Report of the Vienna Colloquium on November 22, 2008, at the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna
- Outline of past, present and future activities
Gerhard Reiweger, Deputy Director of the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna
- Topic is important, as are the location - UN city- and the venue - Diplomatic Academy with expertise, global focus, multilingual teaching environment
- -> opportunity to intensify academic networking
- -> focus on South-Eastern Europe
- UN system at core of effective multilateralism
- different views on the UN system, and how the UN works
- specific role of universities in educating students
- understanding of the UN depends on practical experience - not reading
- How to act in this world with / through the UN?
- limited perception as UN as UN of member states – today: UN of people, new stakeholder approach
Teaching about UN:
- Through the lens of a practitioner
- Teach students about their own role, shared interests, how to build / expand consensus , Raise awareness for interconnectedness of people, increase solidarity
- –> focus is on the convening function of the UN
concrete teaching tasks:
- provide linkage between UN and stakeholders
- diffuse UN message
new UN-academia relationship:
- initiative: better link UN with academia – draft paper “the UN Academic Impact” (Nov. 3)
- links are not (yet) institutionalized
- encourage specific action with the aim to enlarge UN convening role, such as stakeholder events to define global norms and discuss ways to better implement them
- new research projects (UNESCO), or Global Compact alliances with business schools
more recommendations / opportunities, inter alia:
- strategic communication of UN activities
- create new educational opportunities regardless of race etc.
- build high-educational capacities
- encourage global citizenship through education
- address concrete issues such as MDGs, Peace and Security etc.
- promote intercultural dialogue
- identify challenge –> build consensus –> global solution
Session II: Thematic Introduction, Brief Status Quo CEE/SEE
- UN is normally integrated in Global governance teaching contexts – leads to more theoretical perspective, leaves out practitioners’ experience - > growing demand for students
- Use opportunities to bring practitioners into the classroom, using active learning techniques
- IR course – case-based learning combined with practitioner guests: student groups working on a certain issue, drafting recommendations, then getting practitioner view and direct feedback
- MA course – one case from different angles , same procedure as above along with pre- and post-test
Question: Is it appropriate / desirable to be advocating on behalf of the UN?
- -> provide corrective to overly positive views / perceptions in Canada – different to negative perceptions in the U.S.
- -> addendum: advocate the achievements of the UN, specifically address legislators.
- no developed community of IR scholars
- open to interventions by Americans - established network in 1994
- scholarly response not overly enthusiastic
- 1996 foundation of a regional International Studies Association, regular conferences, own publication
- WISC conference in Ljubljana, July 2008, participants from 70 countries
Status of UN(-related) studies:
- No UN Studies, due to lack of history in the field of IR ( IOs are being taught)
- UN Studies should be transdisciplinary: IR, political science, sociology, economy, law
- New perspectives on the UN – focus is on specific subjects, going beyond the member states
- Techniques: simulations across universities
Questionnaire Structure and Results.
- covering a broad range of topics (IO, UN, human rights, international law, etc.)
- sent to 240 university lecturers, institutes
- 392 courses, lectures, etc. were identified. Only 56 dealt with UN, mostly covering IL issues. Of all political science courses 26% do not cover the UN at all. 46 research papers.
- room for more specialized courses on the UN functions, activities, reform
- role of Vienna as main UN-HQ not reflected at academic level
- focus less on UN but predominantly on EU issues
Limitations of UN research and teaching
- UN not viewed as leading actor in global affairs.
- Western-centric / provincial view.
- -> UNU tries to establish global knowledge community about the UN.
- e.g. by organizing events to disseminate knowledge and skills (from HQ to the ground).
- UN initiative to establish links with academia -> UN-OLA: Audiovisual library on International Law
- Teaching of IL at Vienna universities mostly at law faculties
- Advocating the UN? Neither blaming, neither praising – but focus on issues such as HR, limitations and opportunities
- Lack of holistic approach of what the UN can achieve in a certain field, such as conflict resolution (Darfur)
- -> such matters should be moved into theoretical analysis, students wish to be involved in UN activities in an informal professional manner
- Role of knowledge production in GG? -> articulation mostly done by academia
- Juxtaposing EU and UN Studies is a retreat to provincialism. Teaching programs should be open to global as well as local society levels.
- More journals with reliable knowledge
- Teaching international nuclear law – findings:
- Governments matter.
- Academia is important in terms of transfer of knowledge, allow and foster open discussion of critical failures of the UN / activities
- Consider the anthropological view -> integrated in UN system? Rather diffuse ideas, multi-cultural. -> World Bank effort (ended in 2004).
