UN Iran Youth Speak Out: “What’s it like to work in the UN?”

Aug 12, 2015

  UN Iran Youth

Today – 12 August – marks International Youth Day.

The theme of this year’s International Youth Day is “Youth Civic Engagement.”

If we are going to achieve sustainable human development, then it is essential that we engage everyone as partners. But above all we need to listen to the voices of our young people. The youth across our planet are very much engaged in the search for a safer and more peaceful world. Just check out their ideas on social media. Unstoppable. So let’s listen to their voices in our search for human development solutions.

In Iran today, around 50 percent of the population is under the age of 30. The country’s large cohort of individuals between the ages of 15-29 makes up around one‐third of the population. Iran’s young people are engaged throughout the country in a variety of civic activities. And, here in the UN in Iran we are fortunate here to have many young people working with us. For this reason, we asked our young colleagues to reflect on International Youth Day and share with us what they think it means to work in the United Nations. Here is what some of them told us.

Gary, UN Resident Coordinator


“Growing up, I was always conscious of one thing.  Which is that our world is constantly undergoing changes and we as youths have an obligation to create a sustainable world for the generations of youths that shall come after us.  And this sustainability can only come when we all come together to combat poverty, hunger, climate change and etc., and advocate for development.  This exactly is what drew me to working for the UN.  Thank you, UN, for the opportunity you create for youths for being a beacon of light and for being brave and steadfast in the fight for sustainable development.  Thank you for your indelible work.”

Davood, Intern in UN-Habitat


"I have been fortunate to work with the UN family in Iran for over a year now, and it is a genuine pleasure to work alongside friends who are passionate and driven towards the further development of this beautiful country.  My childhood, growing up in a number of different countries, developed an appreciation and empathy for the different challenges and opportunities presented to people.  These experiences directed my dream, to work for an organisation whose core values are geared towards the betterment of our world, and it is a privilege to now be part of making a difference."

Subodha, UNDP


“I joined UN because the blue flag does not only seek the betterment of a country or a person, but it seeks the betterment of humanity and planet as a whole!”

Mohsen, UNHCR Kerman Office


“One of my favourite stories of all time is the one about a person walking along a beach after a big storm.  As they walk they stop and pick up starfish that had been washed ashore and toss them back into the ocean.  Another person comes along and says, “Why are you even bothering to do that?  There’s so many that you’ll never make a difference.”  The first person bends down, picks up another one, tosses it to safety and says simply, “It made a difference to that one.”  This story has so profoundly shaped how I live my life and is why I joined the UN.

Nazanin, UN Resident Coordinator’s Office


I joined UNDP because I believe that sustainable development is the ultimate solution for the societies who want to look at the root causes of their problems and change their attitudes towards a better future.  It’s challenging work, because it’s very hard to change the mindsets of people and governments who have practiced unsustainable solutions for ages, but at the end of the day, you are filled with joy when you see the impact of your activities on real people’s lives.

Sara, UNDP


“I believe in a better world – one in which every human being smiles and lives in peace.  I also believe in the UN.  Under the blue flag, differences are put aside and we are united to work towards a common goal – a safe and a peaceful world.  I believe that under the blue flag – united – we can make it happen.  You might think I am a dreamer, but I know I am not the only one.”

Sadaf, UNDP


What I love most about working at the United Nations is that we get to work with people from all around the world on issues that the global community faces, whether it is political, environmental, economic or social.  Also, the exposure you get while working in the United Nations is also an invaluable experience as the staff offer a diverse range of expertise which you are constantly learning from.  There is also the fact that you are working for one of the most respected international organisations in the world, that’s definitely a plus too! 

Leila, UNDP


“Gandhi once said: ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world.’  I joined the UN because I believe we can change the world and I believe UN is the only organization that can turn the world into a better place.  We should not wait to see what others do or say, in the UN we act.  And this matters.”

Neda, UNDP


“UN is my second home, the place I get all my ambitions.  A work that was, and is, full of challenges, limitations and sometime dissatisfaction, but the one that truly puts a smile on my face.”

Niousha, WFP


“It has been my dream to work for the UN ever since I started participating in Model UN conferences during High School. Dorky, I know. I have always been attracted to how international it is and how one really is exposed to completely different cultures to one’s own. It is exciting to be a part of a very diverse group all working towards a common goal. It is exciting to see the world and continue to believe it can become a little better, bit by bit. It is just a very exciting place to be and be a part of.”

Carlotta, Resident Coordinator’s Office


“I came to the UN to make a difference.  For as long as I can remember, I had wanted to work at the UN.  When I visited the headquarters in New York during my undergraduate studies, all my instincts told me the UN was the place for me.  So, when I finished my studies, I left Australia and moved to Iran in the hope of making my dream come true because for me the UN represents hope – hope for a better world – and I have always felt that it is the best platform through which to make my small contribution in improving the lives of men, women, children and communities all over the world.

Shafagh, UNDP

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