Frequently Asked Questions

The Institute

What is UNITAR?
The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) was established in 1965 as an autonomous body within the United Nations system with the purpose of enhancing the effectiveness of the UN through appropriate training and research. Read more.

What are UNITAR’s mission and goal?
UNITAR’s mission is to deliver innovative training and conduct research on knowledge systems to develop the capacity of beneficiaries. Our goal is to be a centre of excellence recognized within and outside the United Nations system for standard-setting methodologies, high-quality training, and research capacity on knowledge systems. Read more.

What is UNITAR's mandate?

  • To carry out a wide range of training programmes in the field of peace and security as well as social, environment and economic development.
  • To carry out result-oriented research, in particular, research on and for training and to develop pedagogical materials including distance learning training packages, work books, as well as softwares and video training packs.
  • To establish and strengthen cooperation with other inter-governmental organizations, faculties and academic institutions, in particular for the development of research and training activities.
  • To conduct training programmes in multilateral diplomacy and international cooperation for diplomats accredited to the United Nations and national officials involved in work related to United Nations activities.
  • Read more.

Where is UNITAR located?
UNITAR’s headquarters are located in Geneva (Switzerland). Two outposted offices have been established in New York (USA) and Hiroshima (Japan) to strengthen skills of beneficiaries through programme development and delivery, and to assist programme development and regional activities. Read more.

How is UNITAR governed?
UNITAR is headed by an Executive Director and governed by a Board of Trustees. Members of the Board of Trustees are appointed “ad personam” by the Secretary-General bringing their important point of view from academies, politics and private business. Appointed by the Secretary-General, the Executive Director reports directly to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

Where can I get more information and documentation on UNITAR?
Annual reports and other official documents are available in the official documentation section of the website. Information on the main areas of work are available under respective sections of the website.


What training is delivered by UNITAR?
UNITAR organizes training in the form of seminars, workshops and fellowships where participants, mostly professionals from developing countries, learn from each other and share their experiences and the common issues they are facing.

What kind of recognition do I receive when participating in UNITAR activities?
Depending on the topic and format, our courses give right to different levels of recognition, ranging from certificate of attendance to certificates and diplomas recognized by academic institutions.

Who can apply to UNITAR’s training?

  • UN Member States through collaboration and agreements;
  • Individuals from those countries who apply to a specific activity;
  • Local and regional authorities from the UN Member States;
  • Private business representatives interested to increase their knowledge on international issues.

Where do the training activities take place?
All over the world. Depending on the type of course, training activities can be organised at strategic locations or through e-learning sessions. Activities conducted under the Local Development Programme are organized through the CIFAL network, a network of associated centres.

What is CIFAL?
CIFAL is a French acronym for International Training Centres for Local Authorities and Local Actors (Centre International de Formation des Autorités/Acteurs Locaux). CIFAL are established in collaboration with host local authorities/institutions, private sector partners, UNITAR and other UN organizations. Each CIFAL Centre is a hub for capacity building and knowledge sharing between local authorities, national governments, international organizations, the private sector and civil society. Read more.

What is the Antwerp ITCCO?
The Antwerp - International Training Center for Corporate Opportunities (ITCCO) is a center of excellence that offers trainings on corporate social responsibility (CSR) in relation with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Global Compact Principles (GCPs). Read more.


What kind of research is conducted at UNITAR?
UNITAR’s research activities are focusing on knowledge systems and their practical applications. Taking into consideration capacity development requirements such activities allow the Institute to develop methodologies that are particularly relevant for lifelong learning. Research supports the Institute’s training activities through the provision of learning environments adapted to respond to the needs of adult learners, thus facilitating the increase, efficiency and outreach of the Institute’s capacity development activities. Read more.

What is UNOSAT?
UN Operational Satellite Applications Programme is a UNITAR programme which benefit from infrastructure support provided by the European Organisation of Nuclear research (CERN). By delivering integrated satellite-based solutions for human security, peace and socio-economic development, its goal is to make satellite solutions and geographic information easily accessible to the UN family and through training and capacity development projects. Since 2003, UNOSAT has established a rapid mapping service for the international humanitarian community and UN Member States. Read more.

Funding and Partnerships

How is UNITAR supported?
The Institute is supported by voluntary contributions from governments, intergovernmental organizations, foundations, and develops working relationships with other UN entities, the private sector and renowned academic institutions. Becoming one of our partners contributes to our goal and enables the exchange of knowledge through collaboration. Read more.

Why partnering with UNITAR?
UNITAR's vision of training and capacity-building is based on the conviction that training should be linked to international, national and local efforts to initiate change, and should result in a measurable impact. Taking action for training is a sustainable development guarantee for future generations. Read more.

What is the relationship between UNITAR and other UN institutes?
Numerous contacts and exchanges exist among the training and research institutes; at the same time, they all have institutional relationships with other UN partners that represent important strategic and operational alliances for their ongoing work programmes. There is active collaboration across the United Nations system and a fair degree of awareness of what other organizations do. This allows for the development of partnerships that create synergies in the delivery of services, particularly in the field of training.