The value of this course is not only to provide information, skills and guidance to delegates who may be appointed or elected to chair meetings, it is also important for all delegates to understand what the chairman is doing, and why he or she is doing it. Indeed, unless delegates want the conference to fail, they should support the chairman’s efforts. In short, successful conferences require strong and able chairmen to be effective, and need supportive and cooperative delegates.
This in turn means that all delegates who wish to influence outcomes of the conference need to understand what the chairman is trying to do. If they want the conference to reach certain decisions, they need to work with and through the chairman.
At the end of the course, participants should be able to:
- Communicate an appreciation for the role of presiding officers
- Use acquired skills and knowledge to efficiently chair meetings
- Determine what preparations are appropriate as a meeting chair
- Identify common chairmen's mistakes and give best practice strategies
- Support and cooperate with the chairman.
Content and Structure
The course content will include:
- Formal and procedural role of the Chair
- Speaking from the Chair
- General principles
- Role-play exercises
- Substantive role of the Chair
- Preparing to Chair
- Challenges for the Chair
- Follow up
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 two-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.
- A glossary of terms provided as a learning tool throughout the course.
- 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 20 hours.
- Participants will be eligible to receive a certificate after the successful completion of the course.
The course is open to government officers, in particular recently accredited diplomats who are new to a multilateral environment and those who expect to be chairman in upcoming conferences. Private sector specialists and students whose work or studies are related to this subject are also encouraged to apply.