Traineeship – Multilateral Diplomacy Programme Unit (External and Internal Communications), Geneva, Switzerland (flexible/remote opportunities may be possible) At United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)

Closing date: Sunday, 2 July 2023

Vacancy announcement

Geneva, Switzerland (flexible/remote opportunities may be possible)


Traineeship – Multilateral Diplomacy Programme Unit (External and Internal Communications)

Vacancy type Trainee

Duration of the contract

Four to six months

Deadline for submission of applications

02 July 2023

Organizational Unit: Multilateral Diplomacy Programme Unit (MDPU)

Overview: The Multilateral Diplomacy Programme Unit (MDPU) of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) maintains a traineeship programme for students/recent graduates interested in gaining professional experience in a multicultural environment and enhancing their understanding of the United Nations system.

MDPU designs and delivers the Institute’s core diplomacy training (CDT), consisting primarily of orientation briefings and short, intensive skills development workshops which benefit cumulatively some 2,500 diplomats yearly at the United Nations Headquarters and other venues where the Organization maintains a significant presence.

Parallel to CDT, MDPU develops and delivers training activities at country and regional levels in close partnership with governments, universities and selected international organizations. MDPU’s activities also include e-Learning courses; special projects, advisory services related to the curriculum development of diplomatic academies; and the development of other training tools and publications. MDPU also partners with universities around the world to offer high-quality Master’s Programmes in a variety of areas related to Multilateral Diplomacy and International Law. These programmes target government officials involved in bilateral and multilateral negotiations, students and other stakeholders.

In line with the Institute’s efforts to improve its training activities and special events, the Multilateral Diplomacy Programme Unit is enhancing its outreach and communication strategy and products.

MDPU welcomes qualified candidates interested to work for a period of four to six months, at UNITAR headquarters in Geneva. The placement is on an unpaid basis, but a monthly lump-sum of 700 CHF will be provided towards transportation and miscellaneous costs.

Flexible/Remote working conditions may be possible; the monthly renumeration will be determined on the details of the arrangement and location of work.

Background: As MDPU has expanded its training programmes and offerings and launched new Masters’ Programmes in partnership with academic institutions across the world in the fields of International Affairs, Development Studies and Diplomacy, Gender and Development, and Environmental and Social Sustainability of Business, as well as other post-graduate qualifications, it is looking to enhance its outreach and communications efforts.

Responsibilities: Under the supervision of the Programme Officer of UNITAR’s Multilateral Diplomacy Programme Unit, the trainee will assist with the development and design of UNITAR’s external products (brochures, advertisements, online advertisements, web products and promotional and training videos). The trainee will assist in designing new products, showing originality, professionalism, and creativity, whilst adhering to UNITAR’s branding guidelines. The trainee will also be responsible for assisting in communications and outreach activities, including social media.

Typical tasks assigned to the trainee may include the following:

  •  To assist with the communications strategy for the Unit:
  •  To support colleagues in the development of MDPU’s external communication products, such as brochures, advertisements, mass mailings (email marketing), web design, promotional and training videos as well as online courses;
  •  To develop or adapt training materials, learning packages and communications to meet quality and professional standards and adhere to UNITAR guidelines;
  •  To liaise directly with partner organizations and beneficiaries in preparation for the delivery of communications materials;
  •  To monitor and keep the Unit’s website pages updated;
  •  To draft news articles about past and future activities;
  •  To develop and maintain communications plans and schedules to promote the Unit’s training programmes, events and initiatives;
  •  To manage communications across various platforms to ensure timely and accurate information is disseminated to prospective participants;
  •  To undertake research that may provide necessary input into such outreach and training materials;
  •  To help identify opportunities to reach a particular audience, such as student fairs, etc. and manage related details, such as budget, timelines, and creation of materials required.
  •  To monitor MDPU’s Alumni platform as well as other information platforms;
  •  To maintain and further develop UNITAR’s communication database to ensure the efficient and effective dissemination of information and coordination amongst the global diplomatic community.

The tasks assigned may be reviewed during contract period to reflect changes in programme needs and priorities.

Learning Objectives: After the assignment the trainee should be able to:

  •  Translate strategic vision into actionable objectives;
  •  Work independently and take initiative;
  •  Be familiar with UNITAR’s branding guidelines;
  •  Ameliorate, adapt and design UNITAR’s external products in a professional way;
  •  Develop a professional rapport with UNITAR and United Nations staff;
  •  Propose ways to further UNITAR’s mission;
  •  Work in a multicultural environment.

Minimum requirements

Applicants must be enrolled in an undergraduate/graduate/postgraduate degree (within either communication, marketing, international relations, education, history, law, political science, languages or a related subject) or be a recent graduate of the aforementioned (if selected, they must commence the traineeship within two years of graduation).

Candidates should also have:

  •  A demonstrated interest in UNITAR and its training methodologies
  •  A strong interest in communications and outreach activities
  •  The ability to write in a clear and concise manner
  •  Analytical and research skills
  •  Basic computer skills (online tools, word processing, excel, power point, internet searches, etc.) at a minimum
  •  The ability to work collaboratively as well as independently
  •  The ability to work in a multi-cultural, fast-paced environment
  •  A high level of individual responsibility, commitment and initiative
  •  The ability to prioritize and manage multiple project deadlines simultaneously
  •  An exceptional attention to detail
  •  Strong problem-solving skills
  •  Strong communication skills
  •  A strong sense of storytelling is a plus

Additional Skills: Knowledge of Graphic Design; Adobe Creative Suite; Adobe Premiere Pro/Video editing; Canva, Trello or Hootsuite; or related programmes is extremely advantageous.

Languages: Excellent knowledge in both oral and written English are required. Knowledge of other UN working languages (especially French) is an advantage.

Dates and Duration: Start date: July or August 2023. Exact date to be agreed upon with the selected candidate.

Duration: Four to six months. The traineeship programme is normally on a full-time basis and trainees are expected to work five days a week. Requests for part-time arrangements are possible and should be agreed before the start of the traineeship.

How to apply

Candidates are invited to submit their application as soon as possible and well before the deadline stated in the vacancy announcement.

Due to the high number of expected applicat, only selected candidates will be contacted for an interview.


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