13 February 2020, New York, USA – The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) New York Office welcomed the fourth class of its UNITAR Global Diplomacy Initiative (UGDI), a program dedicated to providing a unique, intimate training experience targeted at students in higher education who study politics, international relations, urban affairs, or related fields.  This year’s participants come from diverse backgrounds and represent academia and professional fields.  In the UGDI, they will learn from the connections and experience of UN delegates and academics alike.

UNITAR created a curriculum for the UGDI that sees a brighter future through diplomacy.  The Initiative allows students to experience international relations and contemporary politics alongside those actively engaged in these fields—the diplomats themselves.  With access to UNITAR’s Core Diplomatic Training toolkit, the students will participate in weekly three-hour seminars with renowned professors over the course of ten weeks.  The Initiative is designed around two units—one academic, and one practical.  The academic portion will focus on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Current Global Issues, and Diplomacy and Global Treaties.  The practical section offers students a rare glimpse at the inner workings of the UN, where they will observe the diplomatic process in a real world setting. 

The Spring 2020 UGDI curriculum includes courses on Globalization and Multicultural Diplomacy, International Justice, The United Nations Security Council Reform, Regional Organizations and Conflict Resolution, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), Women, Peace and, Security, all taught by experts and practitioners in their respective fields.  Mr. Marco A. Suazo, the Head of UNITAR New York Office, welcomed the new students to the UGDI, moderated the opening session, and introduced the distinguished professors who will guide the students for the next ten weeks.  Mr. SUAZO introduced H.E. Mr. Yuriy Sergeyev, Former Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations, Dr. David O’Connor, Sustainable Economist for the World Resources Institute, Ms. Jelena Pia-Comella, Former Deputy permanent Representative of Andorra to the United Nations, and Dr. Angel Angelov, First Secretary at the Permanent Mission of Bulgaria to the United Nations. 

Ms. Pia-Comella opened with remarks about her experience in both civil society and as the Former Deputy Permanent Representative of Andorra to the United Nations.  She shared her involvement in development and implementation of norms such as Responsibility to Protect (R2P), along with other humanitarian work and women’s issues.

Mr. Angel Angelov, First Secretary at the Permanent Mission of Bulgaria to the United Nations, spoke about his background as a doctoral student and his experience in the Foreign Service. He also reminded students to take advantage of the openness of the United Nations system, and the courses close interlinkages with the Security Council and opportunities posted on the UN journal.

H.E. Mr. Yuriy Sergeyev then shared his experience as an Ambassador of Ukraine to the United Nations, as well as his experience as Chair of the Sixth Committee (Legal), covering the nature of global governance in the United Nations in the post-World War II order.


The students then each introduced themselves to the others in the seminar. They then broke up for a brief lunch which allowed them to get to know one another and the faculty.  After refreshments, H.E. Mr. Marco A Suazo led the students on a tour of the UN Premises including the General Assembly and the Security Council.

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