Geneva, 26 September 2023: The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) proudly celebrates its 60th anniversary of commitment to multilateral diplomacy, training, research, and empowerment.
Evolution and Ongoing Commitment
Since its founding in 1963, UNITAR has stood at the forefront of training and capacity development for UN Member States, consistently adapting to meet their evolving needs and priorities, addressing a diverse array of issues central to the United Nations agenda. From conflict resolution to climate change, sustainable development, and gender equality, UNITAR has played a vital role in equipping individuals and organizations with the skills and knowledge needed to tackle global challenges. UNITAR is a key advocate for the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), contributing to the creation of a fairer and more sustainable world. In 2022, the Institute served close to 400,000 individuals, mostly from developing countries through delivery of nearly 1,300 learning events. Seventy percent of events were face-to-face or blended, residential training activities, most of which took place in the field.
To mark its 60th anniversary, UNITAR is organizing a series of events and initiatives worldwide. In Geneva, starting on the 2nd of October, a photo exhibition, displayed on the Rotonde du Quai du Mont-Blanc (across from the Brunswick Monument), will illustrate 60 years of history as well as stories of UNITAR alumni who made a positive change in their community. The alumni featured in the panel exhibition come from Bangladesh, Brazil, Cameroon, China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Kenya, Maldives, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United Arab Emirates and Vanuatu.
The photo exhibition also includes an Instagram competition that offers 30 visitors the opportunity to win an exclusive tour of the Palais des Nations. UNITAR also invites Geneva's primary school students to explore the exhibition through dedicated learning experiences at the site of the exhibition. UNITAR furthermore invites local primary school students from Geneva to explore the exhibition through dedicated learning experiences at the site. More than 100 students will visit the exhibition coming from Geneva English School, British School of Geneve, Swedish School of Geneva, German School of Geneva and Etablissement primaire Grottes / Beaulieu / Cropettes. Guided by UNITAR staff, the exhibition tours with a link to the SDGs will not only expand children's knowledge of sustainable development in various contexts but also incorporate interactive elements like quizzes and participatory SDG games, fostering active reflection and meaningful discussions about creating positive change for a better future.
The opening ceremony on the 6th of October (4 pm) of the photo exhibition will be attended by Mr. Nikhil Seth, the Executive Director of UNITAR, Ms. Tatiana Valovaya, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, H.E. Mr. Raymond Loretan, President of the Diplomatic Club of Geneva, and Mr. Alfonso Gomez, Mayor of Geneva.
Our captivating photo exhibition will showcase our journey and impact over the past six decades. I invite everyone to visit the exhibition. says Nikhil Seth, Executive Director of UNITAR.
On the 4th of October (9 am), at the Palais des Nations, in Room XVII (U.A.E. Room) the One United Nations Climate Change Learning Partnership (UN CC:Learn), hosted by UNITAR, will organize a hybrid Youth Climate Dialogue (YCD) connecting 6 high schools. The event will provide students with a platform to exchange with and learn from each other about climate change, its impacts on various parts of the world, and the different solutions for it. This special edition will feature schools from four countries (France, Japan, Kenya, South Africa) that were part of the Institute's initial Board of Trustees, as well as Switzerland, the main donor of the partnership, and the United Arab Emirates, a long-standing partner in the YCD initiative. The following schools are participating: Lycée Internationale de Ferney-Voltaire (Ferney-Voltaire, France), Hiroshima Global Academy (Hiroshima, Japan), Brookhouse School (Nairobi, Kenya), Folweni High School (Durban, South Africa), Gymnase de Burier (La Tour-de-Peilz, Switzerland), and GEMS Modern Academy (Dubai, United Arab Emirates).
To conclude the celebrations, an exceptional concert will bring together artists from Ecuador, India, and the African continent on the stage of the Conservatoire de musique de Genève on the 16th of November, with the Jet d’eau illuminated in UNITAR blue on the same night. The UNITAR flags will be displayed on Mont Blanc bridge during the week of the 13th November.
About UNITAR and for more information
The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) is a dedicated training arm of the United Nations founded in 1963 by the General Assembly with a mission to enhance the UN's effectiveness through training and research. The Institute offers a wide range of training programmes and learning solutions to assist individuals and organizations in addressing global challenges. UNITAR has been headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, since 1993.
For more information, please contact:
Mr. Angus Mackay, Head of the One UN Climate Change Learning Partnership (UN CC:Learn), Director, Division for Planet, UNITAR