18 April 2020, New York, USA - The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) New York Office concluded the Spring Session 2020 Global Diplomacy Initiative (GDI) programme with the last zoom conference lecture and closing ceremony on April 17, 2020. In compliance with the ongoing COVID-19 health and safety measures, this remarkable training which would normally have taken place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York was accomplished remotely. In attendance at the event was the GDI students, UNITAR staff and the day’s special tutor, Mr. Larry Johnson, an adjunct professor of law at Columbia Law School and former UN Assistant Secretary-General in Legal Affairs. The programme began with a welcome speech by the UNITAR New York Office Head of Office, Mr. Marco Suazo, who thanked everyone for their efforts towards making the GDI programme a success despite the ongoing global health challenges. Right after, Mr. Johnson took the students through an interactive lecture on the topic of the day, "United Nations Resolutions and Voting Procedures". It covered related aspects of the UN Charter, drafting a UN Resolution; List of Terms (rules and terminology); General Assembly Resolution; Security Council Resolution and Rules of Procedure of the General Assembly. Through this session, he shared his wealth of experience and insight with the class, creating opportunities for participants to judiciously explore areas where they needed more clarity.


The UNITAR GDI programme provides an exceptional training experience to professionals and students in higher education while leveraging the connections and experience of UN delegates and academics. Over the course of three months, the participants had the opportunity to develop their knowledge of international relations; contemporary politics and other globally impactful topics. The 2020 Spring Session GDI curriculum offered courses on Globalization and Multilateral Diplomacy, Climate Change and the Paris Agreement, Regional Organizations and Conflict Resolution, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), International Justice, UN Security Council Reform, UN and Democracy, and Women, Peace and Security. In place of a diploma ceremony, students would receive their Certificates of Completion by mail because of the present travel restrictions.

In conclusion, Mr. Marco A. Suazo, thanked the beneficiaries for their overall interest in understanding the United Nations and Multilateral Diplomacy. He encouraged them to utilize this learning experience in their future endeavors and to avail themselves of other learning opportunities on the UNITAR platform, while staying connected to the organization. In their absence, Mr. Suazo also expressed his gratitude to the other course facilitators which included experts and diplomats from various fields like Dr. Angel Angelov, First Secretary at the Permanent Mission of Bulgaria to the United Nations; Dr. David O’Connor, Permanent Observer of IUCN to the United Nations; H.E. Mr. Yuriy Sergeyev, Former Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations and Ms. Jelena Pia-Comella, Former Deputy Permanent Representative of Andorra to the United Nations.

Overall, the students thanked UNITAR for conveniently providing electronic versions of the certificates of completion and voiced their satisfaction at being part of this prestigious programme.

Our spring training on conflict resolution, mediation and negotiation which started the 22nd of March 2020, will resume also online with professor Alexandra Carter, Director of the Mediation Clinic of Columbia Law School and will take place via Zoom: https://alexcarterasks.com/unitar-columbialaw/ on the 22nd of April and will focus on Gender Equality in Peace Building and conflict resolution. 

The 1st Module of the QCPR sessions will also take place via zoom on Friday the 24th of April. This fist module will focus on QCPR and the United Nations Development System, going through the United Nations Challenges and opportunities that the Decade of Action and QCPR process offer to Member States to guide UN operational activities for development in the next four years of implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The course will count with Key Note remarks from Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General of the  United Nations, Mr. Jürg Lauber, Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the UN and Dr. Peter Messerli, Co-chair of the Independent Group of Scientists 2019 and Co-author of the Global Sustainable Development Report.

You can still register from the event page: https://www.unitar.org/event/full-catalog/realizing-future-we-want-qcpr-training-series-module-1-qpcr-and-re-positioning-un


UNITAR New York office is also launching its e-learning course in collaboration with the University of Colorado Boulder titled “Towards Global Ethics Achieving the SDGs” is an online course that will assist decision-makers in fostering the character traits and developing the durable skills necessary for SDG Leadership. Using state of the art online learning methodologies, instructors will explore techniques used by ethical leaders and seminal leadership scholars to prepare participants to handle various ethical issues and conflicts related to the achievement of the SDGs.

Participants will engage in oral and written presentations to strengthen self-leadership, ethical leadership, ethical conflict resolution in team leadership, transdisciplinary leadership as well as other forms of shared leadership in the 21st century. 

To register please go to the event page: https://www.unitar.org/event/full-catalog/%E2%80%9Ctoward-global-ethics-achieving-sdgs%E2%80%9D

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