Roundtable on Diversity 2010

Roundtable on Cultural Diversity and the UN  - old implications and new challenges

Working in the context of the United Nations means experiencing cultural diversity and multilingualism.  Efficient communication tools and "a common language" are highly critical in such a diverse working environment; however, internal and external communication, intercultural competence and diversity management are considered to be rather ineffective.

In a workshop series held prior to the ACUNS meeting, academics and practitioners from different fields, disciplines and regions in the world met to discuss critical issues pertaining to cultural diversity, particularly (not exclusively) its effects on the UN system and UN peace operations.

The roundtable aimed at transfering the results of their interdisciplinary exchange to the ACUNS audience.  Roundtable participants first presented the key findings of the workshops and  then broadened the discussion by integrating ACUNS members' expertise on the main issues at stake: diversity management, terminology and language, global education as well as shared communication and collaboration tools. 

Key questions included:

  • How to achieve effective diversity management and cross-cultural communication?
  • What special role of language and terminology in improving internal and external communication?
  • What role for science and scientists?
  • What kind of competencies are needed in intercultural groups?
  • How can global learning and understanding be improved by means of new technologies?

diversity roundtable

The roundtable discussion further detected shortcomings and potentials; more specifically, the discussion was directed towards identifying new ways and better targeted initiatives, tools and policies in order to improve cultural diversity and globald understanding at the UN.

Moderator: Anja Drame, TermNet

Roundtable Participants:

  • Eva Nowotny, President of the Austrian Commission for UNESCO , Ambassador, rtd.
  • Anja Drame, International Network for Terminology - TermNet
  • Gabriele Sauberer, International Network for Terminology - TermNet
  • Henrike Paepcke, Chair of the United Nations Studies Association (UNSA)