19-20 July, New York, USA, online workshop - The United Nations Institute for Training and Research's (UNITAR) office in New York organized a two-day virtual workshop entitled “Advanced Drafting Skills” on 19-20 July 2021. The private workshop was attended by approximately 20 participants via video conference. The workshop started off with an opening statement by the office coordinator of UNITAR New York office Mr. Pelayo Alvarez who introduced Mr. Sandy Singer, a Lecturer and Instructor in the UN-LCP English Language Programme and Consultant and Professor in the field of Written and Oral Communication for Business. The two-day workshop focused on techniques and ways to maintain goodwill, the use of professional expressions and UN common language.
Mr. Singer began session I focusing on the importance of using diplomatic and tactful language. He explained that the tone of language is based on the choice of words used for specific audience for specified purposes, which can be challenging sometimes. Mr. Singer stressed on the importance of balancing between how you are coming across in the message and how the message is delivered while providing examples. A small exercise took place to implement the use of tone, showing the difference between a soft diplomatic tone and a direct tone when using hedges and qualifiers. He ended his session discussing the importance of statements to use according to your situation when there is an agreement or disagreement.
On the second day of the workshop, Mr. Harry Flynt welcomed Mr. Singer and the participants. Session II focused on vocabulary, collocations and phrases used in the United Nations. Mr. Singer explained that the choice of phrases used always depend on the degree of formality or informality. He mentioned not to overuse vocabulary because it causes clichés sentences. Mr. Singer explained how collocations are used in negotiation, peace building and conflict situations while providing examples. He mentioned that the UN documents, reports and speeches often recommend, urge, suggest, or advise; therefore focusing on the grammar to be used is important.
During his final presentation and to close out the workshop, Mr. Singer took the participants through an exercise to implement the strategies discussed. As the session came to an end, both Mr. Singer and Mr. Flynt provided an overview, thanked applicants for their enthusiastic participation, and opened the floor for a Q&A segment with participants.