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UN To New Yorkers During World Summit Crush

UN To New Yorkers During World Summit Crush: “Everyone Is A Delegate”

New York, Sep 6 2005

The United Nations is reaching out to the population of its host city, New York, with an ad campaign meant to assuage worries over traffic jams and other disruptions that might arise from the 2005 World Summit being next week, which is expected to be the largest gathering of world leaders ever held.

The two-week-long campaign’s theme “Everyone is a Delegate” will convey the message that everyone has a stake in the Summit’s outcome, according to United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information Shashi Tharoor, who today unveiled the campaign to correspondents at a Headquarters press briefing.

“We live amongst neighbours whose lives we are going to be disrupting a little bit. And we’d like them to know about the World Summit and what it hopes to achieve,” Mr. Tharoor said. He said the campaign was conceived in the spirit of, and as a tribute to the spirit of, New Yorkers.

He said it was a way to apologize in advance for the inevitable disruption that the presence of so many heads of State and government will cause. It is also an effort to ensure that New Yorkers know why they are being inconvenienced, as well as to ensure that they understand that serious issues are being discussed here.

The most obvious impact on the host city will be increased security, which in turn will mean increased traffic. “We know that gridlock is going to be the theme, for at least part of this island”, Mr. Tharoor stated. It is important, he added, that New Yorkers understand that there are global issues at stake.

The three-day Summit seeks to tackle global challenges such as poverty, human rights, terrorism and United Nations reform.

Beginning 3 September, posters featuring the theme will appear on 1,000 subway cars, 1,000 city buses, 250 commuter rail stations, 75 telephone kiosks, and in the arrival halls and baggage claim areas of the three local international airports. There will also be four 30-second television spots will air on local network and cable television.

In one spot shown at today’s press conference, a middle-aged woman, a typical citizen of the Big Apple, addresses the full General Assembly in the local drawl, expressing dismay at the number of people in the world who lack clean drinking water until she is distracted by an African delegate’s colourful top.

“Is it silk?” she asks.

In another spot, a Yankee fan offers his spreadsheet expertise in the fight for human rights.

McCann Erickson Worldgroup designed the campaign pro bono. Funding for the campaign was provided by the United Nations Foundation and the Department of Public Information.


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