1st Edition

Negotiating at the United Nations A Practitioner's Guide

    176 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    176 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book offers a comprehensive practitioner's guide to negotiating at the United Nations.

    Although much of the content can be applied broadly, the guide focuses on navigating multilateral negotiations at the UN. The book is a tool to help new UN negotiators, explaining basic negotiation concepts and offering insight into the complexities of the UN system. It also offers a playbook for cooperation for negotiators at any level, exploring the dynamics of relationships and alliances, the art of chairing a negotiation, and the importance of balancing the power asymmetries present in any multilateral discussion. The book proposes improvements to the UN negotiation process and looks at the impact of information technologies on negotiation dynamics; it also shares stories from women UN delegates, illustrating what it means to be a female negotiator at the UN. This book is an exploration of the power of the individual in any negotiation, and of the responsibility all negotiators have in wielding that power to speak for a better world.

    This book will be of much interest to students of diplomacy, global governance, foreign policy, and International Relations, as well as practitioners and policymakers.



    Part I: Negotiator Tool-Kit

    1. Negotiating the Hard Stuff

    2. Aren’t Interests and Positions the Same Thing?

    Part II: Inside the UN

    3. The Insider’s Guide to the UN Negotiation System

    4. Don’t Go it Alone: Building Relationships and Alliances

    5. Welcome to Negotiations Theatre: an Off-Broadway Production

    6. I Call this Meeting to Order: Chairing UN Negotiations

    7. Mitigating Asymmetric Power: the 800-pound Gorilla and the Fearless Ant

    Part III: Working on It

    8. I am a Female Negotiator: So What?

    9. Please Excuse Us as We Upgrade our Process…and Software



    Rebecca E. Webber Gaudiosi represented the United States at the UN from 2006–14, leading on US engagement with over 25 organizations focused on environment and sustainable development. She has also worked with several UN specialized agencies and on bilateral environment issues. Her most recent assignment was at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.

    Jimena Leiva-Roesch was at the Permanent Mission of Guatemala to the UN in New York, from 2009-15, where she last served as Counselor. She was the lead negotiator for Guatemala in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and UN climate change negotiations. She is currently a Research Fellow with the International Peace Institute.

    Ye-Min Wu has worked with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore for over a decade. While at the Permanent Mission of Singapore to the UN in New York, she chaired UN negotiations as well as represented the Group of 77 and China in UN negotiations on sustainable development issues.

    'This long-overdue book will be an immense contribution in enhancing knowledge and appreciation of the intricacies of multilateral negotiations at UN headquarters on diverse social, economic and environmental issues, molding disparate interests and subjective agendas into lasting legislative outcomes whose main objectives are to enhance peace and prosperity in harmony with our environment, respect of human rights and women empowerment.'--Munyaradzi Chenje, Deputy Chief Officer, Secretariat of the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol; former UN Environment Programme New York Office Deputy Director and Head of Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs  

    'It is not enough to eloquently establish positions and red-lines in multilateral negotiations; perhaps it is not even enough to strive to build consensus. Instead, it takes courage, vision and skills to be successful and give meaning to a negotiated outcome, and with their years of experience and involvement in varied multilateral negotiations, Rebecca, Jimena and Ye-Min provide that connection and insight in their book. This is an inventive and resourceful blueprint for any Diplomat or Advisor contemplating a stint with the foremost international organization, the United Nations Organisation.'--Damptey Bediako Asare, Director of Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Bureau; Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration of Ghana; Former Negotiator for G77 &China, New York

    'This is the type of publication I wish I had at the beginning of my UN journey. However, it also provides much needed lessons for seasoned diplomats as well. The messages, insights, and examples, offer that rare glimpse of the inner workings of the UN multilateral process, while also shedding light on the important, and often thankless, role of a country’s representative to the UN. It could very well become required reading for future UN diplomats.'--Carlisle Richardson, former Ambassador of St Kitts and Nevis to the UN; Former Economic Affairs Officer of the UN; author of 'Island Journeys: The Impact of the Island Way of Life at Home and Abroad'

    'Jimena, Rebecca, and Ye-Min have done a remarkable job in connecting the theory of negotiation with how it is practiced within the UN. The three of them were amazing colleagues, interlocutors, confidants and versatile negotiators during our collective journey towards Rio+20, the Conference that paved the way for the Sustainable Development Goals, demonstrating what is possible when Governments, the UN bureaucracy, and stakeholders work together.'--Farrukh Khan, former G77 negotiator from Pakistan 

    'For some, outcomes negotiated at the UN - or in other venues - can mean life or death. For everyone, such discussions offer the potential for an improved situation in a better world. When I arrived for my posting at the UN, the negotiating process was like a black box - nothing was precisely what it seemed. This book, which provides essential guidance for a new negotiator, would have been an immense help to me as I began my tour in New York, shortening the time it took to get up to speed with the ins and outs of multilateral negotiations. It also offers insights for complex and contentious negotiations around the world beyond the UN.'--Anne Heidi Kvalsøren, Norwegian Special Representative for the peace process in Colombia

