Complement your technical and managerial know-how with skills in diplomatic protocol to support your high-level engagement. Explore international courtesy rules, 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.

This course is designed and developed in partnership with Ambassador Charles Crawford, a communication and negotiation specialist with 28 years of experience in the British diplomatic service, now head of The Ambassador Partnership LLP, an international panel of former ambassadors. In addition to delivering the course, he will provide advice on how to handle specific 'live' protocol/etiquette issues, either on the course forums or privately/offline.



Upon successful completion of this course, participants will:

  • Describe the general principles of diplomacy and protocol/etiquette as well as the current trends in such arena;
  • Identify basic principles and best practices for organising visits and associated events, by considering simple but fundamental details as well as practical aspects of social occasions (invitations, attendance, and seating plans);
  • Recognize the elements which make an event and its venue 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

Course Methodology: 

This course is delivered online. It combines synchronized sessions in our virtual classroom, led by subject matter experts, with self-paced activities and interactive group discussions.

The weekly synchronized sessions are conducted on the WebEx online platform. Participants need a computer (or mobile device), a reliable internet connection and either headset with microphone to connect to the audio through the computer, or a telephone. We recommend accessing audio through the computer. No special software is required; but participants must be able to access WebEx, so please check the admin rights on your computer. We will send instructions for WebEx access to registered participants. We recommend you download the application and test your access in advance.

The five synchronized online sessions are from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm Rome-time (8:00 am – 10:00 am New York-time), on FRIDAYS (Oct. 13, 20, 27 and Nov. 3 & 10).

The self-paced components and discussion forum for each week of the course are designed and structured on the UNKampus, UNSSC’s Learning Platform.

Course Contents

Course Contents: 
  • Week 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.
  • Week 2 – Organising Visits: Basic principles of organizing visits and associated events; devising a good programme; invitations; seating plans; speeches and statements – striking the right tone.
  • Week 3 – Diplomatic Entertaining: Basic principles and objectives of diplomatic entertaining; organising an official lunch/dinner/reception; formality – dress and ‘tone’; placement for lunches/dinners.
  • Week 4 – Protocol and Etiquette in the UN Family: Principles of protocol and etiquette within the UN family; different organizational cultures and practice; areas of improvement.
  • Week 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

Target Audience: 

Recommended for UN staff at the level of P4 and above. Other staff may be accepted based on functional responsibility.

Cost of participation

Cost of participation: 

The course fee of 1,250 USD covers full participation in the online course.

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