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UN seeks higher global media profile through Cannes TV programming market

New York, 8 AprilĀ 2005
A 30-strong team of United Nations audio-visual professionals is heading to a major media forum next week in Cannes, France, to promote UN productions, expand television partnerships and highlight the global fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

During the International Television Programme Market (MIPTV), from 11 to 15 April, the UN team, led by Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information Shashi Tharoor, will launch several video products.

Among them will be UNIFEED, a 10-minute weekday satellite video news service provided through the Associated Press Television's Global Video Wire that reaches more than 500 broadcasters worldwide.

Other products include "Voices," a series of TV spots asking the people of the world to urge Governments to honour their commitments, summarized in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), to halve extreme poverty and reduce or eliminate other social ills by 2015.

Another will be an animated TV spot for the UN's 60th anniversary this year, featuring characters from the Japanese series "Robotech," while the team will also seek co-producers to help tell "the dramatic, yet-untold story of the architectural birth of (its) landmark buildings."
Meanwhile, chief executive officers of major broadcasters will hold on Tuesday a follow-up meeting to the Global Media AIDS Initiative (GMAI) that UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan launched in January 2004 at the UN's New York Headquarters. "Throughout the week we want to explore new media cooperation and campaigns to raise awareness of the HIV/AIDS pandemic," Mr. Tharoor said.

Independent TV producers will then take part in the first-ever live pitching session for anti-HIV/AIDS programming, "selling" their story ideas for original programmes and commercial formats on HIV/AIDS to a jury chaired by MTV for instant decisions.

MTV, along with an HIV-focused alliance of cable networks in the United States called Cable Positive, is a UN partner in using educational broadcasting to fight the spread of the disease.

Among the 13 UN entities showing their wares at Cannes will be the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), which will showcase "Eco 4 the World," and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which will screen a fund-raising video on and for the victims in western Sudan called "Voices for Darfur."

The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will present documentaries and spots on endangered World Heritage Sites.
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