Ms. Maria Francesca Spatolisano Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs

Opening Remarks
12th Meeting of National Recruitment Services and United Nations Organizations on the JPO Programmes

Distinguished guests,
Dear Colleagues,

It is a pleasure for me to welcome you to what is also my home country.

On behalf of the UN Secretariat, and the Department of Economic and Social Affairs that I represent, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the Government of Italy for generously hosting the 12th Meeting of National Recruitment Services and United Nations Organizations on the JPO Programmes in the “eternal city” of Rome.

As the Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs in UN DESA, I regard the JPO Biennial Meetings as an outstanding example of informal UN inter-agency policy coordination on human resources matters.

This is such a unique opportunity where the United Nations System and other International Organizations work in close partnership with donor countries to attain the same goal: Making the JPO Programme more and more successful.

I therefore would like to commend all the participants of this Biennial Meeting for their spirit of cooperation and for their efforts towards the harmonization to the extent possible of practices, policies and procedures.

I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all the donor countries for their continuous generous support to the Programme, both those member states that have participated for many years as well as those that recently joined. Since its establishment in 1961, the JPO Programme has become one of the most successful capacity development activities of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs as well as of other Organizations of the UN System, and beyond.

I am particularly glad to see that the main theme of this biennial meeting is “Building Partnerships”.

For the last sixty years, the JPO Programme has been the perfect example of a successful partnership between the UN Organizations and Member States to support the mandates of the United Nations.

The most recent mandate for all of us is outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted in 2015. UN Organizations and member states are working together to achieve the ambitious goals and the targets of the 2030 Agenda.

Nobody can achieve this alone!

The paradigm shift reflected in the 2030 Agenda requires an upgrade and continuous adjustments to the United Nations workforce as well as bold action to galvanize efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

The JPO Programme continues to facilitate these adjustments through the provision of a supplementary element to the United Nations’ workforce planning framework, given that available resources in the UN Organizations are increasingly disproportionate to the existing needs.

I commend the efforts to include in the JPO Programme the complexity and universality of the 2030 Agenda and all dimensions of the SDGs, including peace, development, and human rights.

The link between the various pillars and dimensions of the work of the UN is key to enable the United Nations to better respond to the changing capacity needs of all Member States to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda.

With the support of all donor countries, UN Organizations can avail of the Junior Professional Officers’ talent, skills, energy and enthusiasm to contribute to the global efforts of the Agenda, while enabling the junior professionals to learn skill sets and thematic issues in the field of multilateralism and international cooperation.

I also want to mention the sponsorship of Developing Country Candidates in the context of the Programme as an excellent example of partnership among countries.

The opportunity that such sponsorship can create, helps in raising future leaders and professionals in the development field who can continue the work and ensure that the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals becomes a lasting reality.

I applaud those countries that are already implementing this practice, and I am counting on all the others countries’ support and generous contributions towards furthering the participation of candidates from developing countries in the JPO Schemes through the different modalities to be presented during this Meeting.

Finally, I wish all of you a successful meeting in the best spirit of partnership.

I am sure that each of you will bring a valuable and diversified contribution to the debate for the enhancement of the JPO Programme.

Thank you for your attention.

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