ICT critical to success of high-level meeting in Somalia

Monday, 25 September 2017

Mogadishu | OICT | DM

Before a high-level roundtable meeting to address the severe drought affecting millions people in Somalia could take place, many logistical challenges had to be overcome. 

The discussions were scheduled to take place at the Mogadishu International Airport within the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). Thirty-one delegations representing the Federal Government of Somalia, each of Somalia’s federal member states, international partner countries, the African Union, and the United Nations were expected to attend, along with representatives of civil society, communities of faith, and the private sector.

The two major challenges were a lack of conference facilities on-site, and connectivity concerns due to the remote field location.

The Division of Conference Services of the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON) offered the solution - they would provide conferencing and simultaneous interpretation equipment for the meeting.

On short notice, the information and communications technology (ICT) unit of the Division of Conference Services went to work. A team of three technicians and 500kg of equipment - including a conferencing system with delegate and interpreter units, wireless receivers, headphones and a portable PA system - were sent to Mogadishu.

With only two days until the start of the meeting, the ICT team travelled to Somalia, set up the equipment, and tested the installation. Their assistance enabled the high-level roundtable to take place.

The team’s success highlights the ongoing collaboration between the Department of Management’s Office of Information and Communications Technology’s (OICT) and the Department for General Assembly and Conference Management (DGACM) to improve conference management support throughout the Secretariat.

Upon the successful meeting’s conclusion, Peter de Clercq, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, thanked Director-General of UNON Sahle-Work Zewde for the excellent support that the Division of Conference Services team had provided.