Job Opening

Posting Title: SPECIAL ASSISTANT, ADMINISTRATION, P4
Job Code Title: SPECIAL ASSISTANT, ADMINISTRATION
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: MONTREAL
Posting Period: 09 February 2022 - 02 April 2022
Job Opening Number: 22-Administration-UNEP-170428-R-Montreal (X)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Org. Setting and Reporting

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.

At the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, world leaders agreed on a comprehensive strategy for 'sustainable development'. One of the key agreements adopted at Rio was the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The Convention has three main objectives: the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of genetic resources.

The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) is located in Montreal and is administered by United Nations Environment Programme. This post is located in the Convention on Biological Diversity, Office of the Executive Secretary (OES). Under the day-to-day guidance and supervision of the Executive Secretary, the incumbent will act as Head, Secretariat Support Unit of the Office of the Executive Secretary and perform the following duties:

Responsibilities

A. Provides substantive and analytical support to the Executive Secretary:
a) Provides specialized advice to the Executive Secretary on management and implementation of the Secretariat’s policies and procedures, staff-management relations, amongst others;
b) Maintains close contact with management and staff to ensure effective cooperation that facilitates the Executive Secretary’s functional responsibility for management oversight of CBD Secretariat;
c) Serves as focal point and liaison on specific topics or policy-related issues; keeps abreast with latest developments, liaises with other organizations, donors, etc.; provides information and advice on a range of related issues;
d) Prepares or contributes to the preparation of various written reports, documents and communications, e.g. draft sections of studies, background papers, policy guidelines, briefings, case studies, presentations, correspondence, etc.; appraises all official reports and documentation prepared by the Secretariat and ensures their consistency with CBD strategy before recommending their approval by the Executive Secretary;
e) Supports the Executive Secretary in interactions with high-level external partners, including the UN Agencies, Donors and NGO community and undertakes liaison on behalf of the Executive Secretary with the relevant staff of the Executive Office of the Executive Director, UNEP and other interlocutors;
f) Establishes and maintains contacts with government officials, other UN agencies, nongovernmental organizations, diplomatic missions, media, etc.;
g) Organizes and participates in work groups, meetings, conferences, consultations with other agencies and partners on CBD-related matters;
h) Oversees, on behalf of the Executive Secretary, the general logistical and administrative preparations of major CBD organized meetings;
i) Develops new approaches, strategies and policies to ensure the smooth and timely flow of information in and out of the Office of the Executive Secretary on the work programme of the Secretariat.

B. Manages the Office of the Executive Secretary including the human and non-human resources:
a) Manages, supervises, coordinates and facilitates the work of the Secretariat Support Unit of the Office of the Executive Secretary; provides timely programmatic and substantive reviews of drafts for quality assurance for the Executive Secretary;
b) Manages daily the Executive Secretary’s office, including the correspondence flow, daily schedule and travel planning and preparation;
c) Plans and oversees the management of activities undertaken by the Executive Secretary’s office; ensures that substantive work programmes and programmed activities are carried out in a timely fashion, and, in synchrony with other organizations of the United Nations System, donors and agencies, as appropriate;
d) Monitors directives of the Executive Secretary with regard to human resources; coordinates establishment of recruitment panels; updates the Executive Secretary on on-going recruitment processes within the Secretariat;
e) Carries out administrative tasks necessary for the functioning of the Office of the Executive Secretary, including preparation of documents and monitoring of performance parameters and critical indicators, evaluation of staff performance (Performance Management), interviews of candidates for job openings and evaluation of candidates;
f) Responds to relevant substantive correspondence of a broad, confidential and politically-sensitive nature;
g) Ensures timely follow-up to the Executive Secretary’s directives, including effective dissemination of pertinent information to the management team and relevant staff;
h) Using management and online tools, ensures timely follow to requests received by the Secretariat and respective responses and outputs dispatched on time;
i) Administers the workload of the Office of the Executive Secretary and maximizes the utilization of the available human and non-human resources;
j) Liaises with other divisions of the Secretariat, coordinates their substantive input into the work of the Executive Secretary;
k) Manages, guides, develops and trains staff in the Secretariat Support Unit;
l) Fosters teamwork and ensures effective communication among staff in the Secretariat Support Unit and across other units and divisions;
m) Monitors staff requirements, distributes workload and the requirement for other resources and making appropriate recommendations to the Executive Secretary;
n) Organizes, manages and plans the schedules of the Executive Secretary, using online tools to manage the schedule and contacts of the Executive Secretary. o) Keeps abreast and conducts research on new technologies of online and monitoring tools for the Executive Secretary’s schedules and follow-up systems.

C. Provides substantive, logistical and administrative support to the Executive Secretary in the organization of the Bureaux of the Conference of Parties to the CBD, the Conference of Parties serving as the meeting of Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (COP/MOP), and the Conference serving as the meeting of Parties to the Nagoya Protocol (COP/MOP):
a) Assists the Executive Secretary in liaising with Parties, organizes CBD Bureau Meetings, the COP/MOP Bureau meetings and liaising with the Presidencies on the COP and COP/MOP related issues;
b) Assists the Executive Secretary in his/her relation with Parties including providing proposals to the bureau, as appropriate;
c) Makes logistical arrangements for meetings of COP and COP/MOP Bureau as well as coordinating the preparation of documents for Bureau meetings.

D. Performs other related duties as requested by the Executive Secretary.

Competencies

Professionalism: Knowledge of administrative, budgetary, financial and human resources policies and procedures. Ability to apply various United Nations administrative rules and regulations in work situations. Conceptual analytical and evaluative skills to conduct independent research and analysis. Ability to identify issues, formulate opinions, make conclusions and recommendations. Shows pride in work and 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 calms 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.

Planning and 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 in environmental, social or political sciences, business administration, public administration, environmental management, information systems or equivalent is required. A first level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of seven (7) years of progressively responsible experience in administration, management or related field, is required.

Work experience within the UN context, a Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) or similar organization is required.

Experience with the UN common system is desirable.

Experience working with an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is desirable.

Experience in advising senior officials on corporate matters is desirable.

A minimum of five (5) years of experience in front office or coordination office, supporting senior level managers or cross functional teams is desirable.

Languages

English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this post, fluency in oral and written English is required. Working knowledge of other official UN languages is desirable.

Assessment

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

Special Notice

Appointment against this position is for an initial period of one year and may be subject to extension.

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 and geographical diversity in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

Internal Applicants – When completing the form, ensure ALL fields, ALL professional experience and contact information are completed and up to date. This information is the basis for the hiring manager to assess your eligibility and suitability for the position and to contact you.

Individual Contractors and Consultants who have worked within the UN Secretariat in the last six months, irrespective of the administering entity, are ineligible to apply for or be appointed to any professional and higher temporary or fixed-term positions, within six months of the end of their current or most recent service. For such positions, at least six months need to have elapsed between the end of a consultancy or individual contract and the time of application and consideration for an appointment as a staff member under the Staff Rules and Regulations of the United Nations.

At the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the recruitment and employment of staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, with due regard to geographic diversity. All employment decisions are made on the basis of qualifications and organizational needs. The United Nations is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. The United Nations recruits and employs staff regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds or disabilities. Reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities may be provided to support participation in the recruitment process when requested and indicated in the application.

On-line applications will be acknowledged where an email address has been provided. All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply on-line as soon as possible after the job opening has been posted and well before the deadline stated in the job opening. If you do not receive an e-mail acknowledgement within 24 hours of submission, your application may not have been received. If the problem persists, please seek technical assistance through the Inspira "Contact Us" link.

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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