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Australian Permanent Mission to the UN

Working at the Australian Mission to the UN

There are three main ways that you can seek to work at the Australian Mission to the United Nations. You can either be employed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), as a Locally Engaged Staff (LES) member or as an intern.

Current Vacancies

There are no current vacancies.

Applications for the Australian Mission’s 2014 United Nations General Assembly internship program are now closed. Applicants will be contacted regarding the status of their applications in due course.


Working for DFAT

DFAT employees are recruited via a competitive process either as part of the annual graduate intake or to fill vacancies as required.

DFAT employees are generally recruited to work in Canberra and will then apply for an overseas postings a Mission, such as the Australian Mission to the UN. More than 80% of those people working at the Mission are DFAT employees working in a foreign policy, public diplomacy or legal field.

For information about DFAT employment go to


Locally Engaged Staff (LES)

LES are those people working at the Mission that are employed locally and possess the necessary skills and qualifications to fill a specific need or vacancy. LES are recruited via a competitive process.

Around 20 per cent of staff at the Australian Mission to the UN are LES and they are employed to work in policy, aid, administration and public affairs.

LES vacancies to the Australian Mission to the UN are generally advertised in local and Australian newspapers, as well as on this website.

Please see any vacancies listed  above for information about current LES vacancies.


Internship Opportunities

The Permanent Mission of Australia to the United Nations has two types of internship programs – the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) internship program, which runs between September and December each year; and an ad-hoc internship program which runs for periods outside of UNGA, depending on the Mission’s work program.

The Mission seeks candidates with the appropriate skills, education and knowledge to contribute to advancing Australia’s national interests in the United Nations. To be eligible for either internship program, candidates must be Australian citizens. All intern positions are offered on a self-funded basis.

All intern applicants should possess:

Prior exposure to, or demonstrated knowledge of, the United Nations system and Australian policies and priorities within the United Nations are highly desirable.


United Nations General Assembly internship program

Each year the Australian Mission offers up to six internship positions that run for the duration of the annual session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The General Assembly begins mid-September and continues until just before Christmas – running for thirteen weeks in all. The Mission’s 2014 UNGA Internship Program will commence on Monday 8 September 2014.


The Internship

The Australian Mission to the United Nations in New York is one of four posts representing Australia’s interests in the United Nations system. The other posts are in Geneva, Vienna and Nairobi.

The Mission serves as the nucleus of the Australian delegation to the regular sessions of the General Assembly and represents Australia at a range of UN meetings that take place when the Assembly is not in session.

The work of the Mission is intense and diverse, requiring flexibility, analytical thinking and a firm understanding of diplomatic principles. The environment is complex and demanding but the work is highly rewarding for the right people.

Interns will work under the guidance of experienced officers and will be expected to contribute to the regular diplomatic reporting undertaken by the Mission. They will primarily assist with policy work on the six main UNGA Committees – for example, attending committees and meetings, and assisting with negotiations of texts and resolutions.

Interns represent the Australian Government in a formal capacity in an international environment, therefore social and cultural maturities, as well as being a clear communicator, are essential qualities.


The General Assembly

The General Assembly is a very important part of the United Nations calendar. During this period interns should expect to attend several formal and informal meetings a day. The daily meetings of the General Assembly and its main committees take place from 10.00am to 1.00pm and from 3.00pm to 6.00pm with regional and other groups often meeting in the morning, through the lunch break and at other times throughout the session. Be prepared for a busy schedule and working days that will often extend beyond these set times.


Key Selection Criteria

The Key Selection Criteria for the UNGA Internship program are:


Our internship training

The first week of the UNGA internship program will include briefings and training on the workings of the Mission and the UN as a whole. Once the General Assembly is in session, the training provided to interns at the Mission is very much ‘on-the-job’. Interns will learn firsthand how the foreign service functions and gain a useful understanding of international negotiations.

Over the course of the internship, they will develop a working knowledge of key UN departments and personnel and come to grips with the complexities of UN protocol and rules of procedure.


Conduct and Ethics

The Mission demands the highest standards of professional conduct from its employees. Ethical conduct by staff and interns contributes significantly to the efficiency and effectiveness of the workplace and to the standing of the Mission in New York, Australia and internationally.

In agreeing to participate in the Mission’s Internship Program and undertake duties as directed, interns are required to comply with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Locally Engaged Staff Code of Conduct, which takes account of the particular significance of the department’s representational role outside of Australia. They should be ready to accept direction and guidance from Mission officers.



The Mission is not able to provide financial assistance to successful applicants, however monthly subway cards and telephone allowance will be provided.

Interns are responsible for their own travel, accommodation and health insurance arrangements.

The Mission will assist with visa arrangements.


Obligatory requirements

To be an eligible applicant, you must:


Key dates 2014 – UNGA Internship

April 2014:  Applications open

12 May 2014:  Applications close

Mid May 2014:  Internship Committee meets

Mid-June 2014:  Short-listed applicants contacted for interviews – please note that, due to the high volume of applications received, there has been a delay in shortlisting candidates for interview.

Late June 2014:  Internship offers extended to successful applicants

Late June 2014:  Successful applicants undertake police check clearance

8 September 2014:  Internship program commences in New York

19 December 2014:  Internship program concludes


How to apply

To apply, please submit:

** Please note that responses over the word limits will not be considered.

Applications for the 2014 UNGA Internship Program closed on Monday 12 May 2014.

Please send applications to:

For further information please contact Virginia Tanchez on


Ad Hoc Internship Program

Vacancies for ad hoc internships will be advertised here if and when they arise. There are no current vacancies for ad hoc internships.

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