WFUNA's First Training at the UN: Korea and China in Geneva with HFA & RCUNIO

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.
WFUNA's First Training at the UN: Korea and China in Geneva with HFA & RCUNIO
Friday, August 7, 2015

GENEVA - For the first time, WFUNA welcomed two student delegations from Korea and China to our Training Program at the UN. Twenty-four participants have been selected by our Korean partner, Hope to the Future Association (HFA) and twenty-two participants by our Chinese University partner, the Research Centre of United Nations and International Organizations (RCUNIO). They spent five days in the United Nations Office at Geneva and refined their knowledge of the UN structure and mechanisms. Each day was dedicated to a specific theme and briefings were related to the UN's work, Humanitarian Issues, Environment, International Trade, and Career Opportunities. 


Monday - The UN and Multilateral Diplomacy

To start off the week, Aziel Goulandris gave the welcome remarks and introduced the training program. All of the WFUNA staff introduced themselves to the participants. Then Aziel continued to give a brief presentation on Multilateral Diplomacy and its historical.

In the afternoon, the first speaker Jana Bauerova from the Perception Change Project, UNOG, presented the UN and the UN Office in Geneva. Her briefing started with a short history of the UN and the explanation of its system and main organizations. She also talked about the current major projects such as Ebola, Syria and UNFCC, and the principal fields ofwork of UNOG. The second speaker Dina Rossbacher, Human Rights Council Branch, OHCHR, presented the Human Rights Council, its main subsidiary bodies, history and functioning.

At the end of the day, the WFUNA staff organised an interactive quiz session, in which the program participants were split accordingly into the Korea group and the China group. At the end of the day we hosted a dinner at a Swiss restaurant to give them a taste of the cuisine.

Tuesday - The UN and Multilateral Diplomacy

The group from China visited the Permanent Chinese Mission, where they met the Ambassador and listened to some speakers talk about their function and achievements. After lunch they went on a UN tour, and at the end of the day they had an interactive group work session with the theme "What does the UN do for me?". The goal of this group work was for them to prepare a short presentation on a chosen UN agency to explain how it works and how it can contribute to their daily lives.

The Korean group started the day with this group work, and then took the UN. After lunch, they had a speaker Kevin I. Koh, from the Human Rights Treaties Division, OHCHR, talk about the Treaty Body System, as well as the function and mission of OHCHR. Lastly, they visited the Permanent Korean Mission, where they could also meet the Ambassador and listen to briefings.

 Wednesday - Environment 

On the third day of the training we combined the two groups again, for the reason as this whole day was dedicated to "Greening the Globe" Role Play summit. We started out by explaining how they should play and showed a video of a real-life summit. We teamed them up into groups of two, namely one Chinese and one Korean together. This made up 22 groups. 21 of them were state delegations, representing one country, and one group was the media journalists, which would "broadcast" live reports.

The topic of this role play was Environment in different countries and the point was to show how each delegate of a country has to make choices.


Thursday - Humanitarian Issues/Technology and Development 

On this day we started together and in the afternoon split the participants up again, into the groups of China and Korea. We began by continuing the "Greening the Globe" Role Play, listening to the media journalists broadcast their reportings from the day before. Before lunch the delegations gave their end conclusions, which we drafted into a final resolution document.

After the lunch the group from China visited the International Telecommunication Union and listened to a presentation about the Impact of Information and Communication Technologies. The group from Korea was given a presentation about the ICRC by Naïs Mouret and its history and role. Later in the afternoon they visited the ICRC Museum.

 Friday - Career Opportunities

On the last day of the training, we combined the two groups once again. In the morning we had a speaker from the Joint UNEP/OCHA Environment Unit, Marten Genfors, who explained the coordination between UNEP and OCHA and the response to environmental emergencies, and how to intervene in the field. Then we had seven UN and NGOs interns come and talk to the participants divided into small groups. The goal of this Intern Panel was to have interns from various UN offices present their background to our participants and let them answer questions from different perspectives, to help them choose the path of their career opportunity.

In the afternoon we gave all the participants a final test. Then it was time to hand out the prizes. We evaluated all the interactive sessions and finally took the winners of the quiz on the first day, the top best five delegations from "Greening the Globe' Role Play, and the top three high-scorers from the final test. We handed them gifts from the UN gift shop. At last we gave out the certificates to each participant.

We have enjoyed this training a lot and were happy to meet such great students!

We wish them success in their future endavour!

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