Careers in international organisations

Switzerland strives to fill strategic positions in multilateral organisations with senior Swiss officials. It develops strategies and conducts targeted campaigns to achieve this goal.

In certain cases, Switzerland supports candidacies submitted by individuals. The Swiss government selects the candidates it supports based on Switzerland's political interest in the position and in the multilateral organisation. As a rule, Switzerland takes active steps to support a candidacy once an individual has been shortlisted. In order to be able to examine whether a candidacy can be supported by Switzerland, the FDFA requires the complete application dossier (vacancy notice, application letter, curriculum vitae).

If you are applying for a specific position in an international organisation, the FDFA will be happy to provide advice and support.

Switzerland's presence in international organisations

Starting your career in an international organisation

Working for an international organisation can be very exciting and fulfilling, and it offers the opportunity to meet and work with people from all over the world. However, as many jobs are based outside of organisations’ headquarters, ideally, you should:

  • Be flexible and willing to work anywhere in the world
  • Be aware that you may face hardships in terms of quality of life, security and supplies
  • Be open to working together with people from different countries and have the necessary intercultural skills
  • Be able to handle long periods of uncertainty concerning your employment contract. International organisations often employ staff on short-term contracts only and do not guarantee follow-on contracts.

On the following website you can find some testimonials from Swiss people having worked in different positions at the UN:

Why work for the UN?

If you are interested in a career in an international organisation, visit the job portals listed below, where you will find information on vacancies and application processes.

Switzerland helps young professionals start careers in international organisations by funding Junior Professional Officer posts. More information can be found on the following webpage:

Young Professionals Programme and Junior Professional Officer Programme

International Career Day 2021

The FDFA invites university graduates and young academics to meet representatives of international organisations and learn about their activities, career opportunities and recruitment processes. The 17th edition of the International Career Day (ICD) will take place in 2021. More information will follow.

ICD 2021

Swiss Expert Pool for Civilian Peacebuilding

The Swiss Expert Pool for Civilian Peacebuilding offers jobs in multilateral organisations. You can also find OSCE jobs financed by Switzerland here.

Swiss Expert Pool for Civilian Peacebuilding  

Development cooperation and humanitarian aid

The SDC's Swiss Humanitarian Aid Department and the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit (SHA) second specialists to support their partner organisations. Specialists are recruited via the SHA pool. 

Development cooperation and humanitarien aid

Applicants specialised in human rights

Human rights are one of the cornerstones of Swiss foreign policy. Two of the UN Human Rights Council's key mechanisms to promote and defend human rights are the 'special procedures' and the treaty bodies of the UN, which ensure that the human rights conventions are being implemented and monitor how this is done. If you have recognised skills in the field of human rights here are some interesting links:

Election of treaty body members

Special procedures: nomination, selection and appointment of mandate holders