3 March 2021, Geneva, Switzerland - Over the past year the corona pandemic has not only fundamentally altered individual lives, but also shaped global politics by shifting countries’ priorities. The consequences have been felt throughout the global and local economies with the effects reverberating in society. And while the countries often combined efforts to find a vaccine have taken centre stage, other important issues such as climate change and the sustainable development goals (SDGs) have been largely side-lined. Moreover, with funding largely diverted to finding the much-needed vaccine and to alleviate the effects of covid, many countries had to reduce their development aid and capacity building endeavors. Consequently, UNITAR’s Division for Multilateral Diplomacy has seen an increase in requests for partial fee reductions and even full fee-waivers for its International Law courses, that cannot be met by the project-funded institute.

UNITAR thus seeks to fulfill its mandate of delivering innovative learning solutions to individuals, organizations and institutions in order to enhance global decision-making and support country-level action for shaping a better future, as well as its objective to reach the furthest first through the creation of a scholarship fund. This scholarship fund will be created from the revenue from the fundraising lecture series.

This lecture series will seek answers to the questions that will become paramount in the aftermath of the pandemic, namely to what extend the SDGs can still be reached despite the setbacks and what world we want to re-build post-covid. Moreover, UNITAR pledges that all revenue from the series will go towards a scholarship fund from which the course fees of applicants from Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) for the International law courses will be covered. With the help of this scholarship fund, beneficiaries that could otherwise not afford to partake in the training activities will be able to further their knowledge on cutting edge legal topics through UNITAR’s international law courses.

Thematic issues

UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

UNITAR’s fundraising lecture series will shed light on four key thematic issues:

  • How has the Covid-19 crisis impacted the fight against Climate Change?

The lockdowns that lead to a severe reduction in economic activities and the resulting reduction in the emission of greenhouse gases has allowed some countries to reach their 2020 climate targets. However, the overall issue of climate change remains unresolved.While the world seeks to address the virus, climate change faded from the public eye. Our speakers will reflect on how the Covid crisis has impacted our efforts to combat climate change and how to ensure to meet the goals set out by COP21.

  • What must be done to rebuild a more resilient and sustainable economy?

While essential workers continue to work with new protective gear and stricter hygene measures, many jobs have shifted online and millions of people world-wide are facing unemployment. With a new recession looming, the question arises how to we wish to re-build our economy to make it more sustainable and more shock resistant.

  • How has the pandemic influenced multilateralism?

The pandemic has affected people globally and both lead to a renewed show of solidarity and cooperation between nations, while at the same time leading to the renewal of resentments and suspicions. Meanwhile, in-person meetings, and usual diplomatic channels of communications during international conferences had to shift online, with significant consequences. Our speakers will reflect on the pandemic’s influence on multilateralism, and what this entails for the future of diplomacy.

  • How did the pandemic impact global efforts to achieve gender equality?

Several studies suggest that the pandemic has had a disproportional impact on women and especially working mothers. The Fundraising Lecture Series will explore the effects of the pandemic UN efforts to achieve gender equality and how any negative effects might be mitigated.

The lecture series is addressed to staff of the United Nations, government officers in ministries, as well as staff of other intergovernmental / nongovernmental organizations. It also targets entry-level and mid-career diplomats working in a multilateral setting. Members of the private sector and students are also encouraged to join.

These topics will be tackled through the course of four online lectures in September and October 2021, allowing participants from all around the world to join and ensuring a safe and socially-distanced exchange of knowledge and ideas. Each lecture will last between 90 minutes and 2 hours and includes a brief Q&A session for which participants may submit their questions to UNITAR for screening in advance.

UNITAR is looking forward to exploring these topics issues together with high level experts, as well as to being able to grant partial and full fee waivers to participants from SIDS and LDCs.

For more information and registration

Any potential queries can be addressed to info.ilp@unitar.org

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