Our Journey
Our Journey

In 2002, a group of 20 UN Staff members from different UN agencies started their learning journeys by attending a three-day workshop in Turin on “Capacity development for UN field coordination” at the United Nations System Staff College – a newly born independent institution whose existence had been originally conceived in 1969 to meet the needs of the UN family of organizations and agencies. By the end of the 2002 the Staff College had trained 1,500 staff members.  

Today, UNSSC trains 15,000 people annually. Since its inception, thousands of faculty, staff, and students have participated in UNSSC’s learning and knowledge initiatives geared toward equipping people with the knowledge, skills and competencies they need to support the work of the United Nations.  

At every pivotal moment for the UN — addressing global crises, tackling peacekeeping, development and social progress, addressing issues related to youth and women’s empowerment, keeping the focus on the Sustainable Development Goals amid a pandemic, UNSSC has evolved to advance learning to support UN Staff and partners as they take action toward the achievement of a peaceful and sustainable future for all.  

Twenty years on we take a closer look at how learning excellence, thought provoking insight, and knowledge management have supported UN staff and partners through high-quality and effective programmatic learning.  

In commemoration of its 20th anniversary, UNSSC invites all to join in marking the successes and gains achieved to date. This celebration also presents an opportunity to reflect on challenges and deepen our collective action to learning and knowledge sharing as we move forward.

2002
UNSSC Resident Coordinator System Learning Support Programme

UNSSC Resident Coordinator System Learning Support Programme

In 2000, the United Nations Development Group (UNDG) cites training as an important element of UN reformat country level. In response, UNSSC collaborates with the UNDG to develop and roll out the Resident Coordinator System Learning Support Programme aimed at enabling Resident Coordinators and UN Country Teams to better implement common programming.

2002
Early Warning and Preventive Measures

Early Warning and Preventive Measures

The UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan issues the “Renewing the United Nations: A Programme for Reform”, and calls for a United Nations of the 21st century that increasingly focuses on preventive measures.  The newly established UNSSC hosts the flagship “Early Warning and Preventive Measures” programme aimed at promoting greater awareness and a common analytical language for the planning of preventive action.

2002
Learning Managers Forum

Learning Managers Forum

Committed to promoting interagency collaboration and exchange of insights on best practices and innovative approaches to learning and professional development, UNSSC organizes its first Learning Managers Forum as an independent UN organization devoted to learning for staff across the UN system.

2004
Strengthening peacekeeping skills and knowledge

Strengthening peacekeeping skills and knowledge

In an effort to support the 2001 the New Partnership’s for Africa (NEPAD) — a socio-economic flagship Programme of the African Union (AU) , and the NEPAD-related pledges made by UN Member states, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs entrusts UNSSC with the development of a robust learning programme to train African Military Personnel in Conflict Prevention, Human Rights and Peacekeeping.

2007
Preparing UN staff to deliver on their mandates in high-risk environments

Preparing UN staff to deliver on their mandates in high-risk environments

To respond to the need of the UN system and its partners to train staff who need to be deployed at short notice to volatile and dangerous areas of the world, UNSSC, in partnership with the Department of Safety and Security, launch the Safe and Secure Approaches in Field Environments programme.

2009
UN Leaders Programme (UNLP)

UN Leaders Programme (UNLP)

Since its inception, UNSSC has put its emphasis on leadership development that is designed to strengthen the UN system’s impact. In 2007, the UN High-Level Committee on Management (HLCM) called for UNSSC to revamp its learning offering for senior leaders. In response, the College launched the UN Leaders Programme in 2009.

2012
UN Summer Academy

Inaugural UN Summer Academy

The defining issues of our time require collaborative solutions and dialogue. Fueled by developing global challenges and the demand for effective, collective responses, the United Nations System Staff College launches the UN Summer Academy.

2015

UN Lab for Organizational Change & Knowledge

In 2015 UNSSC introduces the UN Lab for Organizational Change & Knowledge (UNLOCK), a unique space for change management practitioners to connect, share, and support one another on work related to organizational change, transition, culture transformation and similar initiatives.

