Environmental Affairs Officer

Geneva, , CH

Special Notice

Filling of this position is subject to availability of funding in 2017.
Extension of this appointment is subject to extension of the mandate and/or the availability of funds.
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.

Org. Setting and Reporting

The post is located in the Environment Division of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). The post is supervised by the Secretary to the Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents.


The incumbent will:
(1)Support the preparation and servicing of meetings of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention, and their subsidiary bodies, including the Working Groups, and ad hoc groups, as appropriate. This will comprise supporting the preparation, servicing and follow-up of meetings both in administrative and substantive terms including:
(a)drafting of meeting reports and pre-session documentation;
(b)reviews of national policies and strategies, documentation on institutional and methodological aspects, and analytical studies in the fields of environmental assessment;
(c)elaboration of draft decisions, recommendations for action and proposals for new activities to be undertaken by above intergovernmental bodies;
(d)assistance to elected officers and the Bureau of the Convention in the pre- session preparations and conduct of the meeting;
(e)implementation of the decisions taken by these bodies;
(f)compliance and implementation monitoring; and
(g)maintaining the necessary contacts and correspondence.

(2)Review the implementation of the Convention and support the Working Group on Implementation, including:
(a)issue of periodic questionnaires on the implementation of the Convention;
(b)drafting and later publication of periodic reviews of implementation of the Convention ; and
(c)handling of correspondence and substantial information under the compliance procedure for the Convention, preparation of summaries and background notes, and provision of other support and advice.

(3)Plan and implement a programme of national and subregional seminars, workshops and projects aimed at promoting awareness of, and capacity for implementation of, the Convention, including:
(a)organizational support to host authorities;
(b)coordination of consultants, rapporteurs and government-designated experts;
(c)drafting reports and minutes of meetings;
(d)developing concepts for future activities;
(e)mobilizing the necessary resources.

(4)Provide practical, technical and legal advice to stakeholders concerning the implementation of the Convention, including through the carrying out of advisory missions and implementation of the Convention’s Assistance Programme.
(5)Expand the range of information materials and publicity for the Convention, and prepare publications, press releases, public relations bulletins and other media work.
(6)Publish information on the website for the Convention.
(7)Coordinate relevant activities carried out under other ECE programmes, other UN bodies, other international organizations and institutions, and represent the ECE secretariat at intergovernmental and non-governmental meetings in the incumbent’s field of competence.
(8)Guide and coordinate government-appointed rapporteurs and consultants to the secretariat, interns and other resource persons in the drafting of legislation and preparation of draft proposals, research studies and background papers on subjects related to the programme.


PROFESSIONALISM: In-depth understanding of environmental issues, with a particular knowledge of industrial pollution and/or accident prevention, preparation and response. Knowledge of international legal instruments in the field of environment. Demonstrated ability to service intergovernmental bodies. Proven ability to draft meeting reports and pre- session documents. Ability to identify issues, analyse and participate in the resolution of issues/problems. Conceptual analytical and evaluative skills to conduct independent research and analysis, ability to apply judgment in the context of assignments given. 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.

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 the 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.

PLANNING AND ORGANIZING: Plans own work and manages conflicting priorities; Identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as needed. 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.


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in international law, with specialisation in environmental law, international relations, political affairs, or environmental science or related fields. 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 years of progressively responsible experience in government, international organizations or the private sector, concerned with environmental policy, environmental law or practice, of which a minimum of three years at the international level is required. Proven experience in drafting legislation and policy documents is required. Previous work experience in servicing intergovernmental bodies is highly desirable. Experience with international legal instruments in the field of the environment and in environmental impact assessment and/or strategic environmental assessment is also desirable.


English and French are the two working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in English with excellent drafting and editing ability is required.
Knowledge of Russian is highly desirable. Knowledge of French 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.