UNOPS

Voices: Mariacarmen Colitti

"UNOPS is a results-oriented organization – it therefore pushes me to perform at my best every day." - Mariacarmen Colitti, Senior Partnerships and Liaison Advisor

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​"​I began my career working as Legal Counsel for a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) called No Peace without Justice. After nearly six years with this organization I began the selection process for the JPO position through the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) office in Rome, supported by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"I started as a JPO with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in 2004. I was assigned to the position of Associate Expert in Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Kabul, Afghanistan. My main task was to support the Criminal Justice Reform Program which included penitentiary and juvenile justice reform.

"During my time as a JPO I gained an appreciation of the work the UN does and an understanding of the inner workings of the UN system. I was able to gain valuable experience that greatly extended my skill set from that gained in my previous work with NGOs.

"I spent only one year as JPO as I then had the opportunity to apply for a higher position working for UNODC in Afghanistan as a Project Management Specialist. I was assigned to manage the reform of the Juvenile Justice System Project. After a year on the programme and overseeing its successful implementation, I moved to UNOPS in 2006 as the Human Rights and Rule of Law Officer in Amman, Jordan, working on the Iraqi Programme. I enjoyed my time as it was a very dynamic and challenging environment.

"Following three years in Senegal as Director of the Operations Centre I was selected to represent UNOPS in Brussels. I had the task of opening the new UNOPS office and consolidating its presence within the European Union (EU) institutions. I also had the benefit of acting as liaison between the UNOPS offices in the field, UNOPS headquarters in Copenhagen and the EU institutions.

"Being a JPO gave me the opportunity to get into the UN system and be appreciated as a young professional. UNOPS is a results-oriented organization – it therefore pushes me to perform at my best every day."