Environmental Affairs Officer (UNECE Water Convention)

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)

Geneva, , CH

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the Transboundary Cooperation Section in the Environment Division of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), Geneva. 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.


Under the general supervision of the Chief, Transboundary Cooperation Section, Environment Division, the guidance of the Secretary to the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention), and the direct supervision of the Regional Expert on water management, the incumbent will support the implementation of the programme of work under the Water Convention, in particular its programme area on the “European Union Water Initiative” by supporting the planning and implementation of activities under the project “European Union Water Initiative Plus for the Eastern Partnership (EUWI+ 4 EaP)” funded by the European Union as well as related activities in Central Asian countries.
The main objective of the EUWI+ project is to improve the management of water resources, in particular of transboundary waters, in countries in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, by improving the legal and regulatory framework through National Policy Dialogue (NPD) processes.

The incumbent will perform the following duties:

•Supports the National Policy Dialogue process with a focus on Integrated Water Resources Management;
-Supports the work of national Steering Committees which guide the National Policy Dialogues (NPDs), including the technical and substantial organization of Steering Committee meetings;
-Supports the preparation and implementation of the national NDPs workplans;
-Produces and deliver substantive presentations/reports during Steering Committee and other meetings;
-Works closely with and provides technical and policy advice to national authorities on a broad range of issues related to water governance and integrated water resources management;
-Supports the work of government-appointed rapporteurs and consultants to the secretariat, interns and other resource persons in the drafting of legislation and preparation of draft proposals, researches studies and background papers on subjects related to the NPD process;
-Contributes substantively to the policy packages and other activities developed in the framework of the NPDs;
-Plans and organizes, in cooperation with international and national partners and including both substantial and logistical arrangement, capacity building events to strengthen water governance and integrated water resources management at the national, transboundary and regional levels;
-Develops training modules at national and regional level for the EUWI+ project;
-Participates and represents UNECE in EUWI+ project meetings or in meetings on issues related to the NPD process;
-Plans and develops documents and publications related to the activities under the EU Water Initiative and its NPDs.

•Supports to the management and development of the project;
-Supports Regional Expert on Water Management in administrative and financial management of the EUWI+ project;
-Arranges consultancy contracts, grant agreements and other needed contracts to carry out activities under the EUWI+ project;
-In collaboration with supervisors, drafts project reports to the EU and other donors according to project documents, and prepare budget proposals;
-In collaboration with supervisors, prepares project proposals to the EU and other donors and participates in other fund raising activities;
-Provides information required by UN organizations, donors and other partners.

-Performs other related duties as required and assists the rest of the Convention’s secretariat to implement the programme of work under the Water Convention and the Protocol on Water and Health, including a variety of administrative tasks necessary for the final delivery of the work unit’s services;
-Represents the ECE secretariat at international meetings and be willing to travel as required;
-Provides input to ECE senior management in his/her field of expertise as requested and required;
-Drafts publications, press releases public relations bulletins and other communication material;
-Publishes information on the Convention’s website and keep the webpages on the NPDs process updated;
-Undertakes on-the-job and other training activities, both internally and externally.


– In-depth understanding of environmental issues and water management issues;
– Knowledge of international legal instruments in the field of environment and water;
– Ability to identify issues, analyse and participate in the resolution of issues/problems;
– Ability to apply judgment in the context of assignments given;
– Excellent drafting ability in English;
– 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.

-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.

-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 degree) in environmental management, science, engineering, economics or related field. 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 5 years of progressively responsible professional experience at the national or international levels in the areas related to water resources management or environmental management is required. Experience in managing environmental or water projects at the national or international levels is required. Experience in servicing multi-stakeholder intergovernmental processes and meetings is desirable, preferably in connection with global or regional environmental legal instruments. Experience in providing policy and technical advice on water or environmental issues to national authorities is desirable. Relevant professional experience with countries in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus or Central Asia is desirable.


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


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

Special Notice

• This position is temporarily available until from 10 May to 30 August 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.

• 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!