24 March 2023, New York, USA – The Executive Director of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), Mr Nikhil Seth, visited New York from the 20th to the 24th of March 2023. With the 2023 UN Water Conference being held this week, the first in a generation, Mr Seth was able to attend its Opening Session, as well as the UNITAR’s side event on water and oceans entitled “Promoting a Water Culture Through Learning & Action”. The event brought together business executives from the five largest beverage companies in the world and sought to provide a venue for a collaborative partnership focused on delivering innovative training and building human capacities on pressing water-related issues at a large scale.
Mr Seth also participated in the Panel Discussion on “Water and Peace Innovation: Uniting Local and Global Efforts for Sustainable Development” organized by the Permanent Missions of Costa Rica and Monaco to the United Nations and the Peace Innovation Initiative and University for Peace. The event was an overall success in raising awareness and mobilizing stakeholders and UN Members to act and develop effective global solutions.
During his official visit, Mr Seth met with several department officials, exchanged views and opinions, and conveyed information on UNITAR activities and the celebration of its 60th Anniversary. Mr Seth discussed inter-departmental collaboration to offer tailored capacity-building training to the diplomatic and UN staff communities, as well as to a larger audience, with the President of ECOSOC, H.E. Ms Lachezara Stoeva, with the USG of DESA, Mr Liu Junhua, with the USG of UNODA, Ms Izumi Nakamitsu, with the Chef de Cabinet of the Secretary-General, Mr Courtenay Rattray, as well as with the President of the General Assembly, H.E. Mr Csaba Kőrösi. In the latter meeting, Mr Seth went over the PGA Fellowship Programme, and how it successfully promotes youth engagement in multilateralism and supports diplomats of the next generation.
During his time at the UNHQ, Mr Seth also devoted time to conferring with Permanent Representatives to the United Nations, including the Ambassador of India, H.E. Mrs Ruchira Kamboj, the Ambassador of Qatar, H.E. Ms Alya Al-Thani, as well as the Ambassador of South Africa, H.E. Ms Mathu Joyini.
Meetings and extensive discussions pursued for Mr. Seth during his visit, as he met with the Head of the Delegations of the European Union, H.E. Mr. Olof Skoog, with the ASG for Rule of Law and Security Institutions, Mr. Alexandre Zouev, and with the USG for Counter-Terrorism, Mr. Vladimir Voronkov. Mr. Seth reiterated the commitment of UNITAR to partner with these departments and support the effective implementation of learning initiatives based on a common agenda.
Cooperation continued with a Memorandum of Understanding being signed between UNITAR, York University, the Regional Municipality of York, and the Regional Municipality of York Police Services Board, in order to renew their collaborative agreement and deliver joint professional development activities targeting government officials, leaders, civil society, and other stakeholders, in support of the SDGs.
This fruitful visit concluded with a luncheon organized by UNITAR and the Permanent Mission of Monaco to the United Nations, in honour of UNITAR’s 60th anniversary and to celebrate the end of the UN-Water Conference and its achievements. During the luncheon, they addressed the pressing issue of water and peace innovation and how the UN, private sector, academia, and activists can work together to overcome the challenges facing our world’s water resources.