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The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)

The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)

The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)


The Institute

An autonomous UN body established in 1963, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research ( is a training arm of the United Nations System and has the mandate to enhance the effectiveness of the UN through diplomatic training, and to increase the impact of national actions through public awareness-raising, education, and training of public policy officials.

UNITAR provides training and capacity development activities to assist mainly developing countries with special attention to Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and other groups and communities who are most vulnerable, including those in conflict situations. The Institute covers topics in the broad areas of supporting capacity for the 2030 Agenda, strengthening multilateralism, advancing environmental sustainability and green development, improving resilience and humanitarian assistance, promoting sustainable peace, and promoting economic development and social inclusion.

It also conducts research on innovative learning approaches, methods, and tools, as well as applied research to address critical issues, such as disaster risk reduction and humanitarian emergencies.

We work in the spirit of leaving no one behind and we strive to reach the furthest first. To achieve this, our training plan depends also on donor support. We appeal to donor countries and other donor entities to help us so we can design and deliver high-quality training, especially to countries in special situations.

Our Vision

“A world in which knowledge-empowered people, institutions, and organizations achieve results to overcome global challenges.”

The vision for which the Institute aims reflects a drive for results and programming to develop the capacities of individuals, institutions, and organizations with a view to overcoming global challenges.

Our Mission

“To develop capacities to enhance global decision-making and to support country-level action for shaping a better future.”

Our Core Functions

The Institute:

  • designs and delivers innovative training to address the needs of individuals, organizations, and institutions;
  • facilitates knowledge and experience-sharing through networked and innovative processes;
  • conducts research on and pilots innovative learning strategies, approaches, and methodologies; and
  • advises and supports governments, the UN, and other partners with technology-based knowledge-related services.

Today, the scope of UNITAR programming is truly global with an outreach spanning the entire membership of the United Nations and with over 40,000 individuals benefitting from the delivery of some 500 training and related events yearly. Never before has the Institute’s programming been as diverse as it is presently, with a wide range of learning and other types of events covering topics in the broad areas of multilateralism; economic development and social inclusion; environmental sustainability and green development; sustainable peace; and research and technology applications.

The Institute has also greatly diversified the delivery of training, with e-Learning courses now accounting for one-third of all events and with over 5,000 learners from all corners of the world benefitting from the Institute’s virtual learning environment in 2012. In carrying out its mission, the Institute naturally places much emphasis on delivering learning-related products and services, transferring knowledge, imparting skills, and raising awareness with an aim to bring about changes in behavior and to develop other capacities of its beneficiaries.

Parallel to learning, the Institute also engages in training-related and other advisory support services to governments at achieving broader social and economic development outcomes, such as developing institutional capacities.


  • Geneva

    UNITAR, Palais des Nations, CH-1211, Geneva

  • San José

    San José, Costa Rica

    • Laxenburg

      Laxenburg, Austria

      • The Hague

        The Hague, Netherlands