    'Profound, insightful, concrete: this book is a must-read guide for anyone entering the highly complex matters of multilateral negotiations, written by three truly inspiring and talented women. With two of them I had the great privilege to spend many hours negotiating – and I share very fond memories of great cooperation, building trust and even friendship while often sitting at the opposite side of the negotiating table. And these are the things that help making the difference on the way towards a better world.'--Sandra Ruppen, former Senior Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Principality of Liechtenstein

    'Being able to negotiate well is a critical skill for each of us. In their book, Wu Ye-Min, Rebecca Webber Gaudiosi, and Jimena Leiva-Roche offer UN diplomats – and negotiators everywhere – practical advice on how to effectively navigate the negotiation process. Using real-life examples and well-crafted nuggets of theory, the authors have provided a succinct and useful guide for improving our approach to negotiation in all facets of our lives.'--Elizabeth McClintock, Managing Partner, CMPartners, LLC; Adjunct Assistant Professor of International Negotiations, The Fletcher School, Tufts University; Adjunct Lecturer, SAIS, Johns Hopkins University

    'This book, written by negotiators who have been at the frontline of UN negotiations, provides a firsthand perspective of what it means to negotiate at the UN. It vividly conveys the process and dynamics of UN negotiations, and will play a critical role in preparing policy makers and negotiators from around the world who deal with UN issues.'--Noel Gonzalez, Director General for Planning and International Development Cooperation Policies, Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation (AMEXCID)

    'Three experienced UN negotiators offer an insightful, in-depth, and at times humorous study on how UN negotiations work and diplomats behave. From "package deals" to "silence procedures," this book is more than a guide to negotiations; it is a refreshing, solid and much-needed defense of multilateralism for the 21st century.' --Paulo Chiarelli, Counsellor, Brazilian diplomat with over 12 years' experience in climate change and sustainable development negotiations

    'I wish to congratulate my former colleagues Jimena, Ye Min and Rebecca for this timely and insightful behind the scenes look at the United Nations and the intergovernmental negotiating process. Despite its flaws, the United Nations remains our best hope for addressing global threats to peace and security, promoting good human rights practices and for advancing the cause of development. The insights and recommendations from these three talented, experienced and skillful diplomats on how to improve the effectiveness, efficiency and impact of this great organization comes at an important juncture in global affairs. More than ever the world needs a strong, effective and renewed United Nations.'--Selwin Hart, Ambassador of Barbados to the United States of America and Permanent Representative of Barbados to the Organization of American States, Embassy of Barbados/Permanent Mission of Barbados to the OAS

    'The United Nations is the place where every country comes to do business and solve problems that require collective action. Whether interests clash or align, countries use the UN to build coalitions around shared purpose – more important than ever in this precarious time. Their negotiators are on the front lines, and these authors are masters of that craft. From their diverse perspectives, they provide a front row seat to how multilateral negotiations are won or lost. Long-time practitioners and first-time students will all find this book essential reading.'--Elizabeth Cousens, former US Ambassador to ECOSOC and lead U. negotiator on the Sustainable Development Goals, Deputy CEO of the UN Foundation

    'This book is a master-class in the theory and practice of multilateral negotiations. It reminds us of the unique role which the UN can, and must, play in crafting solutions to the most pressing global challenges. I congratulate the authors on a vivid and highly accessible account of the factors which deliver successful UN outcomes. This is essential reading for all who wish to play their part as UN negotiators in fashioning a better world for us all.'--David Donoghue, former Permanent Representative of Ireland and co-facilitator of the Intergovernmental Negotiations on the 2030 Agenda

    'Based on their experience of recent years, Ye-Min, Rebecca and Jimena have written this guide on the dynamics of multilateral interactions which shape the decisions of the principal organs at the United Nations. It is meant as a handbook for those that actually participate in the negotiations, reflecting anything from simple statements to formal resolutions and declarations, and showing the wide breadth of activities that go into their work. From the trivial to the momentous, I found it a highly readable and illuminating book.'--Gert Rosenthal, former Permanent Representative of Guatemala to the UN

    'This unique guide for negotiators syntheses the main insights a diplomat often only learns the hard way. It is a very much needed resource. Through this book, anyone interested in the work of the UN will be able to better understand the challenges of finding critical pathways, beyond culture and interests, to find workable solutions and common ground.' --Paula Caballero, Managing Director, Climate and Water, Rare; former Director of Economic, Social and Environmental Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Colombia

    'A helpful ‘How To’ guide for both newcomers and old-timers in the ever-more-important arena of multilateral negotiations. As the world grapples with global problems ranging from climate change to global health to international trade and development, the UN will be an essential forum to reaching necessary global agreements, and this slim volume provides both an operational road-map for the practitioner and a valuable window into the process for all interested observers.'--Jonathan Pershing, former US Special Envoy for Climate Change