United Nations Immersion Programme - Basic Package - July Edition 2023
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 May, UNITAR designed a 5-day field visit to Geneva, offering participants a full immersion into the United Nations' 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 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 UN Immersion Programme serves to provide an overview of the United Nations. It will help participants build knowledge on international affairs, deliver training in core diplomatic skills and offer activities with Geneva-based agencies. At the end of the UN Immersion Programme, participants should be able to:
- Explain key components of the United Nations’ system and its agencies
- Familiarize oneself with International Geneva as a city of multilateralism
- Apply core skills and techniques of common diplomatic practice
- Develop critical knowledge for careers in international organizations
- Adapt values and principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter
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 the activity in the headquarters of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) 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 programmes have included lectures 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 face-to-face workshops to the participants. Delivered by experts such as retired ambassadors, previous programmes have included the following workshops:
- Negotiation Skills
- Public Speaking Skills
- Workshop on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
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 Museum of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
- The Maison de la Paix, housing the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID)
Career Development Sessions:
UNITAR also provides several 2-3 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 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
The course offers next to the extensive training sessions additional events for the participants in order to socialize and getting to know each other.
- Dinner boat cruise on lake Geneva
- Welcome package
- Welcome lunch
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 peace and security, human rights and humanitarian affairs, global health and well-being, trade and technology as well as environment and sustainable development.
The Immersion 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 not be available in English, UNITAR will ensure the participants will be provided with simultaneous interpretation.
UNITAR welcomes a variety of professional backgrounds as well as different degrees of experience among its participants. The Immersion Programme 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 adherence to health safety 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 Immersion Programme, each participant will be awarded a UNITAR certificate of completion.
UNITAR will be responsible for the overall design, coordination and implementation of the Immersion 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 can supports this process with the help of an official visa invitation letter. Participants further need to take care of their own accommodation and daily meals.
UNITAR will sponsor a welcome dinner to the participants, welcome package including relevant training materials, 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.