Org. Setting and Reporting
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment. This position is located in the Law Division of UNEP at its Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. The Law Division is the lead Division charged with carrying out the functions of UNEP in the field of environmental law, governance and related policy issues, including those related to multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs). To fulfill its mandate, the work of the Law Division focuses on: leading the international community in the progressive development of environmental law; supporting States in the development and implementation of legal, institutional and policy measures that address emerging and important environmental challenges; facilitating cooperation and coordination among MEAs and between UNEP and those agreements; working with MEA Secretariats to support Parties to the respective MEAs in implementing their treaty obligations; and facilitating policy dialogue among States on issues relating to international environmental law and governance. The incumbent will report to the Head of the National Environmental Law Unit. Within delegated authority and depending on location, the incumbent will be responsible for the following duties:
• Conducts extensive legal research and analysis and prepares studies, comparative studies, briefs, reports and correspondence on environmental law and governance including those related to legislative reform in the fields of environmental law and sustainable development as well as institutions support.
• Reviews national legislation (e.g., law and regulations) as part of technical assistance to strengthen national legal and institutional capacities concerning a specific area of environmental law to identify potential gaps and provide recommendations.
• Undertakes basic or extensive review of legal documents, instruments, or other material; identifies important issues, similarities, and inconsistencies, etc.
• Prepares or assists in the preparation of drafts of background papers, studies, reports, legislative texts and commentaries on those texts, and teaching materials in the field of environmental law and sustainable development, in particular, as these relate to national environmental law and related institutions.
• Prepares or assists in the preparation of legal opinions/advice on a wide range of issues relating to environmental law and sustainable development, including, in particular, those that relate to supporting the development, strengthening, implementation and enforcement of national environmental law and related institutions.
• Prepares or assists in the preparation of agreements and contracts with governments, NGOs and other public and private entities.
• Services or assists senior colleagues in servicing diplomatic conferences, commissions, committees, task forces, expert groups and other bodies, including preparation of background materials, summaries of issues and views of delegations, meeting reports, etc. to raise awareness and build capacity on emerging issues of environmental law or on issues designated as important by countries.
• Administers programmes of legal technical assistance to countries in reviewing, developing or updating environmental legislation, drawing on recommendations from global legal reviews and utilizing legislative tools and knowledge products, developed by UNEP and its partners.
• Prepares or assists with the preparation of seminars and symposia on legal principles, techniques, policies, guidelines, etc. in the field of environmental law and sustainable development, in particular, as these relate to national environmental law and related institutions, lectures on various legal issues at such events.
• Provides guidance to more junior staff.
• Performs other duties as assigned.
PROFESSIONALISM: Knowledge of, and ability to apply, legal principles, concepts and procedures and terminology relating to environmental law and governance. Knowledge of various legal research sources, including electronic, and ability to conduct research and analyze information on a wide range of legal issues. Knowledge of the civil law and/or common law legal systems and principles. Ability to interpret and apply legislative instruments, develop and present results, recommendations, and opinions clearly and concisely. Ability to draft legal papers and work under pressure. Ability to apply good legal 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 audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
ACCOUNTABILITY: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments; delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards; operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.
Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in environmental law or a related field. A first-level university degree in combination with qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
A minimum of five (5) years of progressively responsible experience in environmental law and governance, including legal analysis, research and writing, is required.
Experience in working with developing countries and in developing project proposals and/or managing projects is desirable.
Experience in technical assistance in the development and strengthening of national environmental law and strengthening capacity to implement, comply with and enforce environmental laws and MEAs is desirable.
Experience in the evaluation of national environmental legislation against pre-determined standards, such as obligations under multilateral environmental agreements or recommendations from global reviews is desirable.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this post, fluency in written and oral English is required. Working knowledge of another UN languages is desirable.
Evaluation of qualified candidates for this position may include a substantive assessment which will be followed by a competency-based interview.
This position is open for recruitment for an initial period of one year and may be subject to extension. 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. 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. 1. All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply on-line as soon as possible after the job opening has been posted and well before the deadline stated in the job opening. On-line applications will be acknowledged where an email address has been provided. 2. If you do not receive an email acknowledgement within 24 hours of submission, your application may not have been received. In such cases, please resubmit the application, if necessary. If the problem persists please seek technical assistance through the Inspira "Need Help?" link.
Internal Applicants – when completing the PHP, ensure ALL fields, ALL professional experience and contact information are completed and up to date. This information is the basis for the hiring manager to assess your eligibility and suitability for the position and to contact you.
Individual contractors and consultants who have worked within the UN Secretariat in the last six months, irrespective of the administering entity, are ineligible to apply for professional and higher temporary or fixed-term positions and their applications will not be considered.
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.
The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.
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.