaders” and “UNiTE to end violence against women” campaign, and an event co-sponsored by the United States, the Netherlands, and Brazil on combating violence against girls. A wide range of UN activities to combat violence against women was covered on the UN News Centre portal in all official languages. The main site with searchable index can be viewed at www.un.org/news. Intergovernmental meetings, open press briefings and statements of UN senior leadership were covered by DPI, which issued press releases on violence against women, including press release statements of the Secretary-General and Deputy Secretary-General and press briefings. In September 2009, DPI assisted in coordinating the participation of Messenger of Peace Charlize Theron in recording a public service announcement for UN Action’s “Stop Rape Now!” campaign. DPI devoted the first issue of UN Chronicle on challenges women and girls face across the world, including essays and first-person accounts of war and sexual violence, safety of refugee women and girls and the UN system’s coordinated response to protecting the rights of women and girls everywhere.Hide
In November, DPI launched a re-designed UNiTE website so as to engage visitors, in particular through creating and linking to social media platforms for the campaign. For the tenth anniversary of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, DPI publicized and contributed to the organization of the launch of the Secretary-General’s “Network of Men Leaders” at UN Headquarters, through the production of information materials, including a press kit, campaign banners and pins. The Secretary-General gave a press conference to mark the International Day, which generated considerable media coverage, with most news pieces leading with the launch of the “Network of Men Leaders”. DPI also held a briefing entitled “Healing Wounds, Reclaiming Lost Lives: The Consequences of Female Genital Mutilation” in November 2009. In all regions, DPI’s network of UN Information Centres organized numerous events to promote the UNiTE campaign around 25 November, including the launch of national groups of UNiTE campaign supporters (see http://endviolence.un.org and http://www.facebook.com/pages/UNiTE-To-End-Violence-Against-Women/314529270144).Hide
DPI’s UN Radio produced a variety of programmes in the six UN official languages plus Kiswahili and Portuguese on violence against women, including features on abuses suffered by women in conflict and post-conflict situations.Hide