Second Committee

Summaries of work and references

Excerpts from document   A/61/100   [F]   [S]   [A]   [C]   [R]


Item 59: Training and research:

(a) United Nations University



At its twenty-fourth session, in 1969, the General Assembly considered the question of the establishment of an international university, devoted to the Charter objectives of peace and progress. At that session, the Assembly invited the Secretary-General to undertake, in cooperation with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), an expert study on the feasibility of an international university (resolution 2573 (XXIV)). The question was further considered at the following two sessions (resolutions 2691 (XXV) and 2822 (XXVI)).

At its twenty-seventh session, the General Assembly decided to establish an international university under the auspices of the United Nations to be known as the United Nations University (resolution 2951 (XXXVII)); and at its twenty-eighth session, the Assembly adopted the Charter of the United Nations University (A/9149/Add.2) (resolution 3081 (XXVIII)).

In accordance with articles III and IV of the Charter of the University, the Council of the University, consisting of 28 members, is the governing board of the University. The term of office of its 24 appointed members is six years and none of them may serve continuously for more than six years. The Rector is a member of the Council. The Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Director-General of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Executive Director of UNITAR are ex officio members of the Council (decision 40/436). As of 1998, the Council reports directly to the Second Committee of the General Assembly in accordance with its programme of work (decision 52/454).

At its fifty-ninth session, the General Assembly encouraged the United Nations University to continue its efforts to implement the Secretary-General’s suggestion on innovative measures to improve interaction and communication between the University and other United Nations entities; requested the Secretary-General to encourage other bodies of the United Nations system to utilize more fully the capacity of the University; and decided to include the item in the provisional agenda of its sixty-first session (resolution 59/253).

(b) United Nations Institute for Training and Research



The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) was established in 1965, pursuant to a decision taken by the General Assembly at its eighteenth session (resolution 1934 (XVIII)), as an autonomous institution within the framework of the United Nations for the purpose of enhancing the effectiveness of the United Nations in maintaining peace and security and promoting economic and social development through training and research programmes. The Executive Director of the Institute is appointed by the Secretary-General after consultation with the Board of Trustees. The UNITAR statute provides that the Executive Director, in consultation with the Board of Trustees, reports through the Secretary-General to the General Assembly, to the Economic and Social Council and, as appropriate, to other United Nations bodies.

The General Assembly considered the question at its forty-fifth to fifty-ninth sessions (resolutions 45/219, 46/180, 47/227, 48/207, 49/125, 50/121, 51/188, 52/206, 53/195, 54/229, 55/208, 56/208, 57/268, 58/223 and 59/252).

At its sixtieth session, the General Assembly renewed its appeal to all Governments to give the United Nations Institute for Training and Research their generous financial and other support; and stressed the need for the expeditious resolution of the issues related to the Institute’s rent, rental rates and maintenance costs, taking into account its financial situation (resolution 60/213) (see also resolution 60/248, sect. XII, adopted under item 124).


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