Job Opening

Posting Title: Consultant on legal affairs and compliance (1 POST)
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 16 November 2021 - 29 November 2021
Job Opening Number: 21-United Nations Environment Programme-168656-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

Under the direct supervision of the Chief of the Legal Unit, the legal consultant will contribute to the work programme of the Unit and assist in the servicing of the meetings for the governing bodies of the Convention by:
• Providing legal advice on diverse substantive and procedural questions of considerable complexity, which may include those related to annotations, reservations, regulation of trade in specimens produced through biotechnology, to include interpretation and application of Resolutions in that area of concentration and procedural matters, e.g. rules of procedure;
• Performing extensive legal research and analysis and prepares legal opinions, briefs, reports and correspondence;
• Providing legal support to CITES intergovernmental processes, e.g. CoP, SC, AC, PC, to the Parties and the Secretariat;
• Servicing and supporting different Standing Committee Working Groups, including on i) rules of procedure, ii) annotations, iii) Res. Conf. 11.3 (Rev. CoP18), and iv) labelling of caviar in trade;
• Monitoring compliance and assisting in the implementation of the recommendations with particular attention to Article XIII processes and the National Legislation Project;
• Contributing to the implementation of the Compliance Assistance Programme;
• Providing advice on the development and amendment of Resolutions, Decisions, Annotations, rules of procedure and Notifications to the Parties;
• Preparing documents for the 74th Meeting of the Standing Committee as assigned by the Chief of Unit;
• Preparing documents for the 19th Meeting of the Standing Committee as assigned by the Chief of Unit;
• Reviewing, advising on and drafting complex documents, listing proposals, draft resolutions and decisions, agreements, or legal submissions and other legal documents;
• Supporting the Unit in the effective implementation of the Convention by monitoring compliance and implementing the decisions and resolutions allocated to her or him in a professional manner in accordance with Secretariat and UN values and rules;
• Performing other duties as assigned.

Work Location


Expected duration

12 months from 15 December 2021 to 14 December 2022

Duties and Responsibilities

The United Nations 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 Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is a multilateral agreement between 184 Parties. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival ( The CITES Secretariat is administered by UNEP and is located at the Geneva duty station.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is an international agreement between 183 Parties (182 States and the European Union). Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival ( CITES works by subjecting international trade in specimens of species covered by the Convention to certain controls. All import, export, re-export and introduction from the sea of the covered species has to be authorized through a licensing system.

During the implementation of this contract, the consultant will work under the immediate supervision, guidance and responsibility of the Chief of the Legal Unit of the CITES Secretariat and is expected to have frequent and inclusive consultations with other members of the unit and the Secretariat.

The consultant will support the Chief of the Legal Unit to prepare for, and deliver upon, the 74th meeting of the Standing Committee (SC74) and 19th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (CoP19).

The primary focus will be on legal issues. The consultant will independently handle a wide range of multi-discipline and complex legal and compliance matters involving interpretation and application of the text of the Convention and its appendices, Resolutions and Decisions and procedural matters, e.g. rules of procedure.

Qualifications/special skills

a) At least 10 years of relevant legal work experience or related area are required.
b) Excellent interpersonal skills; culturally and socially sensitive; ability to work inclusively and collaboratively with a range of partners, and authorities at different levels;
c) Ability to work and adapt professionally and effectively in a challenging environment; ability to work effectively in a multicultural team of international and national personnel;
d) Ability to work under tight deadlines;
e) Excellent communication skills (written and orally);
f) Solid overall computer literacy, including proficiency in various MS Office applications (Excel, Word, etc.) and email/internet; familiarity with database management; and office technology equipment;
g) Self-motivated, ability to work with minimum supervision; ability to work with tight deadlines;
h) Have affinity with or interest in conservation and sustainable use of wildlife, and the UN System.

i) Required field of work and where applicable, area of specialty: in-depth knowledge of the CITES convention, environmental and international law. Previous experience on CITES legal-related matters would be an advantage.

j) Required education qualifications: Advanced university degree in law (environmental, trade, international). A first-level law university degree in combination with qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

k) Required knowledge of languages: English, French and Spanish are the working languages of the CITES Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in oral and written English is required. Fluency in any of the other working languages would be an advantage.

Additional Information


To successfully undertake this consultancy role the incumbent will demonstrate the competencies of Professionalism, Teamwork and respect for diversity, Planning and Organizing and Communication.

• Professionalism: demonstrated understanding of operations relevant to CITES Secretariat; technical capabilities or knowledge relevant or transferrable to CITES Secretariat procedures and rules; discretion, political sensitivity, diplomacy and tact to deal with clients; ability to apply good judgement; ability to liaise and coordinate with a range of different actors, especially in senior positions; where appropriate, high degree of autonomy, personal initiative and ability to take ownership; resourcefulness and willingness to accept wide responsibilities and ability to work independently under established procedures; ability to manage information objectively, accurately and confidentially; responsive and client-oriented;
• Teamwork and respect for diversity: ability to operate effectively across organizational boundaries; excellent interpersonal skills; ability to establish and maintain effective partnerships and harmonious working relations in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, mixed-gender environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity; sensitivity and adaptability to culture, gender, religion, nationality and age; commitment to implementing the goal of gender equality by ensuring the equal participation and full involvement of women and men in all aspects of UN operations; ability to achieve common goals and provide guidance or training to colleagues;
• Planning and organizing: effective organizational and problem-solving skills and ability to manage a large volume of work in an efficient and timely manner; ability to establish priorities and to plan, coordinate and monitor (own) work; ability to work under pressure, with conflicting deadlines, and to handle multiple concurrent projects/activities;
• Communication: proven interpersonal skills; good spoken and written communication skills, including ability to prepare clear and concise reports; ability to conduct presentations, articulate options and positions concisely; ability to make and defend recommendations; ability to communicate and empathize with staff (including national staff), military personnel, volunteers, counterparts and local interlocutors coming from very diverse backgrounds; capacity to transfer information and knowledge to a wide range of different target groups;
• Genuine commitment towards CITES Secretariat’s mission and vision, as well as to the UN Core Values.

More specifically, the incumbent should have the ability to
- independently structure and organize the work
- compile, review and structure large amounts of information and data
- orally communicate in a clear and friendly manner
- work under time constraints with tight deadlines
- present complex technical matters in a simple and straightforward way (using graphics where relevant)
- understand and work with political sensitivities and respect for confidentiality where necessary

No Fee


Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.
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