Thiago reflects on his time with UNODC

Navigating in Halong Bay, Vietnam

My six-month placement as a Junior Professional Consultant in the regional UNODC office for Southeast Asia and the Pacific located in Bangkok brought me great experiences both at the personal and professional levels. It allowed me to do meaningful work while gaining valuable experience in project management as well as the United Nations structure.  

My main duties were centered on research, analysis and management. While working in Bangkok, I got to develop the project for the expansion of UNODC’s Container Control Programme to five new countries and establish a new way to monitor the results of this programme’s capacity building activities at a global scale. In addition, I also had to perform bi-weekly intelligence bulletins based on relevant confidential and open source information that were sent to our beneficiary agencies in all of Southeast Asia. In order to translate this bulletin in all the languages of our beneficiaries, I had to
train UNODC personnel on the type of research and analysis required to develop the intelligence that was sent in the bulletins and I also had to coordinate translators located in our country offices of Cambodia, Vietnam, Lao PDR, and Indonesia to translate the intelligence bulletin. Furthermore, I had to develop training materials and set up a course on the implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1540 in addition to delivering it to Thai officials and Canadian donors.

I believe nevertheless that the personal experiences that I gained by living in a country with such a distinct culture from my own was as valuable as my work experience. Traveling in Thailand and its neighboring countries, visiting Buddhist temples, ruins of the old Angkor empire, and pristine beaches were definitely a highlight of my time there. Nevertheless, the thing that I’m most grateful for is the people I’ve met and the great friends I’ve made along the way.  

Visiting the ruins of Angkor Wat in Cambodia
Having lunch with young Monks in a Buddhist temple at the  border of the Mekong River in Lao



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