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WANG Jiyuan, Executive Director of United Nations Association of China (UNA-China), gave lectures on international civil servants


On April 16th-18th, SFL cordially invited Mr. WANG Jiyuan, Executive Director of UNA-China, to give lectures on international organizations and international civil servants. Prior to his current role, Wang was Director of International Labour Organization (ILO) Country Office for Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. Having worked in international organizations for decades, Mr. Wang gains a unique global perspective on international development and management as well as on ILO research.

On the first day of lecture, he started by introducing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed upon in UN in 2019 and then elaborated further on UN’s vision, efforts and actions to maintain peace, promote development and protect human rights from 2016 to 2030. Given the broader context of the pandemic, Mr. Wang also emphasized the bigger role China is playing in international organizations.

The following 2-day lecture focused on ILO and the different working mechanisms of UN agencies in the United Nations headquarters, as well as at regional and country levels. Wang also tapped into the international civil servant system, its historical background, principles, core values and hierarchies. He pointed out domestic civil servants are different from those working in international organizations. The latter should be well prepared for devotion and quickly adapt to multicultural environments. Core capabilities for excellent international civil servants include pride in his/her work, effective and efficient working style, strong motivation and perseverance, plus calmness in case of emergencies.

The series of lectures ended with job guidance on cover letter writing and application preparation. Language and writing, communication, coordination, and analysis skills are the core assets sought after by international organizations. Internship in relevant fields, plus confidence and proper dress code matter as well. Wang then took UNESCO as an example to introduce the job qualifications and career path. 

The SFL lectures drew much upon Wang’s rich and diverse personal experience where he cited anecdotes from work with humor and enthusiasm. Quoting President Xi’s words, “You should not sit down and talk with no solid basis, but to stand up and take action”, Wang advised students of language majors to study economics, management or other subjects at the same time to level up language skills and enrich professional knowledge. In recent years, China advocates initiatives such as “Belt and Road” ”Building a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind” and “Building a Community of Common Health for Mankind” where internationalized talents are much in need. SFL students should broaden the global perspective and build upon language skills to play their own part in realizing the UN Sustainable Development Goals.