A Workshop on Leadership and Self-awareness organized by Columbia Law School and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)

https://patimes.org/self-awareness-we-must-learn-how-to-listen-to-ourselves-before-learning-how-to-listen-to-others/

The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and Columbia Law School organized a workshop to enhance the leadership capacities of the attendees by focusing on their awareness of ‘self’. The workshop was organized in two sessions, the morning and the afternoon session, and both sessions constituted a series of workshops on Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and Negotiation in theory toward the achievement of the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals. The programs are designed for delegates at any level who wish to achieve mastery of negotiation, mediation, and multilateral conflict resolution processes.

Professor Alexandra Carter, Director of the Mediation Clinic at Columbia Law School, spoke on understanding the connection of leadership and self-awareness. The goals of this workshop were to discover the importance of self-awareness, how to give effective feedback, and how these are important for leadership. It was a highly interactive session, and all participants exchanged their opinions and thoughts on the definition of self-awareness, self-reflection and how we find our feelings, etc. They engaged in asking questions and participating in group activities.

The morning session focused on understanding and navigating the self as an instrument of impact and change by a deeper appreciation of internal and external self-awareness. This would involve learning about effective communication with a focus on self-awareness and using self-reflection as a tool for effective communication. Udoka Okafor in Columbia Law School Medication Clinic emphasized that active listening skills could lead to empowering leadership. To make effective communication, we need to be an active listener. Summarizing the facts, feelings, issues, and interests of individuals as they discuss their conflicts can be helpful.

In the afternoon session, the topic of discussion focussed on cultural intelligence, the ability to adapt to people that are from different cultural regions based on three components, physical, emotional, and cognitive. The participants were reminded to adapt to different cultural norms, one needs to be internally and externally self-awareness. All the participants took part in an exercise to highlight how to be mindful of different cultural values and dynamics and how this plays a crucial role in the negotiation process.

The workshop enabled participants to realize the importance of positive feedback through several activities. Representatives addressed that being able to hear and accept feedback without becoming defensive is an essential skill for a leader and one that reflects an emotionally intelligent one. Participants made comments that this workshop fosters a deepened conception of internal and external self-awareness.

Date/Location: March 4th, 2020; 10:00-17:00; Conference Room F

Speakers: H.E. Mr. Marco A. Suazo, Head of Office, UNITAR NYO

Ms. Alexandra Carter, Director of the Mediation Clinic at Columbia Law School

Melissa Meza, Columbia Law School Medication Clinic

Udoka Okafor, Columbia Law School Medication Clinic

Jeeyoon Chung, Columbia Law School Medication Clinic

Jessica Barragan, Columbia Law School Medication Clinic

Written By: WIT Representative Sehee OH

Environment and Humanitarian Action: Increasing Effectiveness, Sustainability, and Accountability

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Today an event was held which highlighted how environmental sustainability is an integral part in humanitarian aid effectiveness. The panelists in this meeting discussed the findings from a report entitled “Environment and Humanitarian Action: Increasing Effectiveness, Sustainability, and Accountability.”

The first speaker, Ms. Gebremedhin, the Director of Humanitarian Assistance and Foreign Affairs of Finland, began by addressing various environmental issues that need to be taken into account during humanitarian action, in order for it to reach its full potential. For example, management of solid wastes and hazardous materials and safeguarding natural resources are essential, and the reduction of deforestation, desertification, and pollution is necessary for sustained livelihoods in the aftermath of a disaster. Furthermore, efficient leadership and accountability are needed in humanitarian situations, and addressing environmental concerns is a shared responsibility between donors and humanitarian organisations.

Following, Mr. Khalikov, Director of OCHA Geneva, stated the effectiveness of humanitarian aid is dependent on environmental conditions. He cited floods and draughts as main environmental threats that can complicate an already existing humanitarian crisis, like a famine or armed conflict.

