Amanda Bruchhauser shares her experience as a trainee at the Delegation of the European Union and helping work towards strides in human rights.

My name is Amanda Lynn Bruchhauser, and I am a Trainee at the Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations (EUDEL), in the Human Rights and Social Affairs Section of the General Assembly Third Committee. I have been a trainee since February 2019 and will be staying on until the end of August, as per the stipulations of my 6-month contract with the delegation. As one of four colleagues in this section, my primary responsibility is to serve the best interests of the European Union and to support my supervisors in whatever capacity they may need. For example, I attend meetings on preparations covered by my section. I have written a few EUNY reports based on attended meetings, which are formatted specifically to be sent to this delegation as well as other EU Delegations, such as those in Brussels and Geneva. I also write shorter reports that are sent around the NY delegation and the other European delegations. These reports are important for continuous communication between all delegation locations, as well as for informing those who cannot attend events themselves. During my specified weeks, I send out the relevant points and events from the UN Journal to the colleagues in my section every day, so that everyone is updated on what meetings must be attended. I have provided questions and points based on resolutions or other relevant literature for diplomats in Europe to use during conversations. I also have the privilege of attending receptions and other events hosted by various delegations and the United Nations, which shows the spirit of not only cooperation, but also friendliness between Member States. Two of my favorite meetings were when many delegations came together in the General Assembly Hall to listen to Angelina Jolie speak on children and humanitarian affairs in peacekeeping operations, and the meeting on International Women’s Day, which included performances from Broadway/TV stars as well as opera singers, and a celebration of women. Three of my favorite events were the opening reception for the Commission of the Status of Women 63 (CSW) hosted at the EU, a UN reception hosted by Portugal and Africa Day 2019 at the UN, where I was able to socialize with fellow trainees and personnel while learning about cultures different from my own through food tasting, conversation, and music.

One question I have been asked concerns being the only United States citizen working as a trainee for this delegation of European citizens and how that affects me in the workplace. I have to say that one of the best aspects of being at the EUDEL is that I have been treated as an equal colleague, regardless of my citizenship or my position. We are all important, and we all contribute to the delegation in our own ways. Of course, people that I have met are surprised that I would choose to work for an outside delegation but I did previously live abroad, in Florence, Italy, for four months and I loved it so much that it became my second home. I have always been interested in internal as well as external foreign affairs, and I have been able to view my first home country from a different perspective during this period, which broadened my knowledge in many areas. I am also able to bring a different perspective to the delegation, and I am able to help with English grammar, spelling, and transcriptions from UN meetings, while one of my colleagues is able to help me with Italian!

This has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life, and I could not ask for a better team or delegation to be working for. I even extended my traineeship so that I could use up the allotted 6 months! I have learned so much and am truly grateful for every day that I have spent here. I hope to return in the future and cannot wait to start making even more of a difference for human rights!

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