Horizontal Tabs

Overview

Journey through the complex activities of the United Nations to examine the most intricate examples of multilateral diplomacy in action.

Participants in this course will study the most critical areas of work of the United Nations and examine contemporary issues high on the UN agenda. The course assumes and builds on prior knowledge of the structure, methods and processes of multilateral diplomacy, demonstrating how these processes influence the policy and operational activities of the United Nations. The course combines academic perspectives with first-hand knowledge and practical experience of working with the UN. In each module, course materials define principal concepts and terms, introduce participants to the historical evolution of the subject area, clarify core issues, identify principal actors and explain their main positions, and explore open questions. The materials examine each subject area in the context of the wider work of the UN.

>> Register to receive e-mail notifications about our upcoming online courses.

Open for applications: 

No

Application deadline: 
Credit: 3 March 2014; Certificate: 31 March 2014
Start date: 
5 May 2014
Course code: 
IRL 5023
ECTS credits: 
9
Mode(s) of study: 
Credit - Certificate - Master/PGD

There is no greater sense of dynamism than to explore developments as they unfold.

Anna Durante
Master/PGD student
Course details

Journey through the complex activities of the United Nations to examine the most intricate examples of multilateral diplomacy in action.

Participants in this course will study the most critical areas of work of the United Nations and examine contemporary issues high on the UN agenda. The course assumes and builds on prior knowledge of the structure, methods and processes of multilateral diplomacy, demonstrating how these processes influence the policy and operational activities of the United Nations. The course combines academic perspectives with first-hand knowledge and practical experience of working with the UN. In each module, course materials define principal concepts and terms, introduce participants to the historical evolution of the subject area, clarify core issues, identify principal actors and explain their main positions, and explore open questions. The materials examine each subject area in the context of the wider work of the UN.

By the end of the course, participants should be able to:

  • Describe comprehensively the areas of work of the UN and the main subject areas it deals with.
  • Identify and describe the salient current issues on the UN agenda.
  • Explain the interaction of processes and policies in the United Nations.
  • Assess and compare the effectiveness and efficiency of the UN across different fields and arenas.

Course outline

  1. Maintenance of international peace and security: we discuss the Charter provisions relevant to this central and original area of the UN’s work, and the corresponding intergovernmental mechanisms. We identify and explain terms and concepts such as peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding, with an overview of their evolution, and their common and specialised use. Finally, we look at the positions and perspectives of member states and other stakeholders.
  2. Current issues in United Nations reform: continuing efforts aim to develop, adjust, or reform the institutional structure of the UN to enable it to confront the daunting challenges that it faces. We look at current “hot” issues, with particular focus on the current wave of negotiations on reforming the Security Council and expanding its membership. Other institutions under current review such as the Peacebuilding Commission and the Human Rights Council will also be addressed.
  3. Humanitarian action: the multiple forms of humanitarian activities and the variety of legal backgrounds are presented with a view to clarifying conceptual and practical differences between related areas: humanitarian assistance, humanitarian law and humanitarian intervention. The presentation of institutionalised coordination of humanitarian action in the field, among UN bodies, funds and programmes, individual governments and international organisations sheds light on a complex area where legal, political and operational aspects are equally relevant.
  4. Economic and social development: an overview of the UN’s continuing work through its main organs and bodies, focusing on the scope of the UN mandate in the service of development, the nature of its contributions, and the means available. Development is examined from both conceptual and programmatic perspectives. The lecture describes the main resource for development at the international level (Official Development Assistance), provides two specific examples of donor countries, and illustrates UN policies though case studies on specific resolutions.
  5. Progressive development and codification of international law: the codification and progressive development of international law is one of the fundamental tasks entrusted to the UN by the Charter. We look at the work of the International Law Commission, the main expert body responsible for drafting international conventions and treaties. Its work is complemented by other UN bodies that occasionally or permanently elaborate multilateral conventions in various specialised areas.
  6. Promotion and protection of human rights: a synoptic view over all the mechanisms established by the UN for the promotion and protection of human rights, from the Universal Declaration to the most recent core treaties adopted by the General Assembly. We examine human rights monitoring and the work of treaty bodies as well as the special procedures of the human rights bodies.
  7. Financing the United Nations: a look into the budgetary and financial mechanisms less known to the general public, but highly important for the proper functioning of the UN. We examine the difference between assessed and voluntary contributions and the methodology used to determine the obligatory contributions of member states. The analysis covers the general structure of the UN regular budget and the bodies responsible for funding, programming and assessing matters.
  8. United Nations concepts for global governance: this final lecture proposes ways that the UN can change the world, its own vision and its instruments without changing the Charter. Innovative concepts constitute a reaction to the dynamics of world affairs and to the challenges of globalisation. The concepts are illustrated by several multi-faceted approaches to an increasingly interdependent world where classic concepts such as development and security no longer reflect reality.
Reviews

