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 Program 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 10-day online training program, offering participants a full immersion into the United Nations' multilateral working environment in Geneva.
In line with UNITAR’s mandate, its main purpose is to enhance participants’ knowledge and skills in the area of international affairs and diplomacy. This will empower them to work more effectively and efficiently in any multilateral setting.
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 Online Immersion Program aims to provide participants with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to better understand the United Nations and be able to work in an international environment with confidence and ease. After completion of the course, participants should be able to:
Explain key components of the United Nations System and its agencies
Apply core skills and techniques of common diplomatic practice
Familiarize oneself with International Geneva as a city of multilateralism
Develop essential knowledge and skills to achieve professional growth
Adapt values and principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter
Content and Structure
Hosting 35 international organizations and more than 250 NGOs, the city of Geneva offers a whole series of potentially formative experiences. UNITAR hosts the activity on its virtual e-Learning platform and provides a nuanced balance between the following different components:
UNITAR’s professional network across Geneva allows it to organize a series of 1.5-hour live webinars, in which participants can directly learn from UN experts or other high-level officials. Previous online training programs have included webinars from the following organizations:
United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG)
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
World Health Organization (WHO)
As its core activity and raison d’être, UNITAR provides several online workshops to the participants. Delivered by experts such as current UN staff or retired ambassadors, previous programs have included the following e-workshops:
Public Speaking Skills
Workshop on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Virtual Guided Tours:
Geneva is rich in historic buildings important to international affairs. Thanks to its access across the city, UNITAR can provide a series of virtual guided tours. Previous programs have included virtual tours through the following facilities:
The United Nations’ Palace of Nations (3-hours extensive private virtual tour)
The diplomatic district of International Geneva with its manifold international organizations
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and UNITAR headquarters
Online Career Development Sessions:
UNITAR also provides several 1.5 - 3.5 hour online 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 session on internships and other entry positions in the UN system
Training workshop on application to a UN job opening and interview skills in the UN context
Review of application material, including CV, motivation letter, personal history form, Inspira profile, LinkedIn profile
With more than 10.000 conferences a year, the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG) counts as one of the most active international conference centers in the world. Depending on availability, UNITAR offers participants to experience such multilateral negotiations online:
Human Rights Council
United Nations Committee against Torture (UNCAT)
United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
The Online Immersion Program will be run from UNITAR's e-Learning platform, where announcements and relevant links to activities will be posted. In addition to the above-mentioned components, the platform will contain online reading material, interactive quizzes as well as pre-recorded videos, which participants are free to study anytime best for them.
The expert webinars, e-workshops, virtual guided tours, and other live components will mostly be delivered through the online software Zoom. The program´s agenda is designed in such a way that the live components do not exceed 3.5 hours a day, to not require participants to spend more than that amount of time in front of their screens.
In addition, the live components will all be offered in the afternoon Geneva time, for participants across all time zones to be able to attend at reasonable times. The live components will also be recorded and be made available on the platform thereafter. All activities will run in the English language.
UNITAR welcomes a variety of professional backgrounds as well as different degrees of experience among its participants. The Online Immersion Program is therefore open to all actors related to international affairs wishing to build up knowledge and skills related to the United Nations or International Geneva.
Participants can include public sector officials, private sector professionals, and representatives from NGOs, think tanks, or academia. Junior professionals and graduate students are equally welcome to apply.
In order to ensure the highest quality standards, registration will be closed after 30 participants. Allocation of slots will be on a first-come, first-served basis. At the end of the Online Immersion Program, each participant will be awarded a UNITAR certificate of completion.
UNITAR will be responsible for the overall design, coordination, and implementation of the Online Immersion Program. 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 ensure they are in possession of the basic necessary hardware, software, and connectivity to engage in online training activities. Please note that as of now, no scholarships are available to facilitate participation.