Environmental Affairs Officer (Water Convention)

Geneva, Switzerland 🇨🇭

Special Notice

Extension of the appointment is subject to extension of the mandate and/or the availability of the funds.

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.

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.

-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.

-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.

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, including but not limited to, respect for international human rights and humanitarian law. Candidates may be subject to screening against these standards, including but not limited to, whether they have committed or are alleged to have committed criminal offences or violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.

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 At-a-Glance on “The Application Process” and the Instructional Manual for the Applicants, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The screening and 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, including but not limited to, their education, work experience, and language skills, according to the instructions provided on inspira. Applicants will be disqualified from consideration if they do not demonstrate in their application that they meet the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations. Applicants are solely responsible for providing complete and accurate information at the time of application: 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 a reference-checking process to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at midnight (New York time) on the deadline date.