Job Opening

Posting Title: 2021 Competitive examination for language positions: French Translators, Editors and Verbatim Reporters P2, P3
Department/Office: Department for General Assembly and Conference Management
Posting Period: 02 July 2021 - 31 July 2021
Job Opening Number: 21-Language-DGACM-158965-L- (L)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Org. Setting and Reporting

• These positions are located at United Nations Headquarters in New York in the Department for General Assembly and Conference Management (DGACM) and in the United Nations Offices at Geneva, Nairobi and Vienna, as well as in the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in Addis Ababa and the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in Bangkok.

• These positions are under the general supervision of the Chief of the French Translation Service or the Chief of the French Verbatim Section at United Nations Headquarters in New York, or of the respective Chief of Section/Unit at duty stations away from Headquarters. Further details can be found in the language careers section of the DGACM website (


• Duties and responsibilities depend on the service/section/unit and duty station in which the position is located.

• In Translator positions, they include: translating, subject to revision, documents covering a broad range of subjects dealt with by the United Nations, i.e., in the political, social, legal, economic, financial, administrative, scientific and technical fields.

• In Editor positions, they include: ensuring that the phraseology, the terminology and, where appropriate, the translation are correct and that the style is appropriate to the audience; editing for continuity, logic, completeness, relevance of material, readability, clarity of expression and consistency, as well as spelling, punctuation and grammar; ensuring conformity with United Nations editorial standards, policies and practices; verifying the accuracy of facts, figures, quotations and references through research and consultation; identifying unclear or ambiguous statements and proposing amendments for consideration by the author, the supervising editor or the relevant translation service.

• In Verbatim Reporter positions, they include: producing in extenso verbatim records of meetings; editing the original language version as necessary for accuracy, making the required changes for style, syntax and grammar and procedure; transcribing and/or translating assigned portions of meetings; comparing transcripts of interpretation with original language versions to ensure completeness and accuracy of the records; and translating passages that are either inaccurate or incomplete.


Professionalism: 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.

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.

Technological Awareness: Keeps abreast of available technology; understands applicability and limitation of technology to the work of the office; actively seeks to apply technology to appropriate tasks; shows willingness to learn new technology.


Applicants must hold at least a first-level degree or an equivalent qualification in modern languages, translation, interpretation or another relevant subject, such as law, economics, accounting, international relations, science or technology from a university or institution of equivalent status, preferably one at which French is the principal language of instruction.

Completion of an advanced degree (Master’s or PhD) or post-graduate diploma in modern languages, translation, interpretation, law or another relevant subject is preferred.

Work Experience

No experience is required; two or more years of practical experience in translation, verbatim reporting, editing or a related field is preferred.


Applicants must have a perfect command of French, which should be their main language (i.e. the language in which the candidate is best able to write, edit and translate into and of which he/she has a perfect command).

All applicants must also have an excellent knowledge of English. Applications from candidates who only translate from English will be accepted, but excellent knowledge also of at least one of the other official languages of the United Nations (Arabic, Chinese, Russian or Spanish) is preferred and will be an advantage. Successful candidates whose knowledge of law or an official language of the United Nations other than French and English is not assessed in this competitive examination shall be required, upon joining the Organization, to add to their working language combination another official language of the United Nations (Arabic, Chinese, Russian or Spanish), to be determined by the relevant service/section/unit according to its operational needs at that moment in time.

Applicants' claim to knowledge of official languages must be supported by relevant documentation attached to their application. Further evidence of degrees/diplomas, knowledge of languages and/or relevant experience may be required prior to convocation to sit the examination.

Applications from candidates with excellent knowledge of Arabic and Russian are strongly encouraged.


• Applications will be assessed and screened on the basis of how well applicants meet the education, work experience and language requirements listed above, and only those applicants deemed qualified will be convoked for the first part of the examination.

• The first part of the examination, which will be conducted entirely online using a dedicated platform, is likely to consist of the following exercises:
(a) Translation into French of a general text in English (approx. 90 min.). It should be noted that this exercise may be eliminatory;

(b)Translation into French of a specialized text in English (on an economic, legal or technical subject) (approx. 80 min.).

• Details regarding the exact timing and arrangements will be sent to the candidates convoked for this first part of the examination. Details of any changes to the format of the test will be posted on the “Competitive examinations for language professionals” section of the United Nations Careers Portal ( Please check it regularly.

•Tips for preparing for the exam can be found on the DGACM website at" Concours de recrutement de personnel linguistique : traduction, édition et rédaction de procès-verbaux". (

• On the basis of the results of the first part of the examination, the Board of Examiners will invite selected examinees to take the second part, which will include a proctored (invigilated) remote translation test, in which all candidates will be required to translate a text from English into French, possibly without using dictionaries, glossaries or other resources. Candidates who translate from other official languages or have solid legal knowledge will also be invited to demonstrate their ability to translate from Arabic, Chinese, Russian or Spanish or to translate a legal text. On the basis of the results in the second part, the Board of Examiners will invite selected examinees to the third and final part, which will comprise a competency-based interview and possibly other additional exercises. The interview is to assess whether the candidate possesses the competencies required for the position and is an integral part of the examination. Examinees who are invited to take the third part should not assume that they will be automatically placed on a roster or offered an appointment.

• All candidates will be informed by e-mail of the Board's final recommendation in respect of their candidature. The Board's recommendations are final and not subject to appeal. The Board does not release individual scores or results.

