What is the UN Young Professionals Programme?

The Young Professionals Programme (YPP) is a recruitment initiative for talented, highly qualified professionals to start a career as an international civil servant with the United Nations Secretariat. It consists of an entrance examination and professional development programmes once successful candidates start their career with the UN.

Who can apply?

The YPP examination is held once a year and is open to nationals of countries participating in the annual recruitment exercise. The list of participating countries is published annually and varies from year to year.

Basic application criteria:

  • You must have the nationality of a participating country.
  • You must hold at least a first-level university degree relevant for the exam area you are applying for.
  • You must be 32 or younger by the end of the examination.
  • You must be fluent in either English or French.

Participating Countries

Each year, countries that are un- or under-represented in the United Nations, are invited to take part in the Young Professionals Programme. Countries taking part in the Programme this year are:
Afghanistan, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Comoros, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Greece, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Laos, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Monaco, Mozambique, Nauru, Norway, Oman, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Qatar, Saint Lucia, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Somalia, South Sudan, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United States, Vanuatu, Vietnam

Participation of staff of the United Nations

Staff members of the United Nations in the General Service and related staff categories, as well as in the Field Service category, are given the opportunity to participate in the young professionals programme examination for recruitment into the Professional category. This is a way of recognizing talent and excellence in the Organization by reserving entry level professional posts for staff members who pass the competitive examination.

The examination is the exact same examination and is given in the same manner as the YPP examination for external candidates. If you meet the criteria below, you can apply to participate in the young professionals programme as an external candidate under the G to N track:

  • You must have the nationality of a participating country.
  • You must hold at least a first-level university degree relevant for the exam area you are applying for.
  • You must be 32 or younger by the end of the examination.
  • You must be fluent in either English or French.

If you are a staff member of the United Nations in the General Service and related staff categories, or a staff member in the Field Service category, and do not meet the criteria above, you can still participate in the examination under the G to P track if you meet the following criteria:

  • You must have at least five years of continuous service in the Secretariat.
  • You must have fully successful performance in the last two performance appraisals.
  • You must have a United Nations appointment valid until at least six months after the date of the examination.
  • You must meet the minimum educational criteria for the job family you are interested in applying for.

Successful staff will be placed in a professional position at the P-1 or P-2 level, depending on their qualifications and will work in different offices in various functions contributing to the goals of the Organization.

Competitive examinations for recruitment and placement in posts requiring specific language skills in the Professional category are administered separately, and are not included in this examination.

> Frequently asked questions - internal candidates

Exam areas

Depending on the staffing needs of the United Nations, applicants are invited to apply for different exam areas. Descriptions of responsibilities, expected competencies and education requirements differ depending on the area.


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