Recent Events

UN4U and Celebration of UN Day 

UNITAR NYO Head, Yvonne Lodico visited Curtis High School as part of the UN's UN4U and celebration of UN Day. Ms. Lodico informed the group about the role of the UN, including a brief history, and the role of UN in human rights, peacekeeping, Rio+20.


Unitar supporting women leadership and diplomacy

The New York Office of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) held on 25-26 August a two-day workshop on “Women in Diplomacy” as part of its 2011 Negotiation Series “Towards a level playing field” organized in collaboration with the Olof Palme Memorial Fund. This series aims to give diplomats from developing countries and least developed countries the essential tools to negotiate with their counterparts from developed countries on a more “level playing field.” This opening workshop addressed how gender issues influence negotiations.read more.

Launching of the briefing on First Committee issues, Disarmament and International Security 

On 13 September 2011, the UNITAR New York Office, jointly with the Permanent Missions of Egypt and Indonesia, organized a special briefing on the work of the First Committee of the General Assembly. The briefing aimed to familiarize new delegates about the work of the First Committee and some of the critical issues before the committee during the 66th session of the General Assembly.
With the special briefing taking place at the Indonesia mission, H.E. Mr. Yusra Khan, Deputy Permanent Representative of Indonesia to the United Nations welcomed the delegates. H.E. Mr. Jarmo Viinanen, Permanent Representative of Finland and Chairperson of the First Committee opened the session, stressing the significance of disarmament affairs during this year’s General Assembly session. Subsequently, Mr. Randy Rydell from the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs provided approximately 40 participating delegates with an overview of previous and current efforts of negotiating the disarmament of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). He stressed the interdependent nature of disarmament questions as the delegates of the First Committee face the complex task of proceeding simultaneously not only on the topic of WMDs, but also on conventional arms and other disarmament issues. read more


Democracy delivers Sustainable Development 

The New York Office of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) organized on 1 September a seminar exploring the links between democracy and development, a vast and complex issue where political rhetoric often supplants rational analysis. Yvonne Lodico, Head of UNITAR New York Office, presented the issues at stake and asked whether democracy is a necessary element for economic development or an obstacle in view of massive development needs. Read more.
 

Orientation course on the Economic and Social Council for members of the Council  -  1 June 2011

On 1 June 2011, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) offered an orientation course on the Economic and Social Council for members of the Council at United Nations Headquarters in New York. This course was intended to help delegates become more familiar with the role and functions of the Economic and Social Council and its methods of work, as well as with the main issues before the Council. The participants were also provided information on the history of the Economic and Social Council and the relationship of the Council with the other principal organs of the United Nations.

At the end of the orientation course, participants indicated that they were very satisfied with the course and felt better prepared for the forthcoming session of the Economic and Social Council. A member of the audience concluded: “The workshop was extremely practical and useful to my work and I will use the given information in future times.”


Seminar on United Nations Operational Activities for Development - 25 May 2011

 

On 25 May 2011, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) implemented a seminar for diplomats on United Nations Operational Activities for Development at United Nations Headquarters in New York. UNITAR organized this seminar in response to General Assembly resolution 64/289 on System-Wide Coherence which requested such a course. Although the seminar was a first-time pilot project, over 50 delegates participated – indicating the need for training in this critical area. Read more.


UNITAR Workshop on Structure, Drafting and Adoption of United Nations Resolution - 15-17 March 2011

A three-day workshop on the structure, drafting and adoption of United Nations resolutions, organized by UNITAR and held from 15 to 17 March, attracted more than 25 diplomats posted at United Nations Headquarters. This biannual English-language workshop was conducted by Mr. Jean Gazarian, UNITAR Senior Fellow, who was for 18 years Director of the Division of General Assembly Affairs.

As reflected in the evaluation questionnaires submitted by the participants, the new delegates highlighted the fact that this course gave them a better understanding of the nuances in the structure of a resolution. They considered that the course was a unique opportunity to learn about the drafting of United Nations resolutions and the rules and practices related to their adoption.


UNITAR Workshop on election to United Nations Organs, 8-9 March 2011

On 8 and 9 March 2011, the UNITAR New York Office organized the fifth annual Workshop on Elections to United Nations Organs with over 35 participants. The workshop was designed to respond to the specific needs of election officers - many of them new to this position or newly posted at the United Nations altogether. The course aimed to equip participants with the necessary overview and tools to identify opportunities for candidatures and to provide them with insights and experience of successful campaigning.

