2013 United Nations General Assembly Internship Program

Krystalla Pearce

Each year the Australian Mission offers up to six internship positions that run for the duration of the annual session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The General Assembly begins in mid-September and continues until just before Christmas – running for thirteen weeks in all. The Mission’s 2013 UNGA Internship Program will commence on Monday, 9 September 2013.


The job. The Australian Permanent Mission to the United Nations works to support and advance Australia’s interests over a wide range of areas within the United Nations system. 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.

Successful internship candidates 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 Mission officers with negotiations of texts and resolutions. But there will also be a need for interns to assist with some administrative tasks associated with UNGA, and in particular the high level session.

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 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 program are:

• relevant qualifications and/or experience – with preference given to those who have completed tertiary 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;
• problem solving and analytical skills;
• proven ability to handle high pressure environments; 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 program 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 firsthand how the foreign service functions and gain a useful understanding of international negotiations. Over the course of the internship, they 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 Program 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.

Self-fundedThe Mission is not able to provide financial assistance to successful applicants. Interns are responsible for their own travel, accommodation and health insurance arrangements. The Mission will assist with visa arrangements.

Obligatory requirements 
To be an eligible applicant, you must:

• be an Australian citizen, or have been granted Australian citizenship by the end of May 2013;
• be available to re-locate to New York on a self-funded basis for the complete program from 9 September 2013 – 23 December 2013; and
• be willing to undergo a mandatory police check.

Key dates 2013– UNGA Internship

11 March 2013 – Applications open
11 April 2013 – Applications close
Mid April 2013 – Internship Committee meets
Mid-late April 2013 – Short-listed applicants interviewed
May 2013 – Internship offers extended to successful applicants
June 2013 – Successful applicants undertake police check clearance
9 September 2013 – Internship program commences in New York
20-24 December 2013 – Internship program concludes (exact end date is flexible)

How to apply. To apply, please send:

• 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
• two references – names and contact details, written references not required.

Please adhere to the word/length limits stated above. Any responses over these limits will not be considered. Applications for the UNGA Internship Program must be received by email or post, with a preference for email.

Please send applications to:

Krystalla Pearce – krystalla.pearce@dfat.gov.au


Krystalla Pearce
Australian Permanent Mission to the United Nations
150 East 42nd Street, 33rd Floor
New York NY 10017
United States of America

For further information please contact Krystalla Pearce by email: krystalla.pearce@dfat.gov.au or by phone: +1 212 351 6638.

Australian Permanent Mission to the United Nations New York



One thought on “2013 United Nations General Assembly Internship Program

  1. Pingback: DFAT and touching the void: A case for establishing an Australia Council. | International Security Discipulus

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