UNDP Kuwait and the General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development host the first national symposium on the UNDP Kuwait Junior Professional Officer Programme

Feb 7, 2016

On 7 February, under the auspices of Her Excellency Mrs. Hind Subeah Al-Subeah, Minister of State for Planning and Development and Minister of Social Affairs and Labour, UNDP Kuwait and the General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development (GSSCPD) organized a symposium for national partners and stakeholders on the UNDP Kuwait Junior Professional Officer (JPO) Programme. In welcoming the participants, Ms. Zineb Touimi-Benjelloun, UN Resident Coordinator / UNDP Resident Representative, noted that UNDP is very proud of its work with the GSSCPD to send young Kuwaiti professionals to support UN operations around the globe. The RCRR emphasised that the JPO programme provides an important entry-point for UNDP to support the State of Kuwait to implement the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals in accordance with the Kuwait National Development Plan.

H.E. Ms. Hind Subeah Al-Subeah praised the Kuwaiti JPOs for their achievements and noted that this initiative has empowered Kuwaiti youth and provided them with experience in working for international organisations. Since completing their assignment, three Kuwaitis recruited during the first round have been retained as regular employees of UNDP and one has obtained employment at the OPEC Fund for International Development. Dr. Khaled Mahdi, Secretary-General of the GSSCPD, linked the JPO programme to the national development agenda and commended the JPOs for their contributions to raising Kuwait’s profile within the United Nations. He advised that he was impressed with the high level of professionalism demonstrated by the Kuwaiti JPOs and stated that by participating in the JPO programme, Kuwait is investing in its future.  Dr. Khaled also noted that the symposium outcomes would be applied to strengthen the recruitment arrangements for the next batch of Kuwaiti JPOs.

The symposium heard from several Kuwaiti JPOs on their experiences, achievements and challenges working for the United Nations abroad. Presentations were made on the global UNDP JPO programme and the Kuwait JPO programme. Since 2013, Kuwait has sent 20 young professionals to serve in UNDP and affiliated agency offices worldwide and this was the first time that any donor country participating in the UNDP JPO programme had held a national symposium to examine the lessons learned to date in order to optimize the programme’s impact. Following Kuwait’s success as the only country in the Arab region currently participating in the JPO programme, a number of other countries are considering adopting Kuwait’s innovative approach.

For more information on the JPO programme globally, please see http://www.jposc.undp.org/

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