Job Opening

Posting Title: Senior Sustainable Development Officer, P5
Department/Office: Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Duty Station: NEW YORK
Posting Period: 31 October 2019 - 14 December 2019
Job Opening Number: 19-Sustainable Development-DESA-125216-R-New York (X)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), in the Integrated Policy Analysis Branch of the Division for Sustainable Development. The Senior Sustainable Development Officer on energy will report to the Chief of Policy and Analysis Branch. The Division for Sustainable Development Goals acts as the Secretariat for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within UN-DESA, focusing on providing substantive support and capacity building to the 17 SDGs and their related thematic issues, including water, energy, climate, ocean, urbanization, transport, integration across the goals and with other global/regional frameworks, science and technology, the Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR), partnerships and Small Islands Developing States (SIDS). The Division contributes to the intergovernmental processes on the 2030 Agenda, including those under the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the High-level Political Forum, with its substantive analytical work on thematic issues of the Sustainable Development Goals. It coordinates substantive inputs for the deliberations on the review and implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The sub-programme serves as the departmental anchor on the 2030 Agenda. It organizes focal teams on the Sustainable Development Goals and their interactions, including UN-Energy, UN-Ocean and UN-Water. It also plays a key role on the evaluation of system-wide implementation of the 2030 Agenda and on advocacy and outreach activities relating to Sustainable Development Goals.


Within delegated authority, under the overall supervision of the Chief of the Integrated Policy Analysis Branch and guided on a day-to-day basis by the sustainable energy team leader in the Branch, the Senior Sustainable Development Officer will be responsible for the following duties:
•Leads the development, implementation and evaluation of assigned programmes/projects on sustainable development and energy issues; directs subordinates in programme/project development, implementation, monitoring and assessment; undertakes capacity building activities; identifies priorities and issues to be addressed; and proposes recommendations for action.
•Leads a range of policy-relevant analyses in relation to the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7) on energy including to analyse energy’s social, economic and environmental interlinkages with other Sustainable Development Goals, to identify emerging issues/opportunities including those related to climate change, transport, science, technology and innovation, and to prepare policy recommendations.
•Leads the preparation of various written outputs, on sustainable energy, aimed at connecting local evidences with global policy discourse, including background papers, analysis, substantial sections of reports and studies, evidence-based analysis from filed-missions, and inputs to publications on sustainable development issues.
•Provides direct substantive thematic support to consultative and intergovernmental meetings, including, as required, the High-Level Political Forum, the UN Decade of Sustainable Energy for All 2014-2024, UNFCCC meetings, the annual Science, Technology and Innovation Forum, and other occasional meetings of a similar nature by offering strategic and technical inputs in collaboration with the multi-stakeholder SDG 7 Technical Advisory Group and other relevant partners.
•Provides direct substantive support to UN inter-agency coordination such as UN-Energy by offering strategic advice, giving technical guidance and assisting in developing consensus.
•Prepares speeches, outreach materials or presentations for senior staff and makes presentations at various forums of intergovernmental, governmental, inter-agency, expert or multi-stakeholder nature.
•Coordinates activities related to budget and funding (programme/project preparation and submissions, progress reports, financial statements, etc.) and ensures preparation of related documents/reports (pledging, work programme, programme budget, etc.) on sustainable development issues.
•Mobilizes and organizes synergetic multi-stakeholder dialogues and partnerships aimed at leveraging energy’s interlinkages with other SDGs including climate actions in line with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
•Ensures gender mainstreaming, including in legislation, policies or programmes.
•Represents, as requested, the Branch/Division at international, regional or national meetings on sustainable energy issues.
•Performs other related duties as required.


•Professionalism: Demonstrates understanding, professional competence and a high-level of technical expertise in sustainable development with a focus on the implementation of established principles and policies of sustainable energy; ability in mobilizing resources, and familiarity with potential donors' policies such as member states, UN funds and programmes, global funds, international and regional financial institutions as well as other stakeholders; knowledge of United Nations policy-making processes and technical cooperation activities; ability to prepare project proposals, in particular those related to supporting the transition to a green economy; ability in building and implementing multi-stakeholder partnerships, including with national institutions and organizations involved in the development process; Proven knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts and approaches relevant to sustainable development. Ability to identify key strategic issues, opportunities and risks. Ability to generate and communicate broad and compelling organizational direction. Ability to communicate clearly links between the Organization’s strategy and the work unit’s goals. Demonstrated ability to provide innovative technical leadership by performing and/or overseeing the planning, development, and management of operation. Demonstrated ability to negotiate and apply good judgment. Proven ability to analyze complex data and produce reports leading to sound policy recommendations for achieving sustainable development; Solid understanding of the political environment and the programmes and activities of the UN system in implementing Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI); Ability to think strategically, to identify key emerging sustainable development issues and related policy implications. 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.
•Planning and 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.
•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.

Managerial Competencies
•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 improvements; 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.
•Judgment/Decision-making: Identifies key issues in complex situations, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly; gathers relevant information before making a decision; considers positive and negative impacts of decisions prior to making them; takes decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the Organization; proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information; checks assumptions against facts; determines actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision; makes tough decisions when necessary.


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in sustainable development, energy, climate change, international relations, economics, public policy, public administration, finance, natural resources management, engineering, law, social sciences or related field is required. 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 ten years of progressively responsible experience in analytical work, policy development, and formulation and implementation of sustainable energy programmes, of which at least five years must be at international level is required.
Experience in the substantive involvement in intergovernmental processes is required.
Experience in facilitating and servicing policy-making processes at UN organisations or field-level experience in policy and programme development dealing with sustainable energy is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the UN Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in oral and written English is required; knowledge of the other is desirable. Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.


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

Special Notice

This is a project post.

Appointment or assignment against this position is for an initial period of one year.

The appointment or assignment and renewal thereof are 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.

Staff members of the United Nations Secretariat must fulfil the lateral move requirements to be eligible to apply for this vacancy. Staff members are requested to indicate all qualifying lateral moves in their Personal History Profile (PHP) and cover letter.

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.

For this position, applicants from the following Member States, which are unrepresented or underrepresented in the UN Secretariat as of 31 August 2019, are strongly encouraged to apply: Afghanistan, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Belize, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Central African Republic, China, Comoros, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, 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, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Suriname, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan, 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.

No Fee


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