The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) was established in 1963 as an autonomous body within the United Nations with the purpose of enhancing the effectiveness of the work of the UN and its member states.
UNITAR designs and conducts close to 500 different training and knowledge sharing events per year for some 50,000 beneficiaries worldwide. Participants include diplomats, other government officials, non-governmental representatives, and other stakeholders.
At the heart of UNITAR, the Multilateral Diplomacy Programme Unit (MDPU) delivers training workshops to address the needs of these international actors. MDPU’s activities cover a wide range of domains, including training on the UN system and skills development.
As part of the training activities implemented during the spring months, UNITAR designed a 5-day field visit to Geneva, offering participants a full immersion into the United Nation's multilateral working environment.
In line with UNITAR’s mandate, its main purpose is to enhance participants’ knowledge and skills in the area of international affairs, leadership skills and diplomacy. This will empower them to work more effectively and efficiently in any multilateral setting and prepare them to become a young leader to address global challenges like extreme poverty, gender and economic inequality, refugees and internally displaced persons, and climate change.
UNITAR further intends to strengthen the participants’ conviction of the principles enshrined in the UN Charter, especially multilateralism. It lastly aspires to give its participants the opportunity to gain valuable insights into possible future career steps.
The United Nations Young Leaders Training Programme - Premium Package consists of two parts: (i) a 4-week preparatory e-Learning course, followed by (ii) a 5-day field visit to Geneva.
i) e-Learning course (9 March - 5 April 2020)
The e-learning course will be implemented on UNITAR's e-Learning platform. It comprises 6 different modules, can be studied in a self-paced manner and requires 6-8 hours of studying per week. The course includes weekly reading material, multimedia files as well as discussion boards exchanging views with fellow participants and UNITAR instructors.
Module 1: The United Nations
Module 2: Conference Diplomacy
Module 3: Negotiation Skills
Module 4: Cross-cultural communication
Module 5: Sustainable Development
Module 6: The Art of Speechwriting
ii) Field Visit to Geneva (6 April - 10 April 2020)
Hosting 35 international organizations and more than 250 NGOs, the city of Geneva offers itself for a whole series of potentially formative experiences. UNITAR hosts most of the activity in the historic Palace of Nations and provides a nuanced balance between the following different components:
UNITAR’s professional network across Geneva allows it to organize a series of 1-2-hour expert lectures, in which participants can directly learn from UN personal or other high-level officials. Previous Young Leaders Programme programmes have included lectures from the following organizations:
- United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG)
- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
- The Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the UN in Geneva
As its core activity and raison d’être, UNITAR provides several face-to-face workshops to the participants. Delivered by experts such as retired ambassadors, previous programmes have included the following workshops:
- Leadership and Innovation Skills
- Public Speaking and Negotiation Skills
- Diplomatic Communication Skills
- United Nations Resolution Writing
With its more than 10.000 conferences a year, the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG) counts as one of the most active international conference centres in the world. UNITAR offers participants to attend such meetings and thereby experience multilateral negotiations first-hand:
- Human Rights Council
- United Nations Committee against Torture (UNCAT)
- United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
Geneva is rich in historic buildings important to international affairs. Thanks to its access across the city, UNITAR can provide a series of private guided tours. Previous programmes have included tours through the following facilities:
- The United Nations’ Palace of Nations (3-hours extensive private guided tour)
- The headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
- The headquarters of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
Career Development Sessions:
UNITAR also provides several 1-2 hour sessions on how to advance your professional career and find a solid footing in the world of international organizations. These sessions can include the following components:
- Information sessions on internships and other entry positions in the UN system
- Review of application material, including CV, motivation letter, PHP Form, LinkedIn profile
- Counselling on envisioned entrepreneurial projects related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Given the complexity of Geneva's multilateral environment, UNITAR will cover a series of different thematic areas during the course of the Programme. These will include the United Nations, leadership skills, humanitarian affairs, sustainable development, trade and commerce and other topics of interest.
The Young Leaders Training Programme is designed to be highly interactive and participatory. Activities will include a high level of direct exposure to policy practitioners and diplomatic settings, thereby allowing participants to gain a thorough knowledge and understanding of the United Nations.
All of the activities will take place in the English language. Should there be any component such as a multilateral conference or an expert lecture not be available in English, UNITAR will ensure the participants will be provided with simultaneous interpretation.
The Young Leaders Training Programme is open to all actors related to international affairs wishing to take on leadership roles in their respective environment to address global challenges and to build up knowledge and skills related to the United Nations and International Geneva.
Participants can include junior professionals, graduate students, undergraduate students and other asprining young leaders of similar background. Public sector officials, private sector professionals and representatives from NGOs or think tanks who are young at heart are also welcome to apply.
In order to ensure the highest standards in quality and implementation, the registration will be closed after 30 participants. Slots will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. At the end of the Young Leaders Training Programme, each participant will be awarded a UNITAR certificate of completion.
UNITAR will be responsible for the overall design, coordination and implementation of The Young Leaders Training Programme. It will liaise with participants on a regular basis prior to the activity's implementation in order to ensure a smooth and flawless organization for everyone involved.
The participants are responsible to purchase their own travel tickets to and from Geneva as well as to apply for visa to Switzerland. UNITAR gladly supports this process with the help of official visa invitation letters.
For premium package participants, the accommodation in Geneva is included in the fee. UNITAR will provide 6 nights in a reputable mid-range hotel in close proximity to the United Nations institutions (check-in Sunday, 5 April 2020, checkout Saturday, 11 April 2020).
UNITAR will sponsor a welcome dinner to the participants, a welcome package including relevant material, entry tickets to sights and museums as well as the transportation cost during the activity. Please note that as of now, no scholarships are available to facilitate participation.