17 May 2013
In Rome for the annual two-day meeting of the UN Communications Group at the principal level, the Under-Secretary-General (USG) of the Department of Public Information (DPI) seized the opportunity to develop an agenda of extra-UN institutional meetings.
Tasked with drafting the USG agenda, the Desk Officer for Italy arranged for Mr. Launsky-Tieffenthal to meet with Italy’s former Foreign Minister and former Deputy President of the European Commission, Mr. Franco Frattini, currently President of the Italian UN Association, “SIOI”. The event took place at SIOI premises, which provided the USG with the opportunity to meet with the responsible and the staff of UNICRI Rome, UNRIC/Italy’s antenna office, which is located just next to SIOI.
Following a working lunch at IFAD with some high-level staff of UNICs in the MENA region, the USG then met at the Vatican with Father Lombardi, the Pope’s Spokesperson and Director of Vatican Radio. UNRIC/Italy attended this meeting. Multilingualism was the first item of discussion addressed, in light of the broad coverage Vatican Radio can guarantee with its programs broadcast in thirty-nine languages. This has made Vatican Radio a natural partner of UNRIC/Italy for many years, ensuring the wide dissemination of information products originated in New York in the six official languages. Interreligious dialogue, the use of the internet and social media were among the other themes touched upon during the meeting, which also focused on issues that were identified as being of common interest, such as refugees and IDPs, humanitarian crises, peacekeeping, development. The USG floated the idea of establishing mutual web links between Vatican Radio and those UN information offices that have an interest in multilingual dissemination of information products.
17 May 2013
Following a three-year break due to the closing of the Trento University’s Master’s programme in Human rights and conflict management with which the Desk Officer for Italy had been cooperating between 2007 and 2009, UNRIC/Italy this year resumed its partnership with this new two-year international Master’s programme, within the context of the training activities carried out by the local School of International Studies (http://www.unitn.it/en/drsis/11883/school-international-studies-university-trento).
The School is one of Italy’s academic centers of excellence, and is the result of the cooperation of four different faculties of the Trento University, one of which (Economy) is headed by Professor Nesi, who has been the Legal responsible in the Italian Representation to the United Nations for many years. Hence, the international dimension of its activities and the particular interest in maintaining the cooperation with UNRIC. Also, the School entertains working contacts with another prestigious Italian academic center, which has long been a partner for UNRIC in this field, Scuola Sant’Anna in Pisa.
In his presentation to the students, the Desk Officer centered on the UN peacekeeping and the institutional public information activities taking place on the various HQ, regional and field levels. Upon request from the students, he then expanded on the UN employment opportunities with an ad hoc presentation. It raised considerable questioning, paving the way to a following presentation that was given on career counseling. Internship opportunities were also publicized.
Aside from showing the excellent working relationship UNRIC/Italy entertains with the School’s management, the office’s participation in this activity contributed to further asserting the position that the office has by now firmly taken within the landscape of international relations-related training activities by Italian universities.
11 May 2013
For the third year in a row, the Desk Officer for UNRIC/Italy was invited to meet with the students of the Master’s programme in Law and Economy of the Sea, which is jointly organized by the Chamber of Commerce of Pescara and the University of Teramo under UNRIC’s patronage (http://www.pe.camcom.it/pagina171_master-in-diritto-ed-economia-del-mare.html).
The Master is unique in its genre in Italy and trains students on a wide range of maritime-related topics. UNRIC’s presentations revolved around the UN system’s general involvement in and activities about maritime topics. The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (Montego Bay), its application and the juridical instruments the UN system uses to discipline the relationship among countries over related issues, protect the marine environment and its bio-diversity, manage the oceans, ensure compliance with existing legal instruments, etc. were addressed as were explained the functioning and activities of DOALOS, UN-Oceans, Global environment facility, Global partnership for oceans and other international mechanisms. The focus of the presentation was on IMO and its three-fold mandate, drawing on data and material originally provided to UNRIC/Italy by the London-based organization’s information service.
The Desk Officer then presented on UNRIC and its Europe-wide information campaigns, and, upon request from the Master’s management, held a presentation on UN employment opportunities. Possibilities of internships and students’ visits to UNRIC were also brought up. The Desk Officer received many questions from the participants. As the only UN entity called to address the students in the whole academic year, UNRIC’s presence has by now acquired a specific role and popularity within the context of the Master’s program.
03 May 2013
For the second year in a row, UNRIC/Italy was invited to meet and brief students of the Master’s programme in International relations on the UN public information activities on the central and field levels; the UN peacekeeping, and UN job opportunities. ASERI, Postgraduate School of Economics and International Relations, is a truly international education and research centre, founded in 1995 thanks to the co-operation between the Faculty of Political Science of the University Cattolica and the Milan Chamber of Commerce. It trains experts of economic and political global systems, able to operate at high level within international organizations and systems, multinational companies, banking and financial institutions, public supranational administration.
This occasion therefore marked for UNRIC (which granted its patronage to the Master’s) the second operational contact with ASERI, and in particular with its “Global issues” section, devoted to inputs provided by practitioners. The working relationship – established in May 2012 - with the Master’s branch of the Milan-based prestigious University Cattolica, has so far proved fruitful, featuring two interventions of the desk officer in Milan and a study visit by management and students to UNRIC premises last February. This is a welcome strengthening of a high-quality relationship in the ever-expanding network of cooperation between UNRIC and the Italian academic world, as University Cattolica is one of Italy’s leading academic institutions.