Monday, June 2, 2014
Costs Involved: 
The course participation fee is 600 USD. You will receive an invoice by email after registration. Participants from Least Developed Countries (LDCs) are eligible to apply for a fellowship. Registration will be closed as soon as the course is full and your place will be secured once your payment is confirmed.


The United Nations and its related bodies, agencies and programmes convene thousands of formal and informal, official and unofficial, meetings and conferences each year. The Secretary-General meets with Heads of States and Governments and Ministers on an on-going basis either at Headquarters or during his travels. The Special Representatives of the Secretary-General in the field interface on a daily base with the highest-level of Government officials and receive on an on-going basis foreign dignitaries from the international political and military sphere. Representatives within the United Nations system as well as from governments and other bodies such as international and non-governmental organizations must be able to operate in a professional manner in such a multilateral environment. The diplomat or professional working within or in cooperation with United Nations often requires an in-depth understanding of the various layers of protocol and formal rules of this Organisation as well as the multilateral system.

Event Objectives

This e-Learning course aims to provide an overview of United Nations and multilateral protocol practices to guide the protocol practitioners who operate within the Offices of the United Nations at its Headquarters as well as in its numerous field Offices throughout the world. With the help of interactive online exercises, participants will finish the course with a concrete understanding of specific protocol-related situations.


Learning Objectives:

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

  • Identify recognized and accepted practices in international protocol, define UN guidelines on diplomatic courtesy and order of precedence of United Nations senior officials.
  • Organize the visits of the Secretary-General and other United Nations dignitaries and participate in social occasions based on established diplomatic norms.
  • List specificities of protocol and etiquette at UN headquarters and in offices in the field.
  • React to commonly experienced protocol-related situations.

Content and Structure:

The course content will tentatively include the following content:

  • Introduction to the Protocol at the United Nations
  • The UN Relationship with the Host Countries
  • The Tenure of the Permanent Representative
  • Order of Precedence and Official Visits
  • Forms of Address
  • Protocol in the Field
  • Protocol in Social Occasions
  • Diplomatic Interaction


e-Learning: The course is internet-based, moderated by senior international experts, asynchronous, and places emphasis on online discussions and self-paced learning. The participants will be primarily responsible for their own learning over the four-week span of the course. The course will consist of the following components:

  • Compulsory and optional reading material, intended to teach the basic concepts and principles of the lesson's subject-matter;
  • External links to additional books, articles, documents, and websites related to the lessons;
  • Quizzes and case studies at the end of each module. To be eligible for the course certificate, a passing grade of 80% on both quizzes and case studies is required;
  • A Community Discussion Board will be available for participants to post questions or comments visible to the instructor and other participants. This discussion board will be moderated by the course director and UNITAR;
  • Estimated learning time: minimum of 30 hours;
  • Participants will be eligible to receive a certificate after the successful completion of the course.

Target Audience:

The course targets staff of the United Nations, mid to senior-level government officers in ministries, as well as staff of other intergovernmental / nongovernmental organizations. It also targets entry-level and mid-career diplomats working in a multilateral setting. Private sector specialists and students whose work or studies are related to this subject are also encouraged to apply.