Mosaic of opportunities

2. World Trade Organization

World Trade Organization (WTO) 2021 Young Professionals Programme

Deadline: May 29, 2020.


The WTO has issued a call for candidates for the 2021 Young Professionals Programme (YPP). Candidates up to the age of 32, as of 1 January 2021, from eligible developing and least-developed countries are invited to submit their application. Launched in 2016, the WTO YPP has attracted over 40 young professionals from countries that are under-represented in the WTO Secretariat. The Programme is an opportunity for qualified young professionals from developing and least-developed countries that are members of the WTO to enhance their knowledge regarding WTO and international trade issues. The programme aims to attract professionals who can consequently improve their chances of being recruited by the WTO and/or other regional and international organizations. The Programme is part of the Secretariat’s efforts to increase diversity and broaden the representation of the membership.


Participants under the programme receive:

  1. A monthly salary of CHF 3,500
  2. The WTO also provides appropriate medical cover and
  3. Travel costs.


The selected Young Professional will be placed in a specific Division of the WTO Secretariat following the needs and priorities of the Organization and based on the identified areas of interest of the Young Professional. Each Young Professional may express interest in not more than three areas of WTO work, and order of preference.

The areas of work may include, inter alia, the following (in alphabetical order):

  1. Accessions
  2. Agriculture
  3. Council and Trade Negotiations
  4. Dispute Settlement
  5. Economic Research and Statistics
  6. Government Procurement
  7. Intellectual Property Rights
  8. Market Access (tariffs and non-tariff barriers)
  9. Media and External Relations
  10. Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures
  11. Technical Barriers to Trade
  12. Trade and Development
  13. Trade and Environment
  14. Trade Facilitation
  15. Trade in Services and Investment
  16. Trade Policy Analysis
  17. Trade-Related Technical Assistance.
  18. Trade Remedies (anti-dumping and countervailing duties)


A candidate must:

  1. Be a national of a WTO member state
  2. Have an advanced university degree in law, economics, and other international trade-related subjects relevant to WTO work
  3. Have a minimum of two years’ relevant experience
  4. Demonstrate a high level of interest in international trade and commitment to WTO-related work
  5. Be fluent in English. Good working knowledge of one of the WTO’s other official languages, French or Spanish, would be an advantage
  6. Be 32 years of age or younger at the expected start date of the YPP, if selected.

Preference shall be given to nationals from WTO Members without any representation at the professional level in the Secretariat; and have not participated in previous cohorts of the YPP. The list of such WTO Members as of 1 April 2020 is set out below:

  1. Angola
  2. Belize
  3. Brunei Darussalam
  4. Cabo Verde
  5. Central African Republic
  6. Congo
  7. Djibouti
  8. Eswatini
  9. Gabon
  10. Grenada
  11. Guinea-Bissau
  12. Kuwait, The State of
  13. Kyrgyz Republic
  14. Lao People’s Democratic Republic
  15. Mauritania
  16. Myanmar
  17. Nicaragua
  18. Niger
  19. Qatar
  20. Saint Kitts and Nevis
  21. Saint Lucia
  22. Samoa
  23. Saudi Arabia, Kingdom of
  24. Seychelles
  25. Solomon Islands
  26. Suriname
  27. Tonga
  28. United Arab Emirates
  29. Vanuatu
  30. Yemen


  1. ALL APPLICATIONS MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY A COVER LETTER OF MOTIVATION, WHICH SHOULD INDICATE UP TO THREE AREAS OF WORK (SEE DETAILS UNDER GENERAL FUNCTIONS), IN ORDER OF PREFERENCE, THAT THE APPLICANT WOULD BE INTERESTED IN. Applications with no accompanying letter of motivation will not be considered. Please refer to instructions under Additional Information on how to add a cover letter on the WTO e-recruitment system.
  2. APPLICANTS MUST SUBMIT THEIR APPLICATIONS THROUGH THE E-RECRUITMENT SYSTEM ALONG WITH THEIR COVER LETTER OF MOTIVATION. Instructions to add the cover letter is as follows: Once the application for the Young Professionals Programme has been submitted, their application will be displayed under the “My Applications” tab. Applicants should click on the button “Add” for the specific vacancy under the “Covering letter” column. Cover letters added in other sections of the applicant profile such as “Additional Information” or “Additional Documents”.
  3. Only applications from nationals of WTO Members will be accepted.
  4. The WTO may use various communication technologies such as video or teleconference for the assessment and evaluation of candidates. The recruitment process may also involve the use of various forms of testing, assessment centres, interviews and reference checks.

Duration of programme: One year, starting in January 2021 (without the possibility of extension). To apply, please visit the WTO’s E-Recruitment website here

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