Semester at the United Nations Exposed Senior to the World

Published: Jan 23, 2012
Raul Rios ’12, pictured with the Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon, spent 10 weeks recently as an intern with the Department of State’s U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York City.
Raul Rios ’12, pictured with the Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon, spent 10 weeks recently as an intern with the Department of State’s U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York City.
The pictures show Raul Rios ’12 with the Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon, U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice and at events with Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and President Barack Obama.

The political dignitaries were just part of the experience for Rios, who spent 10 weeks this fall semester as an intern with the Department of State’s U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York City.

“It was a very cool and rewarding experience,” said Rios who got the chance to represent the U.S. in the U.N. General Assembly and sit in Security Council meetings. “It was a lot of hard work but very much worth every single moment.”

Rios, who applied for the internship through the Department of State, was assigned to the research unit with the U.S. Mission to the U.N. His job was to receive any question the mission staff or ambassadors submitted and research it, providing the best and most thorough answers possible. They asked things like, “How many times have India and Pakistan been in the Security Council together?” Or, “What UN resolutions deal with specific countries such as Libya or Sudan?”

“I also got the chance to go to the U.N. and sit in on meetings on Syria and Sudan,” said Rios, a government and world affairs major. “I learned more about foreign policy, how the U.N. operates and got a better perspective on how the U.S. goes about its foreign affairs.”

Rios was one of 13 interns at the U.S. Mission to the U.N. After he graduates, he’d like to go to law school to study international law.

“I want to work in peace keeping and conflict resolution,” said Rios. “I want to be able to go to a region before they go to war, before there is conflict, and mediate the disputes. It’s a difficult task but one that must be attempted.”

While interning in the fall, he also completed two independent studies, one on human rights with Associate Professor Bruce Friesen and one on East Asian politics with Assistant Professor Liv Coleman. He said their support during the semester was tremendous and has helped him reach his goals.

“I’m also a big believer in the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights,” said Rios. “I believe everyone has the right to reach their full human potential, regardless of where they are from.”


Jamie Pilarczyk, Web Writer
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