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PhD in International Governance and Sustainable Development

Presentation meeting at the United Nations, NY

Meeting minutes




Held at United Nations Headquarters on 1 March 2006, Conference Room 8

1- Opening of the meeting (Item 1 of the agenda)

Mr. Pérez, who chaired the meeting, opened the meeting at 10.45 am welcoming the participants.

The agenda is adopted.

The Chairman indicated that the Permanent Representatives of Canada, Chile, Denmark, Liechtenstein and New Zealand apologized for not being able to join the participants due to their previous commitments. They expressed their wishes for success.

On the other hand, the Cercle de Réflexion des Nations was informed that Mrs. Laura Bush, First Lady of the United States of America, wished to apologize for not being able to participate in the meeting as she was on an official trip to India and in Pakistan.

Mr. Duy Chien conveyed the apologies of the Permanent Representative of Viet Nam, retained by a delegation in Washington, for not being able to attend the meeting. He indicates that Viet Nam is very involved in the process of carrying out the Doctorate Program which he considers to be “very important” for his country.

Mr. Gazarian welcomed the participants and conveyed the best wishes of the Director-General of UNITAR for the success of the meeting. He recalled that UNITAR participates in the Doctorate program as an associate partner.

2- Introduction to the doctoral training program in international governance and sustainable development (Item 2 of the agenda)

The President recalled that the Doctorate program is executed in partnership with the National School of Administration of Viet Nam (NAPA) and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and that a Memorandum of Understanding has was signed on October 14, 2005 in Hanoi (Viet Nam) between the three parties It indicates that the Circle of Reflection of Nations, inaugurated at the UN in 1994, is an organization with governmental participation aiming to become an intergovernmental organization.

Mr. Thao Chan explains that the deep source of the Doctorate is in the “Duty of Man” by referring to the phenomenon of the “butterfly effect” where an insignificant event like the flapping of a butterfly's wings in the Amazon rainforest can cause a violent hurricane on the other side of the planet. He indicates that human activities have their own “butterfly effect” and that at any time Man is able to destroy life on earth forever.

Then, Mr. Thao Chan solemnly declares that “the Earth is the first heritage of Humanity, to protect it is the first duty of Man” and that this duty, awakened by Virtue, will quickly be transmitted and developed to that Man can build peace, brotherhood and happiness among peoples for centuries to come.

In terms of content, Mr. Thao Chan indicates that the Doctorate program addresses the various fields covered by public governance in an international dimension. He adds that its originality lies in the creation of an exceptional platform for acquiring knowledge and innovative experiences. He indicates that, unlike traditional educational programs in which learning by downloading and benchmarking takes up 80% of the process, leaving only 20% to generative or empathically acquired knowledge, this Doctorate totally reverses these proportions. He specifies that the doctoral students will be divided into small groups of 3 to 4, with different backgrounds and responsibilities, and that each of them will be followed by three mentors of various skills such as ministers, leaders of large international companies, managers scholars, researchers or renowned professors, thus creating the most favorable conditions for the opening of the heart, the mind and the will: keystone of the Doctorate program.

Mr. Gaucher then comments on the six modules grouping together the major themes of international governance, namely: understanding fundamental changes in the world, economics and finance, politics, sociology and religions, science and environmental issues. , psychology and human behavior, and governance models and principles.

3- Questions and debates on the doctoral program in international governance and sustainable development (Item 3 of the agenda)

The representative of the Marshall Islands asked whether this new method of training had already proved its worth. He was told that the principle of this method is already used with business leaders in “executive business administration” programs.

The representative of Malaysia wondered about the type of teachers involved in the training and the candidate selection process. The answer specifies that the faculty will be composed in equal parts of leaders of States, of presidents and general managers of large international companies and of university professors or spiritual leaders. The selection of doctoral students, on a proposal from their government, will be decided by the three partners of the Doctorate.

The representative of Ethiopia asks about the numerus clausus of each promotion and the financing of the training. He is given the figure of 20 doctoral students per promotion and after one year of operation, a forecast of two promotions per year. It is also specified that the cost of training is the responsibility of the candidate and his government.

The representative of Pakistan then raised the risk of seeing this training focus on candidates from “rich governments” and that candidates from governments of developing countries would be absent. He was told that the application files would have to be examined “on a case-by-case basis”.

The representative of Poland asked what training would be provided between two seminars, since the training rhythm was one session every two months. It is specified that individual work and in small groups are planned between two seminars and that this work will be followed by the mentors and the teaching coordination team.

The representative of Ethiopia asked if the cost of transporting doctoral students to seminars is included in the training costs. He was told that the $ 200,000 took into account training, accommodation, meals and also the security of doctoral students and that transport costs remained the responsibility of doctoral students.

The representative of Myanmar requested clarification on the language used for teaching and on the choice of mentors. He was told that the training will be in English but that the language used must not constitute a barrier to knowledge and that the mentors will be chosen not only on the basis of their knowledge and competence in the fields taught, but also for their experience. , to embody this knowledge.

The representative of Mexico asked what type of thesis would be. It is specified to him that the theses will not relate to traditional academic subjects but rather to real problems of governance.

Ms Spiegel raised the question of the nature of generative knowledge and its method of acquisition and asked how to handle the arbitrary choice of candidates by governments. He was told that, in order to avoid the training being limited to a simple downloading of knowledge, the seminars will take place in three stages: a traditional teaching, a reflection by interventions of external personalities and a phase of practical implementation. For the arbitrary choices of the candidates, it is specified that the specific training of governance by virtue is the real challenge of the program.

The representative of China wished to know whether any governments had already expressed an interest in the PhD program. The President confirms this by recalling that the letters of call for candidatures addressed to all the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Member States and Observers of the United Nations date only one month and that some countries have already declared themselves favorable, such as the Republic of Madagascar, New Zealand, Rwanda and Viet Nam.

Mr. Douang expresses the wish that the Doctorate program will also be open to international business leaders. He is told that this opening is possible but that it will be limited.

4- Summary of the work and closure of the meeting (item 4 of the agenda)

The President reminds the participants representing their countries that the candidatures must be proposed by the governments at the latest on May 31, 2006, since the start of the doctoral training is scheduled for September 2006.
The President adds that the inauguration of the Doctorate will take place in the Temple of Literature in Hanoi, Vietnam's first university, inaugurated in 1076 and cradle of the training of Vietnamese “ministers” for centuries.

After thanking the representatives of Viet Nam, UNITAR and all participants, the Chairperson closed the meeting and closed the session at 12:45 pm.

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