UN agencies provide internship opportunities as part of the Diversity Initiative

Photo: UN Moldova. Graduates of the first round of diversity internships

The United Nations has launched the second edition of the Diversity Internship Programme for people from underrepresented groups in the UN team. The program aims to support the inclusion and acceptance of people with less chances of employment and career growth, as well as to encourage as many organizations and institutions to follow the UN example and to offer similar opportunities.

Nine people, including those with disabilities, representatives of ethnic, linguistic, sexual and religious minorities, are expected to participate in the second edition of the internship programme and to join the UN team. The deadline for the submission of the application is 15 May 2017.

“We adjusted the standard UN requirements for internships and made them more accessible for this programme. Therefore, we do not ask for higher education, as we usually do, because we realize that this is difficult to be fulfilled by all people. In exchange, we ask for a motivation letter, in which the person can refer to the encountered challenges in employment or in further education,” says Ira Cebotari, Head of Operations at UNDP Moldova.

For a period of 3 to 5 months, the interns will be involved in activities and events of different UN entities.

Thus, individuals will gain practical experience and acquire professional skills, useful for future employment in the labour market, including at the UN.

The first edition of the Diversity Internship Programme of the UN involved 12 young people, who said that this experience changed their life and boosted their career. At the same time, seven public and private institutions in 2016 and another 12 in 2017, followed UN initiative and developed partnerships for equality and diversity in their own organisations.

A 2015 study of the Equality Council, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and UNDP demonstrated that direct contact with persons from underrepresented groups considerably reduces social distance and increases social inclusion. Internships for persons from underrepresented groups – such as ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, persons living with HIV etc. - can not only open new opportunities and contribute to better social inclusion, but also substantially increase acceptance attitudes within recipient organizations and institutions.