Training Program at the UN Geneva: China, 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

From 18-22 August, WFUNA had the pleasure of welcoming 21 remarkable Chinese students to our "Advanced Training at the UN: China" Program, organized in cooperation with the Research Centre of United Nations and International Organizations (RCUNIO). For 5 days, participants had the opportunity to get to know better the UN in Geneva and its work around the issues of Technology, sustainable Development, Trade and Humanitarian Affairs. 

Monday, August 18 

On Monday 18 August, participants were welcomed by Irene Martinetti, WFUNA Director of Programs, and Aziel Goulandris, Education Officer, who presented WFUNA's mission and provided details about the schedule of the upcoming days. Participants were encourgaed to get to know each other better through an icebreaking game where they could share their academic backgrounds, hobbies and expectations for this week's training. 

After the lunch break, participants went a guided tour of the Palais des Nations, where they could venture in the United Nations' beautiful buildings and discover gorgeous conference rooms. Following the visit Kathryn Hennessey, Associate Information Officer at the United Nations Offices in Geneva, provided participants with an overview of the United Nations Offices in Geneva, highlighting its role as a hub for Human Rights. Finally, an interactive quiz session offered participants a great opportunity to test their understanding of what they had learned during the day. 

Tuesday, August 19

Day 2 of our Advanced Training Program: China started with a morning at the International Telecommunications Union Headquarters. Josh Jiyoung Choi, Coordinator for the ICT Discovery program, introduced ITU's work and main fields of action. He presented the challenges for the world of telecommunications, ranging from the expansion of mobile phone markets to the monitoring of the satellites.  The morning continued with a visit to the ICT Discovery museum and ended with a briefing of Mr Xin Liu, Strategic Operations Officer at ITU, who provided participants with an insight about what it is like to work in an international organization. 

After lunch at the ITU cafeteria, Mr. Goulandris, WFUNA Education Officer, briefied the participants on the role that technologies play in development. Participants were split into groups to present issues related to access to technologies in developing countries, namely Brazil, Ghana, South Africa and Burkina Faso



Wednesday, August 20


Wednesday started with a visit to the United States Mission to the United Nations to explore diplomacy and trade issues from a State perspective. Students were guided to explore the role of the States' Permanent Missions, with a special focus on the work with the World Trade Organization. Participants also learned about US negotiation strategies in the field of trade. 


After lunch, the group went to the World Trade Organization and visited its prestigious buildings as well as the Chinese gardens. After the visit, Ankai Xiu, Information Officer for the Information and External Relations Division at the World Trade Organization, provided a thorough and extensive presentation on the WTO and discussed the challenges States will face during the upcoming negotiation rounds.


Finally, Alexandre Gaillard, member of the Swiss-Chinese Chamber of Commerce, gave our students a very interesting overview on the trade relationships between the China and Switzerland. 



Thursday, August 21

With World Humanitarian Day celebrated on August 18, our fourth day for ATP: China in Geneva focused on the work of humanitarian workers.


In the morning, participants visited the United Nations High Commissionner for Refugees Headquarters, where they had the great opportunity of discussing with to John Andrews, Senior Resource Management for the Asian and Pacific Region, who had more than 30 years experience in missions on the field. Mr. Andrews shared anecdotes about UNHCR's numerous operations around the world and their challenges and positive outcomes. 


In the afternoon, participants returned to the Palais where they met two guest speakers from the United Nations Offices for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), Ms. Tanja Koch, Associate Expert, and Mr. Rene Nijenhuis, Humanitarian Affairs Officer. They presented the newly-created Joint Environment Unit (JEU) led by the UNOCHA and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). Ms. Koch presented JEU's mission and focused on the scope of the newly adopted Waste Disaster Management Guidelines by using recent examples from Japan and Pakistan. 


Friday, August 22

The last day of training began with a visit to the International Red Cross Museum, where participants learned about the origins of the organization and its current activities.

Once back to the Palais, participants were welcomed by our UN intern panel composed of four members: Anton Novoselov, working for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Leandro Salazar, from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Stella Yu Wen for United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and Peying Tong representing the United Nations Joint Inspection Unit. A big thank you to all of them for sharing their thoughts about the United Nations and for providing feedback on their experience.

The WFUNA Team would like to thank the students and the accompanying staff for their enthusiasm and commitment to the ATP. Best of luck for your future endeavours! 

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