Seventy-eight participants from 34 duty stations across more than 20 different UN entities took part in the 2019 orientation programme for junior professional officers (JPOs) held recently at the UN System Staff College, according to statistics released today.

“What a wonderful training: insider’s knowledge on how the UN works, getting to know more than seventy other JPOs, great facilitation and participatory teaching methods. Just perfect!” said Giulia, Italian JPO.

The 17th edition of this programme, took place at the UNSSC headquarters in Turin (Italy) from 23 September to 4 October. This was the biggest turnout in 10 years, thanks to the partnership with the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA).

“Intense and fantastic, these two weeks went beyond my expectations! Coming from the private sector, I have learnt a lot on the UN system and developed real links with my peers,” said Iris, Luxembourgian JPO. “I will definitely recommend this training! Also a big thank you to the support team, they are super careful and nice!

The orientation Programme provides a system-wide perspective to participants, and it allows them to begin their JPO journey relying on a solid network of peers and colleagues across the UN system. JPOs enjoyed a two-week intensive training course. During this period, they went through group discussions, case studies, simulations and outdoor activities, meant to challenge their knowledge and abilities to collaborate.

Topics tackled during the programme ranged from UN substantial knowledge, such as the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the UN development reform, to cross-cutting soft skills like negotiations, influencing and managing upwards. Work-life balance as well as safety and security trainings were included.

Participants were sponsored by seven different donor countries: Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Switzerland and for the first time, Finland, Saudi Arabia and Sweden. The growing number of partners testifies the success of the programme and the unique opportunity it represents for young leaders joining the UN system.

The programme received a 96 per cent recommendation rate by participants.

“This course is a great example how complete strangers can become a "UN family" within two weeks,” said Stephan, Swiss JPO.