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5 Jun 2023

Joint BSIA-UNITAR UN Career for Climate Action Programme

21 Days
Programme Area
Multilateral Diplomacy
UNITAR also offers a subsequent field visit to Geneva. For more information, kindly visit
Event Focal Point Email
Contact Number
Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA)
Public – by registration
Mode of Delivery
Multilateral Diplomacy
Data Protection and Privacy
The personal data of participants applying for, registering for or participating in UNITAR's training courses and other events is governed by the Data Protection and Privacy Policy. By applying for, registering for or participating in this event, the participant acknowledges that he or she is, (or they are) aware of the policy and agree to its terms.

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 various 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.

The Balsillie School of International Affairs  (BSIA) is an institute for advanced research, education, and outreach in the fields of global governance and international public policy. Founded in 2007 by philanthropist Jim Balsillie, the BSIA is an equal collaboration among the  Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), the University of Waterloo (UW), and Wilfrid Laurier University (Laurier).

The collaborating institutions bring different but complementary strengths, so they have different roles and responsibilities. The two universities engage faculty and postdoctoral fellows across three academic programs and six research clusters; while CIGI, as a think tank, uses its in-house expertise and its worldwide network of practitioners to help inform and guide our outreach and collaborative research.

The world underwent a period with limited opportunities to engage in training activities with a face-to-face component, which sparked innovations for online training. UNITAR designed a series of Online Training Programmes in an effort to bring the United Nations and its principles closer to the hearts and minds of participants from around the world. Online training provides specific advantages for geographically and time-constrained individuals to obtain information for their daily operations and future projects. The United Nations Career for Climate Action Programme at UNITAR, in partnership with BSIA, will create a lasting impact on their professional and personal development.

In line with UNITAR’s mandate, participants will have the chance to hone the kinds of skills that are required to pursue a career in this field, including negotiating, public speaking in a virtual environment, and leadership skills. They will also learn about the internal UN hierarchy, required competencies to join the UN, as well as entry points into the UN system.  

Moreover, as an affiliate member of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs, the BSIA has created a global network of scholars, practitioners and students, with a mission to develop new solutions to humanity’s critical problems, to improve global governance now and in the future, and to contribute to enhancing the quality of people’s lives around the world.

Overall, this programme aspires to enhance participants’ knowledge and skills in the areas of climate action and diplomacy. This will enable them to work more effectively and efficiently in any multilateral environment. Participants will receive in-depth training from UN staff and academic experts in the international institutions, processes and policy tools supporting global climate action, as well as gain perspective on the challenges faced by individual states as they mobilize to respond to international targets and plans. The course then combines these top-down and bottom-up perspectives in a climate change simulation exercise facilitated by seasoned negotiation experts.


The UN Career for Climate Action Programme will involve components from the topics of Climate Change and UN Career Development and will lapse for 3 weeks online. Together, UNITAR and BSIA are able to offer a number of e-Learning modules and live components for both topics. The purpose of this training programme is to provide insights into where the UN System’s climate action efforts are today, what work remains to be done, and to clarify how to build a career within this sector.

  • Module 1: Mitigating Climate Change
  • Module 2: International Climate Finance and Technology Transfer
  • Module 3: The “long road” to the Paris Agreement
  • Module 4: Negotiation Skills
  • Module 5: Cosmopolitan Communication

The course includes weekly reading material, multimedia files as well as discussion boards exchanging views with fellow participants, BSIA instructors and UNITAR experts. In addition, the UN Career for Climate Action Programme will be complemented by several 1.5 hour live-webinars. These will be delivered through the platform zoom by UN staff and academic experts and comprise the following topics:

  • Week 1 – The UN: Climate Policy Institutions, Processes and Tools
  • Week 2 – Global Climate Negotiations: From the Top-Down and Bottom-Up
  • Week 3 – UN Career Skills for Climate Action

In addition to the above live-webinars, there will be one 3.5 hour e-workshop per week. These will focus on Leadership as well as on getting to know Geneva´s multilateral environment through virtual guided tours through the UN Palais des Nations as well as the diplomatic district of Geneva. The total number of online live-components will be 5 hours per week. 

The UN Career for Climate Action Programme 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 programme is designed to be highly interactive and participatory. Online activities will include a high level of exposure to policy practitioners and diplomatic settings, thereby allowing participants to gain a thorough knowledge and understanding of the United Nations.  

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.

For those practitioners, students, aspiring young leaders and observers who want to contribute in a meaningful way to international efforts to address climate change, the United Nations Institute for Teaching and Research (UNITAR) and the Balsille School of International Affairs (BSIA) have partnered to offer a pioneering new UN Career for Climate Action Programme.

In order to ensure the highest quality standards, the registration will be closed after 50 participants. Slots will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. At the end of the programme, participants will receive a UNITAR certificate of completion. 

BSIA and UNITAR reserve the right to postpone the date of the implementation in the event of insufficient demand.

UNITAR will be responsible for the overall design, coordination and implementation of the UN Career for Climate Action 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 ensure they are in possession of the basic necessary hardware, software and connectivity to engage in online training activities.