The Permanent Mission of Canada to the International Organizations in Vienna is responsible for the management of Canada’s participation in and relationship with the multilateral organizations which have their headquarters in Vienna: the International Atomic Energy Agency; the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization; and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.
2016 Summer Intern: Felicia Mazzarello, L1, BCL/LLB
Felicia graduated from McGill in May 2015 with Honors Political Science and a minor in History. During her time as an undergrad, Felicia was a secretariat member for two of the Secondary Schools’ United Nations Symposium conferences and represented the International Relations Students’ Association of McGill at the 58th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. She is currently a law student, pursuing a BCL/LLB at McGill.
Contact Felicia felicia.mazzarello [at] mail.mcgill.ca (here).
My experience as a policy intern for the Canadian Mission to the International Organizations in Vienna allowed me to bridge my studies in Political Science with my legal studies. I completed my B.A. in Political Science in 2015 and enrolled in Law school in 2016. During my legal studies I realized how much I missed international relations and began thinking about a career in international law. During my time as an undergraduate I attended the 58th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women and thoroughly enjoyed watching multilateralism in action. This internship allowed me to further develop my understanding of diplomacy in the international arena and to better understand how Canada’s interests and policies are advocated and promoted abroad.
As a policy intern I worked with the diplomats at the Canadian Mission to the International Organizations in Vienna. The organizations and committees that I worked with included the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), The Hague Code of Conduct (HCoC), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) and the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ). My work primarily involved attending meetings at the United Nations and writing reports on them to send back to Ottawa. I also did research for the Mission on documents and statements the diplomats either presented at UN meetings or sent back to Ottawa for approval. For instance, I attended meetings and drafted the Mission’s report concerning the international assistance Canada would be giving to both the IAEA and the CTBTO for the 2016-2017 fiscal year.
One of the highlights of my internship was attending the 25th session of the CCPCJ as part of the Canadian delegation. I attended this week-long conference alongside two diplomats from the Mission in Vienna and five officers from different areas of the government in Ottawa. During the conference I reported on many side events, witnessed the negotiations of Canada’s resolution on restorative justice and delivered a statement in the plenary on behalf of Canada on World Crime Trends and Emerging Issues and Responses in the Field of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. Canada’s resolution on restorative justice was a topic I had studied in my Constitutional Law class this past year and thus seeing it debated in front of me was really fascinating. I had background knowledge on Canada’s position regarding the issue from my course at McGill, but had no knowledge about what other countries views on the matter were. The UN in Vienna is unique in that it operates on consensus – all resolutions must be agreed upon by all countries before they can be adopted. This makes for lengthy debate on issues that may seem minor (such as a word choice) but that end up delaying the adoption of a resolution.
A second highlight for me was attending the Women in Higher Education for Peace Forum. This conference not only allowed me to meet like-minded women in the field of international relations but also opened my eyes to an area I had not considered working in before: nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. The two-day conference highlighted how this is a diverse field that requires people with all sorts of professional backgrounds, including law.
The experience allowed me to meet diplomats from all over the world with similar educational backgrounds. By attending many meetings and negotiations I also developed a better understanding of how realistic, complex, and dynamic solutions to real international situations are agreed upon. This semester I will be writing a paper concerning how Canada’s foreign policy has changed under our new leadership, positing that many of the changes we have seen can and should be attributed to Prime Minister Trudeau himself. My experience as a policy intern in dealing with foreign policy issues inspired this paper and I will be using many of the issues I dealt with directly in my writing.
Thank you very much for allowing me to experience being a policy intern this summer. The experience taught me a great deal about international relations and issues surrounding nuclear weapons and atomic energy, crime prevention, and terrorism. Overall the internship was incredibly rewarding.