You already do so much on your mobile device — it’s not just for calling anymore, and has not been for several years. Now, in addition to all it does, you can also listen to what’s going on now at the United Nations from UN Radio, as well as audio from UNTV programmes and live coverage of UN meetings and events at its Headquarters in New York.

A new service, called AudioNow, has been available in the U.S. since December, and this month, service has been added in Brazil, South Africa, Switzerland, and in Ukraine. This is only the early stages of a larger planned roll out; later the service will be offered in more countries in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, and the Caribbean.

The UN Audio Channels from UN’s Department of Public Information, working with AudioNow, the world’s largest call-to-listen platform, offer callers the ability to call a local number from any landline or mobile device and listen to:

  • daily news and features from UN Radio in English, Spanish, French, Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Kiswahili and Portuguese;
  • audio from UNTV programmes such as 21st Century and UN in Action;
  • daily press briefings;
  • live coverage of the General Assembly, the Security Council and other events;
  • other content from across the UN system, including in-depth interviews.

While we may get the impression that smartphones are everywhere, surprisingly, the global penetration of smartphones is still lower than we might think, even in developed regions like in North America and Europe, leaving significant proportions of feature phone users without apps of any kind. The advantage of a call-in platform, where a user calls a domestic number to listen to programming, is that feature phone users do not need apps, and smartphone users can use their cheaper voice plans rather than eating into their expensive data plans.

Available local access numbers in the United States, Brazil, South Africa, Switzerland and Ukraine are listed on the United Nations Multimedia page at Call-in numbers in other countries will be added to the page as they are launched.

Call up your local number, in your language of choice — and stay in the loop on new developments at the United Nations!