Intern (Environment Affairs)

New York, NY, United States 🇺🇸

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

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

Org. Setting and Reporting

The Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) / Division for Sustainable Development (DSD) internship is for two months with an opportunity for extension, depending on the needs of the Division.

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.


The Division for Sustainable Development devotes much of its work in five substantive areas- Intergovernmental Support and Interagency Branch; Policy Analysis Branch; Water, Energy and Capacity Development Branch; SIDS, Oceans and Climate Branch; Outreach and Communications Branch. The selected intern(s) in Sustainable Development will be responsible for one or more of the following duties in general for specific projects:

•Assists in supporting preparations for the upcoming Oceans Conference (June 2017), sessions of the high-level political forum (July 2017) and other substantive discussions on sustainable developmenty; assist in interaction of all stakeholders with the UN on post Rio+20 processes and activities; conducting related research on the 2030 Agenda; preparing documentations, follow-up and implementation of mandates arising from the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20)
•Contribute to the preparation of analytical and policy reports on various aspects of sustainable development, including emerging sustainable development issues, including major groups, green economy, financing, technology transfer, etc.
•Performs analytical research as inputs for technical documentation.
•Prepares draft technical documents for international, intergovernmental and expert group meetings and assists in drafting relevant reports.
•Assists in the organization of seminars, working groups and expert meetings.
•Performs other duties as assigned. Work implies frequent interaction with staff at various levels throughout the Organization.

Results Expected:
Provides assistance for advancing sustainable development goals and targets in order to accomplish current work programme needs. Independently provides well organized reports and/or analysis.


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 have a personal commitment to the ideals of the Charter; and
Have a demonstrated the 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.


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 a graduate school programme (second university degree or equivalent, or higher);
(b) be enrolled in the final academic year of a first university degree programme (minimum Bachelor’s level or equivalent); or
(c) have graduated with a university degree (as defined above) and, if selected, must commence the internship within a one year period of graduation;

• Be computer literate in standard software applications.
• Knowledge of issues in the context of sustainable development, would be an advantage.

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 additional official United Nations language is an asset. Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish are the official languages of the United Nations Secretariat.


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

United Nations Considerations

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.