14 April 2023, Geneva, Switzerland - UNITAR has concluded a four-day training on key leadership skills for Geneva's diplomatic community at the Palais des Nations, bringing together 31 participants from over 25 member states. This Collaborative Leadership Workshop consisted of 7 sessions, led by world-class experts, including Ambassadors, all working to equip participants with the skills and knowledge necessary to lead engagingly and collaboratively.

The workshop began with opening remarks by Mr Nikhil Seth, UN ASG and UNITAR Executive Director, who stated, “We need each of your leadership, vision, and dedication to sustainable development in mobilizing global action toward a more just, equitable, and sustainable world.” H.E. Ambassador Galib Israfilov, Permanent Representative of Azerbaijan, highlighted the importance of such workshops in international settings such as Geneva. 

Mr Alex Mejia, Director of the Division for People and Social Inclusion, delivered a seminar on understanding leadership, collaboration, and particular challenges to leadership in the global context. Later in the day, Mrs Tania Hummel, Senior H.R. director and executive coach at Lumina Learning delivered a seminar on understanding leadership styles, which covered topics ranging from emotional intelligence to priority management. Participants then took part in an engaging and dynamic practical exercise on understanding their leadership style, allowing them to interact with others and better understand themselves. 

The following day began with Mrs Hummel delivering a seminar on aligning individual leadership styles to allow for collaboration; participants were guided in seeing how their attributes may or may not ascribe to a particular leadership style and identified the strengths and weaknesses that came with it. 

Following on, Professor Mike Saks, Emeritus Professor from the University of Suffolk, spoke on the tools and techniques for effective collaboration, explaining the main tools, such as conflict resolution and monitory and evaluation processes in detail and encouraged participants to reflect on how they can better engage with these tools. Mr Mejia then led a practical exercise on breaking down silos to allow for effective collaboration. 

Day four of the workshop began with Professor Saks going into the meaning behind responsible leadership and Sustainable Development Goals. Then, H.E. Ambassador Israfliov returned to present a case study on collaborative leadership in the non-aligned movement during the presidency of Azerbaijan, stressing the importance of consensus in collaboration. Mr Mejia then led a seminar on overcoming barriers to collaboration which was followed by a practical exercise led by Ms Imaan Khan on active listening. 

The last day of the workshop commenced with H.E. Ambassador David Fernandez Puyana, Permanent Observer to the United Nations in Geneva, University for Peace, presenting two case studies on the Leadership within the University for Peace. Highlighting the importance of education for peace and collaborative leadership's role in education. This was followed by an interactive work planning session where participants developed their goals for the remainder of the year and strategized on accomplishing them. 

His Excellency Ambassador Luis Gallegos, Chair of the Board of Trustees, then provided closing remarks and stated: “As diplomats based in Geneva, you play a critical role in promoting global cooperation and advancing the goals of peace, security, and sustainable development. To achieve these goals, effective collaboration and leadership are essential,” and each participant received a certificate of completion. 


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