Avatar photo

Corinne Kitsell

Ambassador and UK Permanent Representative to IAEA and CTBTO

Part of UK in Austria

24th April 2023 Vienna

Multilateralism and diplomacy for peace

Today (24 April) we are celebrating the International Day for Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace.

I didn’t plan a career in multilateral diplomacy when I joined the Foreign Office but an early experience at the UN in New York – an amazing city, especially when you’re an enthusiastic 20-something – sealed the deal.  I loved the cosmopolitan feel of the UN, working with colleagues from every corner of the globe, trying to make the world a better place.  And after postings in Geneva, New York and now Vienna I guess multilateralism is in my blood.

Today, more than ever, we need multilateralism.  No country can solve the world’s problems alone, and the UN provides ready opportunities to partner with countries beyond our traditional allies to deliver on things they – and we – care about.  Colombia (on gender) and Ghana (on cancer diagnosis and treatment in West Africa) are two recent examples here in Vienna.

Of course it’s also true that geopolitics is making it harder for the UN’s 193 Member States to agree on a lot.  But it’s worth remembering that the Russians have been at odds with us and blocking stuff for decades and despite that, as well as increasing assertiveness from China and media reporting about the UN Security Council being paralysed by disagreements, multilateralism is still achieving remarkable things.

Here in Vienna, where the multilateral organisations are perhaps less well-known than the UN in New York, there’s some cutting edge stuff. For example:

  • The UN Office for Outer Space Affairs’ (UNOOSA) is working to remove the millions of pieces of “space junk” whizzing around far above our heads in outer space.
  • Tackling climate change through clever uses of nuclear science by developing heat and drought resistant crops in the laboratories of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
  • The UK becoming a top donor to the UN Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) through a £65.5m Clean Energy Innovation Facility announced by the Prime Minister at COP27 that will accelerate the development of clean technology in developing countries.

The Vienna-based international organisations offer lots of exciting career opportunities for STEM experts, policy-makers and linguists, to name a few. The jobs are wide-ranging and require skills at all levels to play a vital role in upholding the UN’s values and work.

The UK Mission and British Embassy in Vienna are showcasing stories of Brits working in the international system in Vienna.

This week, we have shared Gillian Curry’s story. Gillian is an Interpreter at the United Nations. Her career has led her to interpret for the likes of Nelson Mandela, David Beckham and Tony Blair in Madrid and New York. Now in Vienna, Gillian interprets from French and Spanish into English on a wide range of topics from cybercrime to human trafficking. Watch Gillian’s story to find out more:

Follow the conversation on our UK Mission Vienna Twitter and the hashtag #ViennaOpportunities.

If you’re interested in working for an international organisation, you can receive job alerts from impactpool.org.

Leave a Reply

Read our Guidelines for commenting

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

About Corinne Kitsell

Corinne Kitsell was appointed Ambassador and UK Permanent Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) in Vienna in October 2020.

Corinne Kitsell was appointed Ambassador and UK Permanent Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) in Vienna in October 2020.