Today, at Farnesina, the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Maria Tripodi, opened the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Junior Professional Officers (JPO) programme in Italy, the Programme that offers young qualified people a professional and training experience within international organisations. The Programme might last up to two years, with the possibility of a further year extension.
Tripodi welcomed the attendees, including Mrs Maria-Francesca Spatolisano, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs at UN DESA, namely the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, which cooperates with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in managing the JPO Programme. Moreover, 50 winners of the 2022-2023 edition – a number chosen to celebrate the 50th anniversary –who are waiting to enter into office, and some former JPOs from previous editions attended the event.
In her speech, the Under Secretary stressed how the Italian Government has run the Programme since 1973. She continued by stressing how the Italian Government, through the General Directorate for Development Cooperation, has managed to open and finance 1,850 job positions for young Italian resources and 71 for young professionals from developing countries. Therefore, the Programme has become the main access point to the UN for Italian officers.
“International officers perform an essential role, which requires professional skills, integrity, impartiality, sense of duty and confidentiality. Such unique qualities are necessary for this sector, and Italy is proud of its representatives in this sense,” stated the Under Secretary, and underlined the fundamental contribution of our Country to strengthen the international system based on a multi-lateral approach by also recalling Italy’s sensitivity and inclination to the principles of dialogue, inclusiveness and mediation.
The event will end this afternoon with a speech by Carlo Lo Cascio, Deputy Secretary General at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.