In 2012, the State of Kuwait signed a Memorandum of Agreement with UNDP to participate in the Junior Professional Officers (JPO) programme, to send young Kuwaiti professionals to serve in various entities of the United Nations for a period of two years, enabling them to gain experience in international development strategic policy and implementation. Kuwait is the only Arab State currently supporting the UNDP JPO programme and is the largest donor to the JPO programme from the region to date. The Kuwait JPO Programme is managed by the General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development (GSSCPD) and supported by UNDP Kuwait and the JPO Service Centre in Copenhagen.

Kuwait has now sent two batches of 10 JPOs each, totalling 20 young Kuwaiti professionals.

The JPO Programme represents a new dimension to Kuwait’s South-South Cooperation activities and one which is also expected to help build national development capacity following the repatriation of the JPOs upon completion of their assignment. The posts selected for funding were chosen by the GSSCPD on the basis of their particular utility to supporting implementation of the national development plan. Thus the areas of specialization of the 20 JPOs include environment and energy, strategic partnerships, communications, audit, human resources, private sector in development, sustainable development policy, volunteerism and governance policy. Following the success of the Kuwait JPO Programme to date, other countries in the region are now aiming to emulate Kuwait’s example.

The JPO programme has also provided an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of UNDP and its mandate to support the empowerment of youth. It is also a valued tool to raise awareness among the youth themselves of UNDP and its role as well as the benefits to Kuwait of engaging in South-South cooperation.
Following completion of the first JPO assignment, three former Kuwaiti JPOs were selected for employment by UNDP in New York and Amman. A fourth former JPO has been recruited by the OPEC Fund for International Development.

“Working for the UN means that you are living the values of the organisation in your everyday activity and behaviour” – JPO Khaled Al Khashram
“With every passing day in the organisation and as I grow more aware of the complexity of issues confronted by UNDP, I feel a growing sense of duty towards the individuals and the communities we serve” – JPO Yumn Almufarrej
“The best part is you sense the accomplishments achieved by UNDP Barbados and the OECS Office, and that is why I’m very grateful and honoured to be part of that team” – JPO Musaad Al Saleh

“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” – JPO Jawaher Ali Reda.

“It has been an eye-opening experience to see how a global organisation works” – JPO Sarah Al-Abdullah.

Batch 1, deployed 2013:

UNDP Eastern Caribbean Regional Office


Staff Administrative Services


Istanbul International Centre for Private Sector in Development


Tokyo International Conference for African Development, Regional Bureau for Africa

New York

Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy, Communications Unit

New York

Bureau for Policy and Programme Support

New York

Bureau for Development Policy

New York

Energy and Environment Group

New York

Office of Audit and Investigations

New York

Batch 2, deployed 2015:

UNDP Global Centre for Public Service


Regional Bureau of Arab States

New York

UN Volunteers Office


Articulation    of    Territorial    Networks    for Human Development (ART) Programme


JPO Service Centre


Business and Administration Management

New York

UNDP   Country   Office,   Environment   and Energy


UN   Capital   Development   Fund   (UNCDF) Regional Office


UNCDF, Policy Sector

New York

Strategic  Donor  Partnerships  and  Resource Mobilisation, UNIDO

-Ghalia Faraj


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