In 2012, Kuwait signed a Memorandum of Agreement with UNDP to participate in the UN Junior Professional Officers (JPO) Programme, wherein young Kuwaiti professionals are dispatched to serve in various UN entities for two years and thereby enabling them to gain unique experience in international development strategic policy work and implementation.
To date, Kuwait is the only Arab state participating in the JPO programme, and is the region’s largest donor to the programme. Kuwait’s participation in the flagship UNDP JPO programme has contributed towards national efforts to achieve H.H. the Amir of Kuwait’s State Vision: Kuwait 2035, as reflected in the Kuwait National Development Plan (KNDP). Since 2012, Kuwait has sent 20 Junior Professional Officers to serve in UNDP and other affiliated United Nations offices around the world.
The UNDP Kuwait JPO programme is an excellent opportunity to raise awareness about UNDP work, and supports its key mandate of supporting youth empowerment, contributing to the development of human capital in Kuwait, as well as strategic global positioning of Kuwait as a leader in sustainable development. The programme has also increased Kuwait’s representation in the UN staffing table, while enhancing national awareness of the role of Kuwait as a United Nations Member State.
In order to best develop enhanced capacity that optimises the impact of the programme to Kuwait’s youth as well as the country’s strategic positioning, UNDP is working on effectively recruiting a third, and subsequent batches of Kuwaiti JPOs with necessary institutional arrangements and partnerships in place, drafting and implementing effective communications and advocacy strategies and preparing comprehensive reinsertion and follow-up strategies.
During the period 2013-2015, 20 JPOs were sent to various UN agencies. The first class of 10 Kuwaiti JPOs were deployed to New York, Copenhagen, Vienna, Bridgetown and Istanbul and the second class of 10 Kuwaiti JPOs were deployed to New York, Copenhagen, Vienna, Bonn, Brussels, Singapore and Bangkok. The current project has deployed 6 JPOs to New York, Copenhagen & Geneva to assume various functions with new recruitments made with the Department of Economic & Social Affairs (DESA). The second class of 2015 JPOs have found jobs in various public and private sector positions following their time and experience on the programme