Only students enrolled in UOC - UNITAR Master in International Affairs and Diplomacy and related qualifications can register for this activity.
UNITAR is an autonomous institution within the United Nations system with a mission to deliver innovative training and conduct research on knowledge systems to develop the capacities of its beneficiaries. As the training arm of the United Nations, UNITAR’s mission is to develop capacities to enhance global decision-making and to support country level action for shaping a better future.
The UOC is an innovative university that offers people life-long learning to help them and society advance, while carrying out research into the knowledge society.
Its educational model is based on personalization and accompanying students using e-Learning.
What to expect from this field visit?
- Attend lectures from policy practitioners and decision-makers
- Visit UN facilities in Geneva, including UNHCR, WTO and others
- Experience of a real UN conference at one of the UN facilities in Geneva
- Guided Tour of the United Nations Headquarters in Geneva (UNOG)
- Network with high-level officials, UN personnel and diplomats
As part of the Online Master Programme in International Affairs and Diplomacy and related qualifications, offered in cooperation with the University Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), UNITAR designed a 5-day field visit to Geneva, Switzerland offering participants a full immersion into the city's multilateral working environment.
In line with UNITAR’s mandate, its main purpose is 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 setting.
UNITAR lastly 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 across borders.
During the field visit students would participate in the following activities:
A series of 1-2-hour expert lectures, in which participants can directly learn from the experience of policy practitioners, high-level officials and UN representatives. Previous field visits have included expert lectures from the following organizations:
- United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG)
- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
- Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations in Geneva
With Geneva’s complex horizontal network of intergovernmental organisations and the presence of over 100 international NGOs, the city has clearly become a centre for world discussion and debate on issues as broad as peace and security, disarmament, human rights, humanitarian affairs, labour standards, health, telecommunications, intellectual property, environment, trade and development. All told, some 15,000 meetings and conferences take place under the auspices of the various organizations located in this important city and UN venue.
During the field visit students would have the opportunity to attend different international meetings and conferences, thereby experiencing multilateral negotiations first-hand. Former conferences and meetings have included:
- Human Rights Council
- Committee against Torture (CAT)
- United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
Geneva is rich in historic buildings and other facilities important for international affairs. UNITAR will offer a series of guided tours thanks to its access to buildings across the city. Previous UNITAR field visits have included the following guided tours:
- The United Nations’ Historic Palace of Nations
- The Museum of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
- The facilities of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
Career Development Sessions:
UNITAR will also offer several 1-2 hour sessions on how to kickstart your professional career and find your way into the world of international organizations. These sessions can include, but are not limited to, the following elements:
- Information Sessions on internships and other entry positions in the United Nations system
- Reviewing application material such as CV, motivation letter, recommendation letter, LinkedIn profile
- Counselling on envisioned entrepreneurial projects related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Given the complexity of international affairs, UNITAR will structure the 5-day field visit along the lines of one overarching theme per day, namely: (i) the United Nations, (ii) conference diplomacy, (iii) humanitarian affairs, (iv) trade and commerce, (v) sustainable development.
The field visit is designed to be highly interactive and participatory. Students will gain a thorough knowledge and understanding of the United Nations system and international Geneva.
Most of the activities will take place in English. Should there be any component such as a multilateral conference or an expert lecture not be available in English, UNITAR will ensure the participants will be provided with simultaneous interpretation.
The field visit is intended for current and former students of the UNITAR-UOC Online Master Programme in International Affairs and Diplomacy as well as students of the Postgraduate Certificate in Diplomatic Practice and Postgraduate Certificate in World Studies.
At the end of the activity, participants will be awarded a UNITAR certificate of participation. They will also be asked to complete a feedback questionnaire to evaluate the success of the field visit in achieving the learning objectives.