Job Opening

Posting Title: STAFF ASSISTANT, G6
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: MONTREAL
Posting Period: 19 December 2019 - 17 January 2020
Job Opening Number: 19-Administration-UNEP-127373-R-Montreal (X)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Org. Setting and Reporting

The UN 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. At the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, world leaders agreed on a comprehensive strategy for 'sustainable development'. One of the key agreements adopted at Rio was the Convention on Biological Diversity. The Convention has three main objectives: the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of genetic resources. The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) is located in Montreal and is administered by UNEP. This post is located in the Convention on Biological Diversity, Science, Society and Sustainable Futures Division. Under the overall guidance of the Principal Programme Management Officer of the Division and the direct supervision of the Senior Programme Management Officer of the Biodiversity Science, Policy and Governance Unit (BSPG) the incumbent will perform the following duties:


A. Provides overall administrative support to the Head of the SSSF Division, the Head of the BSPG Unit and to other staff of the Division: a) Assists in the overall administration of the Division, i.e. provides substantive and administrative support to the Division Head and to the units’staff; coordinates and monitors multiple and diverse activities and work processes to ensure that management directives and decisions are properly carried out and products delivered in a timely manner. b) Serves as a communications link between the Head of the Division and senior staff; on behalf of supervisors, keeps others informed by conveying directives, reports, status updates and other relevant information; brings sensitive and urgent matters to the attention of the Head of the Division and Unit Heads. c) Provides guidance and advice to other office support staff members in the Division regarding administrative matters. d) Is fully involved in good time management and scheduling on behalf of the Head of the Division with appropriate consultation as required; effectively prioritizes and resolves competing demands. e) Ensures timely preparation and completion of the Quarterly Divisional Travel Plans, the semi-annual report of activities and other required status reports, for submission to the Office of the Executive Secretary (OES) (this includes input from all three units of the SSSF and approval by the relevant donors’ focal points within the SCBD). f) Screens and prioritizes all incoming correspondence; compiles relevant background documents and references; identifies issues requiring the Head of the Division and the senior staff’s attention and refers others to relevant officers for appropriate disposition; monitors and follows-up on actions to be taken. g) Oversees the work of other support staff in the Division when documents are submitted for signature ensuring adherence to the SCBD procedures, correspondence style and communication strategy. Exercises quality control function for all outgoing documents; proofreads and edits texts for adherence for format, grammar, punctuation and style, prior to final submission for clearance by the Head of the Division. h) Handles a wide range of administrative duties/processes (e.g. travel arrangements, visa applications, expense statements, mission reports, telecommunications charges, equipment purchase, service and supply requisitions, conference room bookings, etc.). i) Establishes and improves administrative procedures and systems to ensure smooth functioning, including filing (paper and electronic) systems. j) Independently handles a wide range of complex information requests and inquiries (e.g. answer requests requiring file or other research); responds, or drafts responses to a diverse range of correspondence and other communications from Parties, partner organizations, other Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) and UN agencies. k) Manages the flow of documents and information in and out of the SSSF/BSPG, including by making extensive use of electronic filing; preparing incoming and outgoing correspondence (in English, French and Spanish), follow-up with other Team members to comply with deadlines for submission of documents, speeches, etc. l) Undertakes representational duties on behalf of the manager, to include serving as first point of contact and liaison with senior officials internally and externally. m) Prepares, processes and classifies confidential information. B. Contributes to organizing official meetings of the SCBD by supporting the Secretariat’s Conference Service handling all necessary arrangements (e.g. registration of participants, participant lists, invitation letters, funding letters, regular e-mail contacts to answer to queries from participants, catering, background documentation, special equipment, etc.): a) For meetings of the SCBD Subsidiary Bodies and Conference of the Parties, contributes to the overall work of the Registration Team to ensure a smooth process of registration and overall participation of funded participants and different groups of observers (for about 6 to 8 weeks prior to any SCBD meeting, this can represent about 70% of the overall duties). Depending on the frequency of these meetings, this means on average 3 meetings per year. b) Organizes the meetings of the Scientific Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) Bureau and facilitates the work of the SBSTTA Bureau Members during the SBSTFA meetings (invitation and visa assistance letters in different UN languages, hotel booking, assistance with their travel etc.) and intersessionally. c) Trains and provides coaching to new members of the Registration team. C. Contributes to the overall work of the Secretariat: a) Actively contributes to the work of the Joint Staff-Management Relations Committee (JSMRC) of the SCBD to ensure the proper liaison with the Senior Management Team on Human Resources issues for a smooth functioning of the SCBD and to facilitate the staff-management relations at the SCBD for the general staff welfare and overall acceptable conditions of service. b) Contributes to the work of staff representation at the SCBD through active involvement in the work of the Federation of International Civil Servants’ Association (FICSA) and its Executive Committee, with the objective to use the knowledge acquired and the wealth of information available on HR policy issues in order to contribute to a better HR Management Framework within the SCBD. This means also providing advice and support to Members of the SCBD Staff Association and to Members of the Management Committee. D. Performs other duties as assigned.


Professionalism: Shows pride in work and 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 calms 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 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.


Completion of secondary school or equivalent is required. Proficiency in the use of the Windows Office Suite software is required.

Work Experience

A minimum of seven (7) years of experience in administration, preferably in a UN setting or another international organization setting is required.
Work experience in applying UNEP/CBD policies and UN rules and regulations is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this post, fluency in oral and written English and French is required. Knowledge of other UN languages is an asset.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include a substantive assessment which will be followed by a competency-based interview.

Special Notice

Appointment against this post is 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.

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.

If you do not receive an e-mail acknowledgement within 24 hours of submission, your application may not have been received. 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.

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


Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.
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