Job Opening

Posting Title: Communications Specialist
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 16 March 2017 - 23 March 2017
Job Opening Number: 17-United Nations Environment Programme-76150-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

Development and implementation of the communications strategies and work plans for the interim Minamata Secretariat, the SAICM Secretariat and the Special Programme Secretariat between April to December 2017.

Work Location


Expected duration

9 months (from 1 April to 31 December 2017).

Duties and Responsibilities



The Minamata Convention on Mercury was adopted in October 2013. The Convention has been negotiated to address mercury throughout its lifecycle, with controls on supply and trade, use, emission and releases, waste and contaminated sites. The Convention provides for financial and technical support to Parties as well as for a range of information exchange provisions. Under the Convention, the United Nations Environment Programme will provide the secretariat of the Convention, and Governments requested UN Environment to provide the secretariat during the interim period, through the decisions adopted at the Conference of Plenipotentiaries for the Convention.

It is anticipated that the Convention will enter into force within the next few months, and plans are underway to hold the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties in September 2017. This meeting will be a special, celebratory event, with high level participation. This will increase the visibility of the Convention and promote its implementation. Effective communication to ensure increased awareness of both the event and the Convention is required before, during and after the Conference.


The Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) is a policy framework with its overall objective being the achievement of the sound management of chemicals throughout their life cycle so that, by 2020, chemicals are produced and used in ways that minimize significant adverse impacts on human health and the environment. This “2020 goal” was adopted by the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002 as part of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation.

SAICM is distinguished by its comprehensive scope: ambitious “2020 goal” for sound chemicals management; multi-stakeholder and multi-sectoral character; endorsement at the highest political levels; emphasis on sound management of chemicals as a sustainable development issue; provision for resource mobilization; and formal endorsement or recognition by the governing bodies of key intergovernmental organizations.

The SAICM secretariat is at a critical juncture in approaching 2020, specifically in supporting stakeholders to achieve the overall objective. At the same time, the secretariat is supporting an intersessional process considering SAICM and the sound management of chemicals and waste beyond 2020. Both of these aspects have communication needs and are interlinked.

Special Programme

UNEA-1 in its resolution 1/5 approved the terms of reference for the Special Programme to support institutional strengthening at the national level to enhance the implementation of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, the Minamata Convention and the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM). The secretariat of the Special Programme is hosted within the Chemicals and Waste Branch of DTIE. The Special Programme Trust Fund was established in September 2015 and a number of donors have to date contributed and/or pledged approximately USD15 million. The Executive Board of the Special Programme, the decision-making body was established in December 2016, and the 1st Executive Board meeting was held from 2 to 3 February 2016 in Geneva, Switzerland.

One of the key donors to the Special Programme is the European Union, having contributed to date Euros 1 million, and have pledged an additional Euros 10 million over the Programme’s duration. As part of this donor agreement, communication and visibility of the EU is a legal obligation for all external actions funded by the EU. In response to this, the secretariat of the Special Programme, has included in the UNEP Project Document # 515.2, a specific output on Communications products and services developed and activities conducted to influence key stakeholders on the sounds management of chemicals and waste.


A communications consultant will be required to develop and implement the communications strategies and work plans for the interim Minamata Secretariat, the SAICM Secretariat and the Special Programme Secretariat between April to December 2017.

Duties and responsibilities:

1. Develop and implement a communication plan for the interim Minamata Secretariat, in consultation with the UN Environment Communication Division as appropriate, that specifically targets communication for the Entry into Force of the convention, and the lead-up to and convening of the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties provisionally scheduled for September 2017;
2. Develop a communication strategy for the Strategic Approach Secretariat services to be used in the SAICM project document, in consultation with the UN Environment Communication Division, reflecting on achieving results by 2020 and in servicing the intersessional process considering the Strategic Approach and the sound management of chemicals and waste beyond 2020;
3. Develop a communication strategy for the Special Programme, in consultation with the UN Environment Communication Division, to be presented to the Executive Board of the Special Programme at their third meeting tentatively scheduled for October/November 2017;
4. Develop the baseline scenario for outreach and communication for the SAICM GEF project entitled: Global best practices on emerging chemical policy issues of concern under SAICM;
5. Based on the above, develop and implement a communication workplan for 2017-2020 for SAICM and the Special Programme; and a communication workplan for 2017 for Minamata, taking into account the UN Environment revised communications guidelines, and building on the specific identity ascribed the three initiatives;
6. Develop communication and knowledge-sharing materials, and maintain networks for the dissemination of results, good practice and lessons:
a) Produce and distribute flagship publications, annual reports, etc.;
b) Write/edit speeches, op-eds, press releases, articles, newsletters and other communication materials;
c) Support the management of the websites according to existing guidelines;
d) Produce and develop feature stories, video and other materials to support the advocacy efforts;
e) Ensure effective use of social media platforms.
7. Support coordination of all communications activities between the teams and relevant stakeholders;
8. Establish a way to monitor and evaluate communications activities;
9. Provide support to events by producing and writing communication materials;
10. Perform other duties as appropriate.

Qualifications/special skills

• Professionalism: Knowledge of the full range of communications approaches, tools, and methodologies essential to planning and executing effective and integrated communications strategies and programmes, e.g. campaign management, media operations, marketing and promotion, audience outreach, message targeting. Ability to rapidly analyze and integrate diverse information from varied sources. Ability to produce a variety of written communications products in a clear, concise style. 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.
• 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.
• Client Orientation: Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients” and seeks to see things from clients’ point of view; establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions; monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients’ environment to keep informed and anticipate problems; keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects; meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.

Academic Qualifications: Master’s degree in communications or related field associated to the relevant professional experience.

Experience: A minimum of five years of experience in strategic communications, external relations and outreach events organization.

Language: Good command of the English language both spoken and written.

No Fee


Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.
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