Environmental Affairs Officer (UNECE Water Convention)

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)

Geneva, , CH

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). The incumbent reports to the Secretary to the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention).

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 supervision of the Secretary to the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention), the incumbent will be responsible for managing different activities supporting transboundary water cooperation processes under the Water Convention. He/she will also support the secretariat in servicing the intergovernmental bodies under the multilateral environmental agreements, in areas related to transboundary water cooperation, and in increasing the visibility of the work carried out. In particular, the incumbent will be responsible for the following duties:

1.Carries out global, regional and national activities under the Water Convention to strengthen transboundary water cooperation:

(a)Identify, in cooperation with beneficiary countries and partners, development needs and opportunities;
(b)Draft annual work programmes and develop proposals for project activities, including legislative assistance, training courses, workshops, and pilot projects. Develop detailed plans and budgets for their implementation;
(c)Be responsible for the financial, administrative and organizational aspects of the activities;
(d)Organize and supervise implementation of activities by consultants and institutional contractors, ensuring that deadlines and objectives are met and finances used appropriately;
(e)Liaise and coordinate with beneficiary countries, donors, ECE, consultants and partner organizations in the development and implementation of the activities; and identify opportunities for partnerships and cooperation, as appropriate;
(f)Manage relevant trust funds, prepare periodical financial and substantive reports and provide any other information requested by donors;
(g)Participate in relevant meetings to present information and to provide technical and substantive advice and support;
(h)Prepare and review reports, documentation and project deliverables;
(i)Promote the activities at the relevant forums and make their outcomes available through the internet and media;
(j)Monitor and assess the implementation of the activities and ensure their follow-up:
(k) Carry out activities related to the global opening of the Convention, such as organize global workshops, provide input to global processes on water and sustainable development.

2.Contributes to increasing the visibility and awareness of the Convention:

(a)Develop and support development of awareness raising and capacity building material and press releases;
(b)Contribute to the continual maintenance of the official website;
(c)Present the Convention and the Protocol and the work of the secretariat at relevant regional and international forums; and coordinate this work with related activities carried out under other ECE programmes, UN bodies and international organizations;
(d)Maintain contacts with national focal points and other relevant contacts, draft correspondence and provide information to delegations as required.

3.Assists the secretariat in preparing for, servicing and following-up to the meetings of the intergovernmental bodies under the Convention and its Protocol, including in:

(a)drafting of meeting reports and pre-session documentation;
(b)assisting elected officers and the Convention Bureau in the pre-session preparations and conduct of the meetings.

4.Provide other substantive and administrative support to the secretariat as required, including to assist it in complying with assignments from the managerial staff within the Division, ECE or other parts of the UN.


In-depth understanding of environmental issues, with a particular knowledge on water resources management and transboundary water cooperation.
Proven capacity in project management and financial reporting.
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 persistency when faced with difficult problems or challenges.
Remains clam in stressful situation.
Ability to identify issues, formulate opinions, make recommendations, and provide expert advice and guidance.
Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

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.

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.


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in environmental management, science, economics, international law, international relations, environmental policy, economics, or related discipline. 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 environment and water management, environment and water-related policy formulation is required.
Experience in supporting transboundary water cooperation processes is desirable. Experience in servicing multi-stakeholder intergovernmental processes, preferably in connection with environmental legal instruments, is desirable. Experience in managing and implementing projects is also desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in oral and written English, with excellent drafting and editing ability is required. Fluency in Russian is desirable. Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.


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

Special Notice

• This position is temporarily from 1 February 2020 to 31 July 2020 with a possibility of further extension.

If the selected candidate is a staff member from the United Nations Secretariat, the selection will be administered as a temporary assignment.

• While this temporary assignment may provide the successful applicant with an opportunity to gain new work experience, the selection for this position is for a limited period and has no bearing on the future incumbency of the post.

• Subject to the funding source of the position, the eligibility for this temporary job opening may be limited to candidates based at the duty station.

• This temporary job opening may be limited to “internal candidates,” who have been recruited through a competitive examination administered according to staff rule 4.16 or staff selection process including the review of a central review body established according to staff rule 4.15.

• Staff members of the United Nations common system organizations who will reach the mandatory age of separation or retirement within the duration of the current temporary need period are not eligible to apply.Submitting an application or selection for the current temporary job opening does not delay or increase the mandatory age of separation.

• Retirees above the mandatory age of separation who wish to be considered for the current temporary job opening must indicate the reason for their last separation as “retirement.” Such retirees shall not be employed by the Organization, unless (a) the operational requirements of the Organization cannot be met by staff members who are qualified and available to perform the required functions; and (b) the proposed employment would not adversely affect the career development or redeployment opportunities of other staff members and represents both a cost-effective and operationally sound solution to meet the needs of the service.

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.

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.





You ad could be here!