United Nations Welcome to the United Nations


Since 2008 the Department for General Assembly and Conference Management, which oversees the activities of all the language services at the four duty stations of the United Nations Secretariat and the regional commissions, has been reaching out to universities and other institutions involved in the training of language professionals with a view to:

  1. increasing the visibility of language careers at the United Nations.
  2. helping candidates to prepare better for the competitive examinations that the Organization arranges to recruit language professionals.
  3. exploring potential avenues for cooperation between the Department, training institutions and other bodies in the preparation of language professionals for careers at the United Nations.

The Director of the Department’s Documentation Division has overall responsibility for the outreach programme.

Outreach to universities includes visits by United Nations language staff who give presentations, master classes, seminars and workshops and meet with students and teachers to talk about their work and explain the skills required. The language services also provide or recommend material for teachers to work with in the classroom. In addition, remote coaching and in-house training sessions have been arranged for some students from partner universities. Certain universities invite United Nations language staff to sit on their examination panels for final examinations.

One key component of the outreach programme is the network of universities that have signed a memorandum of understanding with the United Nations for the training of language professionals for the language competitive examinations (the MoU network). United Nations language staff work with these partner institutions to enhance the preparation of their master’s students for possible recruitment by the Organization, and the network meets at conferences (MoU Conferences) to exchange ideas and best practices.

Another component is the language internship programme. For information on language internships, click on the corresponding tab.