Portrait of James Keen, who was appointed as the first Director of the U.N. Information Centre, which opened 18 January 1962, in Port of Spain, Trinidad.
moreMr. Keen, who since 1960 was serving as Regional Representative of the UN Technical Assistance Board and as Director of Special Fund Programmes in the Caribbean.
18 January 1962 United Nations, New York
Photo # 201596
The United Nations Information Centre for the Caribbean area (UNIC) opened its doors in Port of Spain on 18 January 1962, just a few months before the official independence of Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago. It was one of the first official United Nations offices in the Region.
UNIC is part of the Department of Public Information , which was established by General Assembly Doc - Resolution 13(i) on it's very first session. The Department was charged with the responsibility of telling the story of the United Nations to the World.
Today the UNIC in Port of Spain is part of a global network of 63 UN Information Centres around the World which operate in over 100 different languages. Our mandate includes advocacy, outreach education and engaging in partnerships with different actors in society at different levels. The underpinning of the work of UNIC continues to be Human Rights.
The Budget of the Centre is determined by the annual work programme set out from the guidelines of the Committee on Information (COI) which deliberates annually on those priority issues that should be communicated. Funds are approved and assigned from the Department of Public Information out of the Secretariat's regular schedule ; and is determined by the General Assembly.
Area of Responsibility:
The UNIC covers 19 Countries and Territories in the English and Dutch Speaking Caribbean, spread over 2.4 million square kilometers. From the Bahamas to the north, Belize to the west and Suriname to the south. It is part of five country teams in this region and is also a member of the regional grouping of UNICs for the Latin America and Caribbean area.
- Email - email@example.com
- Phone: 1(868)6238438/ (868) 623 4813
- Fax: 1(868) 6234332
2nd floor Bretton Hall , Victoria Avenue, Port of Spain, Trinidad.
* For your security - visitors are asked to deposit bags and parcels at our security check point. Items permitted include - phones and other devices; small handbags; notebooks and personal items.
Group Visits -
please let us know ahead of time if your group want to visit us, so that we may make the appropriate arrangements to welcome you.
What we do
The UNIC promotes United Nations issues that the Secretary-General feels should have a priority. The aim of this is to encourage support from governments, organisations, community groups and the general public with the ultimate goal of realising the universal access to rights, freedoms and a better quality of life for everyone.
Our advocacy work focuses around a number of global and regional campaigns and special events, for example:
- UNiTE to end Violence against Women and Girls
- Free and Equal campaign - advocating for LGBTI rights
- Agenda 2030 - 17 Sustainable Development Goals
- Blue Heart Campaign and Global Humanitarian Summit - to protect the rights of refugees
- UN Climate Change conferences and meetings - COP
- International Day of Peace
- Let's End Racism Campaign
UNIC often participates in educational activities to share more information about key issues on the United Nations agenda. Some of those activities include :
- Presentations to government officials, schools, NGOs and other target audiences
- Interactive sessions with students, teachers and civil society organisations
- Distribution of information materials
- Promoting and supporting stories about the work of the UN on social network platforms
- Introducing the UN to new staff in the Trinidad and Tobago UN Country Team
An important part of the work of the UNIC is to reach out to different audiences and partners in the Caribbean.
The Centre hosts and participates in events and activities as part of its programme to promote the United Nations and to encourage support for the Organisation and it's work in the region. Some of them include annual observances like the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and Holocaust Exhibits; Joint United Nations Day observances with other UN offices and sharing special displays with partner organisations.
Press & Media
UNIC maintains a working relationship with media houses to:
- Encourage publication of articles and stories about the UN in the Region and globally
- Keep journalists updated on activities of the Secretary-General, General Assembly and other parts of the Organisation through press releases, opinion editorials, daily briefings and other services
- When possible facilitate the development of skills of young journalists who have interest in the work of the Organisation
- Expose journalists in the region to opportunities such as fellowships, scholarships that are offered by UN offices and other partnering foundations or funds
One of the ways that UNIC is able to reach out to people across the region is by exploring opportunities for partnerships. Our partner organisations and groups play an important part in helping us to tell the story of the United Nations, promote and advocate for those priority issues on the Secretary-General's agenda. Our partners include, educational institutions, non-governmental organisations, libraries, diplomatic missions and other UN offices and agencies.
Partners sometimes make funding available for UN themed events or sponsor campaign activities, because it is part of their agenda as well - for example Human Rights education or Model United Nations.
Mutual Benefits - by working with the United Nations Information Centre partners support the work of the Centre but also benefit from a working relationship with us- In addition to being exposed to useful information, learning tools and resources they can become associated with United Nations Department of Public Information and continue to build a good name for themselves while gaining access to and participating in meetings and events at the regional and global level. UNIC also facilitates partnerships between partners across Trinidad and Tobago and the wider Caribbean.
2015 - UNIC Hosts regional webcast with UN Secretary-General special representative - Ameena Mohammed on the SDGs
UNIC exhibits SGDs at the Scarborough Public Library
World Environment Day beach clean up in South Trinidad
International Day of Sport for Development and Peace in Rio Claro, Trinidad
Model UN Training for organisers in Trinidad