Special Notice

• The purpose of the present job opening is to invite applications to sit the combined competitive examination for French-language Translators, Editors and Verbatim Reporters, which will be held in three parts (see “Assessment” below). Each part of the examination is eliminatory. Only those successful in part one will be convoked to part two, and only those successful in part two will be convoked to part three, and only those successful in part three will be placed on the roster for recruitment. The first part of the examination is tentatively scheduled to take place on 30 September 2021 and will be carried out entirely online.

• Applicants wishing to sit this competitive examination must submit an application through Inspira, the United Nations Secretariat’s online recruitment platform. Please start this process by clicking on the “Apply” button or the “Postuler” button in the electronic version of the French version of this Job Opening. Applications must be submitted in French. The application process is described in the United Nations careers portal. ( )

• When filling out their applications in Inspira, applicants should write in the cover letter section (step 8) approximately 150-200 words in French explaining how their experience, qualifications and competencies match the position(s) for which the examination is being organized.

• Applications that are incomplete, including those submitted without the required evidence of language skills in "Add Licenses and Certificate" in step 7 or without the cover letter in French requested in step 8, respectively, of the Inspira application form, and applications that are submitted or received after the deadline specified in Inspira will not be considered.

• Please note that the Staff Rules provide that “An appointment shall not be granted to a person who is the father, mother, son, daughter, brother or sister of a staff member.” (Staff Rule 4.7 (a)).

• All applications will be reviewed by the Board of Examiners. In instances where a large number of applications are received, the Board of Examiners reserves the right to admit to the examination only the most qualified applicants based on a review of qualifications over and above the minimum criteria (see education, work experience and language requirements). All applicants will be notified by e-mail of the Board’s decision in respect of their application. The Board’s decisions are final.

• On the basis of the overall results of the examination, the Board will recommend to the Assistant Secretary-General for Human Resources Management the names of examinees who qualify for inclusion in a roster of successful candidates.

• Present and future vacancies for Translators, Editors and Verbatim Reporters will be filled from the roster of successful candidates, subject to the requirements of each section or service in terms of expertise and language combinations. There are French Translator posts in the language services of the United Nations Secretariat in Geneva, Nairobi, New York and Vienna, as well as in the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in Addis Ababa, and the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in Bangkok; French Editor posts in Geneva; and French Verbatim Reporter posts in New York.

• Successful candidates selected from the roster to fill vacancies are normally offered an initial fixed-term appointment at the P-2 level for a trial period of two years. Upon satisfactory completion of this trial period, they may be promoted to the P-3 level. Fully qualified translators, editors or other language professionals with several years of internationally recognized professional language experience and demonstrated ability to perform high-quality work may be recruited at the P-3 level. After two years of satisfactory service on a fixed-term appointment, the candidate will be considered for a continuing appointment. Fixed-term appointments of those whose performance proves unsatisfactory will not be extended after the trial period of two years.

• It should be noted that successful candidates are expected to serve a minimum of five years in a language post and may, after the two-year trial period, be called upon to serve at a different duty station according to the needs of the Organization. It should also be noted that, in accordance with the needs of the service/section/unit, they may be called upon to work outside normal working hours, including weekends and holidays.

• Successful candidates who receive an offer of appointment are strongly encouraged to accept it, as declining may affect their prospects of receiving a subsequent offer.


• The combined competitive examination for French Translators, Editors and Verbatim Reporters in 2021 is open to internal applicants at the P-3 level and below who meet the eligibility requirements, as well as qualified external candidates, in accordance with the provisions of ST/AI/2020/3.

• It should be noted that the requirement for a university degree or its equivalent from a university or institution of equivalent status (set forth in “Education”) may be waived for staff members who, in the judgment of the Board of Examiners, have adequate post-secondary educational qualifications from a university or institution of equivalent status and adequate secondary educational qualifications from an establishment, preferably one at which the principal language of instruction is French, in addition to five years of continuous service with the United Nations Secretariat by 31 December 1989.

• The assignment of staff members of the United Nations who are successful in the examination and are selected to fill vacancies will be subject to the following conditions:

• Staff members selected to fill vacancies will be assigned as a French Translator, Editor or Verbatim Reporter for a trial period of two years according to the staff rules in force. Staff members below the P-2 level or in the General Service category will receive a special post allowance to the P-2 level. Staff members at the P-2 and P-3 levels will be assigned at their respective levels.

• Staff members with a special post allowance to the P-2 level and those already at the P-2 level who successfully complete the trial period and are recommended by the Department for General Assembly and Conference Management and the Office of Human Resources Management may be promoted to the P-3 level. Staff members already at the P-3 level who successfully complete the trial period will be confirmed in their functions at the P-3 level. After two years of satisfactory service on a fixed-term appointment, the candidate will be considered for a continuing appointment. This means that the candidate must demonstrate within that time that he or she possesses the requisite qualifications to serve as a career staff member of the United Nations in order to receive such an appointment. Staff members who do not successfully complete the trial period will be reassigned to posts at their previous levels, and any special post allowance will be discontinued.

• Staff members from subsidiary organs of the United Nations and staff members whose service is limited to a particular organ, fund or programme of the United Nations or a special mission are considered external candidates for the purpose of this examination. Such candidates, if successful in the examination, will be offered a new appointment with the United Nations, subject to normal United Nations recruitment procedures and standards.

• Staff members selected to fill vacancies will be recruited as French Translators, Editors or Verbatim Reporters according to the staff rules in force.

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.

The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.

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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