I cannot believe I met the 40th anniversary of the United Nations in China during my internship and had the honor to participate in the celebration to mark 40 years of the UN’s development presence in China with other coworkers.

What surprised me the most was that I met a senior classmate who also graduated from our program, IEDP UPenn in 2017! She is now a current official employee in UNICEF and I felt so lucky to listen to her working experience and suggestions about the career from such similar vision. Except from the career, we also talked a lot about the campus life at Penn, the exciting classes from IEDP and the appreciation to the professors.

At the beginning of the ceremony, the officers represented China’s government praised UN for highlighting the partnership between the UN and China that successfully contributed to the overall development of China. And the directors of each UN Department in China showed up on the stage. The rear projection screen showed the achievements UN has made over the past 40 years in China as well as the expectations of the future work, especially the importance of education, the keystone of peace. We must not only correct the insufficiencies and inequalities that education is suffering from, but also improve our guidance of the world’s educational systems in the future, to lay the best foundations of effective, real sustainable development.’ which greatly aroused my recognition of the value of this internship.

It was also a great opportunity to have networking with other people who also work for the development work, not only the UN staff but also the local Chinese government staff. Talking with people from different organizations was quite interesting. They think about the current problems in China’s development in different angles of view based on their different standpoints. It was a precious chance for me as a graduate student to get so many information of perspectives and experience shared by the people I met on the celebration.

As part of the celebration to mark 40 years of the UN’s development presence in China, the exhibition on the screen displays the collaboration between the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China and the United Nations in China. 

The celebration ended with a symphony of peace. Hope that our work will also bring peace to the world.