DCS was established as a separate financial entity of the United Nations Office at Nairobi in September 2000 through the consolidation of the regular budget conference servicing activities and resources previously allocated to the budget sections of UNEP, UN-Habitat and UNON. It comprises the Office of the Chief of Division, the Planning and Coordination Section, the Translation and Editorial Section, the Interpretation Section and the Publishing Services Section.
The Division provides a full range of conference services to the United Nations programmes located in Nairobi, in particular UNEP, UN-Habitat and their subsidiary organs, as well as to meetings and conferences of other intergovernmental organizations held at and away from Nairobi. A substantial number of the Division's programmes are financed on a reimbursable basis. In all, there are approximately 120 professional and support staff employed in various specialized areas such as editing, translation, interpretation, terminology, text processing, conference organization, design and desk-top publishing, printing, documentation control, distribution and so on.
It is worth noting that the Division was one of the first offices within the United Nations System to introduce remote translation in six languages through the Internet for meetings organized outside headquarters.
Since launching the remote transmission system in Nassau, Bahamas at the first Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity, in November 1994, DCS has serviced meetings at venues in all five continents. The United Nations and host Governments have thus made millions of dollars in savings resulting from the reduced teams travelling on missions.
The Division of Conference Services is currently housed in five buildings on the Gigiri compound: language staff in Blocks CE, CW and S; administrative staff in Block R, Central area - Lower Concourse and publishing, document reproduction and distribution staff in Block DP.