|Org type||UN Institute|
The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) was established in 1965 following a UN General Assembly resolution "for the training of personnel, particularly from developing Member States, for administrative and operational assignments with the United Nations and the specialized agencies, both at Headquarters and in field operations, and for national service" as well as for "research and seminars on operations of the United Nations and the specialized agencies". UNITAR became first known for its activities in support of diplomats accredited to the UN. An autonomous body within the UN system, UNITAR is governed by a Board of Trustees whose members are appointed by the UN Secretary-General, and led by the Executive Director, also appointed by the Secretary-General. The Institute is supported by voluntary contributions from governments, intergovernmental organizations, foundations and the private sector.
The Institute provides short-term executive training to national and local government officials of UN Member States and civil society representatives from around the world. UNITAR strives to respond to the growing demand from UN Member States, especially the least developed countries, for capacity development in the fields of Environment; Peace, Security and Diplomacy; and Governance.
Through The Hague Fellowship, held annually at International Court of Justice, UNITAR provides government officials with training courses on international law and through its programme on operational satellite applications (UNOSAT) the institute provides satellite imagery and analysis. UNITAR contributes in helping governments to strengthen their national and local-level implementation capacity on climate change, chemicals and waste management, and biodiversity. The Institute also assists ministries of finance struggling to make sense of the global recession through its courses on public debt management, finance and trade. Since 2003 UNITAR provides courses to support municipal and regional leaders dealing with complex public policies. Another task of the Institute consists in organizing meetings for the UN Secretary-General, including the annual retreat of the Secretary-General and UN top officials, the annual retreat of Special Representatives of the Secretary-General as well as strategic meetings for UN Departments. UNITAR also spearheads UN inter-agency initiatives such as the one UN Learning platform on Climate Change or the Global Migration Group. UNITAR is augmenting its technology-enhanced learning services to complement traditional methods of training. The Institute is striving to foster train-the-trainer approaches that empower regional, national, and local training institutions.
UNITAR endeavours to provide creative opportunities for professional training and learning in keeping with the world’s rapidly evolving circumstances. UNITAR staff is specialized in assessing the training needs of Member States, evaluating and improving existing programmes, and identifying innovative methodologies and learning toolkits, with the aim of enhancing human capacity in the public sector. UNITAR works in partnership with academic institutions, civil society, and other international organizations.
UNITAR has established pools of training and train-the-trainer expertise in selected areas including multilateral diplomacy, international law and human rights, conflict prevention and peacemaking, peacekeeping, adaptation to climate change, environmental governance, chemicals and waste management, local governance, international migration, as well as public finance and trade. UNITAR also serves as a research centre for knowledge systems innovation (KSI) and application of satellite imagery to humanitarian, conflict or disaster situations, through UNOSAT, the Operational Satellite Applications Programme.
The imperative of protecting nature for present and future generations creates unprecedented learning and skills development needs for decision-makers, managers, and citizens around the world. UNITAR’s environmental training activities and services seek to make a constructive and cost-effective contribution to this global challenge, by fostering environmentally sustainable development. Training and capacity development related to the implementation of global and regional multilateral environmental agreements has become a priority for the Institute. UNITAR’s environmental training activities currently focus around the following four thematic focal areas: Chemicals and Waste Management; Climate Change; Environmental Governance; Biodiversity.
Peace, Security and Diplomacy programmes aim to enhance the capacity of Member States to support the United Nations in meeting its goals and objectives in these areas and include: International Law (with a specific focus on international environmental law); Multilateral Diplomacy; Peacekeeping; Peacemaking and Conflict Prevention.
Governance programmes contribute to achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) poverty reduction and governance agenda through developing the capacities of public and private sector officials to appropriately address a wide range of governance issues. Thematic focal areas are: e-Governance, Local Development, and Public Finance and Trade.
KSI works to capture, organize and integrate content from multiple sources, transforming and customizing content into learning products, facilitating its delivery and tailoring instructional methods according to adult learning principles. Its thematic focal areas include: knowledge systems and their practical application (focusing on methodologies particularly relevant for lifelong learning); new technologies (focusing on their use in training and learning); and technology enhanced learning.
UNOSAT is a people-centered programme developed in co-operation with the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) delivering satellite solutions to relief and development organizations within and outside the UN system to help make a difference in the life of communities exposed to poverty, hazards and risk, or affected by humanitarian and other crises. People-centered means that it operates keeping in sight the beneficiary needs at the end of the process. Its Thematic Focal Areas include: satellite imagery search and procurement assistance, image processing; map production including information extraction & analysis; research and methodology (design and guidance); field and remote technical assistance, including strategic consulting.