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Nation to increase staff numbers at UN, other civil service posts

Updated: 2014-07-09 07:25
By Wang Hongyi in Shanghai ( China Daily)

China will invest more in cultivating high-caliber talent for posts at the United Nations and boost the number of staff members at international bodies in the next few years, a top human resources official said on Monday.

"Over the past years, the quantity and quality of Chinese staff at the UN has indeed improved significantly. However, their number is still very small compared with China's financial contribution to the organization's annual budget," said Lu Yulin, deputy director of the international cooperation department at the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.

Currently, 1,095 Chinese work at the UN and other international organizations, Lu said. Most Chinese personnel at international organizations hold low-level positions.

To boost the representation of Chinese staff on the world stage, the United Nations Association of China and the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security's International Cooperation Department have worked together since 2011 conducting training programs for international civil servants.

"We hope that such programs will help train more interdisciplinary talents, who not only have strong language abilities, but also deep understanding of international affairs and rules," Lu said at the opening ceremony of the fourth China International Civil Servant Capacity Building Training Courses. The event was held at Shanghai International Studies University.

Lu also disclosed that the country will continue to invest more in accelerating the training of international civil servants from China.

As early as 2007, the university launched the country's first undergraduate program aimed at cultivating more international civil servants for the UN and other global bodies.

The training program attracted more than 100 participants, mostly university students, from across the country.

During the eight-day program, professors, diplomats and Chinese staff at the UN lecture, and an introduction to the UN system and courses in international economic and social issues are given.

"In addition to having ability in multiple languages, expertise in various areas - politics, economics, international relationships, social and cultural studies - is an important qualification for personnel at the UN and other international bodies," said Zha Mingjian, dean of the School of English Studies at Shanghai International Studies University.

Wang Jin, a program participant who studies at the School of Asian and African Studies of Shanghai International Studies University, said, "I think taking part in the training courses will help me improve my global awareness and broaden my perspectives on international issues".

By providing excellent backup talents for international civil servants from China, the program will help improve China's capacity in participating in global affairs and broaden developing countries' influence in the international arena, said Liu Zhixian, vice-president and director-general of the United Nations Association of China.