UN – Dept of Economic and Social Affairs – Economic Affairs


Saturday, November 30, 2019


Org. Setting and Reporting

This Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) / Financing for Sustainable Development Office (FSDO) internship is for at least 3 months with an opportunity for extension, pending on the needs of the department. 

The internship is UNPAID and full-time. 

Interns work five days per week (35 hours) under the supervision of a staff member in the department or office to which they are assigned.


The position is located in the Policy Analysis and Development Branch of the Financing for Sustainable Development Office (FSDO) in the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. 

In particular, the intern will provide analytical support in the field of sustainable investment. The SG’s Strategy for Financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development points out that there are still no globally agreed definitions of concepts such as impact and sustainable investing. The growing interest for sustainable investing has resulted in a multiplication of initiatives in this area, both within and outside the UN system. Thus, there is a need to map these initiatives and learn from the challenges and opportunities of different approaches in order to build consensus on what sustainable investing means and how to measure its impact. 

The intern’s duties may include, but are not limited to:
• Assistance in economic research, drafting and preparing analysis on impact and sustainable investing for the 2020 Financing for Sustainable Development Report, as well as other official documents 
• Assistance during conferences with logistical and administrative arrangements
• Compiling statistics and data analysis


The United Nations Core Competencies include:

Core Competencies: 
-Speaks and writes clearly and effectively 
-Listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately 
-Asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication 
-Tailors language, tone, style and format to match the audience 
-Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed 

-Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals 
-Solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others 
-Places team agenda before personal agenda 
-Supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position 
-Shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings. 

Client Orientation: 
-Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients ” and seeks to see things from clients’ point of view 
-Establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect 
-Identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions 
-Monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients’ environment to keep informed and anticipate problems 
-Keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects 
-Meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client 

The intern is expected to: 

Have a demonstrated keen interest in the work of the United Nations and have a personal commitment to the ideals of the Charter; and 
Have a demonstrated the ability to successfully interact with individuals of different cultural backgrounds and beliefs, which include willingness to try and understand and be tolerant of differing opinions and views.


To qualify for an internship with the United Nations Internship Programme, the following conditions must be met: 
• Applicants must meet one of the following requirements: 
(a) be enrolled in a graduate school programme (second university degree or equivalent, or higher); 
(b) be enrolled in the final academic year of a first university degree programme (minimum Bachelor’s level or equivalent); or 
(c) have graduated with a university degree (as defined above) and, if selected, must commence the internship within a one year period of graduation; 
• Be computer literate in standard software applications
• Field of study in economics or an economics-related field is desirable.

Work Experience

Applicants are not required to have professional work experience for participation in the programme. In addition, experience and interest in private finance and investment climate is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. Fluency in spoken and written English is required for the Internship Programme. Knowledge of an additional official UN language is an asset.


Potential candidates will be contacted by hiring manager directly for further consideration.

Special Notice

A completed online application (Cover Note and Personal History Profile) is required. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. 

The Cover Note must include: 
• Degree Programme (What are you currently studying?) 
• Graduation Date (When will you graduate or when did you graduate from the programme?) 
• List the IT skills and programmes that you are proficient in 
• List your top three areas of interest. 
• Explain why you are the best candidate for this specific internship. 
• Explain your interest in the United Nations Internship Programme.