Environmental Affairs Officer

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)

Geneva, , CH

Org. Setting and Reporting

UNECE Environment Division contributes to the overall objectives and mandate of UNECE as a multilateral platform facilitating greater economic integration and cooperation among its member States, and to the broad aim of the Environment subprogramme to safeguard the environment and human health, and to promote sustainable development in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by supporting the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The post is located in the Environment Division of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. Under the overall supervision of the Chief, Transboundary Cooperation Section, the incumbent reports to the secretary to the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses / co-secretary to the Protocol on Water and Health (manager of the Water Unit).


The Environmental Affairs Officer will be responsible for the following:

Prepares agendas, reports, discussion papers, working documents and Chair’s briefs for meetings of the working group, task forces and other Protocol’s bodies, conferences and seminars, service these meetings and assists the elected officers in the conduct of the meetings;

Coordinates and supervises implementation of decisions taken, maintains the necessary contacts with the lead countries of activities in the Protocol’s programme of work and works closely with the staff of the joint secretariat in the Regional Office for Europe of the World Health Organization, and with the Protocol’s focal points;

Identifies and coordinates possible interaction between activities under the Protocol with programmes of the UNECE Environment Division, other UNECE divisions, UN system organizations – in particular WHO – UN sector Water, other relevant international governmental and non-governmental organizations and relevant private organizations; exchanges information with these organizations and their experts;

Draws up substantive technical papers linked to integrated water resources management and water and health issues;

Assesses and reviews national policies and strategies, drafts technical and policy documents and elaborates recommendations for future action.

Assists in the initiation and implementation of other programme activities that arise from the implementation of the Protocol, with particular emphasis on countries in transition;

Assists in the design and management of field projects under the Protocol with a special focus on countries in transition, related to capacity-building and sharing of experience, integrated water resources management, water and health issues, and integration of policies, and participates in country missions;

Updates the Protocol’s website, drafts publications, press releases, public relations bulletins and other media work to increase awareness and publicize the Protocol;

Assists in preparing budget proposals and resources requirement, arranges for the appropriate use of funds, actively participates in fund raising activities, reports on the use of the funds;

Represents the UNECE secretariat at international meetings in her/his field of competence;

Provides support and inputs on behalf of the Protocol’s secretariat to the team, the Division, the Executive Office and other parts of the Organization on substantive,
administrative and cross-cutting issues.


-Knowledge in the field of environment and water, exposure to health-related issues;
-Demonstrates competence and mastery with multilateral environmental agreements;
-Ability to work across sectors and to support multi sectoral and multistakeholders processes;
-Ability to apply good judgment in the context of assignments given and excellent analytical and problem-solving skills;
-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.

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.


Advanced University degree in environmental management, science, economics, law, social sciences, public health, environmental health, engineering or related field. A first-level university degree in combination with qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience at the national and/or international level related to water, environmental or public health issues is required. Experience in international organizations or with multilateral environmental agreements is desirable. Experience in countries with economies in transition is also desirable.


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


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

Special Notice

The appointment is subject to the availability of the post or funds, budgetary approval or extension of the mandate.

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.

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 or sexual abuse, or crimes other than minor traffic offences, 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.

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.