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Long-term objective

The Department for General Assembly and Conference Management (DGACM), which oversees the activities of all the conference management services across the United Nations Secretariat, launched its outreach programme in 2007 as a means to overcome succession-planning challenges.

Medium-term goals

The outreach programme is directed towards universities and other institutions involved in the training of language professionals and seeks to:
1. raise the profile of language careers at the UN;
2. help candidates to perform better in recruitment examinations (language competitive exams, or LCEs), while maintaining the highest quality standards. This is made possible:
  • by helping candidates to prepare effectively for UN LCEs; and
  • by developing cooperation between DGACM, training institutions and other bodies to match candidates' skills more closely to the UN’s requirements.

Outreach activities

Outreach activities include visits by UN language staff to partner institutions to give presentations and master classes; or participate in seminars and workshops. They also include meetings with students and faculty to present the work of UN language staff, give more details about the skills needed, or provide guidance to teaching staff for classroom activities that would help prepare candidates for the LCEs.

In addition, remote coaching and in-house training have been arranged for some students from partner universities. Some universities have also occasionally invited UN language staff to sit on their examination panels.

Another outreach landmark is the language internship programme.

The “MoU network”

One key feature 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 (referred to as “the MoU network”). The network meets periodically through the MoU Conferences to exchange ideas and best practices.