FRIDAY, AUGUST 19, 2016
WFUNA's first Advanced Training Program in Vienna, with a group of brilliant students from China (RCUNIO), just concluded.
Here is a snapshot of our week at the United Nations' Vienna International Center.
Monday - The UN and Multilateralism
After welcome remarks by WFUNA's Aziel Goulandris, Education Officer, and Irene Martinetti, Director of Programs, the training kicked off with Aziel's introduction to WFUNA, a lecture on multilateralism and an engaging presentation by Mr. Martin Nesirky, Director of the UN Information Service in Vienna on the important work carried out by the United Nations in Vienna and its efforts towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. A visit to the Chinese Mission to the UN Organisations in Vienna followed; students learnt about the contribution of China to the work of the United Nations.
Tuesday - Atomic Energy and Sustainable Development
On Tuesday, after an interactive visit of the UN building, students were briefed by Ms. Susanna Loof on the work of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The briefing focused on peaceful uses of atomic energy, including its contribution to advances in the medical field.
In the afternoon, two officers from the Organization for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBTO) presented the work of the organization. Students then visited the Operations Center of the International Monitoring System where signs of potential nuclear explosions are monitored 24/7.
Wednesday - Technology, Trade and Environment
On Wednesday morning, the students took part in a group work, called "What does the UN do for me". This activity allowed participants to understand the importance of the UN's work in their daily lives. Then, Mr. Niklas Hedman, Chief of the Committee for Policy and Legal Affairs at United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), provided a fascinating presentation on on peaceful uses of space technology and their link to the Sustainable Development Goals.
In the afternoon, ATP participants had the chance to visit the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries where they learnt about the work of OPEC and the influence of oil production on international trade and geopolitics.
Thursday - Technology, Trade and Environment
Time to act for the students on the third day of the training with the Greening the Globe Role Play, which is a simulation on climate change including different stages of negotiations. First thing in the morning, Aziel explained the rules of procedure and the Role Play objectives. Two journalists followed the conference closely and reported daily to the countries' representatives, keeping delegates on their toes with challenging questions during press conferences. In the afternoon, delegates tried to convince representatives of other states to support their interests and drafted the final pre-ambulatory and operative clauses. After intense debate and negotiations, the plenary reached consensus and adopted a "binding" resolution on climate change.
Friday – Law Enforcement
The last day of the training started off with an extensive presentation by Mr. Thomas Pietschmann, Research Officer, on the work of the United Nations Office on Drug and Crimes (UNODC). After lunch, it was time for students' presentations on the various topics explored during the week. Presentations showed that students had understood and internalized all issues discussed during the week. Presentations were followed by a recap and a discussion between participants and trainers about the overall week. Finally, each participant received a certificate for their hard work.