The UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) is an autonomous UN body that provides innovative learning solutions to individuals, organizations, and institutions to enhance global decision-making and support country-level action for shaping a better future.
The institute’s work is aligned with the 2030 Agenda and follow its Peace, People, Planet and Prosperity thematic pillars. It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, with global outreach through training, capacity building and research activities. While UNITAR only occasionally operates directly in humanitarian operations, it conducts capacity building for peacekeeping and peacebuilding in countries affected by crisis, such as in Colombia, Mali, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Niger, Chad and Sudan. Additionally UNOSAT is a programme within UNITAR that delivers imagery analysis, geodata, satellite solutions and information management processes to relief and development organisations. Their services are providing ongoing support to strategic planning and decision making in displacement settings, for example on settlement planning or resource availability analysis.
UNITAR is actively engaged in efforts to protect the environment and mitigate climate change through its capacity building activities to advance green development in developing countries as well as its and access to energy. Recognizing that the lack of energy access in humanitarian settings is resulting in negative consequences, UNITAR believes it is critical that the international community join efforts to address this challenge in a coordinated fashion. AUNOSAT is a technology-intensive programme delivering imagery analysis and satellite solutions to relief and development organisations within and outside the UN system to help make a difference in critical areas such as humanitarian relief, human security, strategic territorial and development planning.
As a contribution to this effort, UNITAR hosts the Coordination Unit for the Global Plan of Action for Sustainable Energy Solutions in Situations of Displacement (GPA), through which it aims to mainstream sustainable energy solutions into the scope of humanitarian work. UNITAR joined SAFE Humanitarian Working Group to increase knowledge sharing in the sector and coordinate the international community's efforts to ensure efficiency and non-duplication of work. UNITAR steers the following five working groups under the GPA: Planning and Coordination, Policy, Advocacy and Host-Country Resilience, Innovative Finance, Technical Expertise, Capacity Building and Training, and Data, Evidence, Monitoring and Reporting. Through its leadership, UNITAR strives to leverage its network of practitioners and provide capacity resources in line with humanitarian organizations' priorities.
UNITAR's main areas of focus are coordination, advocacy and capacity building. It also maintains expertise in environment, , and power supply. Through its working partnerships with major humanitarian organizations and its local presence in Geneva, it advocates for the mainstreaming of energy access in displacement settings.