The Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi, joined a brownbag event organized by the Fair Internship Initiative at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 4 March, 2016. The event, which was attended by around 30 interns, included a presentation of the Fair Internship Initiative launched by current and former interns in March 2015.

Talking about the initiative, Alhendawi commended the efforts carried by the UN interns in discussing improving the UN interns’ experience and noted that he had held meetings with the active members of the Initiative since its establishment. He noted the dedication and commitment of individuals behind this campaign aimed at advocating to improve the UN internship programme to make it accessible and affordable to young people from lower socio-economic backgrounds. Alhendawi also highlighted the importance of empowering young people to stand up for what they believe is fair and just.

The Envoy and the participants discussed how the scope and complexity of the internships has changed. Members of the Fair Internship Initiative discussed that they plan to continue their discussions with the relevant UN Secretariat and Agencies, Member States, and other networks to advocate for the 3 key goals outlined in their initiative which includes: Equal and fair representation of interns at the United Nations, the establishment of an intern living allowance, and the establishment of a UN Intern Focal Point.