Consider United Nations Volunteer, as an enriching experience and a lifetime opportunity - says UNV Arsalan Malik


It is a great learning opportunity to serve as a UN Volunteer in Pakistan with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The UNODC Office in Pakistan, which has been operational for over 35 years, is the sole guardian of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols.  

As a Programme Support Officer my role encompasses implementing activities under the Country Program to increase the knowledge and skills of law enforcement agencies, especially in the areas of research, investigation, and prosecution to effectively address the growing challenges posed by human trafficking and migrant smuggling.

During my assignment in Pakistan I have had the opportunity to advocate for closer working relations between regional law enforcement and criminal justice agencies in the source, transit, and destination countries, by organizing conferences and working group meetings to develop practical methods for enhancing information sharing and international cooperation mechanisms.

Under the supervision and guidance of the Country Representative I also contributed towards the development of a Strategic Action Framework for the Government of Pakistan to consider, as an attempt to streamline its efforts in controlling irregular migration attempts in response to the critical and growing human exodus through the Mediterranean Sea to the European countries. 

UNODC's work in the country is highly appreciated by the government as it facilitates GOP in reaching its goals especially Enabler III & IV of the Vision 2025 developed by the government, and complements Goal 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals. 

Having an educational background which fits well into the global mandate of the UNODC has enabled me to enhance my understanding of crime-related trends and patterns, and has expanded my professional horizons; while presenting me with an opportunity to visit remote areas near the Pak-Afghan border, in the process of implementing projects and activities to raise awareness amongst the vulnerable population of the area. 

UNV office in Pakistan has played a commendable role by providing on-going support and guidance during my assignment and organized numerous events to promote volunteerism. I would suggest to those seeking practical experience to definitely consider UNV, as an enriching experience and a lifetime opportunity, while the individual efforts of each volunteer would contribute towards advancing the universal principles of volunteerism.