NEW YORK – The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) announced a new Memorandum of Understanding that will allow UAE nationals to join the agency as full-time staff under a Junior Professional Officer (JPO) Program.  The agreement was signed by H.E. Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation, and Achim Steiner, Administrator of UNDP on the sidelines of the General Debate of the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly in September 2018.

UNDP has exceptional international reach, with presence in 170 countries, as well as a long history of partnership with the UAE both domestically and internationally,” said Minister Al Hashimy.  “The JPO program allows us to pool and strengthen our human resources in order to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals.”
UNDP’s JPO Programme provides young professionals the opportunity to gain experience in international development cooperation.  JPOs serve in UNDP country offices, regional hubs and its global headquarters in New York. Under the supervision of a senior staff member, JPOs work to deliver UNDP programmes ranging from climate-proofing infrastructure in the Pacific to establishing digital identities in post-conflict countries.

“The Junior Professionals Officer programme is a great opportunity for UNDP to work with young professionals from around the world,” said Achim Steiner.  “I look forward to welcoming young Emiratis on board to become future leaders for sustainable development.”

JPO placements typically last for two years, with the possibility of a one-year extension. Many JPO participants subsequently join UNDP on a long-term basis, or return to their countries to work in development-related fields.  The UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation will facilitate placement of nationals in the UNDP programme through a competitive interview process.

The UAE and UNDP have a long history of partnership. UNDP first commenced its operations in the UAE in 1977, and in recent years the focus has shifted to programs in third countries or global audiences, such as the stabilization fund for Iraq, the Global Knowledge Index supported by the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation, and the World Green Economy Organization, among other activities.