2 – 3 December, 2013, Geneva, Switzerland - The collaboration between the Institute of Diplomacy and International Relations (IDRI) of The People's Democratic Republic of Algeria and UNITAR, launched in 2012, took another step forward on the 2nd and 3rd of December 2013. Four Algerian diplomats of IDRI who followed several UNITAR workshops, organized and led a workshop on the techniques and dynamics of facilitation. The workshop was the first of its kind jointly organized with UNITAR.

In preparation for this event, the four diplomats undertook multiple courses called “Training of Trainers”. All of the soon to be trainers, including the Manager of the training at IDRI, Mr. Mohamed Seoudi, were incredibly eager to teach what they had learned through the collaboration at UNITAR to their colleagues of the French-speaking Permanent Missions.

This training addressed the need of the French-speaking diplomats working in Geneva to access face-to-face trainings of UNITAR in French language. Thus, it was an opportunity for these diplomats to discover the diversity and the quality of the UNITAR Core Diplomatic Trainings. It was also an opportunity for these diplomats to enhance their skills regarding activities of facilitation, inherent today in negotiations across the multilateral diplomatic community.

Organized over one and half days and supported by Jérôme L’Host, expert trainer and regular collaborator at UNITAR, this training on techniques and dynamics of facilitation was centered on 5 main pillars: (1) techniques and aspects of communication, (2) intercultural issues, (3) the management of conflicts during the processes of facilitation, (4)the question of negotiation as a process, definition rules, and peculiarities. The question of communication in its verbal and nonverbal aspects was presented by Mr. Ahmed Kateb, journalist and teaching assistant to the Graduate School of Journalism and Sciences of Information. Issues of intercultural awareness were outlined by Mr. Chérif Dris, lecturer at the Graduate School of Journalism and Sciences of Information. Next, conflicting aspects during the facilitation process were covered by Mr. Mahmoud Braham, Adviser of Foreign Affairs to the Algerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Finally, the topic of negotiation, centered around the question of the Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA), was led by Mr. Seoudi.

The participants enthusiasm for the training matched or even exceeded that of the trainings, requesting the renewal of the cooperation between IDRI and UNITAR. All participants felt they had reached all the learning objectives of this workshop, that they would reuse the information acquired during this training for their current position, and that they would recommend this training to their colleagues.