Environmental Affairs Officer (Aarhus Convention)
Org. Setting and Reporting
This post is located in the Environment for Europe and Sustainable Development Section of the Environment Division.
The Incumbent reports to the Programme Manager in charge of the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention). The UNECE Aarhus Convention was adopted on 25th June and entered into force on 30 October 2001.
The Aarhus Convention grants the public rights and imposes on Parties and public authorities obligations regarding access to information and public participation and access to justice. The Convention has one Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTRs), which was adopted on 21 May 2003 and entered into force on 8th October 2009. The Protocol is the first legally binding international instrument on PRTRs. Its objective is to enhance public access to information through the establishment of coherent, nationwide pollutant release and transfer registers.
• Provide expert legal support to the Compliance Committee and other bodies established by the Meeting of the Parties to the Convention. This includes drafting e.g. legal documents, thematic background documents, reports of meetings, and other material; and providing substantive support, as required, to other work areas as well as assist in providing expert legal support to the secretariat in general.
• Support the secretariat's work in relation to promotion and raising awareness of the Convention through participation in relevant international events and processes on issues relevant to the Convention; maintain contacts with national focal points and stakeholders, draft correspondence and provide information to delegations as required.
• Provide other support to the secretariat as necessary, including maintenance of relevant pages of the Convention’s website, preparing entries for the Clearinghouse, dealing with written enquiries from the public, support to the Unit Chief (Secretary to the Convention), to other activities of the Aarhus Convention unit; and assisting the secretariat in complying with requests from other parts of the Division, UNECE or other parts of UN.
Knowledge of the Aarhus Convention, including the processes and mechanisms established under its auspices, is a strong asset. Knowledge and understanding of concepts and approaches relevant to environmental rights, international environmental law, sustainable development, democratisation and civil society engagement; excellent analytical and problem-solving skills; ability to apply good 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.
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.
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.
Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in law, preferably with a specialisation in environmental law, or related area. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
A minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in the areas of international environmental law, sustainable development, democratisation, human rights, civil society engagement or a related field is required. Demonstrated expertise in drafting legal documents and in the field of legal and policy analysis and advice with the special focus on legislative frameworks is required; Experience with servicing or supporting multi-stakeholder intergovernmental processes, preferably in connection with global or regional environmental legal instruments is a strong asset.
Fluency in English, (both oral and written) is required; Knowledge of French and/or Russian is an advantage.
Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.
• This position is temporarily available from 1 August 2020 to 30 June 2021 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.
• 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.