The workshop was divided into two parts. On the one hand, participants familiarized themselves with the various and often complicated electoral procedures of UN bodies such as General Assembly, Economic and Social Council and International Court of Justice. On the other hand, participants had the opportunity to interact and discuss with experienced diplomats on issues such as regional groups and successful campaigns, amongst others through an enriching simulation exercise.

The peer-to-peer of the evaluation questionnaires underlined the quality of the course. Particularly the exchange and debates with experienced election officers gave interested delegates the unique chance of enhancing their knowledge and skills for future campaigns. In her feedback, one delegate highlighted that she “wanted to take this as an opportunity to thank [UNITAR] for a fantastic workshop these past two days. It was a great opportunity to meet and hear about the different scenarios and situations.”

Thanks to the generous contribution of the Government of Malaysia to the UNITAR Fellowship Fund, some 30 delegates from developing and least developed countries were able to participate in the workshop free-of-charge. 


UNITAR trains South Africa's diplomats in effective report writing

On 4 and 5 March 2011, UNITAR in cooperation with an expert trainer, Mr. David Massey, organized a tailor-made workshop on effective report writing to train South African delegates.

The content of the workshop was designed to meet the particular challenges faced by diplomats in their daily work. As such, the workshop was organized in response to a specific request by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa for training in that area. Diplomats at the Permanent Mission to the United Nations often have to write several reports per day. Thus, clear, concise and coherent writing and reporting is the backbone of all diplomatic work.
Through interactive and practical activities and several mock report exercises, the workshop aimed at improving eminent skills: making organizational and conceptual considerations before writing a report, selecting and summarizing information effectively, and developing a clear and compelling outcome. Finally, participants enhanced their editing and proof-reading skills. According to the participants, the workshop was highly relevant and useful for their work and one diplomat commented that the course was “perfect and addressed our needs.”
For more information, please contact: info@unitarny.org. For other tailor-made training package, please visit: http://www.unitar.org/mdp/training.

WIPO/UNITAR Seminar on International Intellectual Property, 23-24 February 2011

The two-days Seminar on International Intellectual Property, organized jointly by WIPO and UNITAR, has been very successful. Their collaboration, since a decade now, is maintaining a high level of presentations and discussions.

The informative face-to-face seminar featured experts from WIPO, academia and the United Nations. Following their presentations, participants had taken the opportunity to engage in in-depth dialogues with the speakers that made the event effective and interactive in a professional and friendly environment.

The first day focused on the basic principles of intellectual property such as trademarks, copyright and patent laws; followed, during the second sessions, by the interlinkages between intellectual property and global challenges, which has been very appreciated by the participants. Participants also confirmed that the Cross-cutting issues as RIO2012: Sustainable Development, Green Technologies; Public Health and Traditional Knowledge has been highly useful and accurate for their work.
 


Columbia University Law School (CLS), New York University (NYU) School of Law, and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) are pleased to confirm the selected delegates to the UNITAR Fellowship Programme and UNITAR Visitors Programme 2011.

Selected Candidates for Columbia Law School:

  • Ms. Eva Surkova, Slovakia, Permanent Mission of Slovakia to the United Nations
  • Mr. Jean-Claudy Pierre, Permanent Mission of Haïti to the United Nations
  • Mr. Yadh Bousselmi, Permanent Mission of Tunisia to the United Nations
  • Mr. Carlos Sorreta, Permanent Mission of Philippines to the United Nations
  • Ms. Ani Kocharyan, Permanent Mission of Armenia to the United Nations
  • Ms. Helene Awet Woldeyohannes, Permanent Mission of Eritrea to the United Nations

Selected Candidates for New York University School of Law: 

  • Ms. Maria I. Salamanca, Permanent Mission of Chile to the United Nations
  • Mr. Yeshey Dorji, Permanent Mission of Bhutan to the United Nations
  • Ms. Ruemma Haynes, Permanent Mission of Trinidad and Tobago to the United Nations
  • Ms. Janet Karim, Permanent Mission of Malawi to the United Nations
  • Ms. Ingrid Berlanga, Permanent Mission of Mexico to the United Nations
  • Ms. Rua Al-Zadjali, Permanent Mission of Oman to the United Nations
  • Mr. Caleb Christopher, Permanent Mission of Marshall Islands to the United Nations
  • Ms. Elena Agladze, Permanent Mission of Georgia to the United Nations  

The Fellowship and Visitors Programmes offer diplomats an opportunity to undertake studies in an academic setting, either at the CLS or the NYU School of Law, in order to deepen and refresh their knowledge in the fields of international law and related fields, including international relations. 

