WFUNA had the pleasure to train 11 outstanding students selected by our university partner, the Research Centre of United Nations and International Organizations (RCUNIO), from 1 to 5 October 2012.
Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland, 1-5 October, 2012
Students participated in a varied five day-program focusing on human rights, humanitarian assistance, health and career development. They started off with a Guided Tour of Palais des Nations followed by a comprehensive introduction to the UN system by Kayci Browne from the Office of the Director General. As part of this first introductory day, participants were received by the Permanent Mission of the People`s Republic of China for briefings about the work of the delegation and interactive sessions about disarmament, humanitarian, health and human rights. During the following days, sessions with, among others, the International Committee of the Red Cross, The Global Fund, PwC and the World Health Organization provided the students excellent opportunities to familiarize themselves with some of the key UN issues and challenges. Apart from the sessions students also had time to explore Geneva and enjoyed a classic Swiss fondue dinner with WFUNA staff.
Here is a selection of events from a fun, busy and instructive five days in Geneva:
A comprehensive overview of the UN Human Rights System was presented by WFUNA and followed by a session with Emile Aubert and Simone Droz sharing their experiences working with the Peace Brigades International in Colombia and Nepal. In order to further deepen the students’ understanding, WFUNA ran an interactive and engaging human rights quiz at the end of the second day.
Sessions on humanitarian assistance started with the UNHCR and Ms. Jill MacKechnie and Mr. Jacques Franquin welcomed the group for ran an interactive discussion about its mandate and work. With significant field experience Mr Franquin gave an inspiring presentation on UNHCR highlighting both successful operations and challenges when creating durable solutions for refugees. Mr. David Villevielle-Marzlish from the ICRC briefed the students on the movement and underlined impartiality and neutrality as key aspects of their humanitarian mission to protect and assist victims of armed conflict. Qi Cui from The Global Fund gave a presentation on their work combating AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and showed slides proving significant progress in their work. Deborah Dunn from the UNOG Human Resources Management Service introduced entry points and career opportunities to the students. As a final interactive session of the program, the students engaged in a SWOT analysis of the UN, highlighting Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats to the organization and also discussing areas of improvement.
The WFUNA staff would like to thank the students for their participation in the ATP and for contributing with interesting ideas and thoughts. Finally we wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors!