Job Opening

Posting Title: UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) - Social and Human Rights Specialist
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 21 March 2023 - 27 March 2023
Job Opening Number: 23-United Nations Environment Programme-205025-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

The role will include a focus on human rights and a just transition in aligning the economy with climate and other environmental objectives, decent employment, gender equality, financial inclusion and financial health and closing the protection gap. The consultant will work directly with the UNEP FI social and Human Rights Lead, but will also work with UNEP FI members, UNEP FI thematic, industry and regional coordinators, to support the UNEP FI’s social and human rights lead in rolling out the strategy in such a way that supports the practical implementation of the PRB and PSI by members, aligned with relevant UN frameworks including the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The social and human rights strategy and work plan should be implemented in accordance with UNEP FI’s overarching strategy and the industry frameworks, in line with UNEP FI’s work programme agreed at UNEP FI’s Annual General Meeting and UNEP’s project document for UNEP FI.

Work Location

Working remotely

Expected duration

5 months

Duties and Responsibilities

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.

The overall objective of the UNEP’s Economy Division is to encourage decision makers in government, local authorities and industry to develop and adopt policies, strategies and practices and technologies that promote sustainable patterns of consumption and production, make efficient use of natural resources, ensure safe management of chemicals and contribute to making trade and environment policies mutually supportive. It promotes the development, use and transfer of policies, technologies, economic instruments, managerial practices and other tools that assist in environmentally sound decision making and the building of corresponding activities.

The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) is the strategic partnership between the United Nations and over 450 banks, insurers and investors. For over 28 years UNEP FI has been shaping and driving the international sustainable finance agenda, setting global standards and growing a global network of leading financial institutions. Through its work-streams and regional activities, peer learning, methodology development, training and research, UNEP FI promotes sustainable finance and helps the financial industry align with and contribute to the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals.

UNEP FI requires a consult to support the implementation of UNEP FI’s social and human rights strategy across banking and insurance, including a focus on human rights and a just transition in aligning the economy with climate and other environmental objectives, decent employment, gender equality, financial inclusion and financial health and closing the protection gap.

The consultant will support UNEP FI Social and Human Rights lead with the planning, delivery, monitoring and communication of UNEP FI activities on social and human rights, implementing the work stream strategy and work plan.

The consultant will provide assistance in the following project/tasks for UNEP FI’s social issues work:

• Support the implementation of UNEP FI social and human rights strategy and work plan, including a focus on human rights, engaging with work stream leads, members as well as other stakeholders in the planning and implementation. Engage governance bodies on social issues work plan.
• Provide inputs and operational support in the delivery of UNEP FI’s strategy and work plan for 2023 in the areas of Principles for Responsible Banking and Principles for Sustainable Insurance implementation support, working closely with the Banking Team and Insurance Teams.
• Support UNEP FI Social and Human Rights lead in Coordinating UNEP FI agenda with relevant finance and human rights stakeholders and standard-setting processes.
• Support member engagement and capacity building on human rights, including supporting the facilitation of global and regional webinars and workshops.
• Support the development of a guidance on how banks and insurances can embed just transition within their net zero commitments and nature targets in the financial sector.
• Support the development of the Human Rights resource kit.
• Support the development of guidance for banks on setting and implementing targets on gender.
• Support the delivery of industry, thematic and regional activities from a social issues and human rights perspective.
• Support UNEP FI communication, to provide content on social issues and human rights as relevant for finance through newsletter, targeted member communication, industry and regional calls, etc.
• Update and maintain the social issues pages of the UNEP FI website.
• Support UNEP’s Social and Human Rights lead to build and maintain strategic partnerships with key stakeholders.

Outputs and Deliverables:

• UNEP FI website social issues pages updated.
• Creation of a social knowledge center
• Guidance for banks on setting and implementing targets on gender.
• Global and regional workshops/webinars/peer exchanges delivered on social issues.
• TNFD Gender Action Plan

The consultant/individual contractor will report to the, Programme Management Officer, working in close coordination with UNEP FI’s the Banking and Insurance teams. Overall responsibility rests with the Head of UNEP FI.

Qualifications/special skills

Education: University Degree in social, development or/and economic studies field or equivalent.

Professional Experience: At least 5 years of professional experience and expertise in Social and Human Rights matters. Specific experience in working on Just Transition.

Skills & Knowledge: Substantial experience (min. 5 years) and expertise in Human Rights and Social impacts, and how it is connected to environmental impacts, and experience in working with private/public sector entities on how to address negative and increase positive impact. Understanding of how banks’ business activities relate to and influence environmental and social outcomes. Well, acquainted with current issues and developments related to sustainable banking globally and regionally.

Excellent oral and written communications skills in English, strong interpersonal skills; ability to cope with juggling multiple tasks across diverse projects in an organized and timely manner; attention to detail. The consultant should have the ability to establish and maintain good working relations in a multicultural and geographically dispersed team working across functions. A hands-on, pragmatic approach is desirable.

Reliable and delivers consistently high quality within agreed timeframes. Colleagues, external partners and constituents/clients trust the candidate because follows through on commitments towards others. Team player understands work as contributing to an overall objective, not an end in itself. Can adapt behavior and style of communication to different cultural contexts. Motivated and driven by the purpose the team/organization is working towards and the impacts they are trying to achieve.


Languages: English is the working language of UNEP FI. Knowledge of other United Nations languages is an asset.

No Fee


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