UN to Conduct Outreach on Liberia’s Recruitment Process

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(L-r) Ms. Christine Asokumar, Ambassador Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr, and Ms. Floresha Berisha.

The United Nations Department of Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance, will visit Liberia on a five-day Outreach Mission to create awareness on the recruitment process of the United Nations, beginning November 24, 2019, a release has said.

The Outreach Mission, according to Ms. Christine Asokumar, Chief, Staffing Diversity and Outreach Section at the UN Headquarters in New York, is a part of the UN Secretary-General’s reform process, which aims to enhance diversity within the UN workforce.

Ms. Asokumar said that Liberia is among countries that are under-represented within the UN System, and observed that sometimes qualified candidates, who applied for UN jobs, are not given them “because they are not cognizant of the application process, thus making simple mistakes that would disqualify them.”

Ms. Asokumar said there are positions that are geographically set aside for Liberians, and expressed the hope that the Outreach Mission will attract more Liberians to apply to fill such positions. She named the UN Young Professionals Program (YPP) as one of the ways through which Liberians can be recruited for jobs within the UN System.

According to the release, during a meeting in New York on Thursday, November 14, 2019, with Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Sr., Liberia Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the UN, Ms. Asokumar said that Ms. Floresha Berisha, Human Resources Officer at the Staffing Diversity and Outreach Section of the UN, will conduct the Outreach Mission in Liberia, and requested the support of the Liberian government to ensure that the visit is successful.

“As part of the Outreach Mission, Ms. Berisha is expected to present to a diverse range of professionals in Liberia, a detailed overview of the UN Secretariat, job and career opportunities, and provide tips on application processes that will increase the probability of an applicant getting selected,” the release said.

In response, Amb.  Kemayah welcomed the Outreach Mission and said that it is the direct result of recent engagements by President George Weah, during meetings with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Kemayah said that creating opportunities for Liberians to serve at all levels of the UN is one of the top priorities of President Weah, and consistently highlighted at bilateral meetings with Mr. Guterres during the High-Level weeks of the 73rd and 74th Sessions of the UN General Assembly.

“I am so thrilled as ambassador that this is happening. Beyond me, there is going to be a high level of excitement and enthusiasm on the part of our government and the people of Liberia to receive this UN delegation for the purpose of working towards creating room for opportunities for increased recruitment of Liberians within the UN System,” Amb. Kemayah said.

He said that the employment of more Liberians within the UN was also a personal priority for him as ambassador to the UN, pursuant to a mandate from President Weah.

Amb. Kemayah said that Liberians are amongst the world’s most competent people, but agreed with Ms. Asokumar that lack of awareness of procedures and systems can rob qualified people of opportunities to gain employment within the system.

He then said that employment of more Liberians within the UN will not only increase the number of Liberians in the system but present an opportunity for international exposure and experience in diverse fields, while serving as a boost to the economy of Liberia and the livelihood of its citizens, especially the family members and loved ones of those employed.

He also expressed gratitude to the UN for the Outreach Mission to Liberia and assured that the Liberian government will fully support the Mission to ensure that it is successful.

Amb. Kemayah outlined that he and his team will coordinate with the government and the UN System in Liberia to ensure that the Outreach Team meets with the relevant authorities and target audience, especially the youth, who make up more than 63 percent of the country’s population.

As part of the coordination, meetings will be set up between the Outreach team and the UN Resident Coordinator, officials from the ministries of State for Presidential Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Justice, Information, Labor, Education, Gender, Children and Social Protection, and Youth and Sports; the Civil Service Agency, the National Commission on Higher Education, the University of Liberia, Cuttington University, United Methodist University, AME University, AME Zion University and other universities and institutions of higher learning.

The Outreach Team will also meet with the Federation of Liberian Youths (FLY), the Liberian National Students Union (LINSU),the President Young Professionals (PYP), the Liberia National Bar Association, the Association of Female Lawyers of Liberia, the Female Journalists Association of Liberia and other professional female organizations, the Press Union of Liberia, Disabled Organizations, the Liberia Business Association and the Patriotic Entrepreneurs of Liberia (PATEL).

The Outreach Team will have interactive sessions at various venues focusing on the United Nations Secretariat, job and career opportunities, and provide tips on the application process that will increase the probability of an applicant getting selected.

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