America’s economy is a scary scene these days, with colossal government spending, borrowing and tax uncertainties looming like a tsunami heading for the beach. If there’s a disaster coming, where can a hard-working American run for succor? Well, as they say, follow the money — in this case, follow where some of your own tax dollars have been going. If you follow them to the United Nations, where America bankrolls roughly one-quarter of the UN’s system-wide budget, now estimated to exceed more than $30 billion per year, there appear to be jobs galore. And there’s not much need to worry that these will go away. The UN is a place where, for the most part, no matter how anti-American, anti-Semitic, depraved, insane, self-serving or merely pointless its use of its ample trove of other people’s money, the U.S. government just carries on forking over the cash.
The UN Secretariat alone lists pages of job openings, on its UN Careers portal, seeking everything from a “stress counsellor,” to a senior photographer, to someone willing to labor from Paris in the cause of “cleaner and safer production.” And that’s just the Secretariat. Currently the UN’s flagship agency, the UN Development Program, is listing 166 jobs worldwide, looking for everything from gender specialists to a “Climate Change Adaptation Specialist” willing to visit Burundi. Or, check out the international job openings at the UN’s agency dedicated exclusively to Palestinian refugees, UNRWA (the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) — though of course this list does not reflect all job openings at UNRWA, which also employs nearly 30,000 local staff. Or, for yet another roster, here’s yet more of the UN job universe on a site called UNjobs.
Not that the UN will fill most of these jobs with Americans. Nor are the qualifications strictly a matter of what someone untutored in the UN system might regard as merit, at least to judge by the endless internal wrangles at the UN over favoritism, harassment, relatives of assorted officials and whatnot. But if you’re worried that a career in that quaint thing called the private sector is becoming a road to nowhere… well, the UN, with its jobs, per diems and benefits looks like it’s going to be one of the last places to feel the pinch. All you have to do is solve the mystery of how you get to the head of the queue.