5 to 9 September 2011, Cha-Am, Thailand. In the lead-up to the 17th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 17), the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand organised a five-day workshop on multilateral conference diplomacy, green diplomacy and their respective interlinkages. The workshop, which was carried out by UNITAR’s Multilateral Diplomacy Programme, was split into two parts, one focusing on negotiation and its relation to conference diplomacy and one on the specific challenges of international environmental and climate change negotiations. The training aims to enable Thai diplomats to consolidate their knowledge and skills in multilateral negotiations with a view to further strengthen their government’s capacity to constructively engage in climate change negotiations and green diplomacy.

Multilateral diplomacy as a fundamental means to achieve key policy objectives

In today’s world, where global challenges are interlinked and interrelated, the successful promotion and communication of a country’s policy objectives is closely linked to its ability to effectively act in international fora. Enhanced diplomatic skills for multilateral engagement further contribute to strengthened cooperation with the international community and improved relations with regional partners. The workshop therefore equipped participants with those practical skills related to negotiation, decision-making, advocacy and risk management, which are key for the effective participation in multilateral conference settings. As one of the participants said, “the workshop provided a complete set of techniques and strategies that negotiators need to use,” if they want to be successful in conference diplomacy.

Facilitate Thailand’s diplomatic engagement in climate change and environmental negotiations

The workshop drew from Thailand’s experiences with respect to climate change and green diplomacy, and the lessons thereby learned, such that it sought to equip participants with concrete strategies to address current challenges in these fields. In this respect, a particular focus was placed on identifying and addressing policy linkages between environmental, human rights and trade concerns. At the end of the training participants agreed that the workshop was highly beneficial and relevant to the work of Thai diplomats involved in multilateral environmental diplomacy. It left nothing to be desired but an opportunity to practice the newly acquired skills in real-life situations in the near future.

For futher information about the conference, please visit the website of the 2011 Climate Change Conference.