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UN VOLUNTEER OPERATION IN EAST TIMOR
and NGO OBSERVERS

Compiled by Charles Scheiner, IFET UN Representative
19 May 1999

From the first ten days of June until mid-August, the United Nations will deploy approximately 600 personnel to East Timor to conduct the August 8 balloting and provide logistical support, as part of UNAMET (United Nations Assistance Mission in East Timor). This is in addition to police advisors. There will also be several NGO observer/monitor delegations in East Timor, including one coordinated by IFET. (See NGO below)

UN Volunteers
Most of the electoral assistance personnel will be drawn from the existing pool of UN Volunteers. To learn more about the UN Volunteers (UNV) program, check out their web site at http://www.unv.org for details about their Electoral Assistance programs see http://www.unv.org/activs/idxelect.html. Parts of the message below are extracted from that site.

People not already on the UNV roster may apply for UNAMET volunteer positions in UNAMET if they have relevant language, educational and/or experiential skills. The UN is rapidly finding their personnel; if you know of anyone who is interested, please let them know as quickly as possible.

UNV people are recruited and assigned through agencies in each participating country. Included below is contact information for some countries; you can find a list of UNV Co-operating Organisations at http://www.unv.org/unvols/app8.htm. The main UNV office is in Bonn, Germany.

In the United States, the Peace Corps is the cooperating agency. I spoke with Bill Clifford in their Washington office, who is working on UNAMET volunteer. He already has seven of the 5-10 U.S. citizens who will be part of this operation. Any U.S. citizen who is interested in volunteering for UNAMET should fax him a letter and resume IMMEDIATELY to 202-692-2251. (Dorothy Sales, the other UNV/Peace Corps person, is out of the country at the moment.) The phone number at the Peace Corps is 1-800-424-8580, but a faxed letter is likely to work better. See below for other countries.

NGO Observers
In addition to UN Volunteers, there will be NGO observers of the East Timor campaign and balloting process coordinated by the International Federation for East Timor and other groups. We are still working out the details of the IFET project; if you want more information on this, know of similar efforts, or have suggestions, contact me at ifet@etan.org and I'll send you our draft document and/or get in touch when it is finalized within a week or two.

I have had two conversations this week with the U.N. Department of Political Affairs and the Electoral Assistance Division about the NGO observer project, and will have more. The following are the key points - all of which will be pursued further:

  • 1. The UN will not provide financial, logistical, lodging, transportation or any other kind of support for NGO observers.
  • 2. There will be an accreditation process for observers, yet to be worked out. They don't know if it will be in East Timor or outside.
  • 3. There will be a "code of conduct" that all accredited observers will sign. They haven't written it yet.

The specifics below about the UN Volunteer program are extracted from their web site. Items in [square brackets] are my comments.


Minimum Requirements to apply as International UNV Specialist

If you wish to apply to become an international UNV Specialist, you should fulfil the following minimum requirements:

  • You have academic credentials (Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, doctorate) or higher technical diplomas,
  • You have several years of relevant working experience, preferably a minimum of five years,
  • You are at least 25 years old (there is no upper age limit),
  • You have a good working knowledge of at least one of the following languages: Arabic, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish

Besides the above mentioned minimum requirements, as a UN Volunteer you will be expected to bring a work methodology which promotes participation, exchange of ideas and partnership.

In order to quickly respond to the requests for Volunteers, UNV maintains a database of available candidates who have experience in various sectors.

A UN Volunteer is an unsalaried professional who, in return for his or her services, receives subsistence entitlements, including for example:

  • Volunteer Living Allowance (VLA) intended to cover basic needs. It is paid each month. The VLA has two components: a living allowance component and an accommodation component which covers the cost of housing and utilities.
  • The VLA ranges from US$ 1,000 to US$ 2,700, depending on the country of assignment and the number of dependents of the UNV specialist.
  • International travel (on appointment and at the end of assignment)
  • Life, health and permanent disability insurance
  • Annual leave

The United Nations Volunteers programme reserves the right to amend the conditions of each engagement without prejudice to the rights acquired under it. The United Nations Volunteers programme reserves also the right to withdraw a UNV specialist from an assignment after consultation with the authorities concerned.