There is no greater sense of dynamism than to explore developments as they unfold. Humanitarian aid, intervention in Libya, responsibility to protect, United Nations Security Council reform, drafting and analysis of UN documents … these are but a sample in the rich field of topical issues and practical application through which Dr Petru Dimitriu and his knowledgeable team expertly guided Multilateral Diplomacy II. I now evaluate world events with keener insight and have a wider appreciation of the gargantuan challenges in tackling global concerns. 

Anna Durante
Crown Counsel, Government of the Virgin Islands
May 2011

Moving with efficiency in the world of diplomacy in the 21st Century requires understanding the sources, structure and evolution of international bodies, as well as the ever-changing international issues and the effects these have on the world as a whole. Keeping up with the fast changes and the multiplicity of issues is not always easy. Getting involved with Diplo has allowed me to fill in inevitable information and experience gaps. For those of us who have not yet experienced live action in the multilateral arena, Diplo´s course not only offers the possibility of learning from and exchanging views with highly qualified professionals in the field of multilateral diplomacy, but also participating in real-life discussions related to the most current and hotly debated international topics in the United Nations. I can label my participation in the course as a cheering and rewarding experience.

Oswaldo A. Canto
Consul, Embassy of Mexico to Egypt
April, 2012
Who should apply

This course will be of interest to:

  • Practising diplomats, civil servants, and others working in international relations who want to refresh or expand their knowledge under the guidance of experienced practitioners and academics.
  • Post-graduate students of diplomacy or international relations wishing to study topics not offered through their university programmes or diplomatic academies and to gain deeper insight through interaction with practising diplomats.
  • Post-graduate students or practitioners in other fields seeking an entry point into the world of diplomacy.
  • Journalists, staff of international and non-governmental organisations, translators, business people and others who interact with diplomats and wish to improve their understanding of diplomacy-related topics.

 

Prerequisites

All course applicants must have regular access to the Internet (dial-up connection is sufficient, although broadband is preferable).

Applicants for certificate courses must have:

  • An undergraduate university degree OR three years of work experience and appropriate professional qualifications in diplomacy or international relations.
  • Sufficient ability in the English language to undertake postgraduate level studies (including reading academic texts, discussing complex concepts with other course participants, and submitting written essay assignments of up to 2500 words in length).

Applicants for accredited courses must meet University of Malta prerequisites:

  • Bachelor's degree in a relevant subject with at least Second Class Honours.
  • Proof of English language proficiency obtained within the last two years (minimum requirements TOEFL: paper-based – 650; Internet-based – 95. IELTS: 6.5. Cambridge: Proficiency Certificate with Grade C or better). If when applying you are still waiting for your English language proficiency results, the University may issue a conditional letter of acceptance.
Fees

Course fees depend on whether you wish to obtain university credit for the course:

  • €790 (University of Malta Accredited Course)
  • €650 (Diplo Certificate Course)

Applicants must pay full fees upon official acceptance into the course. The fee includes:

  • University of Malta application fee (for University of Malta Accredited Courses only)
  • Full tuition
  • Course orientation pack where applicable (optional readings)
  • Access to all course materials online, via Diplo’s online classroom
  • Access, via the Internet, to the University of Malta e-journal collection (University of Malta Accredited Courses only)
  • Personal interaction via the online classroom with course lecturers, staff and other participants
  • Online technical support
  • For Diplo Certificate Courses, postgraduate level certificate issued by DiploFoundation on successful completion of course requirements (interaction and participation, all assignments)

Financial assistance

Discounts are available for more than one participant from the same institution. A limited number of partial scholarships are available for diplomats and others working in international relations from developing countries.

