Yes, that's right. I've actually managed to land a job at the United Nations in Geneva, working for an NGO called the Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO). I will be working on the Peace and Disarmament program, so will be able to put my degree to the test in a real life setting. As part of my job, I will have to write a journal, so this blog is good practice.
It turned out, for various reasons, that the Nonviolent Peaceforce wasn't the right thing for me just now. I was a bit apprehensive about the commitment, the (hot) climate and ... to be honest, the conflict there. I really believe in the notion of pacifists putting their lives at risk, if necessary, in the pursuit of peace, and I still hope that one day I can do that sort of work. But the reality of eighteen months seclusion with an organisation that is still finding its feet, was too much for somebody like myself with limited field experience. I also realised that I was more interested in conflict resolution / peace building work than peacekeeping.
QUNO is hoping to expand its disarmament and peace work to include peacebuilding, which will be particularly interesting for me. I hope that the UN will give me the grounding and international experience in disarmament issues as well as to allow me to make a contribution to its peacebuilding program. Who knows what my next step will be at the end of the one year placement in Geneva.
PS: I'm also apprehensive about the (cold) climate in Switzerland
PPS: No, I don't get to wear the cute cap!!