Photo by Joshua Krull


There are an estimated 1.8 billion people today between the ages of 10 and 24, which is the largest generation of youth in human history. Their numbers are expected to grow—between 2015 and 2030 alone, about 1.9 billion young people are projected to turn 15 years old. 

Connected to each other like never before, young people increasingly contribute to innovative solutions, driving social progress and inspiring political initiatives. They are agents of change, mobilizing to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to improve the lives of people and the health of the planet.

UNITAR is therefore delighted to offer a five-day training programme in Geneva specifically designed for the global youth. It will offer participants the chance to gain first-hand experience of the United Nations and will provide them with the necessary knowledge and skills to fully unfold their potential as global leaders.

Photo by Joshua Krull

Summer Field Visit to Geneva (27 – 31 July 2020)

The Young Leaders Training Programme will provide a solid knowledge foundation in order to better understand the complexities around the UN and international affairs. It will therefore cover the following thematic areas:

  • Peace and security
  • Human rights and humanitarian affairs
  • Global health and well-being
  • Trade and technology
  • Environment and sustainable development

UNITAR will host most of the programme in the headquarters of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), right in the heart of International Geneva. It will provide a unique agenda consisting of a nuanced balance between the following elements:

  • Expert lectures
  • Training workshops
  • Private guided tours
  • Group projects
  • Outdoor activities

Through the Young Leaders Training Programme, participants will also have the opportunity to receive briefings and get to know more about the following UN agencies based in Geneva:

  • United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG)
  • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
  • United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
  • International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
  • World Health Organization (WHO)

e-Learning Course: Young Leaders Online Training Programme (20 July - 16 August 2020)

Participants also have the chance to opt for an alternative e-Learning course, the Young Leaders Online Training Programme. It lasts for four weeks and will be implemented on the UNITAR online platform.

The course comprises 6 different modules, which can be studied in a self-paced manner and require 6-8 hours of studying per week. It includes weekly reading material, multimedia files and online discussions with experts and peers.

  • Module 1: The United Nations
  • Module 2: Conference Diplomacy
  • Module 3: Negotiation Skills
  • Module 4: Cosmopolitan Communication
  • Module 5: Sustainable Development
  • Module 6: The Art of Speechwriting

In addition, this e-Learning course will also offer four 1,5-hour long live webinars by UN experts. These will be delivered through the online software Zoom and comprise the following topics: 

  • Webinar A - The United Nations System
  • Webinar B - Multilateral Conferences and Diplomacy
  • Webinar C - Cosmopolitan Communications
  • Webinar D - The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

After the fully booked first edition of this Young Leaders Online Training Programme with close to 50 participants, UNITAR is pleased to offer a second edition from 20 July - 16 August 2020.


The Young Leaders Training Programme is open to all actors related to international affairs wishing to build up knowledge and skills related to the UN and International Geneva.

Participants can include high school students, university students and other aspiring young leaders of similar background. Junior professionals from the public and private sector are equally welcome to apply.

In order to ensure the highest quality standards, the registration will be closed after 30 participants. Slots will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. At the end of the programme, all participants will receive an official UNITAR certificate of completion.

Photo by Joshua Krull


In light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic, UNITAR will assure the programme will entirely conform with up-to-date health safety standards, including social distancing, hygiene measures and contact tracing. The programme's agenda may be subject to modifications in line with the most recent developments in this regard. Kindly note that according to Swiss authorities, travel restrictions for the entire Schengen Area will likely be lifted from 6 July 2020.

In case that due to any COVID-19-related travel restrictions, participants registered for the field visit to Geneva are unable to travel to Switzerland this summer, it is possible for them to attend the United Nations Online Immersion Programme free of charge. In addition, their slot for the field visit to Geneva will be automatically transferred to its next editions in winter or summer 2021, with no additional costs charged.


Summer Edition 2020:

e-Learning Course:       Register for the Young Leaders Online Training Programme (20 July - 16 August 2020)

Field Visit to Geneva:    Register for the Young Leaders Training Programme Basic Package (27 - 31 July 2020)

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