To apply for a scholarship please upload your CV and a motivation letter with your application. The motivation letter should include:

  • Details of your relevant professional and educational background.
  • Reasons for your interest in the course.
  • Why you feel you should have the opportunity to participate in this course: how will your participation benefit you, your institution and/or your country?

As Diplo's ability to offer scholarship support is limited, candidates are strongly encouraged to seek scholarship funding directly from local or international institutions. Our guide to Finding Scholarships for Online Study may provide you with some useful starting points.

How to apply

A number of routes for application are available:


Apply for a Diplo Certificate Course

Applicants for certificate courses should apply online.

If you are applying for financial assistance, please upload your CV and a motivation letter with your application. The motivation letter should include:

  • Details of your relevant professional and educational background.
  • Reasons for your interest in the course.
  • Why you feel you should have the opportunity to participate in this course: how will your participation benefit you, your institution and/or your country?

Please note that financial assistance from DiploFoundation is available only to applicants from developing countries. Late applications will be considered if there are spaces available in the course.


Apply for a University of Malta Accredited Course

Complete application packages must be received by specified application deadlines in order to be considered.

  1. Two copies of the University of Malta application form filled out in full (download form for overseas applicants; download form for applicants with Maltese qualifications).
  2. Certified copies of original degree(s) and official transcripts.
  3. English translations of degree(s) and transcripts if they are not in English, signed and stamped by translator.
  4. English language proficiency certificate obtained within the last two years (minimum requirements TOEFL: paper-based – 650; Internet-based – 95. IELTS: 6.5. Cambridge: Proficiency Certificate with Grade C or better). Please indicate on the application form if you are still waiting for your English language proficiency results.
  5. Photocopy of personal details pages of your passport.
  6. If you are requesting financial assistance, please include your CV and a motivation letter with your application. The motivation letter should include details of your relevant professional and educational background; reasons for your interest in the course; and why you feel you should have the opportunity to participate in this course: i.e. how will your participation benefit you, your institution and/or your country? Financial assistance from DiploFoundation is available only to applicants from developing countries.
  7. Application fee or proof of payment (€100 – non-refundable – see methods of payment).

Please mail complete application packages to the address at the bottom of the page.


Cancellation Policy

Diplo reserves the right to cancel this course if enrolment is insufficient. In case of cancellation, Diplo will notify applicants shortly after the application deadline. Applicants who have paid an application fee may apply this fee towards another course or receive a refund.

Print course info
Course details:

Journey through the complex activities of the United Nations to examine the most intricate examples of multilateral diplomacy in action.

Participants in this course will study the most critical areas of work of the United Nations and examine contemporary issues high on the UN agenda. The course assumes and builds on prior knowledge of the structure, methods and processes of multilateral diplomacy, demonstrating how these processes influence the policy and operational activities of the United Nations. The course combines academic perspectives with first-hand knowledge and practical experience of working with the UN. In each module, course materials define principal concepts and terms, introduce participants to the historical evolution of the subject area, clarify core issues, identify principal actors and explain their main positions, and explore open questions. The materials examine each subject area in the context of the wider work of the UN.

By the end of the course, participants should be able to:

  • Describe comprehensively the areas of work of the UN and the main subject areas it deals with.
  • Identify and describe the salient current issues on the UN agenda.
  • Explain the interaction of processes and policies in the United Nations.
  • Assess and compare the effectiveness and efficiency of the UN across different fields and arenas.

