Nationality

Philippines

Education

Bachelor’s and Postgraduate Degree in Education from the University of Windhoek, Namibia

Languages

English, German, Tagalog

I left my home country of the Philippines at the age of nine. I travelled and lived around the world prior to joining the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in 1992. Over the years I have developed a keen interest in the United Nations and an overall appreciation of the extent and complexity of the work of the Organization. You realize that you do not work for an organization whose goal is to make money; in the United Nations, your labour gives you the opportunity to give back to the world. I wanted to be part of this and now I have no wish or inclination to work elsewhere.

Most of my career has been in providing administrative support, and ensuring that the needs of the area I am responsible for are accommodated efficiently and on time. In my daily work, it is essential to be engaged and maintain communication with my colleagues. Working closely together allows me to identify impending problems and implement the necessary solutions. I know that I have to do my part to make sure the team runs smoothly in order to fulfill our mission.

Currently, I am a Team Assistant to the HIV and AIDS Unit in UNODC. I work with a group of experts who are mandated to providing universal access to support services in preventing, treating and caring for victims of HIV and AIDS, especially users of illicit drugs in prison. It is a small unit dealing with an enormous task and I am inspired by the dedicated colleagues on my team.

Our Unit promotes awareness and tries to impress upon governments how important it is to address the problem, and to work together to meet the United Nations mandate in this area. We advocate in order to get countries to be more proactive and engaged in fighting this scourge and we support them in the process. My job puts me in the midst of this battle and gives me a unique insight on the fight against HIV and AIDS and the effort it takes to prevent a pandemic. I did not understand the magnitude of the AIDS problem until I started working here.

The diversity of the United Nations is most unique, from the multi-cultural diversity of its staff to the thematic areas it covers. Here I have the opportunity to expand my horizons and continue to learn. The courses offered by the Organization for staff development gave me the tools to help me deal with my personal and work-related issues as well as maintain a balance between my career and life.

To anyone considering joining the United Nations, I would tell them to be ready to be challenged both professionally and personally. Joining the United Nations is only the beginning. Even with the best qualifications, you are a work in progress and must be open for continuous learning.

Working at the Vienna International Centre has its benefits and Vienna is a unique city to live in. I met my husband in Namibia while he was on a peacekeeping mission assignment and now he is working for the United Nations Industrial Development Organization which is also based in Vienna. For travelling, it is the centre of the globe. One can head towards any direction, and be within easy access of a variety of interesting cities and cultures. In terms of its infrastructure, I like the cleanliness and security Vienna offers. This historical city makes it a priority to keep itself active and evolving. It is environmentally progressive, and there are optimal natural surroundings for healthy living.

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