International UN Volunteer

International UN Volunteer Specialists serve in a country other than their own and are recruited for specialized inputs to development and/or humanitarian and peacekeeping programmes.

Development assistance

All around the world, UN Volunteers help people to lead more productive, fulfilling and creative lives through quality education and improved healthcare, or by ensuring equitable access to resources and sustainable practices.

In addition, UN Volunteers can also serve within the government and other local partners, helping to build local capacity and knowledge.

UNV assignments are quite diverse, and the work of UN Volunteers address not only the three areas below but many others too:

Humanitarian and peacekeeping operations

UN Volunteers are often at the forefront of humanitarian and peacekeeping operations, both because of the skills and expertise they bring to help alleviate the plight of people in desperate situations, but also because their volunteer commitment and status brings a little extra to peace and recovery processes.

UN Volunteers live in the communities in which they serve and – importantly - are being perceived as politically and socially neutral. UN Volunteers, being non-threatening and global citizens, greatly facilitate the building of bridges between various groups by promoting dialogue and building confidence and trust amongst them.



To become a UN Volunteer you should have the following capacities:

  • Strong commitment to the values and principles of volunteerism
  • Ability to work in a multi-cultural environment
  • Ability to adjust to difficult living conditions
  • Strong interpersonal and organizational skills
  • Prior volunteering and/or working experience in a developing country is an asset.

and have following professional qualifications:

  • A university degree or higher technical diploma
  • Several years of relevant working experience
  • At least age 25 when taking up an assignment (there is no upper age limit)
  • Good working knowledge in at least one of the three UNV working languages: English, French and Spanish

Conditions of Service:

The key benefit of being a UN Volunteer is the personal satisfaction the volunteer assignment brings to you as you make a positive impact on peace and development. It also leads to a unique enhancement of your professional experience.

To support you during your assignment, you will receive:

  • Settling-in-Grant calculated on the duration of assignment, which is paid at the beginning of the assignment;
  • Volunteer Living Allowance (VLA) (not a salary) intended to cover basic living expenses, which is paid each month;
  • Travel on appointment and at the end of assignment as applicable;
  • Life, health and permanent disability insurance;
  • Annual leave;
  • Resettlement allowance calculated based on the duration of assignment, which is paid upon satisfactory completion of the assignment.


Note: The above general provisions are summarized from the Conditions of Service for international UN Volunteers.

The vast majority of UNV assignments are based on six to twelve month renewable contracts, with the expectation that the UN Volunteer will serve one year or more.

A copy of the entire 'Conditions of Service for International UN Volunteer Specialists' is available upon request, please contact us.

How to apply:

 UNV maintains a global roster of candidates, which allows UNV to respond quickly to requests for volunteers. UNV will respond to all incoming duly completed PHS forms by informing applicants whether or not they have been included in the UNV roster of candidates.  The United Nations Volunteer (UNV) programme is unique in that it aims to facilitate technical cooperation between developing countries. The majority of serving UN Volunteers are from developing countries. By sending those UN Volunteers to other developing countries with similar socio-economic conditions, the volunteers not only share their skills and experience, but they also learn more about the ways in which people in other countries deal with similar development challenges. This knowledge adds to the pool of resources available to their home countries subsequent to their return.

Besides encouraging Cambodian nationals to serve as National UN Volunteers in Cambodia, UNV also provides these highly qualified Cambodian professionals with opportunities to serve as International UN Volunteers in other countries. UNV assignments usually last for 24 months, although assignments of shorter duration between 3 to 12 months are more and more common.