Jun 19 2012

An overview of the WHO and my incredible first weeks as an intern in Geneva

The WHO is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations (UN) systems.   It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends.

The WHO has its headquarter operations in Geneva, Switzerland and 6 Regional Offices for: Africa (AFRO), Americas (AMRO), Eastern Mediterranean (EMRO), Europe (EURO), South-East  Asia (SEARO), Western Pacific (WPRO).

I am privileged to have my office located on the top floor of the WHO headquarters with an amazing view of Geneva, Switzerland.  My main responsibilities are to support the office of Human Resources in the area of policy development to contribute to the formulation of the Global Policy on Rewards, Recognition and Addressing Underperformance and the Ethics Compilations.  Additionally, I assist in research and drafting tasks, as well as review legal and HRD policy documents.  I draft technical reports, attend focus groups and video-conferences.  I research international law and policy to be able to incorporate the correct legal requirements into the new policies and procedures.  My research on employment law contains the precedent from the ILO tribunal, international civil servants, and other UN agencies laws.  Furthermore, I am learning how the appeals process and outside activities work within the organization.

Even though my internship is in the HR department, I try to attend as many events, training, and seminars as possible to better understand how the WHO operates and educate myself on social health.  The WHO has given me ample access to anything I would need to learn and grow in my internship.  I had the privilege of attending the 65th World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland.   There I got to see the diplomatic process of a 194 members states develop policies and negotiate to an agreement on a large amount of topics.   I have also attended and participated in a focus group with the Assistant Director General and even meet the Director General.  Additionally, my badge and status as an intern gives me the amazing opportunity to visit all of the UN agencies.  I look forward to many more exceptional opportunities that my WHO internship and badge affords me to have.


2 responses so far

2 Responses to “An overview of the WHO and my incredible first weeks as an intern in Geneva”

  1. Maryon 19 Jun 2012 at 4:52 pm

    What a wonderful opportunity how exciting

  2. Katie Jon 19 Jun 2012 at 6:48 pm

    Great article! Enjoyed reading about your experience.

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