As many of the intern positions are located in the most expensive cities in the world, including New York and Geneva, many simply don't have the means to relocate for a three- or six-month stint with the UN. A group calling itself the Fair Internship Initiative (FII), which organized Tuesday's event, is calling on all UN agencies to offer paid internships.
"People from the developing world need that money," one of the protesters, German intern Mehrnusch Anssari who works at the UN's legal department, told VICE News. "I think that interns should be paid, especially those who can't afford to come here."
Despite the peaceful demonstration, security descended on the group just as they entered the General Assembly building to take pictures in front of a panel of portraits of current and former Secretary Generals. The interns were told that protests aren't allowed inside the UN.
Though satisfied with their own efforts to ensure their rights, the interns said they understood that protests could jeopardize their current positions and future jobs at the UN.