Before Ikenna Ezealah started law school at Case Western Reserve University in the summer of 2022, his professional goal was to be an international nation-building diplomat who works toward the progress and development of the African continent. As a first step, he resolved to work at the preeminent worldwide diplomatic organization: the United Nations.
In the first weeks of the law program, he discovered the United Nations Immersion Programme for Multilateral Diplomacy, which is conducted by United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). “Like a lock and key fits, so did I instantly know the program was a perfect fit for my professional aspirations with the UN.” Ikenna Ezealah said reflectively. The purpose of the programme is to equip participants with knowledge and skills in diplomacy, empower them to work more effectively and efficiently in any international environment, offer access to the UN’s institutions and staff to build up networks, and gain insights into future career steps. With the support of the Case Western Reserve Law Program, he signed up for the winter session scheduled January 2—February 3, 2023.
The UN Immersion program has two components: an online training with 4 modules, live-webinars delivered by UN experts on various topics, and a 5-day field visit to Geneva Switzerland. Ikenna Ezealah visited Geneva for the UN Immersion field visit that took place January 30—February 3, 2023. Of his initial impressions, Ezealah said, “I felt delighted and inspired to be at the epicenter of global diplomacy, and to experience the rich traditions of the United Nations.”
The field visit consisted of a combination of expert lectures, training workshops, guided tours, visits to UN agencies and career development sessions. What are some things Ezealah learned from the programme? The historical diplomatic events and people that lead to the formation of the UN. The main objective of the UN charter, its current structure and the role of the different agencies in the overall mission. The procedures of conference diplomacy, the history, strategies for a career in the UN and much more. Inspired, Ezealah said, “The program confirmed that my qualities and goals reflect the profile of the next generation of UN leadership. The international arena of vision setting, governance, and creating initiatives that drive global development is my element.”
What comes next? Ezealah will be representing Case Western Reserve Law as an intern at the International Trade Center (ITC) in Geneva, Switzerland this summer. The ITC is a multilateral agency which has a joint mandate with the World Trade Organization and the United Nations through the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. Also, in furtherance of his goal of nation-building diplomacy, he applied and was selected to participate in the Summer Diplomatic Program of Washington International Diplomatic Academy.
Reflecting on his experiences, Ezealah said, “I am thankful to the Almighty Father for His guidance in the successes I am experiencing. What started as a vision is becoming reality through diligence, focus, and the firm support of the Case Western Reserve School of Law administration. What drives me is not personal success, but to achieve my life’s objective: to be a servant and guardian of the welfare and further development of the African people.”