By: Nyi Nyein Aye, Chief, Business Unit, ICTS, DGACM, United Nations
The United Nations has a long-standing commitment to the environment by ensuring that it becomes more efficient in its operations and in its use of energy and other resources. In recent years, the United Nations Department for General Assembly and Conference Management has put into practice environmentally sustainable measures to contribute to reducing the Organization’s overall carbon footprint while, at the same time, providing better and faster service.
In January 2012, the Under-Secretary-General for General Assembly and Conference Management, Mr. Shaaban M. Shaaban, signed an agreement with Luccaco Multimedia LTDA, a Brazilian Design Company. The gist of this new business partnership was to create and develop an innovative mobile web solution – at no cost to the United Nations – to provide information to over 40,000 participants attending the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, commonly known as the Rio+20 Conference, which convened in Rio de Janeiro from 20-22 June 2012.
The Rio+20 Conference marked the 20th anniversary of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development which was held in Rio de Janeiro and the 10th anniversary of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development which was held in Johannesburg. Representation at the Rio+20 Conference was at the highest level – including Heads of States and Governments, non-governmental and civil society organizations – with negotiations aiming to produce a focused political document on the sustainable “future we want” as its primary outcome.
By championing a new, sustainable software development business model, Information Technology specialists at Luccaco and the Information and Communications Technology Section (ICTS) of the Department for General Assembly and Conference Management worked together to provide the specifications, guidelines and the substantial organizational and linguistic framework necessary to make the mobile web application robust, extensible and user-friendly for conference delegates.
The Agreement provided an opportunity for a dynamic, engaged and interactive public-private partnership with the goal of advancing the agenda of the Rio+20 Conference and the implementation of sustainable development, by including an option of paperless mobile conference products. This type of partnership, which was first pioneered by Mr. Shaaban in the DGACM Outreach to Universities Programme, highlights the role of local innovative capabilities.
The mobile app, located here, was developed primarily for tablet devices and can also be accessed from Chrome and Firefox browsers on desktop computers. In a user-friendly presentation, this app comprehensively included all of the conference meetings and agenda items, side events, training events, customizable calendars, scheduling, video, GPS location services and various other conference resources, including additional detailed information found in Journal of the United Nations.
Developed in both working languages of the United Nations (English and French), the app brought together various components and information sources of the Rio+20 Conference, thereby greatly enhancing the delegate’s experience of the conference. The Business and Development Teams in ICTS created content management systems and databases to integrate various information sources such as the Journal, Seating Chart, Speakers List, information sources from other United Nations entities, and additional relevant information pertaining to the Rio+20 Conference.
ICTS is currently designing the implementation roadmap on how to modify, customize and improve the concept of a digital edition of the Journal and a mobile conference solution for United Nations Headquarters, including adding video and audio interpretation channels for various languages.
For more information, please contact Mr. Nyi Nyein Aye, Chief, Business Unit, ICTS, DGACM, United Nations.