Go to the UN JPO Programme website

  • an advanced university degree
  • a minimum of two years of relevant work experience
  • strong command of one of the working languages of the United Nations, English or French; an additional official language is an asset
  • normally 32 years of age or younger, but this varies by donor country

If you are a skilled graduate with energy, enthusiasm and an eagerness to join the United Nations, the Junior Professional Officer (JPO) Programme (formerly known as Associate Experts Programme) may be the right route for you.

The main goal of the JPO Programme is to support the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to offer young professionals an opportunity to get hands-on experience in multilateral international cooperation at the United Nations.

The UN JPO Programme, managed by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), recruits and administers JPOs for:

  • United Nations Secretariat (Headquarters and Field offices, incl. Peacekeeping Operations and Special Political Missions)
  • Secretariat of the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB)
    • Join Inspection Unit (JIU)
    • Regional Commissions (ECA, ECE, ESCWA, ECLAC, ESCAP)
    • Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
    • International Court of Justice and United Nations Tribunals
    • United Nations Secretariat of the Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
    • United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD),
    • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
    • Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI)
    • United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR)
    • United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
    • UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy in Central Asia (UNRCCA)
    • United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD)
    • United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC)

    As a JPO you are recruited under bilateral agreements between the United Nations and donor countries.

    The following countries are currently participating in the UN JPO Programme:

    • Australia
    • Austria
    • Bahrain
    • Belgium
    • China
    • Denmark
    • Egypt
    • Estonia
    • Finland
    • France
    • Germany
    • Hungary
    • Iceland
    • Italy
    • Japan
    • Kazakhstan
    • Kuwait
    • Luxembourg
    • Morocco
    • Netherlands
    • Norway
    • Poland
    • Qatar
    • Russian Federation
    • Saudi Arabia
    • Singapore
    • Republic of Korea
    • Spain
    • Sweden
    • Switzerland
    • United Arab Emirates
    • United Kingdom
    • USA

    The number of sponsored positions varies from year to year and by donor country. Initially you are granted a one-year appointment which may be extended, with the agreement of the donor country, and on the basis of good performance. There is no expectation of being selected for a regular staff position, but as a JPO you may apply for such positions as any other external candidate.

    The following disciplines are some of those considered by donor countries for the United Nations JPO Programme:

    • Political science
    • Social science
    • Law
    • Human Rights
    • Programme Management
    • Public Administration
    • Economic Affairs
    • Environmental Affairs
    • Gender Affairs

    Other specialties may be required by specialized Agencies of the United Nations System and sponsored by the donors under their programmes.

    More details on the programme and relevant links with donor countries can be found on the UN JPO Programme website.

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