November 2013, Geneva, Switzerland - In cooperation with the Korea National Diplomatic Academy (KNDA) UNITAR organized a successful training workshop on Multilateral Conferences and Diplomacy for a group of junior Korean diplomats. The two-day workshop in Geneva was the follow-up to a one-week training for the same group of participants that was implemented in Seoul at the end of October.

After a visit to the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea, participants received an introduction to the UN System and were taken on a guided tour of the Palais des Nations to deepen their understanding of the historical circumstances of the creation of the United Nations. This was followed by a workshop session on formal processes delivered by UNITAR’s Senior Fellow, Ambassador Jean-Marc Boulgaris, former Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva. Thanks to his many years of experience as a diplomat and chair of multilateral conferences, Ambassador Boulgaris gave the participants valuable insights and advice on how to perform efficiently in multilateral conferences.

With around 8,000 meetings and conferences organised by the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG) per year, Geneva is at the heart of international negotiations and multilateral diplomacy. Participants had the opportunity to meet Mr. David Chikvaidze, Chef de Cabinet of the Office of the Director-General at UNOG, who provided them with an overview of the work of UNOG and the different topics covered in Geneva.

The second day of the workshop focused on public speaking, drafting skills and negotiation skills. Participants then had the opportunity to put their skills to practice through a simulation exercise during which they had to negotiate and draft a resolution. In the evaluation questionnaires participants emphasized that they learnt a lot from the simulation exercise and that it was an excellent addition to the theoretical components of the workshop.

At the end of the workshop participants expressed their gratitude in a short speech and thanked UNITAR for “planting the seed of multilateral diplomacy in them”. UNITAR’s Multilateral Diplomacy Programme looks forward to continuing to build upon its cooperation with the Korean government and to offering similar workshops to its diplomats in the future.