Reindeer (Source:Getty Images)The Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) / Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD) /Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (SPFII) has an opening for a internship of for two (2) months with an opportunity for extension, pending on the needs of the department, for the Spring session. The expected start date is by 1 April 2014.
The internship is UNPAID and full‐time. Interns work five days per week (35 hours) under the supervision of a staff member in the department or office to which they are assigned.

Special Notice

A completed online application (Cover Note and Personal History Profile) is required. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
The Cover Note must include:

  • Graduate Degree Programme (What are you currently studying?)
  • Graduation Date (When will you be graduating from the programme?)
  • List the IT skills and programmes that you are proficient in.
  • List your top three areas of interest.
  • Explain why you are the best candidate for this specific internship.
  • Explain your interest in the United Nations Internship Programme.

In your online Personal History Profile, be sure to include all past work experiences, IT skills, and three references.

Due to the high volume of applications received, ONLY successful candidates will be contacted.


Assist the work of the Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in its mandated areas: human rights, economic and social development, environment, education, culture and health. The Forum's seven socio-cultural regions provide broad representation to the world's indigenous peoples in Africa; Asia; Central and South America and the Caribbean; the Arctic; Russian Federation, Central and Eastern Europe, Russian Federation, Central Asia and Transcaucasia; North America; and the Pacific.
In order to obtain experience in the areas of work of the Secretariat, the following general responsibilities are allocated:

  • Become familiar with the work of the Secretariat by reading documents of the past twelve sessions of the UNPFII, Expert meeting reports as well as speaking with staff about their areas of responsibility and regional focus (see website);
  • Assistance in drafting and preparing official documents;
  • Document, legal and internet research to assist staff, including for the compilation of reports as needed;
  • Assist staff in the organization of the annual Session of the Permanent Forum, the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, the Expert Group Meetings and others (through note-taking, speaker's list and side events);
  • Translation of speeches, papers, letters and other documents into the languages known/spoken by the candidate;
  • Attending and summarizing conferences and meetings concerning the issues dealt by SPFII; and
  • Provide administrative support to the Secretariat as required.

The intern will be assigned also to a specific project according to the needs of the Office and depending on the individual's background.


The United Nations Core Competencies include:
• Communication: Ability to draft clearly and concisely, good written and oral language skills.
• Teamwork: Good interpersonal skills, ability to work collaboratively with colleagues from different national and cultural backgrounds to achieve organizational goals.
• Client Orientation: Considers all those to whom services are provided to be 'clients' and seeks to see things from clients' point of view.
The intern is expected to:
• Have a demonstrated keen interest in the work of the United Nations and a personal commitment to the ideals of the United Nations Charter; and
• Have a demonstrated ability to successfully interact with individuals of different cultural backgrounds and beliefs.


To qualify for an internship with the United Nations New York Headquarters Internship Programme, the following conditions must be
• Applicants must be enrolled in a graduate school programme (second university degree or higher); or
• If pursuing their studies in countries where higher education is not divided into undergraduate and graduate stages, have completed at least four years of full time studies at a university or equivalent institution towards the completion of a degree.
• Be computer literate in standard software applications.

Work Experience

Applicants are not required to have professional work experience for participation in the programme.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. Fluency in spoken and written English is required for the Internship Programme. Knowledge of an additional official UN language is an asset. Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish are the official languages of the United Nations Secretariat.

Assessment Method

Potential candidates will be contacted by hiring manager directly for further consideration.

United Nations Considerations

Job openings posted on the Careers Portal are taken off at midnight (New York time) on the deadline date.

Applications are automatically pre-screened according to the published evaluation criteria of the job opening on the basis of the information provided by applicants. Applications cannot be amended following submission and incomplete applications shall not be considered. The selected candidate will be subject to a reference checking process to verify the information provided in the application.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the At-a-Glance on "The Application Process" and the Instructional Manual for the Applicants, which can be accessed by clicking on "Manuals" on the upper right side of the browser on Inspira.

The United Nations shall place no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. (Charter of the United Nations - Chapter 3, article 8). The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

Candidates will be required to meet the requirements of Article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter as well as the requirements of the position. The United Nations is committed to the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity for all its human resources, including but not limited to respect for international human rights and humanitarian law. Candidates may be subject to screening against these standards, including but not limited to whether they have committed, or are alleged to have committed criminal offences and/or violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.

Apply here.