13th Donor Conference for Junior Professional Officers (JPO) hosted by the Government of Kuwait

November 4, 2021

(2 – 3 November 2021, Kuwait City) The JPO programme brings new talent and ideas to the UN organizations by offering young professionals a unique opportunity to obtain training and exposure to United Nations development and humanitarian work either in field assignment or at headquarters.

The conference, drawing more than active participation of 90 representatives, was held for donor countries and international organizations hosted by the Government of Kuwait represented by His Excellency, Dr. Khaled Mahdi, the Secretary-General for the Supreme Council for Planning and Development (GSSCPD).

In order to facilitate well-informed discussions, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) presented the outcomes of the interagency overall assessment of the JPO Programme, and the World Health Organization (WHO) presented JPOs working on Covid-19 in various country settings. Throughout the conference, lively discussions were held with insights and observations shared by donor representatives and UN entities.

During the welcoming and closing remarks, Dr. Madi highlighted the importance of the 13th JPO conference to exchange experiences, challenges and even creative ideas to advance the next-generation leaders. He reiterated that youth are the leaders of the future and it is crucial that youth are knowledgeable and engaged with the global vision for the future. It is expected that young professionals will be the key driver for the successful implementation of the global SDGs and national plans. Dr. Mahdi also mentioned that the JPO programme is one of the most important programmes that provides entry-level professional officers with opportunities and exposure to the work of UN agencies, funds and programmes and the Secretariat.

While thanking the Government of Kuwait and distinguished representatives of donor countries, Ms. Hideko Hadzialic, the Resident Representative of UNDP in Kuwait introduced herself as a former JPO. She highlighted productive experiences in her tenure as JPO twenty years ago with the level of responsibilities and challenging assignments given to her. 

It is worth noting that In Kuwait and as of November 2021, a total of 35 young Kuwaiti professionals were deployed to 18 United Nations agencies, in 12 different countries, funds and programmes, as well as the Secretariat.  This enabled Kuwaiti JPOs gain international experiences required to contribute to supporting other member states in the field of development and peace affairs.