INTERNSHIP: Governing Bodies Secretariat


Duty Station: Headquarters (Paris)

Type of contract : Internship

Duration of contract : 1 to 6 months

Recruitment open to : External Candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 30 June 2024



UNESCO Core Values: Commitment to the Organization, Integrity, Respect for Diversity, Professionalism



Under the overall authority of the Director of the Governing Bodies Secretariat and the direct supervision of the Deputy Secretary of the Executive Board, the intern will contribute to the work of the team including selected tasks from the following:



  • Assist to working meetings and contribute to the reporting and briefings relating thereto 
  • Provide support to the team for the elaboration of certain reports of UNESCO information meetings
  • Carry out relevant research and draft analytical or summary notes on subjects relevant for GBS
  • Follow international news and inform the supervisor of any important developments.



  • Provide assistance with the design and then the follow-up to the forthcoming sessions (debriefings, documents, decisions, Summary Records)
  • Participate in the archiving and classification of statutory documents



  • Participate in the preparations for the forthcoming sessions of the Executive Board and the General Conference from a logistical, organizational, informative, functional and conceptual point of view, in order to take part in the smooth running of the session;



  • Contribute to other tasks to support the general conduct and smooth running of the meetings of the Secretariat of Governing Bodies (Executive Board, General Conference, Preparatory Group, working groups, informal meetings, etc.)


It is expected that the assignment will provide the intern with the opportunity to develop skills in some of the following areas, depending on the needs of the team during the time of the internship:

  • Better knowledge of the United Nations in general and of UNESCO in particular;
  • Understand the functioning of the governance within the United Nations and UNESCO in particular and knowledge of the statutory texts (Constitution of UNESCO, Rules of procedure of the Executive Board, etc.) 
  • Understand the debates held at Headquarters and international issues related to the Organization's areas of competence;
  • Understand the work in an international and multicultural context, and ability to work under pressure during the sessions;
  • Ability to adapt, take initiative, diplomacy, geopolitical dynamics, integration into a team in a professional environment
  • Support and assistance for the day-to-day activities of the Executive Board Secretariat.

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.