Investing in People and Learning to Foster a Climate Resilient and Green Transition

Students from St. Gallen (Switzerland) visit UNITAR's HQ in Geneva.

10 February 2020 | Geneva

On 29 January, 14 students from Kantonsschule am Burggraben, in St. Gallen, visited UNITAR's headquarters in Geneva. This was the fifth year in a row that students from St. Gallen came to Geneva to learn about UNITAR's work, and it cemented what has become a fruitful collaboration between the school and UNITAR. 

The visit was part of a 3-day school trip to Geneva for the International Relations class participating in their annual Students Model United Nations conference at the Palais des Nations, led by Prof. Fabian Schildknecht. In addition to the conference, students had a glimpse of International Geneva and the work being done by international organizations and had the opportunity to visit some of the city's landmarks.  

The UN CC:Learn Secretariat hosted the group of students, through the collaboration which started in 2015 when the first Youth Climate Dialogue was organized between the Kantonsschule am Burggraben and a High School in Malawi in the lead up to the Paris Climate Conference in December 2015.  At UNITAR, the team who walked them through the work being done by the initiative and the organization, respectively. Students learned about how UN CC:Learn is promoting climate literacy in the world and how that contributes to the attainment of the SDGs.  Students also had the opportunity to learn more about UNITAR’s history and the work being done by all Divisions of the institute.  For UNITAR, the presentation was conducted by the communications specialist Ms. Jaqueline Herodek. She gave a thorough overview of UNITAR's mission and mandate, and highlighted key initiatives and programmes being carried out in different parts of the world and how they all contribute to the Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals.

As in the past visit, students were curious to learn more about careers at the UN and an organization such as UNITAR.   UNITAR employees working on various projects and with various academic backgrounds, ranging from project management, training development specialists, communication specialists shared their insight and what they consider to be essential skills for a UNITAR employee. This was of particular interest for the students, since many of them are in the last years of high school and will soon have to decide what career they will take up in the future.

To finalize the experience, they were invited to work on two questions about climate change. Working in pairs, the students were incredibly keen on coming up with ideas to raise awareness of this issue among youth. They also highlighted the importance of social media to reach out to young people, and the necessity of being creative when putting the message across. At the end, both staff and students took a group picture to register the visit.

About UN CC:Learn

UN CC:Learn is a partnership of more than 30 multilateral organizations supporting countries to design and implement systematic, recurrent and results-oriented climate change learning. At the global level, the partnership supports knowledge-sharing, promotes the development of common climate change learning materials, and coordinates learning interventions through a collaboration of UN agencies and other partners. At the national level, UN CC:Learn supports countries in developing and implementing national climate change learning strategies. Through its engagement at the national and global levels, UN CC:Learn contributes to the implementation of Article 6 of the UNFCCC on training, education and public awareness-raising, and the 2012-2020 Doha Work Programme. Funding for UN CC:Learn is provided by the Swiss Government and UN partners. The Secretariat for UN CC:Learn is hosted by the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).