The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) hosted a Skills Shop at the 6th World Urban Forum (WUF) in Naples from 1st to 7th of September, 2012.

The World Urban Forum was established by the United Nations to examine one of the most pressing problems facing the world today: rapid urbanisation and its impact on communities, cities, economies, climate change and policies. The WUF saw a total of 8,271 participants registering, with some 152 countries being represented. More than 25,000 of participants visited the exhibition hall, where UNITAR had a 36m2 open classroom booth for all to learn about UNITAR's wide variety of training and capacity-building services.

The UNITAR booth hosted over 500 visitors from around the world. All booth visitors were invited to take part in a special research project on “What learning means to you” in their languages, by writing their answers on a special learning pillar in the centre of the booth, which showcased action words such as “share, build, network, lead, inspire” in languages like Amharic, English, Thai and more.

Reflecting the theme of the 6th WUF “The Urban Future”, UNITAR’s Skills Shop hosted a variety of training and side events along with many “Pop-up” learning events in the classroom-style booth, which were open to the public. These learning events introduced the general public to innovative concepts such as

  • Transition Towns: For reducing urban dependency on fossil fuels, and transitioning to greener cities),
  • WikiCities: on ICT platforms for local governments to connect and map citizen needs and priorities for urban renewal (
  • SymbioCity: The Swedish Model for participatory governance and sustainable Urban development, and
  • UNOSAT and GIS for territorial management,
  • Municipal finance and strengthening capacities of local governments, and many more topics!

In addition, UNITAR staff made a variety of innovative partnerships with local governments to better develop capacity-building projects addressing specific needs of local authorities today. This is exactly what the Skills Shop is all about, serving your learning needs as local development practitioners through customised training to enhance your on-the-job performance and career advancement.

This unique learning environment provided an opportunity for visitors to the Forum to experience a variety of UNITAR training and learning events.

Three UNITAR programmes participated at WUF including the Local Development Programme (LDP), Public Finance and Trade Programme (PFT) and UNITAR’S Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT).

If you did not have the opportunity to attend the 6th WUF, but are still interested in a potential partnership with UNITAR please contact