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Chairing International Conferences

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Chairing International Conferences

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Web Based
23 Sep 2013 to 6 Oct 2013
Duration of event:
2 Weeks
Programme Area:
Peace Security and Diplomacy, Multilateral Diplomacy
Specific Target Audience:
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Event Focal Point Contact Number:
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The value of this course is not only to provide information, skills and guidance to delegates who may be appointed or elected to chair meetings, it is also important for all delegates to understand what the chairman is doing, and why he or she is doing it. Indeed, unless delegates want the conference to fail, they should support the chairman’s efforts. In short, successful conferences require strong and able chairmen to be effective, and need supportive and cooperative delegates. This in turn means that all delegates who wish to influence outcomes of the conference need to understand what the chairman is trying to do. If they want the conference to reach certain decisions, they need to work with and through the chairman.

At the end of the course, participants should be able to:
• Communicate an appreciation for the role of presiding officers;
• Use acquired skills and knowledge to efficiently chair meetings;
• Determine what preparations are appropriate as a meeting chair;
• Identify common chairmen's mistakes and give best practice strategies;
• Support and cooperate with the chairman.

The course content is to be confirmed, but will tentatively contain:
1. Introduction
2. Formal and procedural role of the Chair
3. Speaking from the Chair
- General principles
- Examples
- Role-play exercise
4. Substantive role of the Chair
5. Preparing to Chair
6. Challenges for the Chair
7. Follow up

e-Learning: The course is internet-based, moderated by senior international experts, asynchronous, and places emphasis on online discussions and self-paced learning. The participants will be primarily responsible for their own learning over the two-week span of the course. The course will consist of the following components:
• Compulsory and optional reading material, intended to teach the basic concepts and principles of the lesson's subject-matter.
• External links to additional books, articles, documents, and websites related to the lessons. 
• A glossary of terms provided as a learning tool throughout the course.
• Quizzes and case studies at the end of each module.  To be eligible for the course certificate, a passing grade of 80% on both quizzes and case studies is required.
• A Community Discussion Board will be available for participants to post questions or comments visible to the instructor and other participants.  This discussion board will be moderated by the course director and UNITAR.
• Estimated learning time: minimum of 20 hours.
• Participants will be eligible to receive a certificate after the successful completion of the course.

The course is open to members of Permanent Missions accredited to the United Nations Offices, irrespective of their ranks and functions, in particular recently accredited diplomats who are new to a multilateral environment and those who expect to be chairman in upcoming conferences.  Private sector specialists and students whose work or studies are related to this subject are also encouraged to apply.

We highly recommend credit card payments.The course participation fee is 500 USD. You will receive an invoice by email after registration.

Participants from Least Developed Countries (LDCs) are eligible to apply for a fellowship. Please click here for more details.Registration will be closed as soon as the course is full and your place will be secured once your payment is confirmed.

General Requirements

  • Have a good command of the English language
  • Be computer literate

Technical Requirements

UNITAR recommends the following as a minimum in hardware and software to take our e-Learning courses. Please consult your Network Administrator or Systems person to ensure that you have the following:

  • Platform: Windows 95, 98, 2000, NT, ME, XP or superior; MacOS 9 or MacOS X; Linux
  • Hardware: 64 MB of RAM, 1 GB of free disk space
  • Software:
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader (click here to download for free)
    • Adobe Flash Player (click here to download for free)
    • Microsoft Office (Windows or Mac) or Open Office (click here to download for free)
  • Browser: Internet Explorer 7 or higher (click here to download for free); it works better with Firefox 3.6 or higher (click here to download for free) 
  • Note that JavaScript, Cookies and Pop-ups must be enabled


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