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BigLogo.gif UN Member States on the Record
THINK GREEN! UN Documents go electronic after January 1st
29 December 2009 / 12:21

The Journal of the United Nations and other UN documents 
will be distributed electronically to staff and print versions within the Secretariat will be discontinued at the end of this year,a move that will save literally tons of paper.

Delegates will continue to receive printed copies of the Journal and other documents, but electronic versions will be also available to facilitate storage, retrieval, searching and forwarding to capitals.  Also, printed documents remain available at the Documents Counter.

Do you know how much paper we use in the office every day?

Over 8,000 copies of the Journal of the United Nations are printed every night, distributed within the Secretariat (about 5,000 copies) and sent to delegations (3,000 copies).  A great number of these copies end up in the blue recycle bins, perhaps even unread.

Print-copies are not the only way to find out which meetings take place when, or which documents have been issued.  In fact, this information is one mouse click away on deleGATE. 

In November 2009 alone, the  Department for General Assembly and Conference Management (DGACM) printed more than 3 million pages of the Journal, which corresponds to more than 7 tons of paper (the equivalent of 15,600 pounds)!

Just imagine that in two months, if we piled up all the copies of the Journal printed daily, it would form a tower higher than the Secretariat building.  And this is only one of many documents DGACM prints and distributes.

How can I access those documents as of 1 January 2010?

All documents will continue to be accessible on the Official Document System  (ODS) of the UN, available from deleGATE and from the United Nations web site. They will contain the same information as the paper version but with added extra electronic features such as links to every resolution and document cited.  

There will be situations, of course, when printed copies of documents will still be necessary. The Documents Counter, which will soon relocate to the North Lawn Conference Building as part of the Capital Master Plan, will meet this demand.

Why go electronic?

The new electronic distribution system will lead to greater efficiency while preserving universal access to documents. The UN will experience greater energy savings through reduced paper consumption; financial savings from the purchase of fewer supplies for printing and from shifting human resources to higher value-added activities; and reduced usage and waste of paper.

Documents will remain accessible from deleGATE and the Internet and they won’t take physical storage space to file documents.

When accessing documents online, staff and delegates should only print those pages that are strictly necessary and use the double-sided option whenever possible.

If you have any comments or questions, please contact the DGACM Publishing Section at documents@un.org .