The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) was established in 1963 as an autonomous body within the United Nations with the purpose of enhancing the effectiveness of the work of the UN and its member states.
UNITAR designs and conducts close to 500 different training and knowledge sharing events per year for some 50,000 beneficiaries worldwide. Participants include diplomats, other government officials, non-governmental representatives, and other stakeholders.
At the heart of UNITAR, the Multilateral Diplomacy Programme Unit (MDPU) delivers training workshops to address the needs of these international actors. MDPU’s activities cover a wide range of domains, including training on the UN system and skills development.
As part of the training activities implemented during the summer months, UNITAR designed a 10-day online training programme, offering participants a full immersion into the United Nations' multilateral working environment in Geneva.
In line with UNITAR’s mandate, its main purpose is to enhance participants’ knowledge and skills in the area of international affairs and diplomacy. This will empower them to work more effectively and efficiently in any multilateral setting.
UNITAR further intends to strengthen the participants’ conviction of the principles enshrined in the UN Charter, especially multilateralism. It lastly aspires to give its participants the opportunity to gain valuable insights into possible future career steps.
Hosting 35 international organizations and more than 250 NGOs, the city of Geneva offers a whole series of potentially formative experiences. UNITAR hosts the activity on its virtual e-Learning platform and provides a nuanced balance between the following different components:
UNITAR’s professional network across Geneva allows it to organize a series of 1-2-hour expert webinars, in which participants can directly learn from UN personal or other high-level officials. Previous online training programmes have included webinars from the following organizations:
- United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG)
- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
- The Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the UN in Geneva
As its core activity and raison d’être, UNITAR provides several online workshops to the participants. Delivered by experts such as current UN staff or retired ambassadors, previous programmes have included the following e-workshops:
- Negotiation Skills
- Public Speaking Skills
- Workshop on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Live-streamed Multilateral Conferences:
With its more than 10.000 conferences a year, the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG) counts as one of the most active international conference centres in the world. UNITAR offers participants to attend such meetings through live stream and thereby experience multilateral negotiations online:
- Human Rights Council
- United Nations Committee against Torture (UNCAT)
- United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
Virtual Guided Tours:
Geneva is rich in historic buildings important to international affairs. Thanks to its access across the city, UNITAR can provide a series of virtual guided tours. Previous programmes have included virtual tours through the following facilities:
- The United Nations’ Palace of Nations (3-hours extensive private virtual tour)
- The headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
- The diplomatic district of International Geneva with its manifold international organizations
Online Career Development Sessions:
UNITAR also provides several 1-2 hour online sessions on how to advance your professional career and find a solid footing in the world of international organizations. These sessions can include the following components:
- Information session on internships and other entry positions in the UN system
- Training workshop on application to a UN job opening and interview skills in the UN context
- Review of application material, including CV, motivation letter, personal history form, Inspira profile, LinkedIn profile
The Online Immersion Programme will be run from UNITAR´s e-Learning platform, where announcements and relevant links to activities will be posted. In addition to the above-mentioned components, the platform will contain online reading material, interactive quizzes as well as pre-recorded videos, which participants are free to study anytime best for them.
The expert webinars, e-workshops, virtual guided tours and other live components will mostly be delivered through the online software Zoom. The programme´s agenda is designed in such a way that the live-components do not exceed 4 hours a day, so to not require participants to spend more than half-a-day in front of their screens.
In addition, the live components will for the most part be offered during the afternoon Swiss time, as to be able for participants across all time-zones to attend at reasonable times. The live components will also be recorded and be made available on the platform thereafter. All activities will run in the English language.
UNITAR welcomes a variety of professional backgrounds as well as different degrees of experience among its participants. The Online Immersion Programme is therefore open to all actors related to international affairs wishing to build up knowledge and skills related to the United Nations or International Geneva.
Participants can include public sector officials, private sector professionals and representatives from NGOs, think tanks or academia. Junior professionals and graduate students are equally welcome to apply.
In order to ensure the highest quality standards, registration will be closed after 30 participants. Allocation of slots will be on a first-come, first-served basis. At the end of the Online Immersion Programme, each participant will be awarded a UNITAR certificate of completion.
UNITAR will be responsible for the overall design, coordination and implementation of the Online Immersion Programme. It will liaise with participants on a regular basis prior to the activity's implementation in order to ensure a smooth and flawless organization for everyone involved.
The participants are responsible to ensure they are in possession of the basic necessary hardware, software and connectivity to engage in online training activities. Please note that as of now, no scholarships are available to facilitate participation.