Foreign Minister Össur Skarphéðinsson, Dr. Konrad Osterwalder, Rector of the United Nations University (UNU) and Dr. Guðni A. Jóhannesson, Director General of the National Energy Authority today signed an agreement on the extension of the cooperation between Iceland and the UNU on the UNU Geothermal Training Programme (UNU-GTP).
The UN General Assembly established the United Nations University in 1973 with the objective of supporting the goals and basic tenets of the UN Charter, through research, education and capacity building. The UNU network consists of the UNU Center in Tokyo and 15 institutes and programmes located in 13 countries.
The UNU-GTP started operations on 1 March 1979 and was the first programme in Iceland to become part of the UNU network. The UNU Fisheries Training Programme joined in 1998 and the Land Restoration Training Programme became the third Iceland based UNU programme in 2010.
The Strategy for Iceland´s Development Cooperation 2011 – 2014 identifies the UNU as one of four international organisations that will be emphasized in Iceland´s multilateral development work. The UNU-GTP forms a major part of the Strategy by providing fellows from developing countries a specialised post-graduate training in research and utilisation of geothermal energy. The UNU-GTP offers six months training courses in Iceland as well as supporting experts from developing countries to obtain M.Sc. and PhD degrees. The UNU-GTP also regularly hosts workshops in developing countries. Since its inception over 450 students have completed the six months training course and over 500 have attended workshops held in various developing countries.