UNITAR och Olof Palmes minnesfond – fortsätter sitt samarbete med stöd av UD

2009-04-07

The Olof Palme Memorial Fund and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), with the generous support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, jointly launch the 2009 Negotiation Training Series.

The Series consists of six workshops in 2009, and it aims to introduce young diplomats to negotiating in multilateral conferences. To maximize the outreach to the diplomatic community at the UN Headquarters, the first seminar will be offered in English (30-31 March) as well as in French,(2-3 April).

Over the course of the Series in 2009, UNITAR will train up to 180 diplomats working at the United Nations, particularly from developing and least developed countries in the art of negotiating. Instructed by experts in negotiation techniques and experienced negotiators, participants will be guided through the nuts-and-bolts of conference diplomacy, as they learn how to maximize beneficial outcomes; share practical tips on preparing for negotiations; walk through a step-by-step guide of the negotiation process at multilateral conferences; and how to chair difficult negotiations.

In light of today's most pressing challenges, UNITAR and the Olof Palme Memorial Fund will also offer specialized courses in the areas of climate change and environmental negotiations as well as international peace and security, in order to prepare delegates at the UN for high-level talks in these fields.

"Diplomats from developing countries and least developed countries remain disadvantaged in negotiations. Developing country delegations often gravely outnumber small states delegations. However, examples are numerous in all UN fora, including the Security Council, of negotiators who successfully challenged the imbalances at the negotiation table by skilfully building coalitions, presenting compelling arguments, and, in the end, changing the course of negotiations. Through the 2009 Olof Palme Memorial Fund / UNITAR Negotiation Series, we want to build on these examples and provide representatives of the developing world with the necessary tools to make their voices heard", says the Head of the Fund, Ambassador Pierre Schori.

The support by the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs makes it possible for the project to reach a wider group of interested diplomats. As a result, the Olof Palme Memorial Fund and UNITAR will be able to meet the high demand for such courses of senior as well as less experienced diplomats alike. The Head of the UNITAR New York Office, Dr. Colleen Thouez, commends Sweden's support in this regard, and points to the growing demand for this kind of training: "The issues at stake in international negotiations have become increasingly complex in substance, climate change being only one example. Understanding these issues, the negotiation dynamics, and interlinkages to other areas, such as development and security, will help diplomats contribute to effective multilateral decision-making at the UN, and to making a difference as a negotiator", stated Ms. Thouez at the opening of today's workshop.

Please find more information on this week's workshop in English and French, and about the 2009 Negotiation Series at http://www.unitarny.org/en/2009negotiations.html

For more information, please contact:

– Dr. Colleen Thouez, Head, UNITAR Office in New York +1 212 963 9683, thouez@un.org

– Ambassador Pierre Schori, Head of the Olof Palme Memorial Fund, and President of FRIDE, Madrid +34 687 90 91 88

Workshop dates and venues:

* English-language workshop on Effective Negotiation in Multilateral Conferences, 30-31 March 2009, Office of the Permanent Observer Mission of the African Union to the United Nations, New York

* French-language workshop on Effective Negotiation in Multilateral Conferences, 2-3 April 2009, Office of the Permanent Observer of the International Organization of La Francophonie to the United Nations, New York.