United Nations

A/51/554


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

25 October 1996

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH


                                                        A/51/554
                                                              

General Assembly
Fiftieth session
Agenda item 99 (a)


             TRAINING AND RESEARCH:  UNITED NATIONS INSTITUTE FOR
                             TRAINING AND RESEARCH

                        Report of the Secretary-General


1.   At its fiftieth session, the General Assembly considered matters
pertaining to the United Nations Institute for Training and Research
(UNITAR).  In adopting resolution 50/121, the Assembly requested the
Secretary-General duly taking into account the deliberations of the
Board of Trustees, to submit a report to the General Assembly at its
fifty-first session on possible ways to strengthen the training
activities of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research
and to better define its role.  This report is submitted in response
to that request.

2.   The Secretary-General wishes to recall his often expressed view
that training represents a valuable investment in the future of the
Organization.  This applies to programmes geared to meeting the
training requirements of Member States, as well as to those of United
Nations system staff, which also ultimately aim at responding to
Member States' needs by enhancing the capacity of the system to meet
effectively the evolving demands of the membership.  With these
considerations in mind, and taking into account the invitation to
UNITAR contained in General Assembly resolution 50/121 to "further
develop its cooperation with United Nations institutes and other
national, regional and international institutes", the
Secretary-General's response to this resolution has focused in the
past several months on identifying, and building on, commonalities of
need and approach in the delivery of training programmes for Member
States as well as United Nations staff that would serve to enhance
their coordination and meet overall requirements in the most
cost-effective way possible.

3.   In this regard, the Secretary-General has ensured that the United
Nations Staff College (UNSC) project is a system-wide venture,
developed with intensive input from United Nations system
organizations and a number of Member States.  The project has received
the support of the Executive Heads of the United Nations system of
organizations in the context of the Administrative
Committee on Coordination and its CCAQ's subsidiary body on
system-wide training activities.  The Secretary-General envisages that
the training activities of both UNITAR and the United Nations
system-wide Staff College project would benefit from association, in
terms of yielding mutual benefits in strengthening and rationalizing
respective curriculum development in areas and disciplines of shared
interest and activity.  Such association would also enhance the
cost-effectiveness of programme development and delivery, and have the
added benefit of avoiding "donor fatigue" when approaching
contributing governmental and non-governmental organizations.  In this
regard, it is noted that the United Nations Staff College project is
funded in its entirety by extrabudgetary resources.  Moreover, joint
training and learning opportunities for government representatives and
United Nations system staff will go far in building operational
partnerships for more effective action in areas of shared concern. 
Programme content would reflect matters of shared interest, while
adjusting to meet the specific needs of respective target programme
participants.  Designed with these goals in mind, joint training and
learning opportunities for government representatives and United
Nations system staff in areas of common interest can only contribute
to enhancing overall operational effectiveness and responsiveness.

4.   In its report entitled "Feasibility study on the relocation of
UNITAR to the Turin Centre", the Joint Inspection Unit notes, inter
alia, that "there is a general consensus on the need to find concrete
and implementable ways to coordinate the United Nations system
training activities in order to use resources more rationally, avoid
duplication and overlap, and consolidate activities to the extent
possible.  There also appears to be general agreement to tackle this
question in a comprehensive manner and not to follow a piecemeal
approach.  The Secretary-General's efforts to find a comprehensive and
lasting solution for a better coordination and a potential regrouping
of the United Nations system training activities is a key element in
this regard.  Therefore, the United Nations Staff College Project
(UNSCP) should be regarded as part of these efforts". 1/

5.   To this end, the Secretary-General has actively pursued over the
past year all possible avenues for increased cooperation between
UNITAR and UNSC, including participation by UNITAR in UNSC curriculum
development workshops.  Priority areas identified for such cooperation
include:  peacekeeping and peacemaking; the provision of humanitarian
assistance and management of complex emergencies; and the management
of development activities.  The Secretary-General notes with
appreciation the recognition of the UNITAR Board of Trustees of the
importance of this initiative and its instruction to its Acting
Executive Director "to strengthen cooperation with the Turin Centre
and with the Staff College project, taking into account present
resources and activities ..." 2/

6.   At a time when resources are scarce and the system is increasingly
called upon to assume new or different tasks in response to the
evolving needs of the Member States, it is important that optimal use
is made of all available resources and facilities.   Moreover, it is
considered that the United Nations Staff College project offers the
opportunity to take optimum advantage of the system-wide capacities
and facilities available at the ILO Training Centre in Turin, in
strengthening United Nations system capacity in bringing together
governmental, non-governmental and United Nations system partners in
effective training and learning opportunities.


                                     Notes

     1/  JIU/REP/96/6.

     2/  Conclusions and recommendations of the Special Session of the
Board of Trustees, United Nations Institute for Training and Research,
Geneva, 2-4 September 1996, para. 16 (e).


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