Nationality

India

Education

Ph.D. in International Economics, the Graduate Institute (HEID), Geneva, Switzerland

Master's DegreeĀ in Arts and Philosophy, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India

Languages

Bengali, Hindi, English, French

My educational background is in international economics and I was motivated to work for the United Nations because I have a passion to be involved in the development of international policy-making. My involvement in the Organization has only strengthened my conviction that through the promotion of international cooperation as well as through the influencing of policy-making we have the ability to improve the socio-economic welfare of people. I find it gratifying that our modest efforts can help make a difference in the world, and this is what inspires me every day in my work.

I joined the United Nations at the Geneva office of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in 2004. Before working for UNCTAD, I was a consultant with the International Labour Organization and the World Bank. I also worked as a researcher in the Econometrics Department of the University of Geneva and at the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, New Delhi.

I was in the middle of my Ph.D. programme when I was hired to work for the International Trade Division of UNCTAD to carry out research and analysis on the implications of different trade policies and strategies on development. Our job is to collect and analyze trade-related information, carry out national surveys and studies highlighting potential areas of concern for policy makers, and, at the end of the day, help countries with their overall trade problems. Part of my job is to facilitate the flow of information between countries and act as an international voice to promote global solutions. Working here one sees the global view of the trade and development issues and the worldwide reach UNCTAD has in fostering understanding and cooperation.

Against the backdrop of the global economic crisis, I am currently involved in non-tariff barriers activities to build awareness among governments and policy makers about the potential negative impact of increasing economic nationalism and protectionism. We have organized workshops in several regions, and held consultations with international and national institutions to advise them to refrain from using protectionist trade policies.

My typical work day can range from researching and identifying potential gains through South-South trade cooperation, studying new and dynamic sectors of world trade, preparing research and project-related technical documents, to liaising as well as exchanging ideas with international and national trade-experts, and providing developing countries with policy advice.

Since joining the United Nations, I have learned to handle multiple tasks, to meet tight deadlines, and to be creative when proposing strategic economic solutions. One problem we constantly deal with is getting information we need on a timely basis. Often the data we receive can be inconsistent, not readily available and in a format that is not comparable among countries. This is where teamwork and networking are essential. By attending seminars, conferences and academic programmes, we build a network of relationships that is very important to our work and is often the way to obtain needed information.

What is unique about the United Nations is the opportunity to work every day with colleagues and experts from different cultures, nationalities and backgrounds. This global opportunity to learn and understand different cultural environments and exchange ideas is exciting and unparalleled. At the same time, you also have to make an effort to adapt. For me, working and living in Geneva is vastly different from my bustling home town of Calcutta.

So, if you want to do something good and get involved to serve the greater good for mankind, the United Nations is the place to be. There is a certain spirit you hardly get by working for a private corporation. We need motivated and broad minded people. It can be challenging, but you will need patience and flexibility if you want a career with the United Nations.

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