UN discovering virtual meetings costing more than in-person
The United Nations in Geneva says holding virtual meetings is proving to be more expensive than in-person ones – and the extra cost hasn’t been factored into this year’s budget.
The revelation may seem counterintuitive as private companies seem to be saving money.
But Alessandra Vellucci from the UN Information Service says the extra costs come from the hosting platform, the staff needed to support it and technicians to operate camera and multiple video feeds – which includes sign language interpretations.
Velucci points out that for most of the meetings the cost of participants’ travel and accommodation is paid for by the relevant countries – so savings there don’t benefit the UN.
Currently the UN is unable to hold more than two concurrent virtual or hybrid meetings due to the current funding crisis.