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The United Nations YPP examination is an annual event and candidates must meet the basic eligibility criteria of the current year, in order to apply.
In this article, we will show you the minimum requirements for applying to the UN YPP 2021!
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UN YPP Minimum Requirements / Eligibility Criteria
The basic requirements are:
Applicants must be 32 years old or younger as of 31 December of the year of the UN YPP examination. There are no exceptions to the UN YPP age requirements (not even for one day). If you don’t meet this basic criterion, you could still look for more senior positions within the UN system that have different age prerequisites.
Fluency in English OR French in all four areas (speaking, writing, reading, understanding) is required. If you indicate anything less than “Fluent” in any of these areas during the application process, you will automatically be considered unqualified. All of the tests in the examination process will be available in both languages. Knowledge of another UN official language (Arabic, Chinese, Russian and/or Spanish) is an advantage.
One of the constantly changing criteria and that should be analyzed as a priority is with regards to the “participating countries”—which defines, based on a quota system (aiming to ensure diversity within the UN Secretariat workforce), which countries are invited to participate in the selection of the ongoing year.
Every year, the representation of each of the UN Member States within the Secretariat is assessed. Calculations are based on mathematical formulas with many variables (country size, population, etc). Nationals of a country which is overrepresented or whose representation already meets the quota are normally not invited to take part in the UN YPP selection process.
The list changes on an annual basis and it is not possible to predict which countries will be eligible for the following year. In order to be considered for a post, candidates must hold the nationality of at least one of the pre-selected Member States.
Discover all UN YPP 2021 Participating Countries clicking below:
Remember that you can only apply under one nationality! In case you have more than one, your choice of which to use could increase your chances of acceptance. If, for instance, one of the countries of which you are a citizen is underrepresented in the UN Secretariat or by the number of its citizens applying for the program, you could improve your chances of qualifying in the exam by selecting that nationality.
As a minimum, you must hold a first-level university degree (Bachelor’s degree or an equivalent degree of a minimum three years) relevant for the exam area you are applying for.
This means that a candidate’s academic qualifications should be in areas co-related/covered by the UN YPP exam areas for that year and which they intend to apply for.
For 2019, for example, in order to be eligible, education-wise for the exam in the “Economic Affairs” area, candidates were required to have an undergraduate degree in one of the following areas, as a minimum:
Sociology, Economics, Statistics, Mathematics, Demography, Public Administration, Governance, Political Science, Business Administration, Law, Public Finance, and other social sciences or related fields.
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Previous professional experience is not required. However, relevant work experience will be used to rank candidates, especially if there are more than 60 from the same country applying for the UN Young Professionals Programme.
The UN advises applicants to be precise and succinct about their work experience, using short bullet points to describe the main duties of each role performed.
Basic criteria for UN Staff Members
Staff members can apply either through an external application (meeting the requirements listed above) or in line with special staff criterion. According to the United Nations, if you are a staff member of the organization in the General Service and related staff categories, or in the Field Service category, and do not meet the above criteria, you can still participate in the examination, if you meet the following prerequisites:
- You have a minimum of five years’ continuous Secretariat experience
- You have had a completely successful performance in your last two performance appraisals
- You have a United Nations appointment valid until at least six months after the examination date
- You meet the minimum educational criteria for the job family you are interested in applying for
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