Resource Mobilization

Republic of Singapore joins FAO APO Programme

An opportunity for young professionals

27/06/2016 - 

The Republic of Singapore joined the FAO Associate Professionals Programme (APO) in January, becoming the fourth Asian country to enlist in the scheme. Other participants have included the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Japan and the Republic of Korea. Singapore joined FAO as a member country in 2013.

Candidates will be selected after completing written tests and interviews, as carried out by FAO. Qualification requirements include superior academic qualifications, fluency in one UN official language and knowledge of a second one, and a keen interest in a career in international development. Applicants must also be under 35 years of age. 

The training programme offers graduates exposure to international development cooperation activities, while enabling them to apply their technical specialization under the supervision of an FAO expert.

Associate Professional Officers (APOs) are assigned to FAO offices, outside their country of origin and are expected to participate in field mission activities to expand their skill-set.

APOs contribute to FAO’s goals including the eradication of hunger, poverty and the driving forward of economic and social progress for all.

While areas such as agriculture, forestry and fisheries form an important part of FAO’s work; APOs also have the chance to work on areas ranging from HIV/AIDS awareness, sustainable environment and climate change, emergencies, human resources, finance and legal advice.

The average length of an APO assignment is two years.

Sixteen resource partners currently fund APO assignments with FAO including several European Union (EU) countries as well as Japan and the USA. The governments of some countries provide funding for their own nationals, while some donors, such as the Netherlands, also sponsor candidates from developing countries.

FAO’s APO Programme is one of the oldest and largest within the UN system. It began in 1954 with five Dutch agricultural engineers working on FAO field projects. It has since given hundreds of professionals from a variety of different countries a head start in building careers in international development.