For the first time in history, students of the Faculty of Law, University of Belgrade have had the opportunity to attend a seminar at the European headquarters of the United Nations as well as at the other international organizations in Geneva from 20thto 26thof April 2018. The United Nations Club of Belgrade University Faculty of Law have had the honor and pleasure to enable students to attend even seven lectures in three international organizations, as well as at the Permanent  Mission of the Republic of Serbia to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva. Twelve eminent lecturers, experts in various fields concerning international law, international relations, diplomacy and similar topics, spoke exclusively for our students. Forty-five students of the University of Belgrade participated in this program, of whom thirty were from the Faculty of Law, which is one of the largest groups of students who attended this type of seminar.

The seminar began with a lecture at the Palace of Nations, held by Mr. Luc Brandt, Special Advisor at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Mr. Brandt talked about the activities of the High Commissioner for Refugees and showed us examples from practice that enabled us to get closer insight of the Commissariat.

Thereafter, a lecture was held on the activities of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR). Ms. Yasmin Afina, Program Assistant on emerging security issues, and Mr. Sebastian Wilkin, Program Assistant in the Conventional Weapons Program (CAP), shared with us information about the work in this Institute and told us a wide range of practices and opportunities for young people.

The third lecture was related to the system of functioning of the United Nations in which we came to the subject of future necessary reforms of this universal international organization. In a direct dialogue we talked to Mrs. Amna Smailbegovic and Mrs. Catherine Fegli of the United Nations Office in Geneva (UNOG).

The last lecture of the day at the Palace of Nations for our students was the most inspiring and the most interesting. We had the honor to be welcomed by Mrs. Dragana Korljan, Officer and Coordinator at the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council (OHCHR). Besides being the alumni of our Faculty, the greatest enthusiasm was her quite direct approach to students, since she has very openly shared her many experiences she gained during her enriching career.

The next day at the European headquarters of the United Nations began with a lecture by Mr. Jorje Galindo who spoke about the work of the International Organization for Migration (IOM). This was also the last lecture at the Palace of Nations for students of University of Belgrade, followed by lectures in other international organizations.

Visit to the Diplo Foundation with one of the headquarters in Geneva and a conversation with the founder and director of the Diplo Foundation, our eminent expert Professor Jovan Kurbalija, who, besides being a Bachelor with Honors of Laws at the Belgrade University, is also an alumni of the United Nations Club of Belgrade University Faculty of Law. The lecture was attended by Dr. Stephanie Borg Psaila, Director of the Department of Digital Policy and Assistant of Professor Kurbalija, who focused on the influence of the Internet and modern technologies on international law and diplomacy.

After that, our students visited the World Trade Organization (WTO) headquarters located not far from the Palace of Nations. With a very pleasant welcome, we discussed with Mr. Ferdinand Puchol about the history, functioning and work of the World Trade Organization. We also discussed the process of accession of the Republic of Serbia to this organization, which besides Bosnia and Herzegovina and Belarus is one of three European countries that have not yet joined the World Trade Organization.

For the end of the study trip of Serbian students in the Swiss Confederation, a reception was organized at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Serbia to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva. With a very nice welcome from the first advisor to the Ambassador Mr. Vladan Jovanović, second secretary Mr. Danko Lazović and third secretary Mr. Miloš Đurđević we had the opportunity to discuss the position of the Republic of Serbia in the sphere of international relations, its participation in the work of numerous international organizations, as well as the future of diplomacy in the light of current events.

The study visit was organized and were led by the members of the Board of Directors of the United Nations Club, President Sara Petrović, Deputy President Nemanja Bezarević and member of the Supervisory Board Milena Nikolić, while the representative of the Faculty of Law was the assistant at the subject of the Fundamentals of the Sociology of Law, Mrs. Valerija Dabetić. In the organization of the seminars, assistants Dragan Živojinović from the Faculty of Political Science and Professor Ivana Krstić from the Faculty of Law, University of Belgrade, helped us very much. The official photographer of this professional training was Jovana Malinović, President of the Committee for Marketing and Promotion of the United Nations Club.

For the first time, but hopefully not the last, along with their colleagues, at the seminar at the United Nations as well as at the other international organizations and  the visit to the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Serbia to the United Nations and other international organizations based in Geneva, the number of members of the United Nations Club University of Belgrade Faculty of Law was twenty four students: Sara Petrović, Nemanja Bezarević, Milena Nikolić, Filip Simović, Sandra Živković, Jovana Malinović, Nenad Vladić, Nemanja Vojinović, Mihailo Marković, Ana Vesić, Teodora Višnjić, Sanja Đorđević, Uroš Andjelković, Milos Dimić, Maša Lopušina, Aleksa Petrović, Aleksandar Ostojić, Alen Dragin, Elena Mitanoski, Sandra Krstajić, Sonja Badža, Denis Knežević and Katarina Majski.

The report was written by:

Sara Petrović

President of the United Nations Club
of Belgrade University Faculty of Law

April, 2018.