The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) was established in 1963 as an autonomous body within the United Nations with the purpose of enhancing the effectiveness of the work of the UN and its member states.
UNITAR designs and conducts close to 500 different training and knowledge sharing events per year for some 50,000 beneficiaries worldwide. Participants include diplomats, other government officials, non-governmental representatives, and other stakeholders.
At the heart of UNITAR, the Multilateral Diplomacy Programme Unit (MDPU) delivers training workshops to address the needs of these international actors. MDPU’s activities cover a wide range of domains, including training on the UN system and skills development.
The world is currently undergoing a period with limited opportunities to engage in face-to-face training activities. UNITAR therefore specifically designed the United Nations Internship Preparation Programme to bring the United Nations closer to the hearts and minds of its students.
In line with UNITAR's mandate, this programme aspires to enhance participants' knowledge and skills in the areas of international affairs and diplomacy. This will enable them to work more effectively and efficiently in any multilateral environment in the future.
In particular, the United Nations Internship Preparation Programme aims at building up the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for participants to apply for UN internship positions anywhere in the UN System with confidence and ease and perform strongly in a potential job interview.
The United Nations Internship Preparation Programme aims to provide participants with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to understand the United Nations well. After completion of the course, participants should be able to:
- Explain key components of the United Nations System and its agencies
- Demonstrate core diplomatic skills in the areas of leadership and public speaking
- Recognize common projects and working methods from within the United Nations
- Develop critical knowledge and skills to apply for United Nations internship positions
- Adapt values and principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter
UNITAR is delighted to offer the United Nations Internship Preparation Programme to the participants and it will hosts the activity on its virtual e-Learning platform and provides a nuanced balance between the following different components:
The backbone of the Internship Preparation Programme will be four e-Learning modules. Every module contains reading material, multimedia files, a discussion forum for written exchanges and a multiple choice assessment quiz on the content. The course will contain the following modules:
- Module 1 - The United Nations
- Module 2 - Conference Diplomacy
- Module 3 - Negotiation Skills
- Module 4 - Cosmopolitan Communication
The e-Learning modules will be complemented by a series of live components with UN experts focusing on:
- The United Nations Systems
- UN Projects and Practicalities
- Job Application Skills
- Leadership Skills
- The Palais des Nations
- The UN's Agenda 2030
- Public Speaking Skills
- Mock Interviews
- Team Building and Closing
These will be delivered through the software Zoom, shall have varying lengths and formats and include live-webinars, e-workshops, virtual guided tours and mock-interviews.
Each participant will be able to choose one individual project to work on during the four weeks of the course. The projects are very similar to what an intern ́s task would be during a real internship at the United Nations. They cover the following four areas:
- Project Management
- Art and Design
- Outreach and Advocacy
The individual projects will be organized through the platform Microsoft Teams, the software most UN agencies work with internally. This enables the participants to become familiar with the way of working in the UN environment even before they have started a potential internship in the future.
The United Nations Internship Preparation Programme lasts four weeks and is entirely conducted in English. It runs on UNITAR ́s virtual learning platform, to which participants receive log-in credentials shortly before the start. The course modules are enabled every 7 days.
The United Nations Internship Preparation Programme is created and facilitated by senior experts working at UN agencies. In addition to these experts, UNITAR staff assists in the organizational aspects of the course and stands ready to interact with participants on a daily basis.
In addition, the live components will all be offered in the afternoon Geneva time, for participants across all time-zones to be able to attend at reasonable times. The live components will also be recorded and be made available on the platform thereafter.
The United Nations Internship Preparation Programme is open to all actors related to international affairs wishing to take on leadership roles in their respective environment and to build up knowledge and skills related to the United Nations and International Geneva.
Participants can include high school students, university students, and other aspiring young leaders of similar background. Junior professionals from public and private sector and senior officials who are young at heart are equally welcome to apply.
In order to ensure the highest quality standards, the registration will be closed after 30 participants. Slots will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. At the end of the programme, participants will receive a UNITAR certificate of completion.
UNITAR will be responsible for the overall design, coordination and implementation of the Internship Preparation Programme. It will liaise with participants on a regular basis prior to the activity's implementation in order to ensure a smooth and flawless organization for everyone involved.
The participants are responsible to ensure they are in possession of the basic necessary hardware, software and connectivity to engage in online training activities.