A Job at the UN?

UN_HQ_Flag1_203A job at UN HQ? Goodbye principles and philanthropy, hello power and privilege!

Working for the UN begins with idealism but can end in cynicism. For one former employee, it became all about maintaining the status quo.

You have just received your first UN job. Congratulations! Granted, the whole recruitment process took 284 days, what with the written test your best friend could have taken in your place and the telephone interview your mother could have passed. And sure, nobody ever checked your references or titles, and you were asked – just when you had lost all hope – to deploy within a week. To the desert.
Still. Doped with the accumulation of indispensable but last-minute vaccinations your GP seriously advised against – yellow fever, cholera, tetanus and bad temper, to name but a few – and armed with the air ticket emailed to you barely two hours before departure time, you are ready to start the greatest adventure of your life.

Suddenly, there you are: wearing a UN T-shirt, armed with your belief in UN principles and a notebook, and braving occasional shelling under a blistering sun. You courageously and systematically patrol your area of responsibility, recording armed movements, humanitarian tragedies and, from time to time, human rights violations. You go where angels and most other people fear to tread. Largely due to the liberal spreading of landmines by rebels and government troops.

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Speak-Up at #WHO4ALL

Hand_WHO4ALL_Aff_203pxYelIn parallel with the World Health Assembly (WHA), the IMAXI Cooperative is organising ‘WHO4ALL’, a series of online ‘Speak-Up’ sessions and discussions on key issues related to the high-level meetings in Geneva from 23 – 28 May. The WHA, the decision-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO), determines the policies that affect billions of people in communities around the world. However, only the delegates from Member States (governments) have a say in these decisions. As the mantra of the Sustain Development Goals (SDGs) is “Leave no one behind”, we think that the WHO must be reminded of “Nothing about us without us” – that the participation of the community in the design and implementation of health policies is essential for achieving the global goals by 2030.

‘WHO4ALL’ is a step towards making the WHO more inclusive and open, while building bridges across many sectors of civil society engaged in advancing elements of the Right to Health. From the WHA in Geneva, real-time news and ‘bottom-up’ views will feed into a dozen 30 minute discussion sessions on Twitter and WhatsApp on topics from the WHO Agenda, including the SDGs, access to medicines, patents, violence against women/girls, NCDs, HIV and hepatitis strategies, public health systems/workforce and choosing the next WHO Director General, among other issues that affect all our well-being and rights. The transcript of these WHO4ALL discussions will be delivered to Dr. Chan, DG of WHO, so that all our views can be heard at the ‘top’.

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