Volunteer abroad with the UN
The first step to volunteer abroad with the UN is to determine whether you meet the minimum requirements (see below). If this is the case, register your profile in our Global Talent Pool. Profiles from the Talent Pool are then matched with assignments offered by UN partner agencies. Approximately 2,000 assignments become available per year. Most assignments are filled through the Global Talent Pool without being advertised. Only special calls for assignments in highly specialized areas or in high demand are advertised via this website (scroll down the page.)
  • International UN Volunteers promote peace and development in communities around the globe, while upholding the ideals and aspirations of the United Nations.
    International UN Volunteers come from 160 countries, representing many cultures and backgrounds. They bring a wide variety of perspectives and approaches.
    Your international UN Volunteer assignment will make a lasting impact. It can create a ripple effect that extends far beyond the immediate results of your efforts.
    As an international UN Volunteer, you will learn about different cultures, expand your networks, study foreign languages and gain matchless professional and life experiences...
    The minimum requirements to serve as an international UN Volunteer are: 25 years old and older (no upper age limit); university degree or higher technical diploma;
    At least two years of relevant work experience in a professional background; good working knowledge of English, Spanish or French;
    Commitment to the values and principles of volunteerism; ability to work in a multicultural environment; willingness to work with people and local organizations;
    Ability to adjust in difficult living conditions and sometimes remote locations; strong interpersonal and organizational skills...
    International UN Volunteer assignments generally run for six to 12 months, with the possibility of extending for one to two years.
    Short-term assignments are also requested by our partners from time to time. International UN Volunteers are entitled to certain allowances.
    Allowances are in no way to be understood as a compensation, reward or salary in exchange for the volunteer work.
    The purpose of allowances for volunteers is to enable them to sustain a secure standard of living in their duty stations...
    Profiles in high demand include development and project management (community development, environment, programme and project
    development, project management, monitoring and evaluation); Legal affairs (human rights, protection, resettlement, reintegration, repatriation,
    refugee status determination, child protection); Political science (civil affairs, political affairs); public information (reporting and external
    relations); engineering (civil engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering), health (general medicine, public health)...
Priority areas for rapid deployment
When large-scale emergencies like the 2014 Ebola outbreak, the 2016 Ecuador earthquake or the current Syrian refugee crisis occur, a coordinated rapid response is critical in ensuring that the UN system can cope with the demands. With that in mind, UNV is re-building its rapid response capacity in the following 5 areas: Protection, Information Management, Logistics, Water and Sanitation and Monitoring and Evaluation.
ARE YOU READY TO BECOME AN INTERNATIONAL UN VOLUNTEER?
You can contribute your time, skills and knowledge through volunteering with the UN. This is an opportunity to create a positive impact and be a significant force for achieving peace and development. Make a difference to the lives of many!
Special calls for volunteers
Below are special calls for assignments currently in demand. We only advertise positions here when seeking applicants for a specific area of professional expertise and/or for projects that require larger numbers of UN Volunteers. In order to be considered for these special calls, you must first register your profile in the UNV Global Talent Pool. Each of these special calls has a unique code which you must directly select from your profile page.
You can find this code and application instructions in the last paragraph of the description of assignment, available once you click in the boxes below. Please note that this is not a complete list of all current UN Volunteer opportunities. The majority of assignments are filled by candidates whose profiles are matched directly from our Global Talent Pool. Less often, opportunities to volunteer online are also advertised here.

Frequently asked questions

Can I choose the duty station or host country where I want to serve?

No. In your profile, you can mention preferences for duty stations or countries you believe you are more suitable for. However, candidates are identified for UNV assignments primarily based on the best match between their skills and the specific requirements of the assignment.

Can I be accompanied by my family?

It depends. The status of the duty station (family or non-family duty station) and the requirements of the assignment determine whether or not dependents can accompany the UN Volunteer. Factors considered are for example the nature of the assignment, security concerns or the availability of certain services.

Can I serve together with my partner?

UNV accepts registrations from couples wishing to volunteer together. However, given that we are a demand-driven programme, it is very rare that couples are selected at the same time for the same duty station. In some cases, when a candidate accepts a UNV assignment in a family duty station, his/her legally recognized partner can accompany the UN Volunteer as a dependent. The partner can then look for volunteer opportunities locally, provided the authorities of the host country do not object.

How long does it take to be deployed as a UN Volunteer?

UNV strives to deploy volunteers within 4-6 weeks after initial contact with the candidate.

How does the recruitment process work?

The majority of assignments are filled from UNV’s talent pool. Based on the description of assignment provided by the host agency, UNV searches its talent pool for profiles that match the requirements listed therein. Identified candidates are contacted and assignment details are shared with them in order to confirm their interest and availability. Candidates are then short-listed for the final selection process which is conducted by the host agency.

Only difficult, highly specialized or high volume assignments are advertised on the UNV website, social media and with professional associations. For posted assignments, candidates still need to be registered in the talent pool. The assignment code can then be selected in your profile to express your interest in the advertised assignment.

  • 6,796
    UN Volunteers are deployed worldwide
    %
    82 %
    UN Volunteers are from countries of the Global South
    645
    UN Volunteers serve in the Democratic Republic of Congo, most of them in the UN peacekeeping mission, MONUSCO (2015)