Course outline

  1. Maintenance of international peace and security: we discuss the Charter provisions relevant to this central and original area of the UN’s work, and the corresponding intergovernmental mechanisms. We identify and explain terms and concepts such as peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding, with an overview of their evolution, and their common and specialised use. Finally, we look at the positions and perspectives of member states and other stakeholders.
  2. Current issues in United Nations reform: continuing efforts aim to develop, adjust, or reform the institutional structure of the UN to enable it to confront the daunting challenges that it faces. We look at current “hot” issues, with particular focus on the current wave of negotiations on reforming the Security Council and expanding its membership. Other institutions under current review such as the Peacebuilding Commission and the Human Rights Council will also be addressed.
  3. Humanitarian action: the multiple forms of humanitarian activities and the variety of legal backgrounds are presented with a view to clarifying conceptual and practical differences between related areas: humanitarian assistance, humanitarian law and humanitarian intervention. The presentation of institutionalised coordination of humanitarian action in the field, among UN bodies, funds and programmes, individual governments and international organisations sheds light on a complex area where legal, political and operational aspects are equally relevant.
  4. Economic and social development: an overview of the UN’s continuing work through its main organs and bodies, focusing on the scope of the UN mandate in the service of development, the nature of its contributions, and the means available. Development is examined from both conceptual and programmatic perspectives. The lecture describes the main resource for development at the international level (Official Development Assistance), provides two specific examples of donor countries, and illustrates UN policies though case studies on specific resolutions.
  5. Progressive development and codification of international law: the codification and progressive development of international law is one of the fundamental tasks entrusted to the UN by the Charter. We look at the work of the International Law Commission, the main expert body responsible for drafting international conventions and treaties. Its work is complemented by other UN bodies that occasionally or permanently elaborate multilateral conventions in various specialised areas.
  6. Promotion and protection of human rights: a synoptic view over all the mechanisms established by the UN for the promotion and protection of human rights, from the Universal Declaration to the most recent core treaties adopted by the General Assembly. We examine human rights monitoring and the work of treaty bodies as well as the special procedures of the human rights bodies.
  7. Financing the United Nations: a look into the budgetary and financial mechanisms less known to the general public, but highly important for the proper functioning of the UN. We examine the difference between assessed and voluntary contributions and the methodology used to determine the obligatory contributions of member states. The analysis covers the general structure of the UN regular budget and the bodies responsible for funding, programming and assessing matters.
  8. United Nations concepts for global governance: this final lecture proposes ways that the UN can change the world, its own vision and its instruments without changing the Charter. Innovative concepts constitute a reaction to the dynamics of world affairs and to the challenges of globalisation. The concepts are illustrated by several multi-faceted approaches to an increasingly interdependent world where classic concepts such as development and security no longer reflect reality.
Who should apply:

This course will be of interest to:

  • Practising diplomats, civil servants, and others working in international relations who want to refresh or expand their knowledge under the guidance of experienced practitioners and academics.
  • Post-graduate students of diplomacy or international relations wishing to study topics not offered through their university programmes or diplomatic academies and to gain deeper insight through interaction with practising diplomats.
  • Post-graduate students or practitioners in other fields seeking an entry point into the world of diplomacy.
  • Journalists, staff of international and non-governmental organisations, translators, business people and others who interact with diplomats and wish to improve their understanding of diplomacy-related topics.

 

Methodology:

This course is conducted entirely online over a period of ten weeks. Reading materials and tools for online interaction are provided through an online classroom. Each week, participants read the provided lecture text, adding questions, comments and references in the form of hypertext entries. Lecturers and other participants read and respond to these entries, creating interaction based on the lecture text. During the week, participants complete additional online activities (e.g. further discussion via blogs or forums, quizzes, group tasks, simulations or short assignments). At the end of the week, participants and lecturers meet online in a chat room to discuss the week’s topic. To complete the course successfully, participants must write several essay assignments. Courses are based on a collaborative approach to learning, involving a high level of interaction.

This course requires a minimum of five to seven hours of study time per week.

Prerequisites:

All course applicants must have regular access to the Internet (dial-up connection is sufficient, although broadband is preferable).

