UN Documents

This page provides all relevant UN documents and reports relating to internships at the UN. 

Report of the Secretary-General on intern numbers

This UN report presents the numbers, gender, and regional representation of interns and other types of gratis personnel at the United Nations for the years 2014 and 2015. Within this period, 4 475 interns from were engaged in the main offices and departments of the UN Secretariat (this excludes interns working at UN specialised agencies such as UNDP and UN Women as well as interns working for UN permanent missions). The 2012-2013 report can be accessed here.

2016 UN Youth Report

Read the UN’s 2016 World Youth Report for a detailed analysis of the problems and risks associated with unpaid und unregulated internships (pp. 33-46). For example, the report notes that: “In recent years, the economic crisis has brought about a shift in the role internships play within the employment framework in many areas. Increasing numbers of companies and organizations are offering, often full-time and unpaid, internships for recent graduates. In such incidents, the internship is not necessarily linked to specific educational outcomes, and in many cases the work of the young intern is replacing that of regular staff.”

2009 Joint Inspection Unit Report on Internships at the United Nations

This is a report from 2009 by the Joint Inspection Unit examining compensation schemes as part of a broader review of internships in the United Nations system. The JIU recommended that organizations implement supportive measures to reduce the cost of living for interns who were not funded or sponsored by other institutions, while noting that organizations may need to request funding to meet the additional costs of such measures.

2014 Administrative Instruction ST/AI/2014/1

This administrative instruction details the conditions and procedures for the selection and engagement of interns.

2009 Secretary-General’s Bulletin

This document defines the procedure under which administrative instructions are issued.

1996 A.51/688

Secretary-General’s report to the General Assembly, on gratis personnel provided by Governments and other entities.  UN interns are categorized as ‘gratis personnel, type 1’.

1994 A/RES/49/222 par. 7

Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali revival of the UN internship programme.

1958 A/RES/1335(XIII) par. 1

UN resoultion for the Office of Public Information to maintain maximum effectivness while lowering costs.

1958 Public Information Activities of the United Nations

The first UN internship programme was implemented by the Office of Public Information of the United Nations.  The programme’s objective was to provide interns with the opportunity to acquire a deeper understanding of the UN.  The programme had an allocated budget of $72,000 to provide  stipends to 60 interns and cover travel-expenses of 20 guide-interns.  Authorized by the General Assembly.