To keep fostering the core value of multilingualism throughout the Organization and to expand the geographical reach of learning, the Office of Operational Support (OSO) is providing online language learning licenses in the official languages of the United Nations. These licenses are intended for Secretariat staff members residing in Duty Stations and Offices Away from Headquarters, where face-to-face language classes are not offered. Please note that these licenses are distinct from the online courses created, designed and delivered by the Language and Communications Training Unit (LCTU). You can find the schedule of online courses here.


OSO is currently sponsoring a fixed budget for these licenses for the UN Global Secretariat. The Language and Communications Training Unit (LCTU) is managing the distribution of the licenses and monitoring their use in collaboration with various learning managers and language training focal points in the Global Secretariat. From the beginning of the project in 2017, the LCTU has worked closely with the providers and students to support the use of the licenses. If you are a learning manager or training focal point from the UN Secretariat and you would like to know more about this opportunity, please contact us at

If you are a learning manager or training focal point at the UN Secretariat, you can make a purchase with your own budget (once approved by us). Click here for info on making additional purchases with your own budget.


  • You can download the spreadsheets mentioned in step 3 in the PDF above: 


If you are a learning manager or training focal point in a UN agency, Fund or Programme and would like to piggyback off of the current contract, please contact us at so we can put you in contact with our language learning license provider. You will need to have your own contract with them, but you can benefit from our agreed fees with the different providers. You can purchase as many licenses as you wish (our approval is not needed). We will also be happy to share with you our experience and best practices for managing the licenses.


See our FAQ



 Meet our partners! Click here for a full presentation.

  • Arabic - Arab Academy (1-year license)
  • Chinese -  YoYo Chinese (1-year license)
  • English - Education First (1-year license)
  • French - Institut Français Espagne à Madrid (6-month license)
  • Spanish - Instituto Cervantes (6-month license)


Highlights from 2017 until now

  • 2400 licenses sponsored, distributed and monitored by OSO (by OHR until 2019)
  • 1000 licenses sponsored and distributed by DPO
  • Licenses distributed to staff members in more than 129 countries
  • Equitable gender balance in the distribution of licenses
  • High usage rates seen among students
  • Positive feedback from the students about the selected platforms


Geographic distribution of participants