18 June 2013, Geneva, Switzerland - UNITAR delivered a very successful core diplomatic training entitled “Diplomatic Protocol in Geneva” to diplomats, international civil servants, government officials, and private sector specialists in Geneva.

Representatives of governments and other bodies, such as international and non-governmental organizations, must be able to comfortably and professionally operate in a multilateral environment, whether for a work-related, social, or conference event setting. Such activities require an in-depth understanding of the various layers of protocol and formal rules of the United Nations as well as of the host country and city. The main purpose of the UNITAR training was to familiarize participants with the protocol practices in vigour within the United Nations system as well as in Geneva and in Switzerland. It helped them to better  understand the environment they work with or for, and  to properly interact with other high-ranked personalities from the multilateral realm.

Seven participants from very different backgrounds took part in this interactive training facilitated by Ambassador Jean-Marc Boulgaris. After a thorough presentation of the three layers of protocol relevant to a diplomat’s work in Geneva, participants were invited by Ms. Lilo Guizani, chief of the Protocol Department at Geneva International Airport, to visit the airport’s protocol facilities. The Chief of the Diplomatic Unit of the Geneva Police, Mr. William Helfand, accompanied by Ms. Favre Pilet, Chief of Section at the Permanent Mission of Switzerland in Geneva, contributed to draw an overview of protocol-related issues in Geneva. Through the presentation of their respective duties within the Geneva multilateral environment they provided a comprehensive view of the interactions between protocol, security, and diplomatic issues. A series of role playing simulations then allowed for the participants to understand the workshop’s topic as being a matter of both theory and pragmatism.

This workshop took place in the long tradition of core diplomatic trainings that UNITAR’s Multilateral Diplomacy Programme organizes in Geneva with continuous success.