The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) was established in 1965 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. Activities include diplomats, other government officials, non-governmental representatives, local authorities and other stakeholders.
At the heart of UNITAR, the Multilateral Diplomacy Programme (MDP) delivers training and support workshops to address the needs of these international actors. MDP’s activities cover a wide range of policy domains, including training on the United Nations system and skills development.
UNITAR designed a training programme offering participants a full immersion into Geneva’s multilateral working environment. The overarching purpose of this activity is to bring the United Nations closer to the hearts and minds of participants.
UNITAR also intends to strengthen the participants’ conviction of the principles enshrined in the UN Charter, especially multilateralism. In the long term, this does not only result in participants’ more favourable view on the organisation, but also in a higher willingness to cooperate.
In line with UNITAR’s mandate, the Immersion Programme also aspires to enhance participants’ knowledge and skills related to international affairs and diplomacy. This will enable them to work more effectively and efficiently in any multilateral environment.
The China United Nations Immersion Programme consists of two components: (i) a 4-week long e-learning course followed by (ii) a 5-day organized study visit to Geneva, Switzerland. UNITAR will tailor the content of the programme exactly to participants’ expectations.
As first step of the Immersion Programme, UNITAR offers a four-week long e-Learning course to be made available on its online platform. It serves as a general introduction to the United Nations and sets the stage before participants come to Geneva and experience it themselves.
As a second step, participants are then welcomed to Geneva. Hosting 35 international organizations and more than 250 NGOs, Geneva offers itself for a whole series of potentially formative experiences. UNITAR aims at a healthy balance between expert lectures, training workshops, guided tours and cultural activities.
UNITAR’s training programs are designed to be highly interactive and participatory. Activities will include a high level of direct exposure to policy practitioners and diplomatic settings, thereby gaining a thorough knowledge and understanding of the topic.
Any workshop will be built on four pedagogical pillars: concept learning (lectures, presentations), role-playing (exercises, simulations), experience sharing (panels, group discussions) and exposure to real world problems (case illustrations, video analysis).
Most of the activities will take place in the English language. However, UNITAR is also able to organize activities in Mandarin Chinese, including briefings with UN officials speaking Mandarin Chinese or members of China’s Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva.
The China United Nations Immersion Programme is geared towards participants from a variety of different backgrounds. In addition to diplomats or other government officials, these can also include university students and other young aspiring international actors.
In order to ensure a smooth and effective organization of the activities, UNITAR suggests to limit the number of participants to 30. Due to English being the primary instruction language, participants should have a decent command of English as most important prerequisite to apply.
At the end of the activity, participants will be awarded a UNITAR Certificate of Completion. They will also be asked to complete a feedback questionnaire to evaluate the success of the training in achieving the learning objectives.