May 2020, Geneva, Switzerland - As learning is the main focus of UNITAR, students and young professional are an important target of the Institute’s work. A number of Master’s degrees in partnership with esteemed universities around the world have already successfully been launched and have become an integral part of UNITAR’s portfolio, but cooperation with universities and other institutes for higher education involves more than these instances.
The Division for Multilateral Diplomacy has launched its new partnership with Seton Hall University (New Jersey, USA) in March 2020 and offered a customized 4-week online course to the students of its School of Diplomacy and International Relations. The original plan for the students was to attend a one-week study visit in Geneva, where they were looking forward to immersing themselves in the city’s multilateral working environment and receiving briefings and guided tours from practitioners and insiders within the UN system. Although the restrictions caused by the current global pandemic have eventually prevented the implementation of this project, the Division for Multilateral Diplomacy still managed to provide students with the opportunity for live – although virtual – interactions with former UN staff and other international practitioners. This was achieved through the delivery of the online course on Multilateral Diplomacy and Negotiation, which was promptly designed and offered as an alternative after only a few weeks after the former activity’s cancellation. As part of the programme, four e-learning modules were offered on a self-paced basis, but participants also benefitted from stimulating discussions through the UNITAR online platform and through the participation in weekly synchronous web-meetings with the course moderators.
Overall, the course has received outstanding reviews, and UNITAR looks forward to widening its cooperation with Seton Hall and other universities worldwide to engage global youths in the pursuit of the United Nations’ objectives of sustainability and multilateral cooperation.