United Nations, founded in 1945, stands in its grandeur as a proof of peace and unity that was compromised during the World wars. After the League of Nations failed to prevent the second world war, the allies came together and signed the treaty of the United Nations to bring back the harmony of the countries that then housed the pain and agony of the two major wars.
I had always dreamt of working with the United Nations. the dream is still a work in progress however, on the 19th of April, 2019 I had the opportunity to see visit the UNESCAP headquarters in Bangkok.
An hour drive from Thammasat University, Rangsit campus, Thailand. i shared a van with around 15 other classmates of mine.
we arrived at UNESCAP HQ at around noon. we were welcomed by our Professor, Mr. Bruce Avasadanond. he was kind enough to arrange this visit for us.
as soon as we entered the UNCC building, we were left mesmerized by various artworks gifted by different member states.
the ceiling was a a gift from the Thai government. the mural depicting the sun and the moon rotating the world that is in the centre. other than that, there were Chinese vases and Australian wood work.
we were led by a really sweet lady who took us all around ESCAP HQ. Tuenjai Chuabsamai started with a brief history of the place and the agency.
did you know, the Thai government rents the UN the land and area only for 1USD per annum. shocker!
we then went to a conference. it was the second biggest conference room.
the room had two floors. the bottom floor is for the delegations to meet and discuss. the second floor is for the translators. the UN has 5 official languages: English, French, Arabic, Spanish and Mandarin. the UNESCAP however has two, English and French. they have real time translation.
after the tour of the conference room, we were led to a smaller meeting room that was booked for the BJM students from Thammasat especially.
we were welcomed by Anthitha Preeyanon, a UN library staff, who showed us an introductory video about the United Nations. i have to say, it is a pretty catchy song. here is the link to the song
she explained us the works of the UN and ESCAP. the UN stands on its core mandates and solely works for the purpose if it. in simple words, they would be:
- maintain peace and security
- develop friendship among the member states
- solve international problems
- to be the centre of harmonizing the actions of the nations
fun fact: the ESCAP was initially names ECAFE abbreviation of Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East) it was only later did they realize that Asia is not really that far east. it was renamed in 1947. thanks to globalization.
We also met with Mr. Arun Jacob, from environment and development division. he educated us on the SDGs, ie: the Sustainable Developments Goals.
since the MDGs did not quite reach their set their goal in the set 15 years time span, UN designed another plan with more target and indicators. the MDGs ( Millennium Development Goals) failed to work due to their checklist system so SDGs are planned to be interconnected. this interconnection between the goals fall under three pillars :
Mr. Arun is was actually a very interesting speaker. he made us realize the relevance of the goals and how they fail and succeed. he made it playful and was funny.
last but not least, we were introduced to the last two speakers from the Human Resources department after a short break.
they talked about the different career opportunities at the UN, focusing mainly at UNESCAP. there are many ways one can get a job at UN.
- ESCAP Internship program
- UN Volunteer program
- Young Professional program
- Junior Professional officer
they stressed on the importance of preparing before hand and tailoring our application for a specific agency or position we wish to apply for. as the saying goes, “jack of all trade, ace of none.” we have more chances of getting the job of we prove our worth for one specific position rather than applying for all.
also, they don’t accept emails. only online formats they open for and Linked in.
they also came bearing gifts. T-shirts and tote bags for people who asked questions. i was lucky enough to win a t-shirt.
talking of freebies, i also won a notebook for winning a round of Kahoot on the general knowledge about UN.
for people who didnt win anything, there is a small gift shop on the second floor. it has small gifts and souvenirs of which the earnings go to charity.
before i end my experience of this amazing and educating visit to the UNESCAP, i would like to point out a funny thing i failed to notice until i sat on the van returning to the university at around 5:00 p.m.
our visitor’s ID misspelled our university. instead of Thammasat university, it read ThaMAMsat university.
now that i re-read it, its not that funny. but typos are always funny.
I really enjoyed this visit to the UNSCAP and I can only wish now that I ever get to work there. this was a wholesome experience.