Job Opening

Posting Title: Principal Programme Management Officer, D1
Job Code Title: Principal Programme Management Officer
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: MONTREAL
Posting Period: 04 October 2017 - 17 November 2017
Job Opening Number: 17-Programme Management-UNEP-83672-R-Montreal (X)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Special Notice

Appointment against this post is for an initial period of one year and may be subject to extension. Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.

All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply on-line as soon as possible after the job opening has been posted and well before the deadline stated in the job opening. On-line applications will be acknowledged where an email address has been provided.

If you do not receive an e-mail acknowledgement within 24 hours of submission, your application may not have been received. If the problem persists, please seek technical assistance through the Inspira "Need Help?" link.

The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

Org. Setting and Reporting

The United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) 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 is administered by United Nations Environment Programme. This post is located in the Convention on Biological Diversity, Scientific and Policy Support (SPS) Division. Under the direct supervision of the Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the incumbent will perform the following duties:


A). Lead the Science and Policy division to provide neutral scientific, technical and information documents and expert advice to the Conference of Parties (COP), Conference of Parties Meeting of the Parties to the Protocols (COP-MOPs) and the Subsidiary bodies as well as other scientific and technical preparatory processes. B). Coordinate, manage, and provide leadership and expert advice in the execution of the various components of the Convention’s work on Conservation and Sustainable Use of biological diversity. C). Coordinate, manage, and provide leadership and expert advice in the execution of the various components of the Convention’s work on Biosafety and Biosecurity. D). Coordinate, manage, and provide leadership and expert advice in the execution of the various components of the Convention’s work on Access & Benefit Sharing and Traditional Knowledge. E). Manage the staff of the Science and Policy Division and contribute to the overall management of the Secretariat. F). Performs any other duties as assigned by the Executive Secretary.


PROFESSIONALISM: Ability to be a strong advocate for science-based policy and knowledge of the implications of legal, economic and policy decisions on the scientific and technical aspects of the Convention; Demonstrated ability to work at the intersection of multiple science disciplines and connect across seemingly disparate fields, as well as good capacity for synthesis; Strong programme management skills with the capability to advise the Executive Secretary and other senior officials on approaches and techniques to address highly complex issues; Excellent policy analysis skills and the ability to produce reports and papers on technical issues and to review and edit the work of others; Knowledge and ability to apply UN rules, regulations, policies and guidelines in work situations; Demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; Is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; Is solutions and results-oriented and thinks outside the box, while showing persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges. PLANNING AND ORGANIZING: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies, vision and programs; Identifies priority activities and assignments and adjusts priorities as required. Allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work. Foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning. Monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary. TEAMWORK: Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationship in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity, including gender balance. 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. Leads team and fosters a motivating and collaborative work environment that caters to performance. LEADERSHIP: Empowers others to translate vision into results; Is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; Establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; Anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work. MANAGING PERFORMANCE: Monitors progress against milestones and deadlines and ensures that roles, responsibilities and reporting lines are clear to each staff member, while nurturing a team spirit with subordinates; Regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff; Encourages risk-taking and supports creativity and initiative; Actively supports the development and career aspirations of staff; Appraises performance fairly.


Advanced university degree (Master’s Degree or equivalent) in environmental science or in the natural and social sciences or equivalent is required. A first level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of fifteen years of professional working experience in the management of international environmental and sustainable development programmes related to biological diversity and solid scientific knowledge of the scientific subjects covered by the functions of this position is required. Knowledge and direct experience in the management of international natural resource-related issues/projects and in interacting with members of the scientific community is required. Excellent drafting and writing skills coupled with excellent policy analysis and policy design skills is highly desirable. Experience in managing international Conventions/Protocols performing international negotiations and in working with a Conference of Parties is highly desirable. Basic knowledge and experience of complex systems and systems transition, economics and social/behavioural science and the interlinkages between natural and social science as they apply to sustainable development is an advantage, and the management of complex results-based natural resources projects is an asset.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this post, fluency in oral and written English is required. Working knowledge of other UN language(s) is an advantage.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include a substantive assessment which will be followed by a competency-based interview.

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, including but not limited to, respect for international human rights and humanitarian law. Candidates may be subject to screening against these standards, including but not limited to, whether they have committed or are alleged to have committed criminal offences or violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.

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.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the At-a-Glance on "The Application Process" and the Instructional Manual for the Applicants, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The screening and 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, including but not limited to, their education, work experience, and language skills, according to the instructions provided on inspira. Applicants will be disqualified from consideration if they do not demonstrate in their application that they meet the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations. Applicants are solely responsible for providing complete and accurate information at the time of application: 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 a reference-checking process to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at midnight (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee


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