Interning at Indonesian Mission and Writing for The Jakarta Post
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Hi, my name is Matthew Evan Widjaja, a student at Universitas Pelita Harapan (UPH) majoring in international relations. Earlier this year, I was accepted as a summer intern at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia. I hope that by sharing my experience at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia and the United Nations headquarters, you can have an illustration of what it is like to work there.
This was my first internship, and I was stationed in Political Affairs I which is in charge of matters related to international security and peacekeeping affairs among many others. The others include subjects such as upholding international law, the protection of civilians, and counterterrorism.
My job for two months was simple: Attend meetings, jot down critical points during the meeting, report, and be active. What I meant by being active is to participate in different events held at the United Nations headquarters. However, the most important of all is to learn how diplomats work.
The Permanent Mission serves as my day to day office while the United Nations headquarters is where I head to whenever there is a meeting or event that is related to my division.
To have access to the United Nations headquarters, you have to have a United Nations ID card signifying that you are working for a Permanent Mission or any other organizations and is eligible to enter and attend meetings.
The United Nations ID card is one of the perks during my internship. To get one, you have to secure a G-2 American visa which was quite tedious, but it made my life easier as I get to visit the United Nations headquarters at any time I want. It includes access to the General Assembly hall, the Security Council chamber, and including their facilities, such as the Dog Hammarskjold Library.
The United Nations headquarters is the perfect location for anyone who wishes to experience the diplomatic environment and learn about the mechanisms of an international organization.
There were two events that I think were consequential during my internship.
1. Indonesia’s Security Council campaign and election.
The first month of my internship was primarily focused on Indonesia’s Security Council campaign for 2019-2020. The Permanent Mission held a few events at the office and the United Nations headquarters. The events were an open reception to welcome other delegations in celebration Indonesia’s candidacy. At the end of the campaign was the election which I get to attend the General Assembly Hall on June 8, 2018.
2. The United Nations’ 72nd Youth Dialogue.
On May 30, the United Nations held the 72nd United Nations Youth Dialogue where I had the opportunity to meet inspiring young individuals from around the world. The objective of the event is to spread the message of peace to young individuals and for the United Nations to the opinions of young people regarding global issues. It was during this event that I was able to represent Indonesia and deliver a speech to the audience during the closing ceremony.
One of the highlights of my internship was writing an article that I co-wrote with my internship supervisor, Purna Cita Nugraha, and his colleague, Semungus Gebrehiwot. For this specific article, I was instructed to write an article about peacekeeping. I decided to write about peacekeeping reforms since the Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) initiative is currently a hot topic.
The article was sent to the Jakarta Post through e-mail. They reached us back after several days, notifying us that the material will be published. The title of the article is “UN Peacekeeping: Turning actions into words.
If this is your first time writing an article, I would suggest that it is best to co-author one with someone who has writing experience. In my opinion, every person has their distinct style of writing an article. I think that finding your style of writing is a process and as time goes by, you will get better.
I have a few simple tips on writing an article:
• Contemplation: Think of a subject to write about and specify it. Why do you think this topic is worth writing? Is it important? Will it impact readers?
• Problem: What do you want to address? The issue of the subject?
• Promise: What is the current status of the problem? Are there any activities or resolutions that are to be implemented in the future?
• Solution: Is there a solution on the table? What is your answer to the problem? Be inspired, you can improve on the current solutions, but it is better to stay original as much as you can.
Interning at the Permanent Mission of Indonesia is a once in a lifetime experience, if you do aspire to work for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, then chances are you might be posted there in the future. My internship at the Permanent Mission and the United Nations headquarters in New York served as a stepping stone in my journey to have a career in the field of international relations.
I believe that IUNIA is an excellent opportunity for anyone who has a particular interest in the United Nations and dreams of working there in the future. Thank you for reading.
Read Matthew's article:
The article was written by Matthew Widjaja, former intern at the Indonesian Permanent Representative to the UN and a member of IUNIA . Feel free to drop your comment and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org