Job Opening

Posting Title: Individual contractor for general matters under the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: MONTREAL
Posting Period: 13 December 2022 - 21 December 2022
Job Opening Number: 22-United Nations Environment Programme-197461-Individual Contractor
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.

Result of Service

Support to intersessional activities provided, in particular on BCH; capacity-building in risk assessment; external database review; mainstreaming biosafety; compliance; and 20th anniversary of the entry into force of the Cartagena Protocol.

Work Location

Montreal (Hybrid).

Expected duration

6 months.

Duties and Responsibilities

Organizational setting

The United Nations Environment Programme 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'. The Convention on Biological Diversity was opened for signature in Rio in 1992. 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 administered by United Nations Environment Programme. Its main tasks are to arrange for and service meetings of the Conference of the Parties, including preparation of pertinent documentation, operation of the central node of the clearing-house mechanism, liaison and coordination with other international bodies and processes and, in close collaboration with these partners, the provision of technical support for the effective implementation of the Convention.

The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety is a complementary agreement to the Convention on Biological Diversity. It aims to ensure the safe handling, transport and use of living modified organisms (LMOs, or commonly known as GMOs – genetically modified organisms) resulting from modern biotechnology that may have adverse effects on biological diversity, taking also into account risks to human health.

The meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol, at its 10th meeting, to be held in December 2022, decides on an ambitious programme for the coming biennium.

Duties and responsibilities

The individual contractor will support the Biosafety unit, which provides secretariat services to the Cartagena Protocol, in the discharge of its duties.

The individual contractor reports directly to the Legal Officer, Biosafety Unit, on matters related to compliance and mainstreaming; on matters related to the BCH, to the Programme Management Officer; on matters related to risk assessment and risk management, to the Programme Management Officer; on matters related to detection and identification to the Associate Programme Management Officer; under the overall supervision of the Head of Unit.

The incumbent would be responsible for the following tasks:

• Test user-functionality of the BCH (including forum pages), verify cross-references, identify glitches, liaise with technical staff, including IT colleagues;
• Assist with the development of outreach, training, and guidance materials to aid users in making use of the new BCH platform;
• Support preparation of risk assessment capacity building materials and workshop documents;
• Support intersessional work on risk assessment;
• Carry out research in support of development of risk-assessment guidance;
• Analyze external databases to identify LMO-related entries that are missing in the BCH;
• Review of mainstreaming desk studies to identify relevant examples of biosafety mainstreaming in national legislation and policies;
• Assist in follow-up on compliance related communications;
• Assist in the preparation of outreach and publicity materials for the Cartagena Protocol’s 20th anniversary;
• Assist in the organization of events for the Cartagena Protocol’s 20th anniversary.

Qualifications/special skills

High school diploma or equivalent required. Academic degree in data management, international relations, environmental studies, legal studies, life science or related field would be desirable.

A minimum of 3 years of relevant work experience is required.

Experience in data management or the field of international relations, international law, environmental issues, policy or legal research, biotechnology or related fields would be desirable.

Experience in an intergovernmental setting would be desirable. Familiarity with the work of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, including the Biosafety Clearing-House, would be desirable.

Proven ability to write clearly and concisely is required. Ability to work quickly, accurately and independently in a fast-paced environment with a team of colleagues from different backgrounds is required.

Experience in conducting research and preparing documentation, including database and information management is required.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this position, fluency in English (both oral and written) is required. Knowledge of other United Nations languages is desirable.

Additional Information

Travel as it may be required.

Local recruitment.


Applicants must be Canadian residents or citizens or have permission to work in Canada.

No Fee


Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.
Home | Privacy notice | Site map | Fraud alert | Contact Us
Copyright 2023 United Nations. All rights reserved