Job Opening

Posting Title: Chief, Precursors Control Section, P5
Department/Office: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Duty Station: VIENNA
Posting Period: 06 July 2020 - 19 August 2020
Job Opening Number: 20-Drug Control and Crime Prevent-UNODC-137501-R-Vienna (G)
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 Precursors Control Section (PRE) of the Secretariat of the International Narcotics Control Board (SINCB), Division for Treaty Affairs (DTA), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in Vienna, Austria. The incumbent will work under the direct supervision of the Secretary of the Board/Chief of SINCB. The Secretariat of INCB is an administrative entity of UNODC reporting directly to the Board on substantive matters.

For more information on the work of the Board and its secretariat please consult


The incumbent will perform the following duties:
•Plan the activities of the section, organize the distribution of work among the staff, supervise the implementation of tasks and evaluate staff performance; carry out programmatic/administrative tasks necessary for the functioning of the section, including assigning and monitoring of performance parameters and indicators, interviews of candidates for job openings and evaluation of candidates; recruit staff for the section; manage, guide, develop and train staff under his/her supervision; foster teamwork and communication among staff and across organizational boundaries; provide policy advice to the Secretary of INCB on conceptual strategy developments and management of the implementation of overall strategies and interdepartmental policies and procedures; coordinate with the other sections of the INCB Secretariat, and in cooperation with the relevant services within UNODC and other international organizations/bodies, as appropriate; analyze the functioning of the section in the implementation of the control system for chemicals and submit conclusions and recommendations to the Secretary of the Board and through the Secretary to INCB.
•Supervise the design and maintenance of the precursors databases, data collection, processing and their analyses relating to the licit and illicit movements of precursor chemicals; establish/revise data collection procedures; assess the implementation by governments of the relevant treaty provisions and supervise communications with them on this matter; assess the establishment of laws, regulations and mechanisms to monitor international trade and to investigate diversions, attempted diversion and smuggling of precursors; establish and maintain harmonized mechanisms and procedures with competent national authorities and international bodies; provide immediate responses to Governments’ inquiries about the legitimacy of individual transactions in chemicals; report to the Board on activities related to the supervision of the licit movement of precursor chemicals; reviews potential treaty violations and proposes to the Board remedial actions to be taken in accordance with article 22 of the 1988 Convention; maintain and revise, as appropriate, the “Guidelines for use by national authorities in preventing the diversion of precursors and essential chemicals”; contribute to the designing of precursor control projects of comprehensive technical assistance for execution by UNODC; provide substantive advice on the operation of such projects in consultation with the Secretary, as appropriate.
•Initiate and launch international operations, which include: (i) intensive international tracking programmes on shipments of precursor chemicals to identify and stop suspicious transactions and (ii) backtracking law enforcement investigations from the point of seizures and/or interceptions to identify the sources of diversion and traffickers involved; provide leadership for, chairs, or serve as a leading member of, the Task Force / Steering Committee for such international operations (Project Prism and Project Cohesion) and establish relevant operating procedures required; evaluate activities under such operations and recommend sources for further action; serve as the international focal point for real time information/intelligence exchange and, to that end, maintain and supervise the utilization of specific databases for such international operations; serve as the gateway to other competent international bodies, including the International Criminal Police Organization (ICPO-Interpol), World Customs Organization (WCO), Europol, European Commission (EC), for operational information exchange; issue regular and ad hoc alerts to competent national and international bodies about diversion attempts and findings from regulatory and law enforcement investigations; initiate, and develop strategies for regional round-table consultations to establish mechanisms and operating procedures for the national competent authorities to address specific chemical control issues.
•Responsible for the substantive preparation and for the convening of the Board’s Advisory Expert Group (AEG), including revising its terms of reference and rules of procedure, maintaining a roster of experts, and providing the secretariat service for AEG sessions; supervise the preparation and revision of the Guidelines for Assessment and of critical review documents for AEG; select the members of the AEG members, each time the Group is convened, in consultation with the President of the Board; maintain and revise, as appropriate, the Limited International Special Surveillance List (SSL), which the Board established in accordance with ECOSOC resolution 1996/29; formulate and revise, as appropriate, the proposed actions relating to the substances included in SSL.
•Oversee the preparation of analytical documentation for the Board sessions, including those on the supervision of the movement of precursors; prepare the draft publication of the Board on the implementation of article 12 (precursors); arrange for the final publication in time; make proposals for substantive improvement of the publication; draft relevant parts of the main Report of the Board on the working of the 1988 Convention; supervise the maintenance, and publication, of the directory of the competent authorities under article 12 of the 1988 Convention and of the control measures applied in individual countries; issue the “Information package relevant to the control of precursors and chemicals frequently used in the illicit manufacture of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances” for distribution and use by competent regulatory and law enforcement authorities only; supervise the preparation of Form D (“Annual information on substances frequently used in the illicit manufacture of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances” and Red List (“List of precursors and chemicals frequently used in the illicit manufacture of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances under international control”); ensure that the outputs produced by the Section maintain high-quality standards and comply with the relevant mandates of the Board.
•Oversee the preparation of analytical documentation, the development and implementation of initiatives and activities to promote, facilitate and support the implementation of article 13 (materials and equipment) of the 1988 Convention.
•Provide expertise and participate in INCB missions; interact with governments on treaty non-compliance issues; represent the Board and provide programmatic/substantive expertise at international meetings, seminars and negotiations with governments and international organizations.
•Perform other work-related duties as required.


•Professionalism: Has expert knowledge in the field of national and international drug control in general and in the specific areas of the control of the licit activities related to narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursors in particular. Has knowledge of UN policies, procedures and operations and of INCB mandates. Has proven ability to produce reports and documents on such issues and to review and edit the work of others. Demonstrates management and leadership ability. Is able to manage the work of a team requiring an in-depth understanding of its strategic direction and is able to integrate the work of the Section into the work programme of the INCB Secretariat. Is able to provide expert advice on substantive issues and to defend and explain difficult issues with respect to key decisions and positions to staff, senior officials and members of the intergovernmental bodies. 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.
•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.
•Accountability: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments; delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards; operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.
•Managing Performance: Delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision-making authority; makes sure that roles, responsibilities and reporting lines are clear to each staff member; accurately judges the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a task and matches task to skills; monitors progress against milestones and deadlines; regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff; encourages risk-taking and supports creativity and initiative; actively supports the development and career aspirations of staff; appraises performance fairly.
•Judgement/Decision-making: Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, 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 the 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 international law, international relations, social sciences, health sciences, pharmaceutical sciences, or related area 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 relevant professional work experience at the national and international level in drug control related activities in government, international organizations, academia or the private sector is required.
At least five years of experience in regulatory control of drugs and chemicals at the international level is required.
Demonstrated management and leadership experience is required.
Experience with United Nations policies, procedures and operations is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised fluency in English and one other United Nations official language with excellent drafting ability is required. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is desirable.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise and a competency-based interview.

Special Notice

For this position, applicants from the following Member States, which are unrepresented or underrepresented in the UN Secretariat as of 29 February 2020, 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, 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, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Suriname, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Vanuatu, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

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.

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.

Vienna is classified as an H and a family duty station.

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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