The United Nations consists of numerous branches dealing with issues like economics, politics, research, development, and more, giving people a variety of opportunities for jobs. Africa, a giant continent, is host to many of these opportunities. Here’s a list of UN orgs that periodically offer UN jobs in Africa:
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, founded in 1964, reports to both the UN General Assembly and UN Economic and Social Council. It is responsible for creating policies relating to a wide spectrum of development, including trade, finance, and technology. Its main base is found in Geneva, but it has offices spread across the world, including Africa. Working for this UN org requires knowledge and experience in trade, international finance, commerce, and more, depending on the specific job. As an example, someone working as an Information Systems Officer would need knowledge of various technology systems.
Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)
The Economic Commision for Africa (ECA) was established by the Economic and Social Council of the UN in 1958. The commission’s work includes social development policy, capacity development, and macroeconomic policy. As a regional UN org, there are six locations, including its headquarters at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Specific job examples include Economic Affairs Officer, Administrative Officer, and Information Management Officer. Requirements for applicants depend on the specific job, though experience and knowledge of international economics, policy development, and more will always be necessary.
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Office of Administration of Justice (OAJ)
The United Nations has its own system of justice, because “in-house” disputes can’t be worked out through national courts, thanks to the UN’s international legal status. Therefore, all UN staff get access to an internal system. The Office of Administration of Justice employs lawyers, judges, and other law-related officers committed to providing legal assistance and advice to the rest of the UN. As an example, someone employed as a Legal Officer might represent a client before the United Nations Dispute Tribunal.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
Established in 1997, the UNODC’s responsibility is to help the UN respond to problems with drug and crime, including drug trafficking, international terrorism, and more. The office uses a three-pronged strategy: research; support to governments wanting to adopt and implement drug-and-crime related policies; and technical and financial help to those governments. The UNODC has multiple regional programmes, many found in Africa, such as the regional office for Southern Africa. Jobs would require responsibilities like analyzing trends in criminal justice, writing proposals for funding, and gathering data for reports. Specific requirements vary by job, but all would require experience and knowledge in fields like criminology, international relations, law, and so on.
United Nations Development of Safety and Security (UNDSS)
The goal of this department is to protect the UN, so the org and its workers is able to perform its mission. The UNDSS reports to the Secretary-General and manages security and safety teams across 100+ countries. Work includes sending out security advisers to address specific issues, maintaining smooth and clear communication across the department, and preparing security reports. Requirements depend on the specific job, but experience in an international org and knowledge of political, criminal or military science is essential.
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Established in 1993 as a response to the atrocities of WWII, this department strives to ensure that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) is implemented. Within the department, there are offices tasked with different goals, such as the Thematic Engagement, Special Procedures, and Right to Development Division, and Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division. Responsibilities will vary widely depending on the field office and its needs, and job title. Tasks might include research and analysis, administrative duties, representing clients in court, and educating governments.
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