Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.
Staff members of the United Nations Secretariat must fulfill the lateral move requirements to be eligible to apply for this vacancy. Staff members are requested to indicate all qualifying lateral moves in their Personal History Profile (PHP) and cover note.
Org. Setting and Reporting
This position is located in the Operational Activities and Review Section in the Environment Division of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). The broad aim of UNECE’s environment activities is to safeguard the environment and human health, and to promote sustainable development in its member countries in line with the 2030 Agenda. The Chief of Section reports to the Director of the Environment Division.
Within delegated authority, the duties of the Senior Environmental Affairs Officer (Chief of Operational Activities and Review Section) fall mainly into the following functional areas:
Economic and environmental analysis
•Leads or participates in the formulation, organization and management of mandated programmes of economic and environmental analysis and the formulation of possible economic and environmental strategies, policies and actions for adoption by the international community.
•Leads or participates in the identification of new or emerging development issues of potential concern to the international community, particularly those of a regional nature, and designs and develops programmes to address them.
•Supervises a team of staff economists and environmental affairs officers undertaking this work.
•Commissions economic and environmental studies and analyses that cannot be undertaken internally.
•Conceives, plans and manages expert group meetings, seminars and similar consultations that contribute to the finalization of the work unit’s outputs.
•Finalizes reports on development for issuance by the United Nations.
•Prepares speeches for senior staff and makes presentations on economic and environmental issues for specialist or non-specialist audiences.
•Provides direct substantive support on economic and environmental issues to intergovernmental bodies (such as Transport, Health, Environment Pan-European Programme (THE PEP) Steering Committee, the European Environment and Health Programme, the Committee on Environmental Policy and the subsidiary bodies of each) by offering strategic advice, giving technical guidance and assisting in developing a consensus.
•Manages the section’s contribution to the preparation and management of meetings of intergovernmental bodies.
•Represents the section at international, regional and national meetings on issues related to THE PEP and Environment and Health.
•Develops and maintains relations with senior officials of member governments, manages the Environmental Performance Review Programme, and ensures a response to requests for advice and/or assistance on economic and environmental issues and policies.
•Negotiates with donor and recipient governments on technical assistance programmes and projects.
•Organizes and coordinates cooperation among Member States on economic programmes or issues.
•Leads or participates in missions related to environmental performance reviews.
•Functions as the head of section.
•Contributes to the formulation of the medium-term plan, the programme of work and the budget of the unit and participate in the formulation of the organization’s overall programme of work and other similar endeavours.
•Attends to various administrative matters concerning the Division.
•Performs other related duties as required.
•PROFESSIONALISM: Ability to apply economic theories and concepts in different sectors of economic and sustainable development. Ability to conduct independent research on economic and environmental topics, determine suitability, validity and accuracy of data provided by different sources. Ability to develop economic and environmental policies and make recommendations on their implementation. Knowledge of the UN rules and regulations. Strong negotiating skills and ability to influence others to reach agreement on difficult issues. Ability to work under extreme pressure. Excellent knowledge of relevant institutional mandates, policies and guidelines. Broad knowledge of environmental policies and practices in the UNECE region, in particular in countries in transition to a market economy. 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.
•COMMUNICATION: 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 audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
•TEAMWORK: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.
•LEADERSHIP: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow: empowers others to translate vision into results; is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; drives for change and improvements; does not accept the status quo; shows the courage to take unpopular stands. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.
•MANAGING PERFORMANCE: Delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision-making authority; makes sure that roles, responsibilities and reporting lines are clear to each staff member; accurately judges the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a task and matches task to skills; monitors progress against milestones and deadlines; regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff; encourages risk-taking and supports creativity and initiative; actively supports the development and career aspirations of staff; appraises performance fairly.
Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in economics, environmental management or related field. A first-level university degree in combination with two years of additional qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in economic or environmental research and analysis, policy formulation, application of economic principles in development programmes or related area.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English or French is required; knowledge of the other is desirable. Knowledge of Russian is desirable.
Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which will be followed by competency-based interview.
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, including but not limited to, respect for international human rights and humanitarian law. Candidates may be subject to screening against these standards, including but not limited to, whether they have committed or are alleged to have committed criminal offences or violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.
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.
Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the At-a-Glance on “The Application Process” and the Instructional Manual for the Applicants, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.
The screening and 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, including but not limited to, their education, work experience, and language skills, according to the instructions provided on inspira. Applicants will be disqualified from consideration if they do not demonstrate in their application that they meet the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations. Applicants are solely responsible for providing complete and accurate information at the time of application: 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 a reference-checking process to verify the information provided in the application.
Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at midnight (New York time) on the deadline date.