Job Opening

Posting Title: INTERN - ENVIRONMENT AFFAIRS (5 Positions), I (Temporary Job Opening)
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 24 December 2019 - 07 January 2020
Job Opening Number: 19-Environmental Affairs-UNEP-128807-J-Geneva (O)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.

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.
The overall objective of UNEP’s Economy Division is to encourage decision-makers in government, local authorities and industry to develop and adopt policies, strategies and practices and technologies that promote sustainable patterns of consumption and production, make efficient use of natural resources, ensure safe management of chemicals and contribute to making trade and environment policies mutually supportive. It promotes the development, use and transfer of policies, technologies, economic instruments, managerial practices and other tools that assist in environmentally sound decision making and the building of corresponding activities.

The Chemicals and Health Branch of the Economy Division leads UNEP's sub-programme on Chemicals, Waste and Air Quality. UNEP’s programme of work centers around assistance to countries and multilateral environmental agreement (MEA) secretariats to assist in technical-scientific issues related to priority chemicals and implementation of the United Nations Environment Assembly and Governing Council resolutions.

The GEF Unit of the Chemicals and Health Branch is responsible for the development and management of all GEF projects implemented by UNEP in the Chemicals and Wastes focal area. To date, the team has a portfolio of 100 projects represented over $200 mil of GEF investment supporting countries in their implementation of the Stockholm Convention, the Minamata Convention and SAICM. During the next 6 months, a key task of the team is also the negotiation of the portfolio opportunities for the next cycle of GEF.

The Knowledge and Risk Unit of UNEP’s Chemicals and Health Branch promotes scientific approaches and knowledge for the sound management of chemicals including through implementation of UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) resolutions.

The Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) is a policy framework to promote chemical safety around the world. SAICM overall objective is the achievement of the sound management of chemicals throughout their life cycle so that by the year 2020, chemicals are produced and used in ways that minimize significant adverse impacts on the environment and human health. UNEP has overall administrative responsibility for the SAICM secretariat, which is co-located with the UNEP cluster in Geneva, Switzerland. The secretariat is integrated within the Chemicals and Wastes Branch of the Economy Division of UNEP.

The internships are for a duration of six (6) months
The Internships are UNPAID and full-time.
Interns work five days per week (35-40 hours) under the supervision of a staff member in the department or office to which they are assigned.


Specific tasks and support will depend on the individual's background as well as the internship period.

Under the direct supervision of the Programme Management Officer, the intern will:
1.Collect, compile and analyse information related to the sound management of chemicals and waste covered by the Stockholm and Minamata Convention, particularly on:
1.1.Review of technologies and alternatives for reducing emission and release of these chemicals and waste;
1.2.Review of national policies, capacities and needs;
2.Assist in developing and implementing projects to provide technical assistance and capacity building services to developing countries for the sound management of chemicals covered by the Stockholm and Minamata Convention.

Knowledge and Risk Unit
The Intern will support the following activities of the Global Mercury Partnership and work on Green and Sustainable Chemistry, developing UNEA 5 Report on Environmental and Health impacts of pesticides and fertilizers. Under the Overall supervision of the Programme Management Officer of the Knowledge and Risk Unit, the intern will:
- Undertake desk research on Mercury, in particular on the themes of the Partnership Areas, or cross-cutting themes.
- Assist in collecting and developing communication and outreach materials, including webinar, newsletter content, videos and brochures, on topic related to the mercury and the Global Mercury Partnership.
- Supporting the organization of meetings related to the Global Mercury partnership, Green and Sustainable Chemistry and the UNEA 5 Report on Environmental and Health impacts of pesticides and fertilizers .
- Assist in reviewing reports generated by partner organizations.
- Assist any other related task assigned.

Strategic Approach of International Chemicals Management (SAICM) secretariat
Under the Overall supervision of the Programme Management Officers of the SAICM secretariat, the interns will support for each of the following activities:

Position 1: SAICM GEF Project intern
--Support planning and implementation of communication and outreach activities to showcase the outcomes of the SAICM GEF Project - Global Best Practices on Emerging Policy Issues of Concern under the Strategic Approach, including the identification of relevant opportunities for side-events, presentations, etc.;
--Support data collection and processing for the establishment of a SAICM projects database;
--Assist the preparation of various written outputs, e.g. draft background papers, analytical notes, sections of reports and studies, inputs to publications, etc.;
--Support the development of knowledge products and outreach materials to be published in the SAICM knowledge management platform; and
--Support the secretariat with other activities as required.

Positions 2 and 3: SAICM secretariat interns
--Support the follow up of the Fourth meeting of the intersessional process considering the Strategic Approach and sound management of chemicals and waste beyond 2020, Bucharest, Romania, 23-27 March 2020;
--Support the organization of the fifth International Conference on Chemicals Management scheduled to be held in October 2019 including the High-Level International Forum;
--Assist the preparation of various written outputs, e.g. draft background papers, analytical notes, sections of reports and studies, inputs to publications, etc.; and
--Assist with other related tasks as appropriate.


-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

Client Orientation:
-Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients” and seeks to see things from clients’ point of view
-Establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect
-Identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions
-Monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients’ environment to keep informed and anticipate problems
-Keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects
-Meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client


Applicants must at the time of application meet one of the following requirements:
a. Be enrolled in a graduate school programme (second university degree or equivalent, or higher);
b. Be enrolled in the final academic year of a first university degree program (minimum Bachelor's level or equivalent);
c. Have graduated with a university degree and, if selected, must commence the internship within a one-year period of graduation.

Be computer literate in standard software applications.

Have demonstrated keen interest in the work of the United Nations and have a personal commitment to the ideals of the Charter;

Have a demonstrated ability to successfully interact with individuals of different cultural backgrounds and beliefs, which include willingness to try and understand and be tolerant of differing opinions and views.

Preferred area of study: An advanced university degree in environmental sciences, chemistry, environmental management, economics, communications or international relations.

Work Experience

Not applicable


English is one of the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. Fluency in English is required for the Internship Programme.
Knowledge of one of the following UN language is an advantage: Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish.


Potential candidates will be contacted by hiring manager directly for further consideration.

Special Notice

Your application for this internship must include:
1. A Completed application (Personal History Profile) and Cover Note, through the UN careers Portal. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

The Cover Note must include:
- Title of the degree you are currently pursuing
- Graduation Date
- IT skills and programmes you are proficient in
- Explain why you are the best candidate for this specific internship

Explain your interest in the United Nations Internship Programme, ensure to include all past work experience (if any).

2. Proof of enrollment from current University (if not graduated).

3. A copy of degree certificate (if you have already graduated).

Due to a high volume of applications received, ONLY successful candidates will be contacted.

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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