Kuwait funds 10 JPO posts to support international UN operations

25 Jun 2013

In November 2012, the State Minister for Planning and Development launched a joint initiative with the Kuwait United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to recruit 10 young Kuwaiti professionals for employment as Junior Professional Officers (JPOs) in offices of the United Nations around the globe. The aim of the initiative was to develop the talents of Kuwaiti youth by gaining work experience in the United Nations system. The Kuwaiti JPOs will serve for one to two years in their duty stations and during that time they will benefit from specialised training on UN programme policy and operations.

Following their assignments, these young professionals will be able to apply the expertise and training they will receive as UN staff to contribute towards the national development process, or they may choose to seek further employment in the UN system.

In selecting the 10 posts to be funded, the State Minister for Planning and Development considered the talents and interests of the Kuwaiti applicants, as well as the posts that would provide strategic support to Kuwait’s own national development. The positions finally selected cover the fields of environment and energy, communications, private sector, human resources, inclusive finance, youth employment and financial auditing. The posts are located in duty stations such as New York, Geneva and Istanbul, among others.   

“Becoming a JPO gives me an opportunity to expand my knowledge and skills by exposing me to UNDP from a macro perspective where sustainable development is approached through policy development and building global partnerships. One of the things I enjoy most about the UN is the extremely diverse staff I have the privilege to work with. Despite our different motivations, our shared passion for development is what continues to inspire me and keeps me going.” explained one of the JPOs.


The competitive recruitment process followed UNDP’s international practices of transparency and accountability and was undertaken in conjunction with the Junior Professional Officer Service Centre in Copenhagen, Denmark. Applicants who were determined to have the minimum criteria for consideration were placed on a long-list. Their specific qualification and years of professional experience were then compared with the relevant job description for each post to come up with a short-list of candidates for each post. These short-listed candidates were then interviewed by a three-member interview panel based in the JPO Service Centre in Copenhagen, which included a representative of the Service Centre and a representative of the office in which the successful candidate would be placed. Based on the outcome of the interview process and a careful substantiation of the qualifications, work experience and references of each one, a final decision on the 10 successful candidates was reached.

UNDP and the State Minister for Planning and Development are proud to work together on this initiative which will help to raise the profile of the State of Kuwait and Kuwaiti youth in the international community and promote the core principles of the United Nations, including the fostering of international cooperation and understanding. Highlighting its regional leadership role, Kuwait is the only country in the Middle East currently participating in the JPO programme and the first in the region to fund so many JPOs in a single batch.