Working at the United Nations

The Federal Republic of Germany is a member of approximately 200 international organizations that employ staff from their respective Member States.

Germany is well represented in terms of personnel. Despite this fact, German applicants generally continue to have good prospects for UN employment. The main requirement is that the respective professional and language qualifications are met. As a precondition, the United Nations require fluency in English as the main working language. In addition, solid knowledge of an additional official language of the United Nations (French, Chinese, Russian, Arabic or Spanish) is required.

The largest of the United Nations institutions represented in New York are the Secretariat, the United Nations' Development Program (UNDP) and the United Nations' Children's Fund (UNICEF). Each of them has its own human resources department and specific hiring procedures. The deployment of personnel to peacekeeping missions is carried out by the Secretariat.

The United Nations Secretariat is looking for highly qualified young candidates who are ready to launch a professional career as an international civil servant and offers the so-called young professionals program (YPP) as a recruitment initiative to attract new talent to the United Nations through an annual entrance examination. The examination is held worldwide. The list of participating countries is published annually and varies from year to year. Currently German nationals are invited to apply for the YPP examination. Only applicants who successfully pass this exam may be employed for contracts lasting 12 months or more at the P2 level (entry level for professionals). Substantive knowledge, analytical thinking, drafting abilities, as well as awareness of international affairs are essential skills necessary for a successful examination. Successful candidates will be offered an initial appointment for two years and then be reviewed for a continuing appointment.

Strengthening the German presence in international organizations is a strategic goal of German foreign policy. The Permanent Mission in New York therefore supports German applicants for jobs at the United Nations. The Coordinator for International Personnel Policy and team at the Federal Foreign Office also promotes German personnel in international organizations by providing preparatory training or individual counseling.