Participants in the Fellowship and Visitors Programmes will benefit from the interaction with the faculty and student communities at either Columbia University or NYU. The long-term objective of the Programmes is to contribute to a better functioning of the United Nations by exposing selected delegates to a programme of academic excellence. It is expected that such exposure will enable countries to participate more efficiently in international affairs and assist their domestic efforts for development. 


Migration and development series: Panel on International Migrants Day –17 December 2010

On December 17th, in light of the celebrations for the International Migrants Day and on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (ICRMW), UNITAR in collaboration with IOM, UNFPA and the NGO Committee on Migration organized a panel to discuss the impact of the ICRMW on ratifying states and the lives of migrants. The objectives of the panel were to analyze the achievements of the Convention in safeguarding the rights of migrant workers, the reasons that prevent member states from ratifying it (to date it remains the least ratified human rights treaty), and its significance in relation to the development potentials of migration.

 


The event attracted 65 participants including national delegates to the UN, staff of the UN system and civil society representatives. Drawing from the assessment of the event, the possibility to engage in a frank discussion with experts and state representatives having a direct role in the drafting and ratification process of the Convention was praised by the participants at the end of the session. The personal insights and recommendations shared by the panelists on how to further strengthen the ratifying base of the treaty were indicated as very relevant. The attendees considered the Panel and all the activities organized by UNITAR within the context of the Migration and Development Series a unique opportunity to deepen their understanding of international and regional migration issues as well as its interlinkages with development planning. 


UNITAR Seminar on International Trade Law and Policy - 13-17 December 2010

For the second time this year, from 13 to 17 December, the UNITAR New York Office Organized in collaboration with the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the seminar on International Trade Law and Policy.
The seminar included 2 days session and 3 half-days session. It covered three main parts as the functioning of the international trading system, including an overview of the role, structure, and the basic principles of the WTO. The second part gave an overview of the Doha Development Agenda, including the status of the negotiations in the various areas as well as the contentious issues involved that have prevented the conclusion of the Round. The third and last part assessed a number of cross-cutting issues that are related to world trade and the Doha Round, including the inter-linkages between trade and intellectual property, trade and climate change, trade and employment, trade and development, regional trade integration, as well as the impact of the current economic crisis on trade.

Around 30 participants attended this seminar and its issues which have been presented from various perspectives (UN Staff, WTO and academia). The seminar has confirmed the need for and the importance of capacity development in the area of trade law and related topics for diplomats at United Nations headquarters.

The results from the evaluation questionnaires underline the quality of the speakers and provided delegates mostly from permanent missions to the UN with tools and knowledge which will allow them to further develop their expertise to contribute positively to current trade-related duties and negotiations within the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council.  


UNITAR Orientation course on the Security Council for members of the Council – 8-11 November 2010

From 8 to 11 November 2010, the UNITAR New York Office offered an intensive four-day orientation course on the Security Council for members of the Council. Close to 50 participants attended that event. The main objective of the course was to enable representatives to familiarize themselves with the work and procedures of the Security Council. The orientation course was intended primarily for newly-elected members of the Council.

As reflected in the evaluation questionnaires submitted by the participants, the delegates particularly appreciated the fact that this course provided them with practical information on the functions, practices and procedures of the Security Council. They considered that the information they received from experienced members of the Secretariat and the Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations would be extremely useful to them when they assumed their mandate of new members of the Council on 1 January 2011. They also welcomed the opportunity of becoming acquainted in advance with their counterparts from the other members of the Security Council.


Workshop on effective negotiation in multilateral conferences - 4-5 November 2010

From 4 to 5 November, UNITAR offered the last workshop of the 2010 Negotiation Series “Towards levelling the playing field” on effective negotiation in multilateral conferences. 38 delegates from nearly 30 countries were able to participate and familiarised themselves with basic negotiation skills, negotiation challenges and how to chair a conference. The main facilitators were Professor Minh A. Luong and Mr. Nicholas Coburn-Palo, both from Yale University.

