1 February 2019, New York, USA - The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) office in New York launched and welcomed the first class of its inaugural UNITAR Global Diplomacy Initiative (UGDI), a programme dedicated to providing a unique, intimate training experience to students in higher education while utilizing the connections and experience of UN delegates and academics.

In hopes of ensuring a brighter future through diplomacy, the newly-designed UNITAR Global Diplomacy Initiative allows students to experience international relations and contemporary politics alongside those actively engaged in these fields — the diplomats themselves. Designed for students enrolled in Political Science, International Relations, or similar academic programs, the program includes access to UNITAR’s Core Diplomatic Training toolkit, weekly three-hour seminars with renowned professors, as well as the opportunity to synthesize diplomatic methodology and current affairs into an academic paper under their guidance. The Spring 2019 UGDI curriculum includes courses on Globalization and Multilateral Diplomacy, Regional Organizations and Conflict Resolution, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), International Justice, UN Security Council Reform, UN and Democracy, and Women, Peace and Security, all taught by experts in their respective fields.

Mr. Marco A. Suazo, the Head of Office of UNITAR New York, moderated the opening session and introduced the distinguished professors and panelists, who shared their expertise and experience at the United Nations. His Excellency 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, Dr. Angel Angelov, First Secretary at the Permanent Mission of Bulgaria to the United Nations, and Dr. Massimo Tommasoli, Permanent Observer for the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) to the United Nations.

Photo 1: Mr. Marco A. Suazo introduces panelists at the inauguration of the UNITAR Global Diplomatic Initiative Programme

Photo 2: Trainees reviewing the course structure and objectives for the courseTrainees reviewing the course structure and objectives for the course


Professor David O’Connor, spoke about the applicability of sustainable economics in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals, and how the 2030 agenda can find relevance to the participants’ own fields of work, whether it be justice, environment, social development, etc. As an example, he positioned his own experience with the relevance of the Sustainable Development Goal 16 objective of providing fair access for all within the area of Criminal Justice throughout his career.

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.

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.

Among attendance of UNITAR’s opening ceremony was Professor Gohar Petrossian, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at CUNY - John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

The inauguration then broke off for participants and faculty of the program to mingle during a brief lunch, after which participants were then led by Mr. Pelayo Alvarez, the UNITAR New York Office Coordinator, for a tour of the UN premises, as well as a briefing on their security access.

Ms. Nusrat Jahan and Ms. Eria Photiou, the coordinators of the Global Diplomatic Initiative programme, then led a presentation on the mandate of the United Nations and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research for participants, and the diplomatic programme “leveling the playing field”, as well as spoke about upcoming and past diplomatic training courses on subjects ranging from Blockchain to Artificial Intelligence. Following that, Ms. Jahan and Ms. Photiou went over guidelines and requirements of the ten week course, as well as logistics for accessing UN resources and events, navigating security, and communication with UNITAR.

Photo 3: Professor Gohar Petrossian, Assistant Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at CUNY - John Jay College of Criminal Justice, working alongside a cohort of Trainees selected from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice Master's program

Photo 4: UNITAR Global Diplomatic Initiative Trainees conversing with professors and panelists before going on a tour of the United Nations


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