Advanced Training Program at the UN Geneva: Korea, August 2014

The World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA) is a global nonprofit organization representing and coordinating a membership of over 100 national United Nations Associations.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Monday, August 11

We started the training session with our traditional welcome from our team and our Director of Programs, Irene Martinetti.

Aziel-Philippos Goulandris, our Education Officer presented WFUNA's mission and its role in promoting the role of United Nations throughout the world with the help of our United Nations Associations networks. An ice-breaker helped participants to get to know each other - our students are involved in various fields, from pharmaceutical science to classical vocal music! Students presented their expectations for the training and were encouraged to ask questions to make the most of their experience in Geneva. Participants went on a guided UN tour where they could visit our beautiful buildings and take their first group picture.

In the afternoon, the training continued with our first guest speaker, Ms Kathryn Hennessey, Associate Program Officer at the United Nations Offices in Geneva, who gave an overview of the United Nations and its offices at Geneva. She elaborated on her work and explained concepts related to International Relations. She took time to answer our students' questions on power dynamics at the United Nations and the role of Specialized Agencies, which was much appreciated.

The afternoon session went on with a talk on Multilateral Diplomacy from our Education Officer who provided insights on multilateral negotiations processes, with origins dating back from Ancient Greece. He used his previous professional experience to give feedback on the role of diplomats to achieve peace and how they were crucial in State negotiations. He addressed the characterics of international conferences by explaining the rules of procedures that will be very useful for the next sessions, especially our Greening the Globe Role Play to be held tomorrow.

To end this great first day, we launched a quiz game to test our participants' knowledge. The score was really tight, but we are proud to declare Team A as our winners from today's contest!  

Tuesday, August 12

Environment was at the core of the agenda for our second day of training, which started with a presentation of our Greening the Globe Role Play. Our participants have until Friday to put themselves into the shoes of State diplomats in order to pass a resolution to fight against climate change issues. To that extent, they have to design Four Guiding Principles to achieve better cooperation amongst State to protect our planet from the deleterious effects from climate change.

After the lunch break, we were honoured to have two speakers present their activities in the field of the protection of the environment. First, Ms. Cassidy Travis, Communications Advisor at the United Nations Environment Programme, presented her Organization's mission. She was followed by Aaban Ali Butt, Programme Manager in the Trade and Environment Programme at the International Trade Centre, who focused on the many initiatives undertaken by the International Trade Centre to promote more sustainable markets.‚Äč

Wednesday, August 13

Our third day of training kicked off with the first “Greening the Globe – Live News” edition. Two of the participants provided an outstanding summary of the negotiations that had happened the previous evening; our reporters asked one member from the delegation of Bangladesh to express views on the state of negotiations.

We then moved on to our session on the Millennium Development Goals as the main focus of today was on sustainability. After a presentation on the objectives and outcomes of the MDGs and perspectives on Sustainable Development Goals, our participants were given a few hours to discuss and analyze the scope of one of the MDGs. 

In the meantime, we welcomed Mr. Alexis Laffittan, Partnership Development Specialist at the United Nations Development Program, who presented his organization and various mandates. He also discussed the context of the Post-2015 agenda in relation to inclusiveness in order to reach a wider range of the world population.

After his presentation, our students had to present the outcomes from their research. They discussed and analyzed topics as varied as gender equality, child mortality and maternal health. At the end of the day, our Korean students were indeed familiarized with sustainability issues before moving on to diplomacy.

 

Thursday, August 14

Today was the day of Diplomacy for our Advanced Training participants in Geneva. Their day kicked off with a visit to the Permanent Mission of Korea at the United Nations in Geneva. They had the tremendous chance to meet the diplomats who represent their country and defend core United Nations values.

Our students then headed back to the Palais des Nations to resume negotiations for our Greening the Globe Role Play, after a great Breaking News segment made by our devoted team of journalists.

Our Korean students then went to the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies for lunch. Afterwards, they went on a tour discovering the highly modernistic buildings and they were introduced to their programs. Then Mrs. Cecilia Cannon, Researcher and Coordinator Programme for the Study of International Governance at the Graduate Institute, made a presentation on Universal Norms and highlighted the important role of non-State actors in shaping global governance. She also opened the discussion on the scope of sustainable development goals, making a bridge with yesterday's session.

Friday, August 15

Our last day of training kicked off with our long awaited Greening the Globe debate, led by our Education Officer, Aziel Goulandris, and our Human Rights assistant, Josépha Ditisheim.

Our participants discussed various topics and embodied their roles perfectly, raising burning issues that occur within the international community. There were some intensive discussions regarding the refugee situation which triggered some reactions from our Australian, Tuvaluan and Bangladeshi delegations. Australian and Indian representatives were also at odds with carbon taxes and finally reached a compromise to eventually adopt an outstanding resolution called the Geneva declaration on environment, reflecting consensus from all parties to our Greening the Globe summit. Special mention goes to our delegation from Saudi Arabia who played a great role during the debate.

After the lunch break, we gave the floor our two awesome Greening the Globe journalists, who made a great summary of the negotiations as well as conducted very interesting interviews from key participants during the debate.

Our great intern panel then came to meet our participants and shared their experience as UN and NGO interns. Participants were thrilled to hear about Elenore Andersson's, Eva Sketekee's and Stella Yu Wen's feedback, giving them the will to apply for internships in Geneva in the future.

To wrap up this session of ATP: Korea 2014 in a fun, colorful way, we played an interactive quiz with color cards. A warm round of applause for the winning team: Group B!

This day ended a great week for our Korean students. We hope you enjoyed it as much as the WFUNA team and we genuinely hope to see you soon in Geneva !

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