Through case studies, discussions and experience of practitioners, participants learned the objectives, outcomes and processes of multilateral conferences. In addition, they looked into the various strategies and techniques of positive negotiated results as well as how to analyse the dynamics of negotiations. Next to the presentation of the case study of the 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), two ambassadors discussed intensively with participants how to best reach an agreement and what qualities a versatile negotiator needs. The workshop gave delegates from developing and least developed countries the chance to improve their negotiation skills and level the diplomatic playing field at the United Nations. 


Workshop on Negotiating International Peace and Security – 21-22 October 2010

The advanced-level workshop on negotiating international peace and security took place on 21 and 22 October 2010 and was attended by nearly 50 delegates. The main objective of the workshop was to familiarize delegates with the particular dynamics of Security Council negotiations and address the challenges involved from the negotiator’s perspective. Furthermore, the workshop focused on special areas such as children and armed conflict and women, peace and security; the latter issue coinciding with the tenth Anniversary of the landmark resolution 1325 on protecting women and enhance their participation in the peace processes.

Participants had the chance to learn from directly involved practitioners, either from the Security Council or on the field. On the one hand, this gave the delegates the opportunity to discuss the challenges in adopting a resolution, to learn about formal and informal rules of the Security Council and how to deal with the Permanent Five. On the other hand, delegates found out directly what the consequences of a resolution in the field and the crucial issues for UN practitioners in conflict areas are. Hence, the workshop sensitized delegates to the special characteristics and challenges of negotiating international peace and security. 


UNITAR UN Reform Course Series – 8 & 15 October & 19 & 24 November 2010 - 4-5 October 2010 

For the third time, the UNITAR New York Office organized jointly with the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations the United Nations Reform Course Series. The Course included four half-day modules and covered reform areas such as institutional adaptation of UN governing bodies, management reform, system-wide coherence and integrated approaches to conflict and post-conflict situations. More than 170 participants gained a comprehensive, impartial and up-to-date knowledge base on the main chapters of ongoing UN reform efforts from academic experts, civil society, UN staff and high-ranking diplomats.

The high number of participants and the results from the evaluation questionnaires underline the quality of the Course Series and the need of newly arrived delegates to have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with UN reform efforts.

Particularly the exchange of opinions and the debates on issues such as Security Council reform, Delivering as One and the review of the Peacebuilding Commission, interested delegates and gave them the unique chance of talking and discussing with speakers who are directly involved in these important matters.


French-language workshop on the structure, drafting and adoption of United Nations - 18 and 15 October 2010 

From 18 to 20 October, UNITAR offered to the New York diplomatic community a French-language workshop on the structure, drafting and adoption of United Nations resolutions. Close to 25 participants attended that event. The main objectives of the workshop were to familiarize the participants with the structure and form of United Nations resolutions and decisions, to help them to improve their skills in the drafting of resolutions and to enable them to acquire a better knowledge of the rules and practices relating to the adoption of resolutions.

As reflected in the evaluation questionnaires submitted by the participants, the French-speaking delegates particularly appreciated the fact that this course was offered in their working language. They considered that the course was a unique opportunity to learn about the drafting of United Nations resolutions and the rules and practices related to their adoption. They also considered that it was very useful for them to study in the company of delegates with whom they may soon be called upon to negotiate the drafting and adoption of “real” resolutions. 


English-language workshop on the structure, drafting and adoption of United Nations resolutions - 4-5 October 2010 

For the second time this year, from 4 to 6 October, UNITAR offered to the New York diplomatic community an English-language workshop on the structure, drafting and adoption of United Nations resolutions. Close to 60 participants attended that event. The main objectives of the workshop were to familiarize the participants with the structure and form of United Nations resolutions and decisions, to help them to improve their skills in the drafting of resolutions and to enable them to acquire a better knowledge of the rules and practices relating to the adoption of resolutions.

As reflected in the evaluation questionnaires submitted by the participants, the new delegates particularly appreciated the fact that this course was taking place immediately before their involvement in the work of the General Assembly and its Main Committees. They considered that the course was a unique opportunity to learn about the drafting of United Nations resolutions and the rules and practices related to their adoption. They also considered that it was very useful for them to study in the company of delegates with whom they may soon be called upon to negotiate the drafting and adoption of “real” resolutions.