From 18th – 22nd February a group of twenty-five students chosen jointly by Zhejiang University and UNA China, visited New York for WFUNA’s first Chinese Youth Global Competency Training Program at the United Nations (CYGCTP).
Students conducted research before their arrival to New York on SDG 4, looking into issues in education including vocational training, teacher training in conflict effected areas, the privatization of education, the link between higher education and the job market, and inclusive education. WFUNA staff provided guidance on their research papers and presentations before and during the Session.
For the program, students heard from UN Departments and Agencies, toured the UN Headquarters building, learned about how to potentially work at the UN, visited a number of Permanent Missions, and presented their research findings to their peers and a panel of experts.
On Monday, Training and Education Associate Yujia Fu welcomed the group to New York at her introductory session. Participants learned about the decision-making process at the UN in a lesson with Mr. William Yotive of WFUNA. Representatives from the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth visited to talk to the students about youth involvement at the UN. Finally, Ms. Cecilia Milesi of the Office of South-South Cooperation at the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) discussed the work of her office during the last session of the day.
During the second day, students learned about the UN’s work in China’s One Belt One Road Initiative. The International Labor Organization’s Mr. Matthieu Cognac spent time to talk to the students about the link between work and vocational training. To end the day, students toured UN headquarters. In addition, a small group of students visited the Permanent Mission of Vietnam to the UN in the morning for their research project.
Wednesday was the day the entire group visited a number of Permanent Missions, including the missions of Sweden, USA, and China. During lunch, students met with current United Nations interns to learn about their experiences and the internship application process.
Thursday and Friday’s sessions included meetings with UNICEF, the UN Global Compact, UN Women, and UNESCO. In addition, WFUNA organized additional career centered sessions for the students. Ms. Eva Marie Jansen of the Human Resources Department explained the ins and outs of applying for positions at the UN, while a handful of Chinese nationals working at the UN spoke to the students about their career journeys.
Students ended their week-long experience with their research presentations, speaking to a panel of experts that included WFUNA staff and civil society representatives.
WFUNA hopes this is the first of many future editions of the Chinese Youth Global Competency Training Program at the United Nations.