2008 Vienna Colloquium: Can the UN be taught?

Regional Colloquium on Innovative Techniques for Teaching the United Nations


22 November 2008, 11:00 - 17:00, Diplomatic Academy, Vienna, Austria

followed by a UNSA meeting to continue our dialogue on a joint concept of UN Studies, scheduled to take place on November 23, 2008, at the Juridicum.

Organisers and partners


  • Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS)
  • Diplomatic Academy of Vienna
  • Austrian Science and Research Liaison Office (ASO) Ljubljana
  • Central and Eastern European International Studies Association CEEISA

in cooperation with:

  • Academic Forum on Foreign Affairs, Vienna (AFA)
  • Permanent Mission of Austria to the United Nations Office Vienna
  • International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis IIASA Laxenburg
  • Austrian Institute for International Affairs (OIIP)
  • Austrian National Commission for UNESCO
  • United Nations Information Service, Vienna (UNIS)
  • European Training Center for Human Rights, Graz
  • Moscow State Institute of International Relations (to be confirmed)
  • United Nations Studies Association
  • University of Graz Institute of International Law
  • University of Vienna, Institutes of Criminal Law and International Law
  • World Federation of United Nations Associations


Rationale and Objectives

As Global Issues become more and more topical on the political agenda of any country in the world and as the United Nations system is within the existing global system of international relations the central mechanism for global governance responses to global challenges (like e.g. the ongoing UNFCCC climate change negotiations as the process to coordinate globally climate change mitigation and adaptation measures or the Millennium Development Goals as a shared global vision for development agreed upon in the UN Millennium Declaration, etc.), it is important that there are developed appropriate human capacities in each country with the knowledge on the functioning of the UN system in order to enable all relevant stakeholders to contribute to the success of efforts of the international community to address global challenges and in order to enable countries to defend their interests according to the rules of play. In this context higher/tertiary education plays a key role and obviously there are huge potentials for mutual learning in addressing these human resources development issues in an international/regional setting.

Therefore, with this colloquium the organizers want to

  • get a glimpse of who is doing what in the field of teaching on the United Nations system in Tertiary education in Central, East and Southeast Europe
  • identify and discuss innovative initiatives on teaching about the UN system
  • contribute to regional cooperation

Expected concrete outcomes of the colloquium are

  • a compendium/handbook on “Innovative Techniques/Approaches in Teaching about the UN System” that should published in the book series of Diplomatic Academy in Vienna (to be confirmed))
  • project initiatives for regional cooperation in UN related human resources development Expected number of participants: 30

Travel grants: The Austrian Science and Research Liaison office Ljubljana will offer travel grants for up to 10 participants from SEE countries (for details contact please Mr. Miroslav Polzer polzer@zsi.at, www.aso.zsi.at)


UNSA Presentation

Henrike Paepcke: "Wiki-based social networks – Introducing the UN Studies Portal"


Agenda UNSA meeting in Vienna

November 23, 2008

The United Nations Studies Association will hold an informal meeting on Sunday, 23 November to discuss its future work regarding developing a joint concept of UN Studies: What defines UN Studies, and why do we need such a field of studies?

For the detailed results, click here.


Tentative Agenda (as of November 12)

Our official announcement including a tentative agenda can be downloaded here.

10:30am - 10:45am: Welcome and introduction (Henrike Paepcke, UNSA).

10:45am - 11:45am: Joint Discussion.

  • What defines UN Studies, and why do we need such a field of studies?
  • How to expand UN Studies-related activities (regionally, topically)?
  • How can we best incorporate the outcome of the Regional Colloquium on Teaching the UN? How can we better raise awareness and work more closely with ACUNS and other partners?

Noon - 12:30pm: Report on the planned Journal of International Organization Studies (Kirsten Haack, UNSA).

12:30pm - 1:15pm: Outlook on and discussion of our future work program, including the planned enhancement of our wiki portal / online presence.

1:15pm - 1:30pm: brief UNSA business meeting(slight change of our by-laws).