Pursuant to its origination in a GA Assembly resolution in 1964, UNITAR seeks to enhance the effectiveness of the Organization, especially the New York diplomatic community – the largest in the world. To this end, the New York office delivers workshops and briefings on the UN bodies, Security Council, General Assembly, ECOSOC, as well as on critical cross cutting issues such as development, human rights, migration and refugee, peacekeeping and peacebuilding and governance – not to mention women and diplomacy courses.
Further, our training courses in fundamental diplomatic skills, such as drafting resolutions, negotiations, and public speaking as well as offering fellowships with Columbia and New York University Law schools underscore the foundation of UNITAR. Also, the office collaborates with the Secretariat and specialized agencies. Based links with the New York diplomatic community, the office extends its trainings globally, as well as supports the UNITAR headquarters and other field offices.
Format of UNITAR Events
UNITAR fills a niche in the United Nations system by offering training programmes specially tailored to the work of the United Nations in New York. Many workshops are interactive and participatory, including individual presentations, group work and homework assignments. Most of UNITAR's programmes are held in small to medium-sized conference rooms at United Nations Headquarters, where the atmosphere is mostly informal and collegial. Participants know they are in a learning environment and are not requested to represent their respective countries, which facilitates frank discussion and exchange of views. Selected events are open to members of academia, non-governmental organizations and the private and public sectors. These participants can offer new perspectives and energies, adding to the overall value of the learning experience.
Each year, the New York Office trains just under 2,000 diplomats in a wide range of programmes. For many diplomats, being posted to United Nations Headquarters is their most daunting and challenging professional assignment. UNITAR provides guidance through seminars, workshops and other training opportunities that fall under three broad categories:
(1) Courses on the United Nations system and its functioning, including briefings for new delegates on the General Assembly and its Main Committees, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the topic of UN reform; a briefing for new members of the Security Council; as well as workshops on UN elections and documentation.
(2) Seminars on international law and policy, including on challenges and developments in the fields of ocean affairs and law of the sea, treaty law, international migration and development, international trade, environmental governance, and peace and justice issues.
(3) Workshops on diplomatic skills strengthening, including a series of workshops on negotiation skills; training in public speaking and in the drafting of resolutions.
In addition, the New York Office hosts the Continued IT Education (CITE) Project which offers a blended learning approach to self-paced on-line computer skills training for diplomats. CITE also works as the skills-based complement to UNITAR's ICT policy and governance seminars. Finally, UNITAR offers an annual fellowship programme in partnership with Columbia and New York Universities, giving a small number of delegates the opportunity to audit courses at either Institution's law school.
Throughout its Programmes, the New York Office provides a platform for meaningful exchanges among delegates, academia and experts from the public and private sectors. However, in an effort to continually offer the most relevant services to delegates, UNITAR welcomes and remains responsive to suggestions by permanent missions, and offers tailor-made training for Member States upon request.