Advanced Training Program in Geneva: China - January 2015

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.
Monday, January 26, 2015

Monday, January 26

We started the training session with our traditional welcome from our team.

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 get to know each other: Our students are involved in various fields, from European Affairs to Marine Engineering to Finance! 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. Let’s see which of the teams will mark an A+ by the end of the week. Will it be “Team Asian with A+” living up to their team's name or will Bon-Bon Da, Celtic or Donut steal that A+? 


Tuesday, January 27

We started our second day of training with an educational presentation of the Human Rights Council and the UPR  process which was followed by visiting the UPR review of Turkey. The participants were happy to get a hands-on experience of the UPR proecess during which they observed how state diplomats work.

After the lunch break, ​environment was at the core of the agenda. Our team started the second half of the day with a presentation of our Greening the Globe Role Play. Our participants were asked to put themselves into the shoes of State diplomats in order to pass a resolution to fight against climate change issues. We were happy to see that all of the particiants were fully committed to their role and raised some very interesting, on-point questions and objections during the negotiating part of the role play. 


Wednesday, January 28

Our third day of training kicked off with presentations from Daniel Pruzin from the WTO and Mohamed Es Fih from the ITC. 

Our students then headed back to the Palais des Nations for our Career Development session. Eleni Alexandrou, our human rights assistant, invited four interns to share their so far experiences and future career plans with our participants. Silvia Olivotti from the Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Michal Drabik from the office of Profesionals in Humanitarian Assistance and Protection (PHAP) ,Lara Pilego Cebolla from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Stéphanie Marcia from the Geneva Center for Security Policy (GCSP) all took questions from our participants at the end of the session. 

After this session we ended the day with our second interactive quiz during which we separated our participants into two groups. The participants had to respond correctly to questions regarding the UN, WFUNA, Human Rights and Trade and Development.



Thursday, January 29

Today we started the day with our visit to UNHCR. Mr. John Andrew, the Senior Resource Manager for Asia and the Pacific at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees with 28 years of experience as a humanitarian worker, had given us a very inspirational and moving presentation on the difficult work of humanitarian workers and presented to us the difficulties of this profession. Our participants had the opportunity to ask questions to Mr.Andrew at the end of the presentation. We then moved on to the students' presentations where they summarized what we had done so far. Our visit at UNHCR concluded with lunch at the cafeteria.

Our students then headed back to our office at the Palais des Nations to kickstart our Group work on Humanitarian Assistance and Protection that Eleni Alexandrou, our Human Rights Assistant had organized for them. During the workshop the students had to split into four groups and research topics surrounding humanitarian assistance during natural disaster crisis. Despite having no previous background on this topic we were happy to see that all of the participants had researched and presented effectively the topics that were given by working collectively as a team.

At the end of the day our Chinese students were familiarized with humanitarian assistance and protection and all the related issues.



Friday, January 30 

Our last day of training kicked off with our visit to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) where we were given a presentation on International Humanitarian Law and how the Red Cross functions.

After the lunch break which took place at the ICRC cafeteria our participants visited the interactive musuem of the Red Cross where they learned more about the work and history of the Red Cross.

We wraped up this session of ATP: China 2015 by giving a summary of all the we done during this succesful week. A warm round of applause for the winning team: Celtic!

This day ended a great week for our Chinese 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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