June 2014, during the Director-General Irina Bokova’s visit to China, the Beijing Office launched the new Beijing Office Website (www.unescobej.org) to the public.
Strengthening UNESCO’s visibility in China, the world’s most populous country and second in number of world heritage sites, is of strategic importance for the UNESCO’s Secretariat to achieve its mandate. China’s massive increase of Internet and smart phone users offers an important opportunity for UNESCO to promote its mission, be of service to Mandarin speaking persons and facilitate the increased involvement of Chinese public and private sectors in UNESCO.
Therefore, at the end of 2013 the UNESCO’s Department of Public Information together with the UNESCO Beijing Office launched a pilot project to foster UNESCO’s outreach to the Chinese public, with support from five new public-private partnership agreements. Under this project a dedicated PI team based in Beijing was established, composed by a content creation specialist and a Web Developer. In collaboration with all sectors, the PI team developed a bi-lingual (English and Chinese) website with the Drupal open-source content management framework and with the “look and feel” of the new UNESCO’s global site.
The new website aims to increase UNESCO’s visibility in China and among the Mandarin speaking diaspora by providing content about UNESCO programmes globally and particularly those implemented by the UNESCO Beijing office.
The new website is characterized by enhanced use of photos, videos and infographics, while the homepage is integrated with two social media accounts: on “SINA Weibo” (http://weibo.com/p/1001061878203983/weibo?from=page_100106&mod=TAB#place) and “ Youku” to enhance UNESCO’s reach to China’s Youth.