GENEVA – For the sixth time, WFUNA had the pleasure of welcoming remarkable students from China to our Advanced Training at the UN: China program. The sixteen participants have been selected by our University partner, the Research Centre of United Nations and International Organizations (RCUNIO), to spend five days in the UN Offices at Geneva and learn more about the UN’s work around the issues of the Environment, Sustainable Development and International Trade.
To start off the week, our participants were welcomed by Alessia Barachetti, WFUNA’s Education Fellow, and Irene Martinetti, Director of Programs, who spoke about WFUNA’s work, programs and activities. This introductory session was then followed by an official UN tour, which was a great occasion to venture in the UNOG premises and find out more about its history.
In the afternoon, Ms Barachetti ran a session on intercultural communication and adaptation. She was joined by Kayci Browne, Associate Program Officer at UNOG, who presented in details the mandate of the UN, its structure and areas of work.
The training day ended with an interactive quiz about WFUNA and the UN, where participants could test their knowledge on the topic. We closed off day one with a tasteful welcome dinner with Swiss fondue and Rosti.
Environment was the core topic of our second day of training. In the morning, participants stepped into the role of State delegates to discuss the future of environmental international negotiations. Will our Greening the Globe participants manage to reach the consensus on four principles that will guide future cooperation among countries to tackle climate change?
After lunch, three staff from the United Nations Environment Programme joined us to present UNEP’s Green Economy Initiative. Ms. Qu Zhengzheng, Consultant at the Research and Partnership Unit, introduced the concept of Green Economy and how it could help making the world a better place. Mr. Jhon Maughan, from the Trade, Policy and Planning unit, and Mr. Menqi Cai, from the Finance Initiative, gave an insight on the connection between environmental issues and trade and finance. The session ended with a contest among the students, who were invited to find a Chinese word, idiom or poem that better describes the concept of green economy.
Finally, our participants tested their knowledge on International Trade with a group quiz.
Our third day of training kicked off with the first “Greening the Globe – Live News” edition. Two of the participants, playing the role of journalists of the environmental summit, presented updates on the development of negotiations and interviewed our delegate from Tuvalu on his hopes and expectations for the summit.
After an introductory session ran by Ms. Barachetti on the MDGs and the discussions going on around the Post 2015 Agenda, participants were divided into four groups focusing on four different MDGs. Take a look as they introduce the subjects they have been working on:
Mr. Hachim Badji, working at UNDP as Coordinator of the Capacity for Disaster Reduction Initiative, inspired our students with a talk about development work on the field, how natural disasters strongly affect the outcomes of development work, and the challenges they face in trying to address these issues. Interaction with UN staff with extensive experience on the field was a memorable way for students to grasp the difficulties and rewards of development work.
The day ended with the students’ remarkable and colourful presentations on the Millennium Development Goals–participants showed a particular interest in the interconnection between the different goals and the discussions around the Post 2015 Agenda. https://vine.co/v/MWlO5adtdPD/embed/simple?audio=1
On the day dedicated to international trade, participants met with Ms. Zhao Hong, Minister Counsellor at the Chinese Mission to the WTO and other staff working at the mission. It was a great chance for our students to learn more about how the relationship between their country’s and international organizations’ work.
In the afternoon, after the last round of negotiations for the Greening the Globe role play, we headed to the WTO to meet Ms. Ankai Xu, Information Officer, who ran a briefing about the structure, functions and working of the organization.
Our Greening the Globe role play came to an end with our distinguished delegates agreeing on a resolution expressing their commitment to sign and ratify a legally binding treaty to cut GHG emissions and protect the environment. The participants had been negotiating with the other delegations throughout the entire week and put a great effort into finding a compromise on four guiding principles for greening the globe: outcomes of this role play have been outstanding!
In the afternoon, participants met seven interns and consultants of different UN agencies to hear about their experiences and investigate into career opportunities in the field of international organizations.
The WFUNA staff would like to thank the students and the accompanying staff for their participation and commitment to the ATP.
We wish them the best of luck in their future endeavours!