2016
KCSD

UNSSC’s Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Development is established in Bonn, Germany

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, approved in September 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly, establishes a transformative vision towards the economic, social and environmental sustainability of the 193 United Nations Member States that adopted it. In response, UNSSC opens the Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Development , in 2016 (Bonn , Germany) to equip the UN and its partners with the knowledge, skills, and behaviors needed to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

2016
Leadership Women and the UN

Leadership, Women and the UN

The Leadership, Women and the UN Programme was UNSSC’s first leadership programme for women leaders in the UN system. The programme has been instrumental in promoting the expansion and renewal of prevalent paradigms of leadership, and ensuring a more gender-balanced workplace across and beyond the UN system. It continues to advance the transformational, principled and inclusive leadership culture envisioned in the UN system Leadership Framework.

2018

UNSSC launches the next generation of leadership training with the UN Country Team leadership programmes

In direct response to UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ call to reposition the UN development system to deliver on the 2030 Agenda and to work towards "a new generation of Country Teams that are tailored to the specific needs of each country," the UNSSC Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Development  launches the UN Country Team   leadership programme in 2018 for UN Country Teams and Resident Coordinator Office personnel to deepen core notions of, and approaches to, the 2030 Agenda while strengthening their collective leadership, mutual accountability, advocacy and partnership skills.

2020
Blue Line

Blue Line

In March 2020, the world experienced dramatic shifts in the ways people work and learn. The increase in remote work accelerated the adoption of online self-directed learning within the United Nations and beyond. This learning reset provided an opportune moment for UNSSC to launch its first self-directed online learning hub, the Blue Line – A Global Learning Hub designed by the UN, for the UN. 

2020

UNSSC gives free access to online learning opportunities and courses on sustainable development

As a swift response to the urgent need for engaging and meaningful content that translates complex policy into relatable, actionable steps, in the wake of a global pandemic, the UNSSC Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Development starts offering free access to its entire portfolio of highly-facilitated 5–6-week online courses.

2020, 2021
Women and Youth

Advancing the Women, Peace and Security and Youth, Peace and Security Agendas

Recognizing the transformative roles that women and youth fulfil in building, maintaining, and fostering peace and security, UNSSC launches a landmark event, the Torino Forum on Sustaining Peace – Women and Youth at the Frontlines of Peace, and two online learning initiatives –  the "Realizing the Youth, Peace and Security Agenda" course  and the free Youth Peace and Security  Primer

2021
UN Resident Coordinator Office (RCO) Learning Path

UN Resident Coordinator Office (RCO) Learning Path

After the launch of the reinvigorated UN Resident Coordinator system in 2019, there was an urgent need for improved, integrated policy advice, increased programmatic results, more efficient and agile operations, and greater transparency and accountability to ensure success. In response, UNSSC launches the UN Resident Coordinator Office Learning Path to facilitate an in-depth exploration of emerging sustainable development issues for Resident Coordinator Office  personnel and reinforce professional competencies by building on the power of collaboration, coordination, co-creation and communication.

2021

Climate Sensitive Programming for Sustaining Peace

Amid rising concerns about climate change and its impact on the UN’s efforts to build and maintain peace in many parts of the world, UNSSC develops its first UN inter-agency course aimed at equipping people with the tools they need to conduct localized climate risk assessments and integrate them into programmatic planning throughout all the stages of a peacebuilding programme life-cycle.

Looking forward
 

Looking forward

On the occasion of its 20th anniversary, if I had to make one birthday wish for the Staff College, it would be to continue with its current popularity and healthy growth.  This is a realistic wish that should be pursued strategically and with ultimate care and discipline.  The accomplishments of today should not be taken for granted, as they are the results of years of investments in ensuring quality staffing; forging high-level partnerships with decision makers within and outside the United Nations; pursuing an entrepreneurial approach to business sustainability and growth; and prioritizing innovation and creativity as the pinnacle of UNSSC’s methodology to learning and knowledge sharing. In my view, these should be the ingredients for the future success of this noble institution.

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Jafar Javan
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