Job Opening

Posting Title: Deputy Executive Secretary, D2
Department/Office: Convention to Combat Desertification
Duty Station: BONN
Posting Period: 16 December 2021 - 14 January 2022
Job Opening Number: 171071
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Org. Setting and Reporting

The objective of the Convention is to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought in countries experiencing serious drought and/or desertification, 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 Deputy Executive Secretary advises and assists the Executive Secretary in the overall management of the secretariat and in the policy planning and coordination and direction of strategic plans and work programmes including the scientific aspects; prepares reports on cross- secretariat and multi-programme matters and on the implementation of the Convention; ensures and coordinates the substantive servicing of the Conference of the Parties (COP) and its subsidiary bodies; advises on, initiates and coordinates fundraising activities.


Under the general guidance of, and in close cooperation with, the Executive Secretary, the incumbent will be responsible for the following:

1. Oversees the management of the secretariat’s substantive work in addressing desertification, land degradation and drought, especially in the follow-up to the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the post-2015 development agenda;
2. Supports the Executive Secretary in the planning, coordination and management of the secretariat’s programme of work in order to ensure delivery of and resource mobilization efforts for the two-year work programme and the comprehensive multi-year work plan of the secretariat;
3. Contributes to the formulation of the Convention’s substantive strategies and policies by participating in various committees, preparing documents on policy issues, and acting, as required, as an advisor to the Executive Secretary.
4. Advises the Executive Secretary on, while having oversight of the COP, ensuring and coordinating the substantive servicing to the COP and its subsidiary bodies; and Bureau thereof, on matters relating to the Convention and its implementation; supervises the service delivery to Parties and quality control in the context of the global mechanism; prepares reports to the COP on the implementation of the Convention as requested by the COP; supervises and coordinates the knowledge information management system. Advises on the integrated implementation of the UNCCD on the servicing/ consistency of programmes of the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention and Committee on Science and Technology and provides related policy guidance, including scientific policy, in the context of the comprehensive multi-year work plan, drafts reports and documents on, in particular, policy, organizational and institutional issues, on behalf of, or for, the Executive Secretary;
5. Ensures that the outputs produced by Convention maintain high-quality standards; that reports are clear, objective and based on comprehensive data. Ensures that all outputs produced by the programmes under his/her supervision meet required standards before completion to ensure they comply with the relevant mandates;
6. Advises the Executive Secretary in the results-based management of the secretariat and in the planning, coordination and monitoring of strategic plans, programmes of work, and coordination/supervision of the administration of programme resources under his/her supervision.
7. Coordinates the preparation of the programme budget and provide guidance to the Coordinator of Administrative Services; chairs Management Team meetings as delegated by the Executive Secretary;
8. Provides leadership to the development of innovative and/or change management programmes.
9. Assists in high level advocacy, represents and speaks on behalf of the secretariat at meetings of other international organizations, agencies and bodies on the Convention related matters. Coordinates and undertakes, fundraising for supplementary funds through contact with the officials of fundraising agencies and government, and ensures follow up;
10. Manages, guides, develops and trains staff under his/her supervision; fosters teamwork and communication among staff in the programmes and across secretariat’s boundaries;
11. Chairs meetings, seminars, on substantive-related issues; represents the Convention at international, regional, inter-agency meetings, seminars and conference; provides programmatic/substantive expertise on an issue, or holds programmatic/substantive and organizational discussions with representatives of other institutions;
12. Manages the Convention for the overall functioning in the absence of the Executive Secretary;
13. Performs any other job-related activity required to achieve the goals and objectives of the UNCCD and as required by the Executive Secretary.


Professionalism: Demonstrates in-depth knowledge of international cooperation and policies relating to sustainable land and water management, sustainable development and global environmental challenges, rural development, with practical decision making experience at senior levels; ability to guide the development of normative work and the production of reports and papers on substantive issues related to the work programme; ability to assess and review the work of others; ability to plan, organize and oversee the work of teams through results-based management. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing and gender integration into ongoing and new programmes.

Communication: Ability to explain and sustain complex issues with regard to key decisions to staff, senior officials and members of intergovernmental bodies; proven ability to communicate complex concepts orally; ability to lead in preparing written reports that are clear, concise, meaningful and action-oriented.

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.

Leadership: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow: empowers others to translate vision into results; is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; drives for change and improvements; does not accept the status quo; shows the courage to take unpopular stands.

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.

Managing Performance: Ability to make timely decisions, establish priorities and coach, mentor, motivate and develop staff and encourage good performance; delegates responsibility, clarifies expectations and gives staff autonomy in important areas of their work; encourages others to set challenging goals; holds others accountable for achieving results related to their area of responsibility


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or Doctorate) in sustainable development, economics, environmental studies, public policy, natural resources management, law, or related area is required.
PhD in any of the above areas is preferred. A relevant or related first-level university degree in the above areas in combination with an additional two years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

Over fifteen (15) years of progressively responsible experience in sustainable development, economics, environment or related field. Extensive experience at a senior managerial level in the field of international affairs, environment and/ or development with significant international experience environment is required.

Demonstrated leadership experience with strategic vision and proven skills in managing complex organizations is required.

An understanding of the United Nations system, including, of current environmental agenda challenges is desirable.

Demonstrated experience in establishing and maintaining professional networks is desirable.

Extensive experience in the diplomatic and public policy arena, including experience at the international level is highly desirable.

Experience in facilitation intergovernmental process is required

Substantial experience working within the UN Common System, both at headquarters and in the field, is desirable.


For this post, fluency in English language, with excellent drafting skills is required. Working knowledge of another UN official language is desirable.


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

Special Notice

Extension of the appointment is subject to extension of the mandate and/or the availability of the funds.
UNCCD is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its workforce. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

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


Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.
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