Dear colleagues and partners:

As many countries are slowly reopening, I am happy to report that UNSSC has not let up on its commitment to the learning needs of UN staff and partners given the challenges over these past months. UNSSC colleagues in Turin, Bonn and New York have worked tirelessly to deliver all of our learning offerings online, redesigning many face-to-face experiences as e-learning courses, and rolling out new offerings to meet the needs of staff – such as how to deal with uncertainty and manage teams remotely. I would like to thank all UNSSC staff for their unfailing pursuit of our mission while balancing the needs of their families as they work from home.

What the pandemic has taught us about your learning

I am pleased to note that during this period we have learned an immense amount from you. For one, we realized that people’s need for learning doesn’t ease under lockdown. In fact, the number of people taking our online offerings doubled in March and April compared to last year. Furthermore, you have told us that online learning has helped navigate uncertainty, steer your teams, and provide opportunities for personal growth during a period of momentous change. We also learned that the demand for UNSSC to support other agencies to develop online courses is increasing. (If you are interested in working with us to develop an online offering of your own, please feel free to reach out to us at

The college will continue to provide online learning courses as our only learning mode through September. With 33 per cent of its learning programmes offered online, the Staff College has been a leader in online learning since 2012. Courses on sustainable development are being delivered free of charge, thanks to a generous contribution from the Federal Government of Germany and sponsorships from UN Agencies. The College is also offering “Coffee Hours”, a free webinar series that brings together leading thinkers to discuss issues ranging from the impact of COVID-19 on humanitarian coordination and refugee response, to the future of multilateralism in the wake of the pandemic.

Face-to-face back as soon as safely possible

We are well aware that you appreciate our face-to-face learning opportunities. As soon as it is safe and feasible, we will relaunch these as well. Please visit our website intermittently for updates.

Looking ahead, the UN system can support the world to build back better not only by working together but also by learning together. In pursuit of this shared mission, we hope to see you very soon in person.  

Jafar Javan
Director of the UN System Staff College