Senior Environmental Affairs Officer
Org. Setting and Reporting
The Chief of Section position is located in the Transboundary Cooperation Section, Environment Division, 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.
Under the supervision of Chief of Division, Environment Division, within delegated authority, the duties of the Senior Environmental Affairs Officer (Chief of Transboundary Cooperation Section) fall mainly into the following functional areas:
- Provides policy advice to the Chief of Division, on addressing existing and emerging environmental challenges and management of the implementation of overall strategies and intra and inter-divisional/departmental policies and procedures.
- Plans and oversees the management of activities undertaken by the Section, in particular in the area of water, water and health, air pollution and industrial safety; ensures that substantive work programmes and programmed activities are carried out in a timely fashion, coordinating diverse projects in the Section, and, in liaison with other organizations of the United Nations System, donors and agencies as appropriate.
- Provides substantive input in the preparation of position papers and reports for presentation to governing bodies of Multilateral Environmental Agreements and the Committee on Environmental Policy, as appropriate.
- Contributes to the reporting to governing bodies on budget/programme performance or on programmatic/ substantive issues, as appropriate, particularly those presented in biannual and/or annual reports.
- Manages, supervises and carries out the work programme of the Section under his/her responsibility. Co-ordinates the work carried out by three units in the Section; provides programmatic and substantive reviews of drafts prepared by others.
- Ensures that the outputs produced by the Section maintain high-quality standards; that reports are clear, objective and based on comprehensive data. Ensures that all outputs produced by the Section under his/her supervision meet required standards before completion to ensure they comply with the relevant mandates.
- Prepares inputs for the work programme of the Section and the Division, determining priorities, and allocating resources for the completion of outputs and their timely delivery.
- Carries out programmatic/administrative tasks necessary for the functioning of the Section, including preparation of budgets, assigning and monitoring of performance parameters and critical indicators, reporting on budget/programme performance, preparation of inputs for results-based budgeting, evaluation of staff performance (e-Performance), interviews of candidates for job openings and evaluation of candidates.
- Recruits staff for Section taking into account due account geographical and gender balance and other institutional values.
- Manages, guides, develops and trains staff under his/her supervision.
- Fosters teamwork and communication among staff in the Unit/Section and across organizational boundaries.
- Represents the Organization at intergovernmental and inter-agency meetings, seminars, etc. on substantive-related issues.
- Participates in international, regional or national meetings and provides programmatic/substantive expertise on an issue, or hold programmatic/substantive and organizational discussions with representatives of other institutions.
PROFESSIONALISM: Excellent knowledge of relevant institutional mandates, policies and guidelines, environmental management, in particular in the areas of water, water and health, air pollution and industrial safety in the UNECE region, including in countries in transition to a market economy. Broad knowledge of and experience with the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, and multilateral environmental agreements. 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. Ability to deliver results under scarce resources. Ability to manage, guide, develop and train staff. 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.
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 & ORGANIZING: 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.
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 improvement; 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 environmental management, economics or closely 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 PhD in the field of environmental management/governance is desirable.
A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in environmental management or closely related field is required.
Experience with international organizations, or development agencies is required.
Proven experience in all aspects of project and programme management, and resource mobilization is required.
Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of French, is desirable; knowledge of Russian is also desirable.
Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.
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 fulfil the lateral move(s) requirements, or geographical to be eligible to apply for this vacancy. Staff members are requested to indicate all qualifying lateral or geographical move(s) in their Personal History Profile (PHP) and cover note.
The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.
At the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the recruitment and employment of staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, with due regard to geographic diversity. All employment decisions are made on the basis of qualifications and organizational needs. The United Nations is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. The United Nations recruits and employs staff regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds or disabilities. Reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities may be provided to support participation in the recruitment process when requested and indicated in the application.
For this position, applicants from the following Member States, which are unrepresented or underrepresented in the UN Secretariat as of 30 June 2020, are strongly encouraged to apply: Afghanistan, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Belize, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, China, Comoros, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Japan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Mozambique, Nauru, Norway, Oman, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Suriname, Timor-Leste, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Vanuatu, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
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.