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The World Trade Organization (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 by 29 May 2020. The selected candidates will work at the WTO Secretariat for one year, starting in January 2021.

Launched in 2016, the YPP has attracted over 40 young professionals from countries that are under-represented in the WTO Secretariat. The Programme demonstrates the WTO's efforts to increase diversity and broaden the representation of its membership. The YPP provides a unique opportunity for qualified young professionals to enhance their knowledge and skills on WTO and international trade issues. The selected young professionals are allocated to various divisions of the WTO Secretariat based on their qualifications and the needs of the division. The areas of work may include accessions, agriculture, dispute settlement, intellectual property rights, market access, media and external relations, WTO rules, trade and development, trade and environment, trade in services and investment, trade facilitation, trade policy analysis and trade-related technical assistance.


The YPP duration is one year without possibility of extension. Participants under the programme receive a monthly salary of CHF 3,500 (E65,000). The WTO also provides appropriate medical cover and travel costs.


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. A 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.

  7. Preference is given to nationals from WTO members without any representation at the professional level in the Secretariat.  A list of unrepresented WTO members will be provided when the request for applicants is posted. 


The request for applications for the Young Professionals Programme is published each year on the WTO e-Recruitment website. The system provides instructions for online application procedures. Applicants must submit a letter of motivation along with the completed online application.


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