Foreword

Cover of the first issue of the United Nations Weekly Bulletin, which later became the UN Chronicle.

This final printed issue of the UN Chronicle focuses on new technologies and their growing use in advancing the 2030 Agenda. In 17 articles written by high-level officials of the United Nations system and other thought leaders, this special expanded edition embraces the promise of our digital age, while posing important questions about where these technologies are leading us.

Just as the United Nations is turning to technology and innovation to improve its effectiveness in the field and at Headquarters, the UN Chronicle, too, is embracing change and looking ahead to its all-digital future.

The UN Chronicle began its long run on 3 August 1946 as the United Nations Weekly Bulletin. Among other items, that first issue included the Preamble of the Charter of the United Nations and an overview of the Organization’s activities for that week, as well as articles on the admission of new Member States and the reconstruction of areas destroyed in the Second World War. The Bulletin also contained a message from the first Secretary-General of the United Nations, Trygve Lie. Introducing the new publication, he wrote that

“...it is natural that the public look to the Secretariat for authoritative information on the problems with which the United Nations is dealing and on the steps that are being taken with regard to them. The Department of Public Information will endeavor, in the Bulletin, to provide such information in its true perspective.”

In May 1964, the Weekly Bulletin became the UN Monthly Chronicle, hinting at the magazine’s future name. Secretary-General U Thant, in his own introductory foreword, echoed Mr. Lie’s convictions about the usefulness of information on the United Nations:

“A record of what the United Nations thinks and says and does, written for the world by the world Organization itself, is—if I may say so—the fulfillment of its responsibility, not only to member governments and delegations, but to all serious students of international affairs.”

This new monthly periodical provided, among other features, a “Record of the Month”, summarizing reports by the Secretary-General to the Security Council on political and security issues, and a separate picture section.

The UN Chronicle adopted its current format as a theme-based quarterly in 2007. In response to changes in the publishing industry, the UN Chronicle, like many journals and periodicals, will now become a fully digital magazine following the publication of this issue. In many ways, however, the UN Chronicle is returning to its roots.

A fully redesigned UN Chronicle website will be launched by mid-2019. Like its earliest predecessors, it will offer original content that is varied, concise and updated regularly, and continue to highlight the SDGs and the work being done to achieve them. The site will continue to evolve and adjust its tools to benefit from advances in technology and communication platforms.

As we continue our work on this new digital magazine of the United Nations, we invite you to submit your thoughts on the publication and suggestions for what you might like to see on the website. As always, you can visit us at https://unchronicle.un.org, and write to us at unchronicle@un.org, or on Twitter: @_UNChronicle.

In line with the mission set out for the magazine by Secretaries-General Lie and Thant, we look forward to continuing to provide to the world authoritative information on the United Nations as its flagship periodical, now approaching its seventy-third anniversary.