Matthias Ketteman, University of Graz: Using Structured Debates
- Interdisciplinary technique, integrating different (cultural) backgrounds, ability to create empathy important for future professional life, drafting / writing / presentation skills
Helmut Prantner - University of Vienna: Historical Model UNs
- HistoMUN focuses on Security Council , problem-based learning approach
- and SISPR (Students Initiative for Security Policy Research), examines all aspects of the concept of securita
Stefan Schuman - University of Vienna: Law Clinics as experiental / service learning
- teaching methodology addresses practical questions, students in direct exchange with prisoners and practitioners, students are expected to understand one prisoner’s verdict
Ingfrid Schütz-Müller, University of Vienna: Excursions to UN Headquarters in combination with courses
Ervin Gömbös, Head of UNA Hungary: UN Academy – series of 10 lectures and consultations once a week
Alexander Siedschlag, Center for European Security Studies, WWEDU World Wide Education: Conference Report “The UN and the information age – education for the next generation of the “peoples of the United Nations”, November 2007
- Technical side: e-teaching / e-science combined with intellectual framework, e.g. covering the question of how to use new media in support of post-conflict reconstruction, human rights
- -> knowledge, not technology is the driving force – use technology to transfer knowledge to even distant, under-developed regions
- -> creating spaces for intercultural exchange and communication
Magdalena Pampalk, University of Vienna: International Criminal Justice Course
Maj Julardzija, Peace Support Operations Training Center (PSOTC) Sarajevo: Human Capacity Building for UN mandated Peace Support Operations
- Aim is to enhance understanding of how to communicate and cooperate with agencies, etc.
- realistic exercises in fictional countries: e.g. disaster management
Karin Kneissl, Webster University: Conference Simulation
- critical issues: lack of access to internships, absence of supervision and reasonable tasks
Teresa Peintinger, University of Vienna: Active Learning – Field Experiences with UN Guidelines
- adressing the juvenile prisoners / justice problem – experienced own change of view (less victim-focused), gained insight in practical impact
Gerhard Budin, University of Vienna, Center for Translation Studies
- Languages, Terminologies, Translation, Interpretation
- -> in close cooperation with UN Translation Service, interest in multilingual e-services, new methods in interpreting
Schön, Fachhochschule / School of Applied Sciences Grems (?)
- attends export-oriented management course, provides business-related view
- course includes Guest lectures and study trips – financial and IR / IL pillar
- -> outcome: acknowledge different dimensions, understand limitations and opportunities of key actors
Maher Nasser, UNIS Vienna: Computer based materials useful for education or training on the UN
- Focusing on certain themes such as hunger, e.g. provided by UNICEF or UNHCR
- Cyber School Bus , online games for kids and youth -> see list of online references
Karin Bruckmüller, University of Vienna : E-learning
- good alternative to traditional teaching
- advantages: wider audience, wider access, lowering travel costs, guest speakers
- synchronous online teaching (linking in real-time), multimedia presentations
Ivana Krstic ,Faculty of Law, University of Belgrad
- UN as part of IL courses (international public law)
- Interactive lectures combined with seminars, role-plays, simulations, etc.
- Emphasis on writing (essays, etc.)
Slawomir Redo, UNODC, Justice & Integrity Unit, Division for Operations: The UNODC computer-based tools for the international criminal justice education
- on different themes (based on UN conventions - drugs, organized crime, etc.)
- Workshops with practitioners and academics
- Lessons learned: Put the right message into the right (local) context
Dietmar Lampert, Centre for Social Innovation, Vienna: presentation of the broadband videoconferencing tool “GLOBAL - Global Linkage Over Broadband Links”
- Virtual conference center comprises: virtual auditorium, event repository, virtual corridor
Presentation on the UN Digital Library
- Proposal: establish UN Studies Library Network; identify relevant models, courses
Report about the IAEA
John Mathiason, Syracuse University: Virtual classroom
- Presentation of the Elluminate software, including shared whiteboard, downloads, online chat / instant messaging, sharing desktops and applications
Session V: CEE/SEE regional cooperation on UN Studies and Teaching: The Way Ahead?!
- Create interdisciplinary platform, strengthen bridge between academia and policy process Brglez: regional perspective – not necessarily a generational matter
- Spread the message
- Share methods, knowledge about tools
- Using new technologies
- ACUNS as major facilitator
- launches new website, with new means for communication, in combination with UNSA wiki portal