Training Boosts Geneva Diplomats’ Expertise in UN Human Rights Council

23 January 2024

Negotiation processes and voting of resolutions and decisions – including at the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council – are among the most sophisticated and developed processes in today’s UN system.

Leveraging our extensive network of international experts and practitioners, the Geneva Human Rights Platform offered, in collaboration with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), a three-day executive training course for Geneva-based diplomats. The training gave profound and pragmatic insights into multilateralism and the functioning of UN human rights mechanisms, focusing on the HRC and addressing negotiation practices at the multilateral level.

‘We are thrilled to offer this course for free thanks to FES support as part of our Training Hub. Condensed over three days, it can fit into diplomats’ busy schedules’ explains Felix Kirchmeier, Executive Director of the Geneva Human Rights Platform.

Fascinating Exchanges among 16 Diplomats

A thorough selection of candidates resulted in a great and dedicated group of 16 participants coming from all regional groups with fascinating exchanges within the group and with experts from UN human rights mechanisms, the former Chiefs of the UPR and HRC Branches of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, civil society and senior diplomats.

Given the high turnover of diplomats in Geneva, we hope to be able to offer this executive training course once a year as a standing item in our Training Hub offer. Diplomats arriving in Geneva are not necessarily human rights experts but are expected to be operational from day one. This training not only helps them to adapt to their new positions and familiarize themselves with their new files but also ensures that the HRC can perform at its best, with dedicated diplomats who are well-informed about the intricacies and the history of this important UN body.

‘At FES Geneva, we are trying to act as a bridge between international organizations based in Geneva and the Global South, linking protagonists like parliamentarians, activists or trade unionists from the Global South to what is going on in international Geneva. In this way, we equip them with the means to interact, engage and have an impact. This programme for diplomats complements this approach on a different level’ explains Hajo Lanz, Director of FES Geneva Office.

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