UN­ESCO seek­ing to in­crease Chi­nese staff

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZOU SHUO [email protected]­nadaily.com.cn

With China about to be­come the big­gest con­trib­u­tor to UN­ESCO, the or­ga­ni­za­tion is ac­tively try­ing to hire more ex­perts from the coun­try, its hu­man re­sources chief said.

Hong Kwon, di­rec­tor of the hu­man re­sources man­age­ment bu­reau of the United Na­tions Ed­u­ca­tional, Sci­en­tific and Cul­tural Or­ga­ni­za­tion, said in a re­cent in­ter­view that the group sets quo­tas on the num­ber of em­ploy­ees from dif­fer­ent coun­tries, based on how much money a coun­try con­trib­utes.

The quota for Chi­nese staff at UN­ESCO is be­tween 23 and 39, but will likely be raised to be­tween 38 and 63 next year as China be­comes the big­gest con­trib­u­tor, Kwon said dur­ing a visit to Bei­jing For­eign Stud­ies Univer­sity last week.

He also vis­ited Pek­ing Univer­sity and Fu­dan Univer­sity in Shang­hai to give lec­tures to stu­dents on how to ap­ply to work at the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

“We have 25 Chi­nese staff mem­bers at UN­ESCO, in­clud­ing 10 ge­o­graphic posts and 15 non­geo­graphic posts that are not part of the quota. This means China is un­der­rep­re­sented in UN­ESCO and we are work­ing very hard to in­crease the num­ber of Chi­nese staff mem­bers,” he said, adding that the new deputy di­rec­tor-gen­eral, Xing Qu, is from China.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion also has a train­ing pro­gram, with 35 trainees from China work­ing at UN­ESCO head­quar­ters and field of­fices. That num­ber will in­crease to 40 next year, he said.

UN­ESCO has been work­ing closely with the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion and Chi­nese uni­ver­si­ties to pro­mote it­self to Chi­nese stu­dents.

It hopes the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment will pro­vide more sup­port for the work of UN­ESCO, both fi­nan­cially and in terms of re­cruit­ing tal­ented staff, Kwon said.

“I be­lieve the con­tri­bu­tion of our Chi­nese staff mem­bers to UN­ESCO is im­mense. Chi­nese peo­ple are very hard­work­ing and in­tel­li­gent, with a par­tic­u­lar pas­sion for ed­u­ca­tion, science and cul­ture,” Kwon said.

Be­cause UN­ESCO is an in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tion, work­ing with peo­ple from dif­fer­ent cul­tures and back­grounds can be a learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, he said, not­ing that the or­ga­ni­za­tion em­braces mer­i­toc­racy, mean­ing equal pay for equal work.

To ap­ply for a po­si­tion at UN­ESCO, one needs to par­tic­i­pate in compe- tency-based in­ter­views and a writ­ten test, he said, adding that the com­pe­ti­tion can be fierce as the or­ga­ni­za­tion usu­ally re­ceives numer­ous ap­pli­ca­tions for each post.

Dong Weil­ing, 25, who grad­u­ated from Kan­sai Univer­sity in Ja­pan this year, worked as an in­tern on the SouthSouth co­op­er­a­tion team of the United Na­tions Devel­op­ment Pro­gramme from Septem­ber 2017 to March this year. “Work­ing at an in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tion has helped to broaden my hori­zons and im­proved my lan­guage abil­ity,” he said, adding that the ex­pe­ri­ence has also made him a more out­go­ing and con­fi­dent per­son.

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