Peace missions come in all shapes and sizes. Providing safe areas for people who need protection, providing food and medicine, but also encouraging negotiation and dialogue. Securing peace is a core pillar of Germany’s foreign policy. As well as military personnel and police, Germany sends a large number of civilian helpers all over the world. Every conflict is different. And those sent out to help constantly face new challenges.
O-Ton1: Carsten Wieland - Senior Expert for Intra-Syrian Talks
“Sometimes there are specific moments that are decisive. When you have to quickly take important decisions. On the one hand that give you a lot of discretion in such a political job, but it also brings great responsibility.“
German civilian helpers are currently active in more than 50 peace missions around the world.
O-Ton2: Lisa Reefke - Political Affairs Officer UNMISS in Juba
“After having worked in the southern Pacific and in the Middle East, I wanted to work in the place where the United Nations has the largest number of peace missions, and that is Africa.I chose a country that has just achieved independence, South Sudan. I actually wanted to help them build up the state. But unfortunately civil war broke out there in 2013. So we actively supported the peace process and are still doing so today.“
Civilian helpers carry out a broad range of tasks.
Field work is standard.
O-Ton3: Moritz Meier-Ewert - Special Assistant Political Affairs
“It’s hard work and the days can be very long. It’s often difficult to predict how much work it’s going to be. You’re expected to be committed heart and soul.“
O-Ton4: Lisa Reefke - Political Affairs Officer UNMISS in Juba
“You don’t know what to expect when you get up in the morning. Sometimes you work in the office. Writing reports and putting together analyses. But to be able to analyse, you have to get the information in the first place.“
O-Ton5: Carsten Wieland - Senior Expert for Intra-Syrian Talks
„Riad, Dubai, Cairo, Beirut. Back to your family in Berlin, or the foreign office in Berlin, and then Geneva.“
Germany is the fourth-largest contributor
to the UN budget for peace missions
and the second largest contributor to
the budget of the OSCE.
O-Ton6: Moritz Meier-Ewert - Special Assistant Political Affairs
“I think peace missions are a special case, because they’re situations in which the UN has the most political influence compared to countries where there is no peace mission. That’s a challenge and it’s also interesting to observe the political work of the UN.“
Via civilian helpers, Germany supports
political solutions without which a lasting
peace would be impossible.
O-Ton7: Carsten Wieland - Senior Expert for Intra-Syrian Talks
“I remember being on the telephone with my daughter when she turned five last year. I was in political talks. She called me and cried, complaining that I wasn’t at home. I tried to explain that I had to work in Geneva so that children in Syria could soon go to school again, and have food to eat, and didn’t have to leave their homes because of bombing, and get their teddy-bears back. And she understood.“
You can find current job offers with UN peace missions and other international organisations at www.jobs-io.de