23-25 January 2023, New York, USA - The series of training for the 2023 PGA Fellowship Programme started Monday, 23 January, with an Introduction to the Security Council and Principal Organs led by Dr Angel Angelov, Consul General to Bulgaria and Former Deputy Permanent Representative of Bulgaria to the United Nations. To open the training sessions, Head of UNITAR Office in New York, Mr. Marco Suazo gave opening remarks to the fellows and introduced Dr Angelov before the session started.
Dr Angelov introduced the fellows to the main players at the United Nations by defining their role in both the UN system and in the General Assembly. Regional and political groups were outlined by their respective member states, as Dr Angelov described the different roles each of them play within the UN system. The fellows received a thorough breakdown of the principal organs of the UN, including the General Assembly, Security Council, ECOSOC and the Secretariat. Dr Angelov shared his personal experiences as a reference to understanding the role of a diplomat at the UN, discussing the issues he worked on under the Security Council.
The second session was led by Dr Jimena Leiva-Roesch, Director of Global Initiatives at the International Peace Institute with a course on Multilateral Negotiations. Ms Leiva-Roesch explained the basics of Multilateral Negotiations within the context of the United Nations and helped the fellows understand the challenges when it comes to negotiating, as well as learning and applying negotiation tactics. Dr Leiva-Roesch conducted exercises that aimed at increasing fellows' awareness of current power dynamics and preparing the fellows for negotiations at the UN. These exercises provided an opportunity to practice and receive feedback to strengthen their leadership skills, which will aid them in the coming months they will spend working at the UN.
The following day, 24 January, started with an introduction to networking and personal branding in the diplomatic world, offered by Ms Michele Clarke-Ceres, Co-Founder/President, WorldCeres Inc., Executive Career Coach, and Soft Skills Trainer - Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Consultant. She emphasized the importance of practising efficient communication for self-promotion purposes, practising etiquette, and being strategic with people's behaviour. Ms Clarke-Ceres also taught the fellows how to properly shake hands with other professionals, as it is an integral part of being a delegate in the UN. These skills, Ms Clarke-Ceres said, are extremely valuable and contribute significantly to every delegate’s professional career.
The second session of the second day was a course on Oceans and the Law of the Sea led by Dr Francois Bailet, Dr Amber Maggio, and Dr Bart Smit Duijzentkunst from the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (DOALOS). Within a short 3-hour period, the fellows were able to learn about the laws of the sea, and ocean affairs, as well as an Overview of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and its Institutions, The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), The International Seabed Authority (ISA), and The Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS).
The first session of the third day was on UN Drafting Skills - Best Practices with Mr Sandy Singer, Instructor in the United Nations Language and Communications Training Unit (LCTU). Mr Singer spoke about writing skills, which focused on major challenges and best practices for UN writing. He described the difference between formal and informal language and which to use according to the situation. Mr Singer focused on the importance of knowing your audience, which contributes to your language choice; he also spoke about stating purpose early in a document which helps improve purpose statement composition. Mr Singer also emphasized the importance of using gender-neutral terms such as “spokesperson” and using the gender-neutral pronouns “they/them/theirs” to prioritize inclusivity in UN Writing.
The second session of the third day was on UN Drafting Resolutions, which was led by Mr Wannes Lint, Intergovernmental Affairs Officer of the General Assembly Affairs Branch at the United Nations. Mr Lint first gave an overview of the General Assembly and the Department for General Assembly and Conference Management (DGACM), and then went on to explain the basics of Drafting Resolutions for the United Nations. The fellows were able to learn about the process of drafting resolutions done by Member States — knowledge that they will need as they navigate through working in the United Nations for the coming months. The fellows were also able to create a resolution through an exercise led by Mr Lint in which they were to create a new mock resolution to submit to the General Assembly.
The training will continue with two sessions every day for two weeks, with a second set of training courses scheduled for April.