United Nations Recruitment (May 2024) — Job Opportunities, How to Apply

Have you ever wondered how countries around the world cooperate on big issues? Enter the United Nations (UN), an international organization established after World War II to prevent future conflicts and promote global peace and cooperation.

Imagine a giant club with almost all the countries on Earth as members! The UN currently has 193 member states, each with a voice and a vote in the organization’s decisions. This massive organization works on a wide range of issues, making it a powerful force for positive change in the world.

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About United Nations

The UN wasn’t the first attempt at international cooperation. After World War I, countries formed the League of Nations with similar goals of maintaining peace and resolving conflicts peacefully. However, the League lacked the power and authority to effectively address major international crises, ultimately leading to its dissolution in 1946.

Learning from the League’s shortcomings, the UN was established on October 24, 1945, with a stronger structure and broader mandate. The UN Charter, its founding document, outlines the organization’s core principles and goals, including:

  • Maintaining international peace and security: The UN works to prevent conflicts, resolve disputes peacefully, and promote disarmament (reduction of weapons).
  • Developing friendly relations among nations: The UN encourages cooperation between countries on economic, social, cultural, and educational issues.
  • Achieving international cooperation in solving global problems: The UN tackles challenges like poverty, hunger, climate change, and human rights abuses.
  • Promoting respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms: The UN advocates for the rights and dignity of all people, regardless of race, religion, nationality, gender, or any other factor.

How Does the UN Work?

The UN has six main organs that carry out its work:

  • The General Assembly: This is the main decision-making body of the UN, where all member states are represented and have one vote. It discusses and makes recommendations on a wide range of issues.
  • The Security Council: This is the UN’s primary body for maintaining international peace and security. It has five permanent members (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) and ten non-permanent members elected by the General Assembly for a two-year term. Decisions on important matters like using military force require the approval of nine members, including all five permanent members (this is known as the veto power).
  • The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC): This council focuses on promoting international cooperation in economic and social development. It coordinates the work of various UN agencies and programs dealing with issues like poverty, hunger, health, education, and gender equality.
  • The Trusteeship Council: Originally established to oversee territories under the international trusteeship system, this council suspended its operations in 1994 after the independence of the last trust territory.
  • The International Court of Justice (ICJ): The ICJ is the principal judicial organ of the UN. It settles legal disputes between states and gives advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by authorized UN organs or specialized agencies.
  • The Secretariat: This is the UN’s administrative arm, headed by the Secretary-General, who is the chief administrative officer and the organization’s spokesperson. The Secretariat carries out the day-to-day work of the UN, providing staff and resources to support the work of the other organs.

What UN Does

The UN’s work is vast and multifaceted. Here are some key areas where the organization is making a difference:

  • Peacekeeping: The UN deploys peacekeeping missions to conflict zones to help maintain peace and security, protect civilians, and promote political processes towards lasting peace. These missions typically involve deploying UN personnel, including soldiers, police officers, and civilian experts.
  • Humanitarian Aid: The UN provides humanitarian assistance to people affected by natural disasters, conflicts, and other emergencies. This includes providing food, water, shelter, medical care, and other vital supplies.
  • Sustainable Development: The UN promotes sustainable development, which aims to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. This includes addressing issues like poverty, hunger, climate change, and inequality.
  • Human Rights: The UN works to promote and protect human rights around the world. It sets international human rights standards, investigates human rights abuses, and assists countries in improving their human rights records.

Here are some specific examples of the UN’s work in action:

  • The UN helped broker a peace agreement that ended the civil war in Liberia.
  • The UN provides food assistance to millions of people facing hunger around the world.
  • The UN works to combat climate change by promoting renewable energy.
  • The UN advocates for the rights of women and girls, working to end violence against women and promote their education and economic empowerment.

Getting Involved with the UN

The UN’s work is far from over. New challenges emerge constantly, and the organization relies on the cooperation and contributions of all member states, as well as individuals, to achieve its goals. Here are some ways you can get involved:

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  • Stay Informed: Learn more about the UN’s work and the issues it addresses. You can visit the UN website (https://www.un.org/en/) or follow them on social media.
  • Support UN Causes: Many UN agencies and programs have campaigns and initiatives that you can support financially or by volunteering your time and skills.
  • Advocate for Change: Raise awareness about global issues and encourage your elected representatives to support UN initiatives.
  • Consider a Career with the UN: The UN employs a diverse workforce of professionals from all over the world. You can explore job opportunities on the UN careers website (https://careers.un.org/).

By working together, the UN and its member states can create a more peaceful, prosperous, and just world for all. Become a part of the solution and join the movement for a better future!

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