How and where to apply as an International UNV Specialist
If you are a national of one of the following countries, please contact directly UNV's Co-operating Organisation listed under the country name. [See http://www.unv.org/unvols/app8.htm for the links attached to this list).

Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Congo, Dem.Rep., Cuba, Czech Rep., Denmark, Egypt, Finland, Ghana, India, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Korea Rep., Malta, Morocco, Myanmar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Portugal, Slovak Rep., Spain, Thailand, Tunisia, USA, Vietnam

[A few of the most useful ones to readers of this list are:]

Peace Corps, UNV International Operations 1111 20th Street N.W. Washington, D.C. 20526 USA fax 202-692-2251. phone 1-800-424-8580 http://www.peacecorps.gov/

Australian Volunteers International P.O. Box 350 71-75 Argyle Street Fitzroy, 3065 Victoria AUSTRALIA http://www.osb.org.au

World University Service of Canada (WUSC) P.O. Box 3000 Postal Station C Ottawa, Ontario K1Y 4M8 CANADA http://www.wusc.ca/

Agency for Personal Service Overseas (APSO) 30 Fitzwilliam Square Dublin 2, IRELAND http://www.apso.ie

SNV Netherlands Development Organisation Att. UNV Bezuidenhoutseweg 161 NL-2594 AG Den Haag, THE NETHERLANDS

Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA) P.O. Box 12-246 Wellington NEW ZEALAND

Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) Volunteer Service Division Tollbugt. 31 P.O. Box 8030 Dep. 0030 Oslo 1 NORWAY http://www.norad.no

As a Filipino national, you need to contact directly our Cooperating Organisation in The Philippines: PNVSCA NEDA Complex 4 EDSA (Epifanio De Los Santos Avenue), Diliman Quezon City, Metro Manila PHILIPPINES Filipino nationals residing outside the Philippines on a temporary basis and with a permanent address in the Philippines must also apply through PNVSCA. Filipino Government employees on secondment outside the Philippines need to apply to PNVSCA in all cases. Filipino nationals residing permanently abroad and not planning to return to the Philippines may apply directly to UNV/Cyprus: United Nations Volunteers Cyprus Offshore Centre P.O. Box 25711 1311 Nicosia CYPRUS

Institut de Coopération Portugaise (ICP) Ministère des Affaires Etrangères Avenida Duque d'Avila No. 64, 5è étage 1000 Lisbonne PORTUGAL

Department of Technical and Economic Cooperation (DTEC) c/o UNDP Office G.P.O. Box 618 Bangkok 2 THAILAND

If your country is not listed in our list above, Send your Curriculum Vitae/Resume mentioning your:

  • Name
  • Contact Address (Phone, Fax, e-mail)
  • Nationality
  • Birth date
  • Language skills
  • Education
  • Work experience

To the following address:

United Nations Volunteers Offshore Processing Centre PO BOX 25711 Nicosia, CYPRUS Fax: +357 2 775693 E-mail: volunteer-cv@unv.org

You may wish to send your Curriculum Vitae/Resume by post or e- mail. If you use e-mail, please make sure that you send plain ASCII text.

Remarks:

  • UNV wishes to increase the number of women UN Volunteers and to improve the gender-related focus of the programme. Applications are therefore particularly sought from women
  • You are applying to be included in UNV's database of candidates. Inclusion in the roster, however, does not guarantee an assignment.
  • Due to the number of applications UNV receives, we give priority to those applications sent in accordance with the instructions listed above.
  • Given that UNV responds to demands from over 140 countries, it is not possible to provide details of forthcoming assignments
  • UNV does not offer short-term overseas summer camps, nor training for students, nor assignments to graduating students with no work experience in their field

Posted 6/99: UN Mission in East Timor (UNAMET) http://www.un.org/peace/etimor/etimor.htm


Compiled by Charles Scheiner
U.N. Representative International Federation for East Timor
P.O. Box 1182
White Plains, New York 10602 USA
Telephone:1-914-428-7299; fax:1-914-428-7383
ifet@etan.org (Please email any corrections or updates to this report.)
PGP Key available on request.
For information on East Timor write info@etan.org
Check out ETAN's web site: http://www.etan.org

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