Profile of an ambassador – Charlotta Schlyter
Charlotta Schlyter, a Swedish diplomat who is currently working as an ambassador for Sustainable Development at the Mission of Sweden to the United Nations in New York. She earned an LLM, or Master of Laws, at Uppsala University in Sweden and a second LLM at the University of Toronto in Canada. While attending a human rights course in Strasbourg, France, she met her husband, Brian Gorlick. For a time she lived in the United Kingdom researching HIV/AIDS and Medical Jurisprudence. Early in her UN career, Charlotta worked with the UN Refugee Agency in Turkey and the International Labour Organization in Geneva. After working with the UN, Charlotta applied to the Swedish Foreign Ministry where she became an ambassador. When asked about what she learned from her travels, Charlotta states that the best part is learning more about the world outside her home country. When traveling, people get the opportunity to learn another language and about the culture of the country they are in.
Additionally, Charlotta Sclyter has a deep passion for human rights issues, explaining that human rights are a “good perspective in which to understand the world.” Human rights led her to study law and become a lawyer when seeing and reading about the injustices in the world. “So many things in the world would be better if all governments were doing better on human rights,” she says. This interest in human rights led her to a job she loves which has taken her to many places and met many people who have inspired her to learn and do more things on an international level. Charlotta advises those who wish to pursue a career in international relations or at the UN to consider working in the diplomatic service or in single society organizations that work on international issues. For the UN specifically, she advises gaining other work experience first and learning English as well as an additional language. People can join the UN as junior officers, but to be a professional officer requires a Master’s degree. Learning public speaking skills is also important to work in the UN.
When asked what the theme of the conference, a Force for Good: Global Health and Technology for a Sustainable Future, means to her, she answered with this statement: “[The theme] means a lot. We are all coming out of the pandemic, and so I think we understand more than before the importance of access to healthcare, which a lot of people don’t have.” Charlotta further explains that the UN is only as good as the member states allow it to be. However, she continues by explaining how the UN has made a difference, from the decreasing rates of polio and the lower maternal mortality rates.
In one word, Charlotta describes herself as curious. She has a driving force that motivates her to learn new things about other countries and about people. Not only is she curious, but Charlotta is also passionate about what she believes in. Her passion for human rights has led her to where she is now. She is also inclusive of others, enjoying the chance to train her newer colleagues as they work together toward a shared goal. Charlotta hopes one day there will be a greater acceptance of human rights principles, and like others, world peace.
World Press Editor