#UNGA: Twitter and the global political conversation

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

On September 24, representatives of 193 world nations descended on New York City to convene the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly. The general debate session lasted the week, with discussions led by over 130 heads of state and government on a wide range of issues from human rights to global climate change to nuclear disarmament.

Twitter was an integral part of the conversation around #UNGA from the beginning, giving a behind-the-scenes look at the event and unfettered access to the most powerful people in the world.

From using the platform as a means to broadcast a live event, share a unique perspective, or document an historic moment between nations, the @UN and diplomats across the globe took the Twitter community behind the scenes and inside the minds of the most powerful people in the world during the political conversation at #UNGA.

The @UN account provided an enormous amount of information throughout the course of the week.

The organization tweeted everything from a welcome agenda, complete with #UNGA hashtag…

…to the daily lineup and schedule, using the platform to not only push information, but also to routinely reply to questions related to the daily events.

They also used Twitter to take you behind the scenes in the moments before major speeches and used Vine to document the flags flying outside UNHQ, representing the nations present at the event.

Couldn’t watch proceedings on TV? No problem. The United Nations showed the #UNGA live on Twitter by sharing videos within Tweets using Twitter’s player cards.

Along with the UN itself, individual countries and their leaders used Twitter to bring people closer both inside and outside the chamber.

New Zealand:


EU President Herman Van Rompuy (@euHvR):

The United Kingdom used Twitter to share important parts of a speech:

While many important issues were covered during the week, much of the conversation on Twitter centered on nuclear talks and the continually strained relationship between Iran and the United States, where a formal diplomatic meeting had not occurred in 34 years.

At this #UNGA, that streak was broken.

The foreign ministers of these two nations did finally meet, and took to Twitter to share their pre- and post-meeting thoughts of this historic meeting.

Although the highly anticipated meeting between US President Barack Obama and new Iranian President @HassanRouhani didn’t happen…

 …the two leaders did share a historic phone call, documented on Twitter:

 Do you know of other innovative uses of Twitter? Let us know at [email protected].