The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in Zambia is located at Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) Revenue House along Kalambo Road where the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) has provided the United Nations with substantial office space since its establishment in 1975.
During the first session of the United Nations General Assembly in 1946, the UN General Assembly agreed with a recommendation by the Preparatory Commission on the United Nations and established the Department of Public Information (DPI). The guidelines for its activities took cognizance of the fact that “the United Nations cannot achieve the purposes for which it has been created unless the peoples of the world are fully informed of its aims and objectives.” By one of its guidelines, DPI was asked to open “branch offices …..in order to ensure that people in all parts of the world, receive as full information as possible about the United Nations.”
- The Centre promotes an informed understanding of the work and purposes of the United Nations among peoples of its jurisdiction
- Assists the print and electronic media in providing news about the United Nations
- Prepares press releases
- Arranges press conferences, briefings, panel discussions and symposia on issues on the UN agenda
- Participates in radio and TV programmes on UN issues
- The Centre has developed good working relations with officials at Ministries, Government Departments, Boards, Agencies, Commissions, as well as Parliament. It promptly responds to their various requests for information on the United Nations
- The Centre responds to requests from NGOs, UN Associations and educational institutions for speakers on the activities of the United Nations and UN publications
- It organizes activities in collaboration with relevant Ministries, Departments, Agencies, UN Associations and NGOs to mark UN observances like UN Day, World Press Freedom Day, International Women’s Day, International Day of UN Peacekeepers, etc.
- During international conferences organised by the United Nations, the Centre makes available to Ministries, Parliament, organisations, UN Associations, media, NGOs, relevant agencies and the public, all the necessary information about such conferences in the form of posters, backgrounders, summaries, charts, pamphlets, booklets, etc.
- The Centre promotes teaching about the United Nations through direct contact with teachers and students through educational tours by staff of the Centre to all levels of educational institutions. Videos on the activities of the UN worldwide are screened during such tours and schools are given some UN publications free of charge.
- The Centre has also introduced a free internet service for its clients, which they use for research purposes.
- The Centre has also expanded its outreach activities by introducing a bulk sms service which it uses to information the general public on different topical issues as well as observances.
- Promoting as a focal point for public information the presence of the UN system in Zambia and projecting a unified approach and image
- Working with organizations and local groups and seeking financial and other assistance to further understanding about the United Nations
- Answering public inquiries
- Monitoring public perception of the United Nations in the country as expressed by policy makers, the academic community, Parliamentarians, the media, UN Associations, NGOs, etc.
- Provides communication services to the Secretary-General and other visiting UN officials
United Nations official records and other public information materials including posters, charts, reports and audio-visual materials are stocked in the library. UN publications for community and educational programmes may be obtained freely upon request from the library. The audio-visual materials are loaned to educational institutions-NGOs, UN Associations, etc. for their educational programmes. The Centre’s library is open to researchers, scholars, staff and the general public.
Collections include official records of the Secretariat, General Assembly, Security Council, Economic and Social Council, the Trusteeship Council and the International Court of Justice. Complete collection of the United Nations Treaty Series is also available.
There are other topical issues related to the work of the United Nations such as population, peacekeeping, disarmament, conflicts, etc. General information on UN agencies and related bodies including UN Statistical Records are also stocked. Information on employment opportunities with the UN is available in the library and at the UN website i.e. www.un.org