Job Opening

Posting Title: Speechwriter and Communications Officer, P4 (Temporary Job Opening)
Department/Office: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Duty Station: VIENNA
Posting Period: 23 November 2022 - 29 November 2022
Job Opening Number: 22-Public Information-UNODC-196097-J-Vienna (X)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the Office of the Director-General/ Executive Director (ODG/OED) of the United Nations Office at Vienna/United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNOV/UNODC) in Vienna, Austria. The incumbent reports to the Chief, ODG/OED and Strategy Advisor to the Executive Director of UNODC.

For more information on UNODC, please visit our website:


Within assigned authority, the Speechwriter and Communications Officer will take primary responsibility for leading and coordinating the preparation and writing of speeches, statements, talking points, questions and answers and other materials for the Director-General/Executive Director (DG/ED) and for managing communication between the media and the DG/ED. The incumbent will be responsible for the following specific duties:
• Take the lead in strategy, planning, research and production of a wide range of speeches, lectures, statements, articles, op-eds, and other major written contributions.
• Research and analyze information gathered from diverse sources, including in close coordination with the Research and Trend Analysis Branch, for use in written materials and communications.
• Seek input and information from substantive staff, review relevant material, project documents and reports with a view to drafting and editing speeches, statements and talking points for the DG/ED while ensuring policy coherence and accuracy.
• Write prefaces and forewords for the DG/ED for UNODC publications.
• Prepare or oversee preparation of a diverse range of public information products; evaluate the results and impact of various communications activities.
• Contact UNODC/UNOV senior officials to obtain and discuss information and detail on programme objectives and results, activities and initiatives for inclusion in speeches or statements.
• Upon the request of the DG/ED, prepare and draft correspondence.
• Develop and implement a communication strategy for the DG/ED, aligned with the UNODC corporate strategy and communications action plan, in order to maximize media coverage of the activities of UNODC and UNOV.
• Write opinion pieces and articles on behalf of the DG/ED for high-profile media in order to maximize the impact of UNODC/UNOV activities by identifying and developing newsworthy ideas/topics, and identifying possible high-profile media for placement.
• Identify and arrange suitable encounters between the DG/ED and the press and assist him/her in these encounters.
• Address the press on behalf of UNODC and UNOV as appropriate.
• Fulfil speaking engagements and make presentations to groups on UNODC/UNOV activities and advocate issues of concern.
• Work closely with the Advocacy Section (AS) of UNODC and the United Nations Information Service (UNIS) on public information and advocacy activities and to develop and build contacts.
• Provide content for print/video/social media.
• Perform other work-related duties as assigned.
• Fulfil speaking engagements and make presentations to groups on UNODC/UNOV activities and advocate issues of concern.
• Work closely with the Advocacy Section (AS) of UNODC and the United Nations Information Service (UNIS) on public information and advocacy activities and to develop and build contacts.
• Provide content for print/video/social media.
• Perform other work-related duties as assigned.


Professionalism: Has knowledge of different aspects of public information and communication. Has ability to address a range of issues in the context of political developments, public attitudes and local conditions. Is able to conceptualize, design and implement major information campaigns. Has ability to rapidly analyze and integrate diverse information from varied sources. Is able to diplomatically handle sensitive situations with target audiences and cultivate productive relationships. Has ability to produce a variety of written communications products in a clear, concise style. Has ability to deliver oral presentations to various audiences. 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.

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.


An advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in communications, journalism, international relations, public administration or other related field is required. A first-level university degree in similar fields in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible professional experience in journalism, communications, international relations, public administration including experience at the international level is required.

Work experience as speechwriter in drafting speeches with tight deadlines for international audiences is required

Proven work experience in researching and producing high standard written work on complex issues is required.

Experience in supporting senior officials and handling sensitive information with tight deadlines is required.

Work experience in designing and carrying out strategic communications and activities for international audiences, and evaluating the results and impact, is desirable.

Work experience in dealing with international media is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this position, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another United Nations official language is an advantage.


Evaluation of qualified applicants may include an assessment exercise and a competency-based interview.

Special Notice

• This position is temporarily available until 14 June 2023. If the selected candidate is a staff member of the United Nations Secretariat, the selection will be administered as a temporary assignment.

• While this temporary assignment may provide the successful applicant with an opportunity to gain new work experience, the selection for this position is for a limited period and has no bearing on the future incumbency of the post.

• Staff members of the United Nations common system organizations who will reach the mandatory age of separation or retirement within the duration of the current temporary need period are not eligible to apply. Submitting an application or selection for the current temporary job opening does not delay or increase the mandatory age of separation.

• Retirees above the mandatory age of separation who wish to be considered for the current temporary job opening must indicate the reason for their last separation as "retirement." Such retirees shall not be employed by the Organization, unless (a) the operational requirements of the Organization cannot be met by staff members who are qualified and available to perform the required functions; and (b) the proposed employment would not adversely affect the career development or redeployment opportunities of other staff members and represents both a cost-effective and operationally sound solution to meet the needs of the service.

• 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.

• 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.

• Vienna is classified in the H category (family duty station).

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


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