Regional Academy on the United Nations

See the program in Budapest open to CEU students and staff attached below. (The internal teamwork is for participants only.)

About the Regional Academy

International, multidisciplinary education program

The Regional Academy on the United Nations (RAUN) trains young scholars in issues related to the United Nations and international cooperation. RAUN’s aim is to provide participants with in-depth knowledge about the UN and its functions, to raise their cultural awareness and openness, and to offer a forum for networking and academic exchange.

Unique training format

The Academy combines lectures and workshops with practical hands-on-experiences. The program consists of three sessions per academic year starting in May until January. The sessions take place in different participating countries and include lectures and interactive workshops on various topics of relevance. All lectures are given by high-ranking experts and practitioners who share their rich experience with participants in an informal setting.

Research projects in cooperation with UN

Apart from their course-work during the sessions, participants work on research projects in cooperation with different UN Organizations and other international organizations allowing them to contribute in finding innovative solutions to contemporary global challenges. Through their group work and social activities, participants can form strong networks with their like-minded peers and experts from various fields in an environment that fosters diversity, tolerance, cultural learning, and understanding.

First-hand experiences

During the program, students get the opportunity to experience first-hand the UN institutions in Vienna and international organizations in other countries allowing them to interact directly with experts, practitioners, and diplomats. 

Diverse group of participants

The program is open to Masters and PhD students (or equivalent degrees) from all academic fields who are interested in topics related to international cooperation, development, and the work of international organizations. Applicants should be currently enrolled at a university in one of our partner countries (AT, SK, PL, CZ, HU, SL, DE, IT). They are required to show strong discipline, eagerness to learn, cultural openness, and other personality traits needed to perform with excellence in an international and multi-disciplinary environment.

Current Theme

Environmental and Socioeconomic Sustainability: How to create lasting impacts

There is no country or society where sustainability is not important or necessary
Ban Ki-moon (2015

A key challenge of sustainable development is to assure that achieved accomplishments are sustained in the long-term. By stipulating the notion of sustainability, the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda emphasizes the need for a long-term perspective in development work and international relations (UN 2015). Sustainability is defined through different inter-connected domains: Environmental, social, and economic. At its essence, it means ensuring prosperity and environmental protection without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs (Ban Ki-moon 2015). Sustainability is the process of creating and maintaining development in a balanced fashion without harming the environment or threatening the wellbeing of people.

While the importance of and need for long-term, sustainable solutions has been widely acknowledged, how to achieve them, both globally and locally, remains an open question. In the context of the SDGs, three years after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, countries are taking important actions to achieve the goals. In doing so, they face daunting problem of changing climate, conflict, inequality, persistent pockets of poverty and hunger, rapid urbanization, and environmental degradation. Policymakers in every country need to reflect on how societies can be made more resilient while confronting these challenges. Transitioning towards more sustainable and resilient societies requires an integrated approach, which recognizes that these challenges—and their solutions—are interrelated. In this complex environment, how can the work of the UN contribute to finding sustainable solutions and what are the main challenges faced by the different organizations in this regard? In concrete terms, how are UN organizations ensuring sustainability of their interventions (projects and programs) and which long-lasting, transformative impacts are their activities generating both locally (on the micro-level) and beyond?

The 2019-2020 Regional Academy on the United Nations addresses these questions focusing on ways to make development efforts more sustainable to support the processes. 2019 represents a good opportunity to investigate the issue, as this year’s UN High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (9 July - 18 July) will focus on Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality. Taking a holistic perspective, we consider sustainability in environmental and socioeconomic domains. The research projects of the 2019-2020 RAUN will investigate both global approaches to sustainability and concrete applications as well as implications at the local, national and international levels. These also include questions related to the (long-term) evaluation and monitoring of projects, the scaling-up of successful small-scale interventions, local capacity building and resource development, and ways to ensure social inclusiveness in the long-run.

A particular focus will be placed on the impact of interventions and the potential threats and risks that can undermine achieved successes. Global environmental changes, raising socio-economic inequalities, food insecurity, and unstable political conditions and conflicts represent some of the most pressing challenges, which can harm development efforts in the future. In this regard, especially less and least developed countries face considerable risks and are highly vulnerable to disruptions caused by shocks and long-term changes. In order to ensure sustainability in development, it is hence key to increase and maintain societies’ resilience, referring to its’ abilities and resources to mitigate, adequately prepare for and cope with disruptive changes and events.

References and further reading

Ban Ki-moon (2015). Big Idea 2015: Sustainability Is Common Sense.
UN (2015). Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Sustainable Development Goals Report 2018
UN High Level Political Forum on SDGs
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