Switzerland strives to fill strategic positions in multilateral organisations with senior Swiss officials. It develops strategies and conducts targeted campaigns to achieve this goal.
Careers in international organisations
In certain cases, Switzerland supports candidacies submitted by individuals. The Swiss government selects the candidates it supports based on Switzerland's political interest in the position and in the multilateral organisation. As a rule, Switzerland takes active steps to support a candidacy once an individual has been shortlisted. In order to be able to examine whether a candidacy can be supported by Switzerland, the FDFA requires the complete application dossier (vacancy notice, application letter, curriculum vitae).
If you are applying for a specific position in an international organisation, the FDFA will be happy to provide advice and support.
Starting your career in an international organisation
Working for an international organisation can be very exciting and fulfilling, and it offers the opportunity to meet and work with people from all over the world. However, as many jobs are based outside of organisations’ headquarters, ideally, you should:
- Be flexible and willing to work anywhere in the world
- Be aware that you may face hardships in terms of quality of life, security and supplies
- Be open to working together with people from different countries and have the necessary intercultural skills
- Be able to handle long periods of uncertainty concerning your employment contract. International organisations often employ staff on short-term contracts only and do not guarantee follow-on contracts.
On the following website you can find some testimonials from Swiss people having worked in different positions at the UN:
If you are interested in a career in an international organisation, visit the job portals listed below, where you will find information on vacancies and application processes.
Switzerland helps young professionals start careers in international organisations by funding Junior Professional Officer posts. More information can be found on the following webpage:
International Career Day 2021
The FDFA invites university graduates and young academics to meet representatives of international organisations and learn about their activities, career opportunities and recruitment processes. The 17th edition of the International Career Day (ICD) will take place in 2021. More information will follow.
List of job portals of key international and regional organisations
- UN Inspira: posts at the UN Secretariat (en)
- UN Funds, Programmes, Specialised Agencies and Others
Please note that only selected OSCE jobs can be financed by Switzerland. You can find these on the homepage of the Swiss Expert Pool for Civilian Peacebuilding.
- Council of Europe
Swiss Expert Pool for Civilian Peacebuilding
The Swiss Expert Pool for Civilian Peacebuilding offers jobs in multilateral organisations. You can also find OSCE jobs financed by Switzerland here.
Development cooperation and humanitarian aid
The SDC's Swiss Humanitarian Aid Department and the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit (SHA) second specialists to support their partner organisations. Specialists are recruited via the SHA pool.
Applicants specialised in human rights
Human rights are one of the cornerstones of Swiss foreign policy. Two of the UN Human Rights Council's key mechanisms to promote and defend human rights are the 'special procedures' and the treaty bodies of the UN, which ensure that the human rights conventions are being implemented and monitor how this is done. If you have recognised skills in the field of human rights here are some interesting links:
The Centre for Information, Counselling and Training for Professions relating to International Cooperation (cinfo) can provide you with more information about careers in international organisations and help you with submitting applications.