However, there are many things that happen here that only a select few know about.
After four months of working every day at the Permanent Mission of Spain to the United Nations, dealing with African issues in the Security Council, I now have an idea of what working at this institution is all about. Most people know that there are daily meetings within the different organs, where high-level political debates take place and resolutions affecting people worldwide are approved. However, there are many things that happen here that only a select few know about.
Here are the top 5 things happening at the UN that most people don’t know about.
Friday night delegate drink
Not many people know this, but every Friday night, the UN hosts drinks at the Delegates Lounge, where diplomats and interns from different member countries get together and socialize. It is a great networking opportunity and you can actually ask people from different countries about ongoing conflicts and compare opinions. These meetings are extremely beneficial, as you hear different perspectives on the same issue and understand the complexity of geopolitical interests.
Nevertheless, this social opportunity is exclusively for delegates, meaning that those working for UN agencies such as UNDP or UNICEF are not allowed. Fortunately, we as delegates are allowed to invite up to five people every Friday
Friday night delegate drinks
Schedules at the UN are crazy. Sometimes you have two hours for lunch and other times, not even five minutes. The UN has many cafeterias to buy lunch or snacks, but there’s also a way to eat almost every day without spending a dime. The conference room hall normally sets tables with food for those attending specific meetings, and there you will find delicious sandwiches and cookies at your disposal.
Where is Ban Ki-Moon?
Interns at the UN have this expectation that Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon will attend every single meeting every day. However, it is almost impossible to find him! You will never find him walking in the hallways or at the Security Council. So where is Ban Ki-Moon? We may never know…
Left: Where is Ban Ki-Moon? – Right: Meeting Jack Johnson
Free themed parties
Countries love to organize themed parties. During the month of May and June we were bombarded with invitations to the various parties that were organized with the aim of promoting countries for the Security Council elections. However, there were also many parties thrown to celebrate specific events such as the Olympics. At those gatherings you will find free food and drinks with plenty of music and small gifts such as chocolate, pens, or even yoga mats!
Theme party at United Nations´ Security Council
Free Cultural events and Concerts
The UN organizes many cultural events for delegates and interns. There are art exhibitions and entertainment, such as virtual reality platforms where you can actually experience what being in Syria looks like. There are also many free concerts reserved for delegates where you can meet famous artists—in my case, DJ Hardwell or singer-songwriter Jack Johnson.
If you want to hear more about the adventures of Celia, Claudia, Elena, and Marco at the United Nations, stay tuned at goingtoieu.ie.edu!
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