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October 23, 2012

Conflict and Dispute Resolution student to intern with the U.N.

Camille Lafage, a second year Conflict and Dispute Resolution master’s student at the University of Oregon, was recently selected to intern with Office of the United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services. She will intern with the office for four months beginning in Dec. 2012.

As an international student from France with a background in law and conflict resolution, Lafage has always been interested in international initiatives toward global peace.

“Thanks to my previous coursework, and my proficiency in French and English—the two official languages of the U.N. —I hoped I could potentially qualify for an internship with the U.N. which lead me to apply to their program,” Lafage said.

The Office of the Ombudsman channels conflicts into productive solutions through conflict coaching, providing feedback to U.N. offices, shuttle diplomacy and other informal methods of conflict mediation. During the course of her internship, Lafage will likely work on various projects related to conflict resolution and other administrative tasks.

“During my studies I have become more and more attracted to law as an instrument of social change, particularly in the fields of comparative law, international relations and restorative justice,” Lafage said. “My current research interest involves postwar legal measures and their influence on history, diplomatic relations and society as a whole.”

Although her dream is to pursue a career in teaching, Lafage would enjoy any position with an international angle. Regardless of her ultimate career decision, Lafage believes the U.N. internship will be a significant asset and encourages students to apply to similar internships at international organizations.

“I think that most students do not seriously consider applying because they are afraid to hear a negative answer,” Lafage said. “The truth is, you will hear a lot of ’no’s’ before you hear a ’yes.’ But don't hesitate to apply to multiple internships in various offices.” 

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