Message from the Assistant Secretary-General for General Assembly and Conference Management
The United Nations is one of the world’s largest employers of language professionals. Several hundred language professionals work for the Department for General Assembly and Conference Management (DGACM) in New York, Geneva, Vienna and Nairobi. Many more are hired by the regional commissions of the United Nations in Addis Ababa, Bangkok, Beirut and Santiago. At the United Nations, the term “language professional” applies to a range of specialized and interrelated occupations, mainly interpreters, translators, editors, verbatim reporters, terminologists, reference assistants, copy preparers and proofreaders.
In view of the wide range of United Nations subject matter and the high standards set for its language professionals, it is not easy to find and attract the best candidates, especially for certain language combinations. To meet the challenge, DGACM has initiated an outreach programme that focuses on collaboration with academic training institutions but is open to all other institutional partners that are interested in promoting and enhancing training and education in the field of conference services.
This portal has been created to serve as an information and communications tool for DGACM and its partners. It provides:
· General information about United Nations language professionals, including required qualifications and competencies
· Working conditions of language professionals
· Tips on preparing for the United Nations Language Competitive Examinations (LCEs), the main entry point for United Nations language professions
· Information on partner academic institutions and links to useful resources
The United Nations recruitment policy for language staff is geography-and gender-neutral. The selection criteria for participation in LCEs are based solely on the education and experience of applicants, without reference to their nationality. Candidates who successfully pass LCEs by demonstrating the highest level of competence are placed on rosters and are expected to be available for recruitment in the Professional category. Successful candidates include applicants who were trained in the language professions (translation, interpretation, linguistics, etc.), as well as applicants from a variety of other fields, such as journalism, law, economics and even engineering and medicine. This provides United Nations language services with an opportunity to build strong multicultural and multitalented teams that are capable of dealing with the Organization’s complex and politically sensitive intergovernmental environment.
It is hoped that this portal, as it continues to grow and evolve, will allow the United Nations to build on existing partnerships, initiate new ones and welcome to its ranks a competent cadre of conference services professionals who will carry on the tradition of providing high-quality conference services to the Organization and the peoples of the world through the Member States of the United Nations.