Minister McClean Receives Update On UN Outreach Activities

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An outreach programme aimed at turning around the under representation of CARICOM nationals among the professional staff within the United Nations (UN) has been described as a good opportunity to profile the work of the organisation by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean.

She made this observation today during a courtesy call from Assistant Secretary General for Human Resources Management at the UN, Catherine Pollard, and other UN officials at the Ministry.

Pointing out that many people did not appreciate the ???scope and the reach of the UN,??? Senator McClean said there were a multitude of opportunities within the system.

???I think it [outreach] is very useful. At the end of the day, as you reflect on the countries of the region, our people are our biggest resource. So, I believe that with our investment in education???there are many opportunities and [I think it is important] to get people to have a sense of what is possible and the skills set that are needed,??? she noted.

The Foreign Affairs Minister described the programme as a good opportunity for students to explore career options and disclosed that the under representation of nationals at the junior and senior levels, had been discussed at CARICOM and among other Ministers of Foreign Affairs.

Meanwhile, Ms. Pollard said the outreach was not a recruitment drive but was designed to raise awareness, educate people about the types of opportunities available and how they could prepare themselves to compete for the positions offered.

???What we found is that many people think that the UN is only about if you have a degree in international relations or if you worked in political affairs. But, we have so many different types of jobs and we also want to make it clear that while we are primarily here from the UN Secretariat, you have a whole UN system with programmes and all the specialised agencies,??? she outlined.

She further stated: ???While one has to apply to every organisation individually, our recruitment methods are the same. We have a common system of grade level requirements and what we are presenting is very similar to pursuing opportunities in other UN organisations.???

During the outreach, the team that also included Human Resources Officer in the UN Outreach Unit, Lynne Goldberg, was accompanied by the new United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative, Stephen O???Malley.

Ms. Goldberg, who gave a synopsis of the activities, said the morning session for students of the Barbados Community College, focussed mainly on raising awareness about the work of the international agency.

In the afternoon session, geared towards opportunities at the junior professional level, Ms. Goldberg said the discussion focussed on defining the work of the UN, how to write a competitive application and preparing for the interview.

The final session for employment at the senior professional level, was held at Solidarity House.

Persons interested in working at the United Nations or in need of further information on the careers available may visit the website at www.careers.un.org.

julie.carrington@barbados.gov.bb

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