Applicants for certificate courses must have:

  • An undergraduate university degree OR three years of work experience and appropriate professional qualifications in diplomacy or international relations.
  • Sufficient ability in the English language to undertake postgraduate level studies (including reading academic texts, discussing complex concepts with other course participants, and submitting written essay assignments of up to 2500 words in length).

Applicants for accredited courses must meet University of Malta prerequisites:

  • Bachelor's degree in a relevant subject with at least Second Class Honours.
  • Proof of English language proficiency obtained within the last two years (minimum requirements TOEFL: paper-based – 650; Internet-based – 95. IELTS: 6.5. Cambridge: Proficiency Certificate with Grade C or better). If when applying you are still waiting for your English language proficiency results, the University may issue a conditional letter of acceptance.
Fees:

Course fees depend on whether you wish to obtain university credit for the course:

  • €790 (University of Malta Accredited Course)
  • €650 (Diplo Certificate Course)

Applicants must pay full fees upon official acceptance into the course. The fee includes:

  • University of Malta application fee (for University of Malta Accredited Courses only)
  • Full tuition
  • Course orientation pack where applicable (optional readings)
  • Access to all course materials online, via Diplo’s online classroom
  • Access, via the Internet, to the University of Malta e-journal collection (University of Malta Accredited Courses only)
  • Personal interaction via the online classroom with course lecturers, staff and other participants
  • Online technical support
  • For Diplo Certificate Courses, postgraduate level certificate issued by DiploFoundation on successful completion of course requirements (interaction and participation, all assignments)

Financial assistance

Discounts are available for more than one participant from the same institution. A limited number of partial scholarships are available for diplomats and others working in international relations from developing countries.

To apply for a scholarship please upload your CV and a motivation letter with your application. The motivation letter should include:

  • Details of your relevant professional and educational background.
  • Reasons for your interest in the course.
  • Why you feel you should have the opportunity to participate in this course: how will your participation benefit you, your institution and/or your country?

As Diplo's ability to offer scholarship support is limited, candidates are strongly encouraged to seek scholarship funding directly from local or international institutions. Our guide to Finding Scholarships for Online Study may provide you with some useful starting points.

How to apply:

A number of routes for application are available:


Apply for a Diplo Certificate Course

Applicants for certificate courses should apply online.

If you are applying for financial assistance, please upload your CV and a motivation letter with your application. The motivation letter should include:

  • Details of your relevant professional and educational background.
  • Reasons for your interest in the course.
  • Why you feel you should have the opportunity to participate in this course: how will your participation benefit you, your institution and/or your country?

Please note that financial assistance from DiploFoundation is available only to applicants from developing countries. Late applications will be considered if there are spaces available in the course.


Apply for a University of Malta Accredited Course

Complete application packages must be received by specified application deadlines in order to be considered.

  1. Two copies of the University of Malta application form filled out in full (download form for overseas applicants; download form for applicants with Maltese qualifications).
  2. Certified copies of original degree(s) and official transcripts.
  3. English translations of degree(s) and transcripts if they are not in English, signed and stamped by translator.
  4. English language proficiency certificate obtained within the last two years (minimum requirements TOEFL: paper-based – 650; Internet-based – 95. IELTS: 6.5. Cambridge: Proficiency Certificate with Grade C or better). Please indicate on the application form if you are still waiting for your English language proficiency results.
  5. Photocopy of personal details pages of your passport.
  6. If you are requesting financial assistance, please include your CV and a motivation letter with your application. The motivation letter should include details of your relevant professional and educational background; reasons for your interest in the course; and why you feel you should have the opportunity to participate in this course: i.e. how will your participation benefit you, your institution and/or your country? Financial assistance from DiploFoundation is available only to applicants from developing countries.
  7. Application fee or proof of payment (€100 – non-refundable – see methods of payment).

Please mail complete application packages to the address at the bottom of the page.


Cancellation Policy

Diplo reserves the right to cancel this course if enrolment is insufficient. In case of cancellation, Diplo will notify applicants shortly after the application deadline. Applicants who have paid an application fee may apply this fee towards another course or receive a refund.