Org. Setting and Reporting
The internships are located in the International Trade Law Division (ITLD), Office of Legal Affairs, United Nations, Vienna (Austria). The Division functions as the substantive secretariat of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL).
The positions are for a minimum duration of two months and up to a maximum of six months with various starting dates within the period of 1 October 2023 – 31 March 2024.
Applicants may be requested to undertake the internship remotely in view of constraints regarding visa issuance, international travel and access to UN premises. Applicants must be willing and prepared to undertake the internship remotely for a part or the entirety of the internship.
The internship is UNPAID and full-time.
Interns work five days per week (40 hours) under the direct supervision of professional staff of ITLD in the Legislative Branch and/or the Technical Assistance and Coordination Section.
UNCITRAL received from the United Nations General Assembly the general mandate to further the progressive harmonization and unification of the law of international trade. UNCITRAL has since come to be the core legal body of the United Nations system in the field of international trade law. The activities of UNCITRAL are focused on commercial law and involve only a little interplay with the work of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
ITLD includes a Legislative and a Technical assistance and Coordination Section. Those are tasked, respectively, with the development of harmonized legislative texts, and the provision of technical assistance with respect to the adoption and use of UNCITRAL legal texts and coordination among organizations working in the field of international trade law.
For more information on UNCITRAL, please visit https://uncitral.un.org.
It should be noted that applicants selected for this internship who are currently employed, are strongly encouraged to take a leave of absence or discontinue employment during the period of the internship. Whilst part-time internships are also possible, subject to the absence of potential conflicts of interest, given the work priorities of UNCITRAL and the tasks assigned to onboarded interns, priority will be given to those candidates who are able to undertake a full-time internship. Candidates who receive an official offer of internship are obliged to report to UNCITRAL any current and/or future employment which coincides with the internship, including details on the employer, position, and nature of work. Failure to disclose such information or other relevant details in a timely manner may lead to retraction of any internship offer or immediate termination of the internship, depending on the circumstances.
The objective of the internship is on the one hand to assist the officers of ITLD in fulfilling the mandate of UNCITRAL and on the other hand to provide practical training to the intern. During the internship, the intern will gain experience in international trade law. Specific assignments during the internship include:
• Assisting with the research and preparation of comparative legal studies;
• Assisting with the preparation and drafting of legal texts (e.g. draft conventions and model laws), including conducting related background studies;
• Undertaking ad hoc legal and administrative assignments as requested.
Technical Assistance and Coordination Section:
• Contributing to the identification of legislative reform needs and assistance requirements in selected countries and/or sectors;
• Assisting with the collection and analysis of case law on UNCITRAL texts;
• Assisting with the development and maintenance of the UNCITRAL website;
• Assisting with the coordination functions of the Division.
Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively. Listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately. Asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication. Tailors language, tone, style and format to match the audience. Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals. Solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others. Places team agenda before personal agenda. Supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position. Shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.
Technological awareness: Keeps abreast of available technology. Understands applicability and limitations of technology to the work of the office. Actively seeks to apply technology to appropriate tasks. Shows willingness to learn new technology.
Client orientation: Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients” and seeks to see things from clients’ point of view. Establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect. Identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions. Monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients’ environment to keep informed and anticipate problems. Keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects. Meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.
To qualify for an internship with the United Nations Internship Programme, the following conditions must be met:
• Applicants must meet one of the following requirements: (a) be enrolled in, or have completed, a graduate school programme (second university degree or equivalent, or higher); (b) be enrolled in, or have completed, the final academic year of a first university degree programme (minimum bachelor’s level or equivalent). (OFFICIAL WRITTEN PROOF FROM THE UNIVERSITY SUPPORTING ONE OF THE ABOVE POSSIBILITIES MUST BE ATTACHED TO THE INSPIRA APPLICATION);
• Be computer literate in standard software applications;
• Have a demonstrated keen interest in the work of the United Nations and have a personal commitment to the ideals of the Charter. Promotes and advocates for the fundamental values, standards, and principles of the UN Charter, including respect for and protection of human rights; and
• Have a demonstrated ability to successfully interact with individuals of different cultural backgrounds and beliefs, which include willingness to try and understand and be tolerant of differing opinions and views.
No working experience is required to apply for the United Nations Internship Programme. Your training, education, advance course work or skills should benefit the United Nations during your internship.
It is desirable that your field of study is closely related to the type of internship you are
applying for. Please elaborate briefly.
It is desirable that you meet the minimum requirements outlined in this Job Opening. Please
It is required that you have an excellent command of English or French. Please elaborate
It is desirable that you have good drafting and oral communication skills. Please elaborate
It is desirable that you know how to prepare/draft legal documents and how to conduct legal
research. Please elaborate briefly.
It is desirable that you have knowledge of standard office computer applications including
word processing, spreadsheets and general research. Please elaborate briefly.
It is desirable that you can manage your time and priorities to ensure timely completion of
assigned tasks, which are often time-sensitive. Please elaborate briefly.
It is desirable that you interact well with people of various social and cultural backgrounds in
an occasionally stressful environment. Please elaborate briefly.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. Fluency in either English OR French, i.e., oral and written proficiency, is required for the internship. Knowledge of both working languages or of an additional official United Nations language (Arabic, Chinese, Spanish or Russian) is an advantage.
Potential candidates will be contacted by the hiring manager for further assessment.Special Notice
Interns are not financially remunerated by the United Nations. Costs and arrangements for travel, visas, accommodation and living expenses are the responsibility of interns or their sponsoring institutions.
A completed online application (Motivation Statement, Candidate Profile as well as proof of enrolment and/or graduation) is required. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
The Motivation Statement must include:
• Degree Programme (What are you currently studying?)
• Graduation Date (When will you graduate or when did you graduate 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 general and this assignment in particular.
In your online Candidate Profile, be sure to include all past work experiences, IT skills, and three references. Do not forget to attach your proof of enrolment or graduation.
Due to the high volume of applications received, ONLY successful candidates will be contacted.
United Nations Considerations
According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.
Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places 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. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.
Reasonable accommodation may be provided to applicants with disabilities upon request, to support their participation in the recruitment process.
The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.
Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.
The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.
Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.
THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, OR TRAINING). THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS’ BANK ACCOUNTS.