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The Government of Italy holds a distinguished position in the story of the Junior Professional Officer (JPO) induction programme offered by United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC). How did this shared journey begin? The Italian government, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) and UNSSC have beenfounding partners since 2003, starting with the nomination of a group of young Italian professionals for the very first JPO Orientation Programme at UNSSC. Last year, 2023, marked a huge milestone, twenty years in partnership!
UNSSC’s orientation programme offers participants a comprehensive system-wide perspective, empowering them to embark on their JPO journey with UN-critical knowledge, skills and competencies and importantly a robust network of peers and colleagues spanning the entire UN system and creating lasting connections that go well beyond the orientation programme.
Though it only began with Italy, with time the programme has gradually opened its doors for newly recruited JPOs from other member states. Currently 10 countries trust the Staff College team to prepare JPOs for their journey in the United Nations system through the orientation programme.
Over two decades, this initiative has evolved into a transformative force, equipping around 700 young professionals sponsored by Italy with the skills to positively contribute to the UN’s mandate while navigating their professional careers in the system.
This partnership spirit in the programme has proven instrumental in ensuring the seamless integration of JPOs into their roles. The success stories of those who have benefited from this collaboration stand as a testament to the profound impact of this enduring relationship.
“It was really a great opportunity – being on-site allowed us to get to know each other but also to get to know the system in a way that was the right mix. It was a good balance between formal learning about the UN, its structure and institutions, but also an opportunity to create a network among JPOs and connect beyond the campus experience.”
Fabrizio Andreuzzi, Deputy Resident Representative at UNDP Serbia, Italian JPO in 2004
"What I really liked about the JPO Orientation Programme was that it provided us with practical tools to work with and tips to navigate the UN system. Having this very deep induction to the interagency work, the dynamics between agencies and how we can contribute to the SDGs, all of this sets you up to be an international servant within your organization."
Alejandra Moncada, Planning Specialist at UNICEF Nigeria, Italian JPO in 2018
May this collaboration continue to thrive, bringing forth a new era of diplomatic excellence and global leadership!