GENEVA – Once again WFUNA had the pleasure of welcoming 15 remarkable students selected by our university partner, the Research Centre of United Nations and International Organizations (RCUNIO), to attend our Advanced Training at the UN: China Program in Geneva from 30 September to 4 October. The participants engaged in a busy five-day program focusing on the UN at Geneva, Environment, Sustainable Development, International Labor, International Trade, Communication Technology, Humanitarian Aid and Career Development. The students also successfully held a “Greening the Globe” Role Play debating on guidelines and measures to tackle climate change.
To start off the week, our participants were welcomed by WFUNA staff Alessia Barachetti, Education Fellow, Irene Martinetti, Director of Programs and Lena Stiller, Program Assistant. After an introduction to WFUNA and details about the ATP, the participants went to discover the UN premises on an official UNOG tour.
In the afternoon, the training was joined by Kayci Browne, Associate Program Officer at UNOG who delved deeper into discussions about the history and structure of the UN as well as its areas of work. Participants especially engaged in debates about the function of the Security Council and the UN’s work in the area of sustainable development.
Finally, we closed off day one with a tasteful welcome dinner, enjoying the exchange about first day impressions.
The second day of the training focused on Climate Change, Environment and Sustainable Development issues. Participants were introduced to the concept of Green Economy by Claudia Assman, Economics Trade Branch of UNEP. They then discovered global cooperation programs on exchanging climate prediction information between governments with Michael Williams, Chief of Communications and Public Affairs at WMO. The students showed a particular interest in the question on the best practices to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases through global frameworks.
After Adam Rogers, Senior Adviser and head of the unit of Strategic Communication at UNDP disussed the connection of Human Development and Economic Development of countries with the participants, they had the chance to experience the interactive exhibition at the ICRC Museum. Listening to stories of victims of humanitarian crisis was a memorable way for the students to grasp the importance of the work of the Red Cross.
Youth Employment was our starting topic for Wednesday and Maaret Canedo Lohikoski from the Youth Employment Programme at ILO laid out the different regional situations of youth unemployment in the world and how ILO works to provide governments with helpful tools to tackle these problems.
Following informal negotiations on the Greening the Globe resolution that participants had prepared, the students had the chance to visit the UN Museum and Library where they learned more about the heritage of the League of Nations and the UN. To introduce the participants to the challenges of economic measures such as non-tariff barriers, and the role of regional trade agreements and the support UNCTAD provides to policy makers in developing and least developing countries, Moritz Meier-Ewert Economic Affairs Officer at UNCTAD joined the Training for the last session of the day.
At ITU, Josh Jiyoung Choi, Coordinator at ICT Discovery explained ITU’s mission of connecting the world using Information Communication Technologies and ITU’s work in creating global standards in connecting different kinds of devices.
After a panorama lunch at the cafeteria of ITU, the participants got to discuss the rights of refugees at UNHCR and they learned which criteria constitutes a refugee. Luc Brandt, Senior Ethics Advisor at UNHCR talked about UNHCR’s work in the field and the types of problems their missions most commonly face.
The final ATP Day started with the formal adoption of our Greening the Globe resolution. The participants had been negotiating with the other delgations throughout the entire week and put a great effort into finding a compromise on four guiding principles for greening the globe. Delegations managed to agree on specific measures to take as well as put into place a legally binding treaty to cut carbon emissions. The results of this “Greening the Globe” Role Play have been outstanding.
The highly anticipated session on Career Development saw the participation of four Interns from different UN bodies and permanent missions. The students were highly interested to learn about ways to find an internship at the UN and how to increase their chances of starting a career within the UN system.
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 endeavors!
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