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UN Launches E-Learning Initiative in over 160 Developing Countries

Berlin, 6 December 2008 – A new UN e-Learning initiative, launched in Berlin today, will offer developing countries opportunities to draw upon a rich array of training and capacity-building resources.

Sixteen UN agencies, meeting at a forum organized by UNEP during the 14 th International Conference on Technology Supported Learning and Training in Berlin, agreed to establish  UNeLearn - a UN-wide network on technology supported learning to share information and expertise, and to collaborate on the sustained deployment of e-Learning.

The UNeLearn network will provide targeted training and outreach to help UN country teams implement common programmes of work in over 160 developing countries.  

The initiative, inspired by the UN "Delivering as One" concept, aims to maximize coherence and effectiveness among UN projects at the country-level as parts of efforts to implement the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

UN Environment Programme Executive Director, Achim Steiner, welcomed the initiative by saying, “Technology supported learning offers tremendous potential to address the capacity development needs of a wide range of beneficiaries in developing countries.” He added, “The work of the UN country teams will ultimately be strengthened through this collaboration and member states will be better served.”

As a first step towards the implementation of the project, a comprehensive stock-taking exercise is planned to commence, early in 2009, to identify and integrate quality-assured training resources from across the UN system.  The UN Staff College will host a number of online communities of practice that will bring together capacity development and training expertise in sectoral areas, such as agriculture, development, education, environment, food security, health and human rights.  

By agreeing to pool and share their collective training resources and shift towards technology supported learning, the initiative will help UN agencies eliminate duplicative activities, reduce costs, and reach a wider client base.  

For more information, please contact:
Nick Nuttall, UNEP Spokesperson/Head of Media, on +254 733 632755, when traveling +41 79 596 57 37 or E-mail:
Shereen Zorba, UNEP News Desk, Email: , Tel +254 721 210 571

Notes to Editors

  • The 16 United Nations agencies taking part in the technology-supported learning initiative are:UNDP, UNU, UNITAR, UNSSC, UN Secretariat at New York, FAO, WFP, UNDPKO, UNWTO, UNHCR, ITC-ILO, IAEA, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria, WHO, and UNEP, UNEP CITES.
  • Online Educa ( is the second largest E-learning forum worldwide, brings together specialists in capacity development, knowledge management, training and eLearning from around the world.  The Berlin meeting of UN agencies and programmes was convened by the UN Environment Programme and held 3-5 December as part of Online Educa 2008, Europe’s largest (and the world’s second largest) conference on technology supported learning, held annually in Berlin.
  • The "Delivering as One" initiative builds on the existing reform agenda set by UN member states, which asks the UN development system to accelerate its efforts to increase coherence and effectiveness of its operations in countries.  The UN family – with its many and diverse agencies – must act in a more coordinated way at country level. The objective is to ensure faster and more effective development operations and accelerate progress to achieve the Millennium Development Goals – in short, a UN development system that delivers more and better for the poorest and most disadvantaged.
Saturday 06 Dec 2008
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