Ms. Anita van Breda from WWF USA spoke about combining climate change adaptation strategies with disaster risk reduction. She highlighted the Green Recovery Program – a partnership between WWF and the American Red Cross –, which works to sustain livelihoods, provide adequate water, sanitation, and shelter, and deals with disaster management. Her three key recommendations to take the environment into consideration when taking humanitarian action included: updating academic training and professional development, learning to manage change and developing new ways of learning, and ensuring that staff and volunteers have the necessary discipline, skills, and aptitude.

Concluding the meeting Ms. Costa, the Executive Director of the Women’s Refugee Commission spoke about the threat faced by women and girls when they have to leave their refugee camps to collect firewood for cooking and heating. Many have to travel 5 or 6 hours a day to collect enough wood to cook just one meal, and on the journey are raped, beaten, or killed. Ms. Costa emphasised the importance of shifting communities away from dependence on wood fuel and towards more environmentally friendly and sustainable options in order to decrease the threat of this gender based violence and to reduce deforestation and resource overconsumption.

Meeting Title: Environment and Humanitarian Action: Increasing Effectiveness, Sustainability, and Accountability
Speakers: Ms. Anna Gebremedhin, Director of Humanitarian Assistance and Foreign Affairs of Finland; Mr. Rashid Khalikov, Director of the Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Geneva; MS. Anita van Breda, Director of Humanitarian Partnerships, WWF USA; Ms. Sarah Costa, Executive Director of Women’s Refugee Commission
Location: Conference Room 5 NLB, United Nations HQ, New York
Date: 23 June 2014
Written by WIT Representative: Marli Kasdan
Edited by WIT Representative: Sophia Griffiths-Mark 

Soccer and Sports promote Peace and Development

imagesTo celebrate the upcoming FIFA World Cup, the Permanent Missions of Brazil and the Netherlands co-organized a dialogue today that highlighted the valuable contribution of sport in the areas of peace and development. As the moderator, H.E. Mr. Oosterom opened the panel by discussing the beneficial aspects of sports on very basic levels, such as relieving stress, promoting happiness, and providing safe forms of entertainment. H.E. Mr. Khiari continued the conversation by discussing how sports transcend the boundaries created by differences in information, communication, and technologies. Through an increased sense of understanding, sport in turn creates an environment more conducive to reconciliation and peace.

Ms. Brandt spoke to the importance of sports in the lives of young people, pointing both to the lessons and values learned through sports, as well as sports exceptional ability to help return normalcy to the lives of traumatized children worldwide. Mr. Lemke continued the conversation about sports and children, discussing how his inaugural UNOSDP Youth Leadership Programme in 2012 helped promote leadership, social inclusion, gender equality, and partnership, showing how sports can help achieve the MDGs. Mr. Ghandour discussed the relationship between sports and poverty, expressing his pleasure with the annual Match Against Poverty, an event that uses former soccer stars such as Brazil’s Ronaldo to raise awareness about poverty and spread the message of teaming up to end this global challenge.

Ms. Scott continued the attention on gender equality, speaking about the need for a global initiative modeled off the irrefutable success of Title IX in the U.S. Through sports, girls experience life outside the home and subsequently learn skills that develop voice and agency that assists them in all spheres of life. Four out of five executive business women played sports in their youth, and most point to athletics as a major factor in their development. To close the meeting H.E. Mr. Aguiar Patriota shed light on sports create harmonious existence between groups with different cultures, promoting tolerance and non-discrimination that has historically been difficult to achieve.

Meeting Title: Soccer and Sports for Peace and Development
Speakers: H.E. Mr. Mohamed Khaled Khiari, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Tunisia to the UN; Mr. Wilfried Lemke, UN Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace; Ms. Yoka Brandt, Deputy Executive Director UNICEF; Ms. Tuti Scott, Founding Member of the Board of Directors of Women Win Foundation; H.E. Mr. Antonio de Aguiar Patriota, Permanent representative of Brazil to the UN; H.E. Mr. Karel J.G. van Oosterom, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UN
Location: United Nations HQ, Conference Room 3, New York.
Date: 10 June 2014
Written By WIT Representative: Zachary Halliday