Working Behind-the-Scenes, ICT Teams Enable a Huge UNGA

During the 78th session of the UN General Assembly High-level Week, delegations debated how to confront global challenges and accelerate action on the 2030 Agenda.  A global audience tuned in to watch the meetings and events live and on demand.  

The audience, however, couldn’t see the work taking place behind the scenes to ensure the necessary information and communications technology was in place for a successful UNGA.

The Office of Information and Communications Technology (OICT) Broadcasting and Conference Support Section (BCSS), New York Operations Section, and Unite Service Desk Teams led those efforts. They collaborated with colleagues from the:

  • Department of Operational Support
  • Department of Safety and Security
  • Department for General Assembly and Conference Management
  • Department of Global Communications
  • Department of Peace Operations
  • Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs
  • Office of the President of the General Assembly
  • Executive Office of the Secretary-General
“A successful UNGA is proof of the close working relationships and collaborations across the Secretariat that I see all teams pull together at this time”, said Tata Velayo, Chief, Regional Service Management, OICT.

OICT not only ensured Wi-Fi and connectivity were in place but also provided support, technical expertise, and equipment for rehearsals, production, broadcasting, and webcasting for intergovernmental meetings and 200 side events.

This year, challenges included increased attendance (including 192 VIPs and approximately 1,000 registered media members), heightened requirements, new equipment, and last-minute support requests.

Working alongside other OICT teams, the BCSS Team supported meetings, led audio-visual technology operations, and had responsibilities for video conferencing and public information broadcast facilities.

“I am so thankful to our ICT teams who made sure the necessary systems were in place for the UNGA to run smoothly”, said Chief Information Technology Officer Bernardo Mariano, Jr. “I am in awe of their dedication, commitment, and excellence.”

From 15 to 26 September, approximately 70 to 130 ICT personnel supported every in-person and virtual meeting or event. Their workdays began as early as 6 a.m. and often ended near midnight.

“I’m incredibly proud of my colleagues”, said Patrick Morrison, Chief of Broadcast and Conferencing, OICT. “It is a busy time, and the team is proud of the part it plays in communicating major issues impacting the world.”