Environment Affairs Officer (Water Convention)

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)

Geneva, Switzerland 🇨🇭

Org. Setting and Reporting

The post is located in the Transboundary Cooperation section of the Environment Division (ENV) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), based in Geneva, Switzerland. The incumbent reports to the P4 Environmental Affairs Officer.

The broad aim of UNECE’s environment activities is to safeguard the environment and human health, and to promote sustainable development in line with the 2030 Agenda. The Water Convention aims to ensure the sustainable use of transboundary water resources by facilitating cooperation.


Under the general supervision of the Chief, Transboundary Cooperation Section, and the direct supervision of the manager of the water unit and Secretary to the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention), the incumbent provides support to servicing intergovernmental bodies and the implementation of the programmes of work of the Water Convention and the Protocol on Water and Health with an emphasis on activities related to facilitating funding and financing of transboundary water cooperation and basin development. In particular, the incumbent is responsible for the following duties:

  1. Support the implementation of the Water Convention’s programme of work in the area of facilitating funding and financing of transboundary water cooperation and basin development by:
    • Developing proposals for activities on funding and financing of transboundary water cooperation, including studies, training courses, global and regional workshops, and pilot projects, with a view to facilitate knowledge sharing and peer learning and support Member States and joint bodies in securing financial resources for transboundary water cooperation;
    • Developing detailed activity plans and budgets for their implementation;
    • Liaising and coordinating with beneficiary countries, donors and partner organizations, in particular international financial institutions (IFIs), in the development and implementation of the activities;
    • Identifying opportunities for partnerships and cooperation, as appropriate;
    • Servicing relevant meetings, preparing and reviewing reports, documentation and project deliverables;
    • Preparing and delivering substantive and strategic presentations;
    • Monitoring the implementation of the activities and ensuring their follow-up;
    • Undertaking other activities to ensure the achievement of strategic objectives of the programme area on funding and financing of transboundary water cooperation, including increased awareness on the importance of financial sustainability of transboundary water management institutions and mobilization of financial resources for water cooperation in transboundary basins.
  2. Support the servicing of intergovernmental bodies under the Water Convention and its Protocol on Water and Health by:
    • Assisting in preparing for, servicing and following up to the sessions of the Meeting of the Parties to the Convention, Meeting of the Parties to the Protocol and their subsidiary bodies by providing input to official documents and drafting informal documents and discussion papers;
    • Providing other support as necessary, including arranging consultancy contracts, grant agreements and other needed services, identifying and developing partnerships with donors, drafting project proposals, developing budgets and following up on their implementation.
    • Organizing and supervising implementation of activities by consultants and institutional contractors, ensuring that deadlines and objectives are met and finances used appropriately;
    • Managing relevant trust funds, preparing periodical financial and substantive reports and providing any other information requested by donors;
    • Planning and organizing capacity-building activities in support of implementation of the Convention and Protocol and participating in relevant events organized by governments and partner organizations;
    • Providing input to global processes on water and sustainable development;
    • Providing support to various activities to promote transboundary water cooperation and access to water and sanitation for all at global, regional and sub-regional levels.
  3. Support the work in the area of communication and awareness raising by:
    • Preparing publications and other awareness raising materials on the Water Convention and its Protocol on Water and Health;
    • Providing input to other communication material under the Convention (newsletter, website, social media);
    • Presenting on the Convention and transboundary water cooperation at relevant regional and international forums;
    • Maintaining contacts with national focal points and other relevant contacts, drafting correspondence and providing information to delegations as required.


Knowledge of and ability to apply concepts in the area of environmental affairs or water management. Ability to write documents and reports, undertake research, analyse data and make recommendations. Professional competence in and knowledge of relevant multilateral environmental agreements and policies.Shows pride in work and in achievements. Demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter. Is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results. Is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns. Shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations.Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

Planning and organizing:
Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies. Identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required. Allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work. Foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning. Monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary. Uses time efficiently.

Speaks and writes clearly and effectively. Listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately. Asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication. Tailors language, tone, style and format to match the audience. Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent degree) in environmental management, environmental policy, sustainable development, international law, international relations, economics or related discipline is required. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of five (5) years of progressively responsible experience in the area of environmental affairs or water management at international level is required.

Experience in servicing intergovernmental meetings is required.

Experience in facilitating financing of access to water, water management or transboundary water cooperation, preferably in cooperation with international financial institutions (IFIs), is desirable.

Experience in supporting transboundary water cooperation processes is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat; and Russian is a working language of ECE. For the position advertised, fluency in English is required; and fluency in French is desirable.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which will be followed by competency-based interview.

Special Notice

This is a project post. The appointment or assignment and renewal thereof are subject to the availability of the post or funds, budgetary approval or extension of the mandate.

The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance and geographical diversity in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

At the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the recruitment and employment of staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, with due regard to geographic diversity. All employment decisions are made on the basis of qualifications and organizational needs. The United Nations is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. The United Nations recruits and employs staff regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds or disabilities. Reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities may be provided to support participation in the recruitment process when requested and indicated in the application.

Pursuant to section 7.11 of ST/AI/2012/2/Rev.1, candidates recruited through the young professionals programme who have not served for a minimum of two years in the position of their initial assignment are not eligible to apply to this position.

United Nations Considerations

According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee






IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development