• Yaryna Shura
  • Story Title: UN- Department of Economic and Social Affairs
  • Student Profile: Shura, Yaryna
  • Yaryna Shura and other interns at the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs

We are all human - This is the most indicative lesson I have learned from the surprisingly engaging experience at the United Nations. Precisely because we are all human, our diversity, our fears, our limitations and our priorities make our experiences unique for each one of us. What I experienced during the five months of my internship at the UN DESA was an exploratory adventure not only of the weaknesses and potential of the United Nations system, but also the basic principles of diplomacy, bargaining and cooperation. In my first weeks of work with the task of facilitating the participation of civil society in the annual review of the objectives of 2030 Agenda, I was immediately able to find several gaps in the traditional methods adopted by the system. In the end, the study of UN failures was a fundamental part of the UNMA program. However, analyzing certain situations in which I came across both during the High-Level Political Forum and in the organization of the CSO Forum and the SDG Summit, I realized that the principle of these obvious weaknesses lies in the very nature of human kind. Everything at the United Nations is based on interpersonal relationships: from the decision of consent at the negotiation tables, to the choice of giving the word during a meeting, to the success of an inter-departmental project. The degree of trust, transparency and kindness that each individual places in relationships with colleagues, and between various groups, determines the final result in the effectiveness of the entire organization. As banal as it may sound, I believe that understanding these fundamental principles and applying them in the workplace is the first step towards personal and collective success. But even more important is to understand that in works related to social sciences there are no mathematical rules that determine the result of human activities; rather, it is up to us to choose how to act and how to apply those good principles so that the 'social 2 + 2' does not give any extravagant results.