29 September 2023, New York, USA – On 11-15 September 2023, The United Nations Institute for Training and Research, New York Office, conducted a training programme for Qatari delegates. The programme commenced with a two-day Briefing for New Delegates of UNGA78. Dr. Colleen Thouez, former Head of UNITAR New York Office and Founder and Director of NASH’s Refugee Resettlement Initiative, along with Dr. Angel Angelov, a Senior diplomat and scholar of international relations, joined the delegates and provided a briefing on the United Nations system. Dr. Angel Angelov delivered a presentation that highlighted key players in the United Nations, including member states, observer states, different missions, and various political groups. In his presentation, he also touched upon significant decisions and resolutions that have shaped the history of the United Nations, introducing some of the previous Presidents of the General Assembly (PGA). Furthermore, Dr. Angelov introduced the UN system and briefed the delegates on the principal organs, the secretariat, and past secretary generals like Ban Ki Mun and the current one, Mr. Antonio Guterres. He also provided insights into the functions of the ECOSOC and the UN Security Council, outlining their duties and obligations.
The second day of the training programme commenced with Mr Wannes Lint, an Intergovernmental Affairs Officer from the General Assembly Affairs Branch, offering valuable insights to Qatari delegates on UN Elections, Resolutions, and Negotiations. Mr. Lint initiated the session by introducing a draft resolution simulation exercise. He proceeded to present the proposal and formal decision-making process. Delegates were tasked with identifying an important issue and forming smaller groups to discuss and draft a resolution. The negotiation simulation proved highly productive, resulting in the Qatar delegation successfully drafting a resolution and engaging in negotiations. They also inquired about the budget and remained open to input from other state parties during the simulation debate, culminating in a successful exercise.
The second session was led by Ms. Sharon Juárez from the Mission of Guatemala, who provided a briefing on the co-sponsorship of resolutions. Diplomats gained insights into the structure of UN resolutions, with a comprehensive introduction to resolution drafting. Ms. Sharon explained the process of proposal and text circulation among the United Nations and other member states, emphasizing the importance of topic selection and the participation of other states. She advised the Qatar delegation to give the floor to other member states, gather information, and be comfortable with a multilayered approach, both in large meeting rooms and in bilateral interactions.
The third day featured Mr. Alexander Lomaia, Senior Intergovernmental Affairs Officer and Deputy Secretary of the First Committee at the UN, who offered insights into the vital work, role, and processes of the First Committee. Mr. Lomaia introduced the subject of the First Committee, delving into matters of disarmament and international security. He also provided a PowerPoint presentation that clarified certain rules regarding the General Debate, such as the Right to Reply and points of order. Mr. Lomaia highlighted the crucial role played in addressing pressing global challenges related to weapons proliferation, arms control, and disarmament initiatives. His insightful discourse shed light on the intricate diplomatic negotiations and multilateral efforts within the committee's purview.
In the afternoon session, Ms. Jimena Leiva-Roesch, Director of Global Initiatives at the International Peace Institute, led a discussion on Sustainable Development Goals for Diplomats. She introduced an engaging exercise where the Qatar delegation was divided into three groups, each tasked with negotiating and presenting solutions to a specific case in front of the other groups. The Qatar delegation found this exercise unique and engaging.
After this intensive and engaging training programme, the Delegation of Qatar has gained knowledge on various aspects of the United Nations, including the functions and powers of UN bodies, the role of the President of the General Assembly, subsidiary organs, and rules of procedure. They also acquired insights into the 78th session of the General Assembly, its documents and resolutions, resolution drafting, the International Law Commission (ILC), the 6th Committee, the Official Documentation System of the United Nations, Library Resources, Drafting Parliamentary Documentation, and the "Right of Reply" for committee work. Finally, they received guidance on the Sustainable Development Goals for Diplomats, as well as insights into the 2nd and 3rd Committees.
The Delegation of Qatar feels confident about tackling the next few months with the reinforced training provided by the United Nations Institutes for Training and Research.