UNITAR New York Office holds an orientation course on the General Assembly for Diplomats of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

13 May 2013, New York, USA - UNITAR welcomed over 25 delegates of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in New York from 8 - 9 May. Ambassador Ahmad Kamal, Senior Fellow at UNITAR and Former President of ECOSOC, introduced the workshop with a lively presentation, giving an overview of the History of the UN, including the background and history of the UN Charter and its different chapters. Ambassador Ahmad Kamal, further explained the overview and structure of the General Assembly system, focusing on the rules of procedure. The afternoon session focused on the role and functions of the six committees of the General Assembly.

The second day was held by Mr. Larry Johnson, Former Assistant-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs, and Ms. Maria Maldonado, Former Director of the General Assembly Affairs Branch, who went deeper into the rules of procedure of the General Assembly. They also explained all about the draft of a resolution, its steps and possible challenges. They further discussed the voting and procedure of the General Assembly, compared to the procedure of the Security Council, and the rules for counting the votes.

The third day of the workshop included a focus on the services available, related to the General Assembly, to the Permanent Missions. Mr. Fariz Mirsalayev, Protocol Officer at the Protocol and Liaison Service, gave an explanation of important protocol functions, including coordinating official visits from Heads of State and managing the UN Blue Book. Mr. Alexander Taukatch, Deputy Director of News and Content Branch, Department of Public Information, gave a comprehensive overview of media relations and public information services in New York, such as press releases, radio or the UN website. Another speaker was Ms. Nancy Groves, Social Media Team Leader, UN Department of Public Information, who gave a comprehensive overview on how the United Nations use social media and what are the challenges faced.

The last segment of the workshop also focused on further services available to the New York diplomatic community. Ms. Mereani Vakasisikakala, Coordinator at the Dag Hammarskjöld Library, gave a comprehensive presentation on the online tools and resources available for Delegates, focusing on the documents of the General Assembly and explaining useful information such as the meaning of the symbols or the format of the resolutions.  This training took place as part of the training that UNITAR Multilateral Diplomacy training programme is conducting for Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.