[Dateline: New York | Author: iSeek]
The day before the opening of the 63rd Session of the General Assembly, on Monday, 15 September, the Chief Information Technology Officer (CITO) ASG Mr. Choi Soon-hong, along with USG for General Assembly and Conference Management (DGACM) Mr. Shaaban Muhammad Shaaban, announced the grand opening of the ICT Resource Centre (ICTRC) with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the Delegates Lounge.
The Swiss Ambassador to the UN, H.E. Mr. Peter Maurer, also attended the ceremony. The idea for the centre arose from a suggestion by Ambassador Maurer as Chair of the ECOSOC Working Group on Informatics on the need for more customer-focused ICT services for delegates.
The CITO stated that providing such services to delegates and other ICT users within the Secretariat is an integral part of the ICT Strategy and that a multi-department partnership approach has proven to be the best way to ensure the seamless delivery of services provided by the ICT Resource Centre.
Indeed, the ICTRC would not have been realized without the leadership role taken by DGACM whose staff coordinated efforts along with the Facilities Management Division (FMD) and the Information Technology Services Division (ITSD) of the Department of Management, to ready the Centre for launch in a very short period of time. Mr. Choi specifically highlighted the special efforts of two DGACM staff, Mr. Andrey Shumikhin and Mr. Ramon Del Rosario, in bringing together all the necessary logistics for a successful launch.
The ICT Resource Centre's mission is to serve as a central point of contact for Delegates in need of information or ICT support. With hours from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., it is located in a room along the south wall of the Delegates Lounge (2nd Floor), just next to the entrance to the ECOSOC Chamber. Mr. Shaaban noted at the opening ceremony that the Centre would be good use for a room that has not been used since 1991. The Centre will be open from now through the end of the Fall Session of the 63rd GA in December.
Additional partners in the effort such as DPI’s Dag Hammarskjold Library will also provide information and reference librarian services starting 18 September to round out the Centre’s list of services.
NOTE: ICTRC will be temporarily closed today, Friday, through Tuesday due to preparatory work being done to ready the Delegates Lounge for the High-Level dinner on Monday eve. It will re-open on Wednesday, 24 September.
During the ICTRC opening Mr. Choi also unveiled the new pilot www.un.int site, tentatively dubbed the “Member States Portal” which will be demonstrated outside the ICTRC and throughout the Secretariat building on delegate work stations. The project, one of seven selected as an ICT Fast Forward Initiative, entailed redesigning, in coordination with the Working Group on Informatics, the previous www.un.int site to specifically meet the information needs of delegations working at UN Headquarters in New York.
The pilot site includes links to essential information resources and delegate-specific tools as well as new content from iSeek, the UN Secretariat's award-winning intranet. Information on the site will remain fresh and dynamic thanks to staff of DPI’s Outreach Division, which will manage the content of the site.
An official launch of the site will take place in October once the pilot site has been formally approved by the Working Group on Informatics. In the interim, the site is publicly available and the Working Group welcomes ongoing comments and suggestions for this ever-evolving effort.