Job Opening

Posting Title: SPECIAL ASSISTANT, P4
Department/Office: Convention to Combat Desertification
Duty Station: BONN
Posting Period: 18 November 2021 - 17 December 2021
Job Opening Number: 168956
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity

Org. Setting and Reporting

The objective of this Convention is to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought in countries experiencing serious drought and/or desertification around the world, particularly in Africa, through effective action at all levels, supported by international cooperation and partnership arrangements, in the framework of an integrated approach which is consistent with Agenda 21, with a view to contributing to the achievement of sustainable development in affected areas.

The functions of the secretariat are, among others, (a) to make arrangements for sessions of the Conference of the Parties and its subsidiary bodies established under the Convention and to provide them with services as required; (b) to compile and transmit reports submitted to it; (c) to facilitate assistance to affected developing country Parties, on request, particularly those in Africa, in the compilation and communication of information required under the Convention; (d) to coordinate its activities with the secretariats of other relevant international bodies and conventions.

In accordance with the decisions adopted by the Conference of the Parties and recommendations by its subsidiary bodies, the Executive Direction and Management unit (EDM) defines the strategic planning and provides the policy guidance to the units of the secretariat that is necessary to the effective discharge of their missions. The position is located in the Executive Direction Management Unit (EDM). The Special Assistant will report to the Executive Secretary.

Responsibilities

Under the direct supervision of the Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification and with the delegated authority, the Special Assistant will be responsible for the following duties:
1. Assists the Executive Secretary with the coordination and preparation of a range of written materials, including but not limited to draft background papers, responses, analysis, input into oral briefings, reports and publications, written statements and talking points, and provides editorial and substantive guidance on correspondence emanating from the unit, in order to ensure style as well as substance are in line with organizational policies and direction; drafts correspondence as requested by the Executive Secretary, including confidential correspondence, and receives and reviews communications on behalf of the Executive Secretary and replies as appropriate.
2. Coordinates the missions of the Executive Secretary in coordination with the relevant Units; Organizes and manages official visit of the Executive Secretary, and the substantive aspects of the Executive Secretary’s meetings, field visits and UNCCD events including provision of guidance, drafting briefing notes, mission summaries, etc.
3. Analyzes and comments on relevant documents, reports and communications addressed to the Executive Secretary; identifies problems and issues to be addressed and proposes possible corrective actions; liaises with relevant parties; ensures the smooth and effective operation of the front office, identifies and tracks follow-up actions. Researches, analyzes, consolidates, and presents information gathered from diverse sources.
4. Serves as point of referral on problems which require the Executive Secretary's attention; keeps abreast of all related issues, assist in formulating options as to how those matters might be handled, and ensure appropriate follow-up, as directed.
5. Performs any other job-related activities required to achieve the goals and objectives of the Executive Office or the secretariat.

Competencies

Professionalism: Knowledge and understanding of the United Nations and its internal procedures. Ability to identify issues, analyze and participate in the resolution of issues/problems. Ability to apply judgment in the context of assignments given, plan own work and manage conflicting priorities. Ability to apply judgment in the context of assignments given, plan own work and manage conflicting priorities. 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.

Planning& 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.

Education

Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent) in political science, international relations, international economics, law, public administration or related fields is required. A first-level university degree with a relevant combination of academic qualifications and additional two years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of seven (7) years of progressively responsible experience in project or programme management, administration, international relations, security, political affairs, or related area is required.

Of these, a minimum of three (3) years of experience at the international level is required.

Experience in policy analysis and development is desirable.

A minimum of two (2) years of experience working in a front office environment providing substantive and administrative support to senior level UN officials, or equivalent in the government sector, is desirable.

Languages

For the position advertised, fluency in English and French language (both oral and written) is required. Knowledge of another UN official language is desirable.

Assessment

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

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

THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, OR TRAINING). THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS’ BANK ACCOUNTS.

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