Working at the United Nations
The Federal Republic of Germany is member to some 200 international organizations that employ workers from all Member States.
In a number of United Nations organizations, the Federal Republic of Germany is adequately represented in terms of personnel. Nevertheless, applications from German citizens generally continue to have good prospects. The requirement is that the respective professional and language qualifications are met. Among the language requirements of the United Nations, fluency of English as a working language is imperative. Aside from this, solid proficiency in an additional official language of the United Nations (French, Chinese, Russian, Arabic and Spanish) is required.
The largest of the United Nations institutions represented in New York are the General Secretariat, the Development Program (UNDP) and the Children's Fund (UNICEF). Each of these facilities has its own human resources department with its own hiring procedures. The management of personnel allocation to peace-keeping missions is carried out in the General Secretariat.
The Secretariat of the United Nations offers young professionals the opportunity to take the young professional recruitment exam (known as the National Competitive Recruitment Exam). Only individuals from States which are underrepresented in terms of personnel may take part in this exam. Since the Federal Republic of Germany is adequately represented in terms of personnel in the Secretariat, German applicants are currently not permitted to participate. Only applicants who successfully pass this exam may be employed under contracts that are longer than 12 months and that are advertised on the Internet-supported application system, at the P2 level (entry level for professionals). Only from the P3 level on are German applicants again admitted to the UN Secretariat. This restriction does not apply to the programs and funds.
In the interest of strengthening the German presence in international organizations, the Permanent Mission in New York advocates German applicants and supports – to the extent desired - eligible interns and external candidates.
The Coordinator for International Personnel Policy and his team at the Foreign Office form the Federal Government’s central coordination office for the promotion of German personnel in international organizations and European institutions. Using various instruments and measures, Germany’s competitiveness in the international field is to be improved and the German personnel presence strengthened.