United Nations General Assembly Internship Programme
Each year the Australian Mission offers six - seven internship positions that run for the duration of the high level session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) from mid-September to mid-December.
The Mission’s 2017 UNGA Internship Programme will commence on Tuesday 5 September.
The Australian Mission to the United Nations in New York is one of four posts representing Australia’s interests in the United Nations system. The other posts are in Geneva, Vienna, and Nairobi.
The Mission serves as the nucleus of the Australian delegation to the regular sessions of the General Assembly, and represents Australia at a range of UN meetings that take place when the Assembly is not in session.
The work of the Mission is intense and diverse, requiring flexibility, analytical thinking and a firm understanding of diplomatic principles. The environment is complex and demanding but the work is highly rewarding for the right people.
Interns will work under the guidance of experienced officers and will be expected to contribute to the regular diplomatic reporting undertaken by the Mission. They will primarily assist with policy work on the six main UNGA Committees – for example, attending committees and meetings, and assisting with negotiations of texts and resolutions. Interns will also assist with events and high level visits associated with “Leaders’ Week”, the high level week of the General Assembly.
Interns represent the Australian Government in a formal capacity in an international environment, therefore social and cultural maturities, as well as being a clear communicator, are essential qualities.
The General Assembly
The high level session of the General Assembly is a very important part of the United Nations calendar. During this period interns should expect to attend several formal and informal meetings a day. The daily meetings of the General Assembly and its main committees take place from 10.00am to 1.00pm and from 3.00pm to 6.00pm, with regional and other groups often meeting in the morning, through the lunch break, and at other times throughout the session. Be prepared for a busy schedule and working days that will often extend beyond these set times.
Key Selection Criteria
The Key Selection Criteria for the UNGA Internship programme are:
• Relevant qualifications and/or experience – with preference given to those who have undertaken studies in the areas of political science, international relations, international law, human rights, gender studies, environment and international development;
• Clear communication and strong interpersonal skills;
• Able to operate effectively in a team, contributing positively to team operations and working relationships;
• Problem solving and analytical skills;
• Proven ability to handle high pressure environments, demonstrating initiative and flexibility; and
• Desirable: prior exposure to, or demonstrated knowledge of, the United Nations system and Australian policies and priorities within the United Nations.
Our internship training
The first week of the UNGA internship programme will include briefings and training on the workings of the Mission and the UN as a whole. Once the General Assembly is in session, the training provided to interns at the Mission is very much ‘on-the-job’. Interns will learn first-hand how the foreign service functions and gain a useful understanding of international negotiations.
Over the course of the programme, interns will develop a working knowledge of key UN departments and personnel, and come to grips with the complexities of UN protocol and rules of procedure.
Conduct and Ethics
The Mission demands the highest standards of professional conduct from its employees. Ethical conduct by staff and interns contributes significantly to the efficiency and effectiveness of the workplace and to the standing of the Mission in New York, Australia, and internationally.
In agreeing to participate in the Mission’s Internship Programme and undertake duties as directed, interns are required to comply with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Locally Engaged Staff Code of Conduct, which takes account of the particular significance of the department’s representational role outside of Australia. They should be ready to accept direction and guidance from Mission officers.
Interns receive a monthly stipend of $1400 USD to assist with living expenses in New York City. Please note that this is not a salary and it does not constitute an employee/employer relationship.
Interns are responsible for their own travel, accommodation and health insurance arrangements.
The Mission will assist with visa arrangements.
To be an eligible applicant, you must:
• be an Australian citizen, or have been granted Australian citizenship by the
end of April 2017;
• be available to re-locate to New York for the complete duration of the programme (5 September – 15 December 2017);
• be willing to undergo a mandatory police check.
Key dates 2017 – UNGA Internship
10 April 2017 Applications open
1 May 2017 Applications close
June 2017 Internship offers extended to successful applicants
5 September 2017 Internship programme commences in New York
15 December 2017 Internship programme concludes (please note that this date will vary across Committees)
How to apply
To apply, please submit:
• a one-page covering letter indicating policy areas of interest;
• responses to the Key Selection Criteria detailed above – limit each criterion to 150 words;
• a CV of no more than two pages; and
• names and contact details of two referees (written references are not required).
Please note that responses over the word limits will not be considered.
Applications for the 2017 UNGA Internship Programme must be received by the Australian Mission to the United Nations in New York by 5pm local time, Monday 1 May 2017.
Please send applications and any queries to: