Un in Uzbekistan
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UN Comes to the Management Development Institute of Singapore in Tashkent

24 February 2012

The United Nations Information Office in Uzbekistan is dedicated to building connections with their nation’s youth, educating them about the UN and providing them the tools they need to make constructive changes in their communities. It was with this goal in mind that the office conducted a workshop at the Management Development Institute of Singapore on Friday the 24th of February, educating business management students about the core principles behind the United Nations Information Office’s work in Uzbekistan, and the reasons why its operations have remained innovative and successful.

The event, attended by three dozen students, began with a brief overview of the United Nation’s operations in Uzbekistan and around the world. This section of the event worked to define the UN’s specifc role on the global stage, while emphasising its important contributions to Uzbekistan’s development. However the crux of the lecture was an overview of the United Nations Information Office’s national and international mandate, the way that the agency operates in Uzbekistan, and the different activities it conducts. This section examined the United Nations Information Office’s online presence and its national events.

The UN in Uzbekistan website, the United Nations Information Office's presence on Flickr and Youtube, and its pages on Facebook and Twitter were all extensively discussed by the office team and the event’s participating students. While the official website was a focus of dialogue, specifically in regards to its news, blog, podcasts and video sections, the attedning students were particularly interested in the United Nations Information Office's presence on social media. It was determined in a quick poll that nearly all members of the student audience had a Facebook account, prompting a discussion of how the popular social media website can not only serve as a method of distributing public information but can also provide a forum for public discussion of UN activities.

Other matters addressed during the presentation were the various ways that information can be display in an engaging and appealing manner. In this case the United Nations Information Office highlighted its series of extensive local and national events, including the bi-weekly UN Friday programme, the multiple MUN conferences occurring around Uzbekistan, and other important events such as the UN Day exhibition which took place in 2011.

This week's presentation occured during a class on communication and decision making, and consequently a significant part of the event’s discussion related to the various communication methodologies used in the industry, and the challenges which may be encountered in the field. Of particular interest was the discussion regarding professional innovation; the difficulties that may be faced while attempting to develop and introduce new ideas. The crucial message behind this segment was the need to have faith in one’s abilities and convictions, and to have the perseverance needed to turn ideas into realities.

Throughout the United Nations Information Office's presentation, the participating students posed engaging questions and comments, and were motivated to learn as much as possible about the journalism and communications industry. One student even expressed his interest in volunteering for the UN, which was well received by the office team. All in all, the United Nations Information Office’s experience at the Management Development Institute of Singapore was fruitful and rewarding.