Acquire the knowledge and skills to be an effective modern-day diplomat at the United Nations.


Complement your technical and managerial know-how with skills in diplomatic protocol to support your high-level engagement. Explore rules of international courtesy, formal communication norms, and ceremonial practices to follow in official functions and occasions, all with an emphasis on practical application to the UN context. Obtain practical insights into subtle interactions that will improve your operational effectiveness in a wide range of settings. Participants will be challenged by the course faculty with a realistic diplomatic scenario, during which they will have to apply their learning and skills.

This is a self-paced course, there is no weekly webinar or live training session.

Note: UNSSC offers a more elaborate live instructor-led course on "Diplomatic Protocol and Etiquette Master Class" on an on-demand basis for a group of 20 or more participants from an Agency. For more information, contact:


Upon successful completion of this course, participants will:

  • Describe the general principles of diplomacy and protocol/etiquette and the current trends in this area;
  • Identify principles and best practices for organizing visits and events, by following simple but fundamental procedures as well as practical aspects of social occasions (invitations, attendance, and seating plans);
  • Recognize the elements which make an event a success or a failure;
  • Explain the principles of protocol and etiquette within the UN family;
  • Develop excellent networking and contact-making skills.
Course methodology

This course is delivered online. It is a self-paced course that participants can start at any time and complete at their own speed. Once they receive the login information, participants are required to complete all activities within four months. They will be required to complete an end-of-course questionnaire to get a certificate. There is no weekly webinar in this course

Course contents
  • Topic 1 – What Diplomacy is All About: Historic evolution of diplomatic protocol; Vienna Convention (key provisions and basic principles); changes in diplomacy; practical differences between multilateral and bilateral diplomacy.
  • Topic 2 – Organizing Visits: Basic principles of organizing visits and associated events; devising a good programme; invitations; seating plans; speeches and statements – striking the right tone.
  • Topic 3 – Diplomatic entertaining: Basic principles and objectives of diplomatic entertaining; organizing an official lunch/dinner/reception; formality – dress and ‘tone’; placement for lunches/dinners.
  • Topic 4 – Protocol and etiquette in the UN Family: principles of protocol and etiquette within the UN family; different organizational cultures and practice; areas for improvement.
  • Topic 5 – Networking and Contact-making: Formal vs. informal; techniques to be friendly, authoritative and positive; thank you and follow-up letters; when/how to copy people in letters/emails; getting the right ‘style/tone’; adding value by bringing people together.
Target audience

Recommended for UN staff performing protocol functions, at any level and location.

Cost of participation

The $550 fee covers participation in the online course.