The article the UN staff is not allowed to read

UN Special is the official magazine of the international civil servants of the UN in Geneva and of the WHO

The 193 member states at the United Nations have populations speaking hundreds of different languages; six of them are official at the UN: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish meaning that all important meetings have to be interpreted into these languages. Interpreting is therefore very important at the UN and I reckoned that the UN and its employees would have an interest in learning more about how interpreting could develop in the future.

The UN staff has a monthly journal “UN Special” to which I submitted article, describing RSI and the opportunities this technology creates for the UN and its suborganisations. It was first well received by the Editorial Board. Shortly after, I was told by a well informed source that my article quickly found its way to the interpreters. As I asked for feedback, I was then officially informed that it been handed over for review by the UN Staff Council. Two months later after several emails and phone call inquiries, I was indirectly told that it was “too controversial” and when I pressed for an official statement, I was told "We do not provide explanations for UN Special rejections".

However, I think UN civil servants and other interested parties have the right to be informed about new upcoming technologies and and to build their own opinion about RSI. Does anyone have an idea why the Editorial Board decided after having spoken to UN Staff Council not the print my article?

Read the article the UN staff is not allowed to see 

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Kim Ludvigsen

With an engineering and business degree, I have worked in the financial industry and with start-ups for over 25 years. However, I have always had a keen interest in languages. My mother tongue Danish is only spoken by 5 million people, so when I after high school moved to Switzerland, I had to expand my language command. I discovered that with a positive attitude and a bit of effort, I could learn a new language in two months and today I speak seven actively.

While working for Swiss Post 2004-2010, I sometimes used interpreting and I was very surprised how old-fashioned the underlying technology was. A few years later I met with my old colleague Peter Frei, and together we picked up the idea of developing a remote interpreting platform, using browser-based software and mobile apps. A team of competent language and software specialist was quickly assembled, and by the end of 2014, a prototype developed and Interprefy incorporated.

I quickly discovered that the technology we started developing turned out to be quite controversial, or to use a modern Venture Capital expression "disruptive", meaning that is has the potential to radically transform an entire industry.

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