UNITAR trains Algerian diplomats to communicate more effectivelyNovember 2012, Algiers, Algeria - In partnership with the Institute of Diplomacy and International Relations (IDRI) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Algeria, UNITAR delivered two successful training workshops for Algerian diplomats.

The first training workshop on "Public Speaking in a Diplomatic Context" gave participants the opportunity to familiarize themselves with issues related to public speaking and a diplomatic way of speaking. With a focus on practical and interactive exercises, the training workshop allowed diplomats to identify their strengths as speakers and enabled them to become aware of and correct their weaknesses. The use of video cameras enabled the two trainers to give the participants personalized advice on how to work on their body language, their posture and their voice. The two trainers, who are both former diplomats, also advised their colleagues on how to draft speeches and shared their experiences from international conferences with them.

The second training workshop on "Effective Communication and Media Relations" aimed to provide the participants with skills on how to improve communication with journalists. Being a former journalist and spokesperson of a number of United Nations organizations, the trainer was able to share her insider experiences as well as her knowledge of the world of media in general with the participants – from the point of view of the press, the radio and the television. As the trainer has also worked as a representative of a number of institutions, she could tell the participants about the challenges diplomats are confronted with when dealing with the media and the traps that should be avoided. Television interviews as well as practical and interactive exercises, in particular simulations of press conferences, gave the participants the opportunity to put their skills to practice and made them aware of the difficulties that can arise when communicating with journalists within the context of their professional duties.

The trainer also used a video camera to be able to give participants personalized advice and help them identify their strengths and weaknesses. The use of the video camera made it easier for the participants to self-correct their mistakes. In addition to these exercises, participants had the opportunity to practice drafting press releases on current topics – such as the economic situation in Algeria. Thanks to the interactive design of the workshop and the possibility to share experience, the participants’ feedback was very positive.

These two workshops confirmed the establishment of a very fruitful partnership between UNITAR and the Institute of Diplomacy and International Relations (IDRI). These workshops will be followed by a third course on Conference Diplomacy in December 2012. The year 2013 opens up the prospect of a number of training workshops for Algerian diplomats, some of which will take place in Geneva and The Hague.