The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was born on 16 November 1945. UNESCO has 195 Members and 8 Associate Members and is governed by the General Conference and the Executive Board. The Secretariat, headed by the Director-General, implements the decisions of these two bodies.

Duty Station: Headquarters, Field Offices, and Institutes

Type of contract : Internship

Duration of contract : 1 to 6 months

Recruitment open to : External Candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 30 June 2024


The overall mission of the sector for Priority Africa and External Relations is to coordinate, ensure liaison and provide strategic policy advice to the Director General, as regards cooperation with Member States, the Global Priority Africa, UN system; Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs), National commissions, Goodwill Ambassadors and support to Field Offices. 

The intern will have the opportunity to learn and support the overall work of the Sector’s mission. He/she will assist in coordination, liaison, information, and communication tasks and will undertake the following tasks: 


  • Prepare preliminary draft notes, memoranda, letters and /or other Sector’s proposals for submission to member States, Programmes Sectors,and potential public and private partners.
  • Assist in researching and analyzing information provision to briefings for bilateral meetings.
  • Provide assistance in coordinating the Sector’s contributions to Statutory meetings (General conference, Executive Board), and drafting of reports. 
  • Assist in dealing with a wide range of issues of the PAX sector, by providing timely, accurate and specific information in response to queries, thus contributing to maintaining close working relationships with the Delegations, Programme Sectors and Central services, Field Offices, partners and other stakeholders. 
  • Assist in the organization of meetings, events and provide technical support to ensure success of the work team.
  • Update PAX Website on Intranet, notably on information in relations with Member States, UNESCO events, publication etc.
  • Undertake any other tasks which may be assigned by the Supervisor.


By the end of the internship, the intern shall:

  • Acquire general understanding of the work and mission of UNESCO, with special focus on the mandate of the Sector for Priority Africa and External Relations
  • Understand the context of global policy making including role of UNESCO international organizations, through their work in setting standards, facilitating knowledge exchange, providing policy advice, enhancing institutional capacities, and facilitating cooperation.
  • Understand administrative procedures and develop soft skills such as stakeholder management, problem-solving skills, interpersonal skills and work ethic within the UNESCO Competency Framework, in particular teamwork, flexibility, communication and client-oriented service mindset.
  • Obtain a deep understanding of the functioning of the Organisation with a perspective on its policies, key challenges, and impact.

COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial)

Accountability (C)

Communication (C)

Innovation (C)

Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C)

Planning and organizing (C)

Results focus (C)

Teamwork (C)

Professionalism (C)

For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework.



You must be at least 20 years old to apply.

Academic qualifications:

At the time of your application to the internship programme:

You are currently enrolled in a graduate programme (Master’s degree, PhD, or equivalent, second university degree or higher).
You have recently graduated with a Master’s degree or PhD (or second degree as defined above), 12 months prior to the start of the internship.

Please note that candidates who have completed their full-time bachelor’s degree but are not enrolled in a graduate programme are not eligible to apply.

Applicants in secretarial/assistant or technical/professional assignments must be enrolled in a secretarial school or in a specialized technical/professional institution, and must have reached the last year of their studies, or have recently graduated (within the last 12 months) from their school or institution.  


You should have an excellent command, both written and spoken, of English or French. A working knowledge of the other language (English or French) is an asset, and may be required for internships in secretarial and assistantship assignments at the Headquarters.

Computer skills: You must have an excellent knowledge of computer systems and office-related software.

Team player:

You should be able to work well in a team and adapt to an international working environment.

Communication skills:

You should possess strong interpersonal and communication skills.


UNESCO does not remunerate interns. There is no compensation, financial or otherwise for internship assignments. 

Interns are entitled to 2.5 days of leave per month during their internship.


The UNESCO Internships Programme is open in January and July each year. Candidates shall apply to the vacancy that matches their personal expertise and domain. Candidates who successfully applied to the vacancy will stay in the intern talent pool and will be further assessed and selected by relevant hiring managers.  The candidature will be valid for 6 months. Candidates who have been selected will be contacted directly by the relevant hiring manager. Those who were not selected for an internship in the current cycle will need to reapply to the internship programme when the new internship vacancies are released.


  • Have your motivation letter and résumé ready before filling out the application form. You only have one hour to finish the process.
  • Make sure your contact details will be valid in next 6 months. 
  • You can only use either English or French in applying.
  • Please provide an unofficial French or English translation of your documents if they are not in these languages.
  • UNESCO does not remunerate interns. There is no compensation, financial or otherwise for internship assignments.
  • Even if you are eligible, there is no guarantee of placement. We receive more applications from qualified candidates than we can place.
  • Your application will be further accessed by UNESCO managers around the world and will stay in our internship portal for a period of six months.
  • We DO NOT RESPOND to each and every candidate. If selected, you will be directly contacted by the manager. If you do not receive any update within six months, it means that your application has not been successful.


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