Job Opening

Department/Office: Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Duty Station: NEW YORK
Posting Period: 16 January 2018 - 01 March 2018
Job Opening Number: 18-Sustainable Development-DESA-90958-R-New York (G)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the Division for Sustainable Development of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), in the Intergovernmental Support and Interagency Branch. The Sustainable Development Officer reports to the Chief of the Intergovernmental Support and Interagency Branch. The Division for Sustainable Development provides leadership in promoting and coordinating the implementation of the sustainable development agenda of the United Nations and serves as the secretariat to the high-level political forum on sustainable development (HLPF), which was established following the Rio+20 Conference and General Assembly resolutions 66/288 and 67/290.

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Within delegated authority, the Sustainable Development Officer is responsible for the following duties:

1.Supports the intergovernmental processes on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the sustainable development goals (SDGs) by addressing the three dimensions of sustainable development in a balanced manner, including through: (i) researching and preparing inputs to reports of the Secretary General, background papers, and other analytical reports; and (ii) provision of substantive backstopping to intergovernmental and interagency meetings and expert groups.

2.Provides substantive support and guidance to the High-level political forum and related negotiations as well as ECOSOC and GA on sustainable development issues.

3.Undertakes policy research and develops draft policy recommendations on sustainable development issues through: (i) identifying cross-cutting issues in sustainable development, including institutional arrangements; (ii) performing literature reviews and analyses of those issues to be used in Expert Group meetings and in other Branch outputs; (iii) managing work of consultants performing research for the Branch/Division; and (iv) preparing analytical reports on institutional framework for sustainable development, including on the High-level Political Forum.

4.Supports the active participation of developing the High-level Political Forum through capacity building activities with respect to: (i) developing methodologies and toolkits for policy makers relating to, inter alia, the design and use of legal, financial and economic instruments to promote sustainable development; and (ii) organizing training and capacity building seminars to share best practices and results with policy makers and practitioners, notably in the build-up to and follow-up of the voluntary national reviews by member states at the Forum.

5.Prepares speeches, briefing notes, presentations, statements and other inputs for presentations by senior staff on sustainable development issues.

6.Participates in or represents the Division in international, regional and national conferences on relevant sustainable development issues and provides briefings to public interest groups on the work of the Division.

7.Supports junior staff; reviewing their work and providing feedback.

8.Performs other related duties as required.


Professionalism: Knowledge of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); Exposure to the creation, adoption and implementation of sustainable development plans at international and national level; Ability to apply sustainable development theories, concepts and approaches. Ability to identify issues, analyze and participate in the resolution of issues/problems. Ability to conduct data collection using various methods. Ability to conduct independent research and analysis, including familiarity with various research sources, including electronic resources on the internet, intranet and other databases. 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.

Planning and Organizing: Develops goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; 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; uses time efficiently.

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.


Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent degree) in sustainable development, international relations, economics, public policy, law, public administration, social sciences or related field is required. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience on sustainable development issues including three years at the international or regional levels is required. Experience in the substantive servicing of intergovernmental processes is required. Experience in policy analysis is required. Experience in providing substantive services to intergovernmental bodies in the economic, social or environmental fields is desirable. Experience in drafting reports to intergovernmental bodies in the economic, social or environmental fields is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of other official UN languages is desirable.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.

Special Notice

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.

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

For this position, applicants from the following Member States, which are unrepresented or underrepresented in the UN Secretariat as of 30 September 2017, are strongly encouraged to apply: Afghanistan, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Belarus, Belize, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Central African Republic, China, Comoros, Cyprus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Japan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Mozambique, Nauru, Norway, Oman, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Suriname, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Vanuatu, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and Viet Nam.

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 or sexual abuse, or crimes other than minor traffic offences, 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.

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 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


Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.
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