Job Opening

Posting Title: ENGLISH PRECIS-WRITERS/TRANSLATORS (Global Language Roster- Multiple Duty Stations), T1
Job Code Title: TRANSLATOR
Department/Office: United Nations Office at Geneva
Posting Period: 25 February 2022 - 18 March 2022
Job Opening Number: 22-Language-UNOG-175297-P- (A)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Org. Setting and Reporting

Applicants who succeed in the examination and are placed on the Global Language Roster may be offered employment on a temporary contract or "when actually employed" (WAE) basis to perform the assignments in the language combinations and functions for which they were assessed, on-site or off-site, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, and the United Nations Offices at Geneva, Nairobi or Vienna. Temporary work is done under the general supervision of the Chief of the respective language Service/Section/Unit.


Duties and responsibilities will depend on the Service/Section/Unit and duty station for which the work is done on a WAE basis or in which the temporary appointment is located. In general, for English précis-writers/translators they include drafting summary records in English and translating (from two of the United Nations official languages into English) 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. Précis-writers are expected to draft a part of a meeting (a take) within the time limits set by the Service/Section/Unit and to translate at least 5.8 estimated standard pages per day (i.e. 1914 words), depending on their experience, and to meet all deadlines and quality standards.
Individuals unable to meet workload and/or quality standards and/or deadlines will be removed from the roster.


Ability to demonstrate excellent writing, analytical and summarizing skills. Ability to maintain the highest standard of accuracy, consistency and faithfulness to the spirit, style and nuances of the original text and subject matter covered in the summary record. Knowledge of terminological and reference research techniques with ability to exercise judgment in the use of all sources of information. Knowledge of a broad range of subjects dealt with by the United Nations, i.e. political, social, legal, economic, financial, administrative, scientific and technical. Ability to demonstrate the highest level of versatility, judgement and discretion, tact and negotiating skills. 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.

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.

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.

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.


Applicants must hold at least a first-level degree or an equivalent qualification in modern languages, translation or a related language field from a university or institution of equivalent status, preferably in which English is the principal language of instruction.

Job - Specific Qualification

A Master's degree in translation or modern languages or related field is desirable.

Work Experience

No work experience is required for this rostering exercise.

At least two years' practical experience in English translation, précis-writing, or another writing-related profession is desirable.

Previous experience working for international organizations is desirable.


All applicants must have English as their main language (the language into which they are best able to translate, usually the mother tongue or main language of education). They must also have an excellent knowledge of two other official languages of the United Nations (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish).

Applicants' claims to knowledge of these 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 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 invited to sit the examination.

The examination, which will be conducted entirely online, is likely to consist of the following exercises:
- Drafting of a summary in English of an original English text;
- Drafting of a summary in English of an original Spanish or French text;
- Translation into English of a text from one of the other United Nations official languages that the candidate masters and did not select for the second exercise.

The first exercise (summary of an original English text) will be an eliminatory paper.
Applicants not passing this exercise will not have their other papers assessed. Details regarding the exact timing and arrangements will be sent to the candidates convoked for the examination.

On the basis of the results of the examination, candidates will be placed on the Global Language Roster as English précis-writers/translators as eligible for employment on temporary appointments and WAE contracts by the Department for General Assembly and Conference Management at the duty stations listed above.

In the case of temporary appointments, candidates may also need to pass a competency-based interview or similar assessment test organized separately by the Service/Section/Unit in question.

All examinees will be informed by email of the outcome of the examination. The recommendation of the Examination Panel is not subject to appeal. The Panel does not release individual scores or results.

Special Notice

The purpose of the present advertisement is to invite applications to examination for placement on the Global Language Roster of English précis-writers/translators. The aim is to expand the Global Language Roster of English précis-writers/translators as qualified for employment through temporary appointments or on WAE contracts by the Department for
General Assembly and Conference Management. The examination is tentatively scheduled to take place on 14 March 2022 and will be carried out entirely online.

As indicated in ST/AI/2010/4/Rev1, temporary appointments may be granted for a single or cumulative period of less than one year to meet seasonal or peak workloads and specific short-term requirements. Temporary appointments for translators governed by agreements with the Association internationale des traducteurs de conférence (AITC) whereby a temporary appointment may be granted for a maximum of 729 days (or 521 working days) within a 27-month period at the same duty station. Persons granted temporary appointments usually need to work on United Nations premises, depending on the duty station. The grade level of the translator will be determined in accordance with the requirements indicated in the AITC agreement. Candidates wishing to be considered for inclusion in the aforementioned Global Language Roster must submit an application through Inspira (, the United Nations Secretariat's online recruitment platform.

- Current staff members of the United Nations should not apply as they are not eligible for placement on the Global Language Roster.
- Candidates who have passed a United Nations competitive examination for English translators/precis-writers and/or editors and/or verbatim reporters should not apply as they are already deemed eligible for placement on the Global Language Roster.

When filling out their applications in Inspira, applicants should write in the cover letter section approximately 150-200 words in English explaining how their experience, qualifications and competencies match the position for which they are applying.
Applications that are incomplete (including those submitted without the required evidence of language skills or without the cover letter requested) and applications that are submitted or received after the deadline specified in Inspira will not be considered.

All applications will be reviewed by the Examination Panel. In instances where a large number of applications are received, the Examination Panel 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 below). All applicants will be notified by e-mail of the Panel's decision in respect of their application. The Panel's decisions are final.

Present and future temporary appointments and WAE contracts for English préciswriters/translators in the language services of the United Nations Secretariat will be offered to those who, based on their performance in the examination are included in the Global Language Roster, subject to the requirements of each Service/Section/Unit in terms of expertise and language combinations. It should be noted that placement on the Roster is not a guarantee of work.

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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