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.
Staff members of the United Nations Secretariat must fulfill the lateral move requirements to be eligible to apply for this vacancy. Staff members are requested to indicate all qualifying lateral moves in their Personal History Profile (PHP) and cover note.
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 31 March 2017, are strongly encouraged to apply: Afghanistan, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Belarus, Belize, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Comoros, Cyprus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Japan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Mozambique, Nauru, Norway, Oman, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, 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 Vietnam.
This post is located in the Office of the Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Geneva.
Under the overall guidance of the Deputy Secretary-General and the direct supervision of the Chef de Cabinet, the incumbent is responsible for all aspects of advice and assistance to the UNCTAD Secretariat and to the organs of UNCTAD on legal and related matters. In particular, the incumbent's responsibilities include:
• Providing legal advice, including the preparation of opinions and studies, to the organs of UNCTAD, e.g. the Conference, the Board, the Main Committees and other subsidiary bodies. Providing legal advice to United Nations Conferences held under the auspices of UNCTAD, in particular drafting of international legal instruments. Assisting the Legal Drafting Committees and the credentials Committees;
• Reviewing, advising on and drafting complex contracts, agreements, institutional and operational modalities related to the programme of work of the secretariat, including financing agreements with Governments, inter-governmental or non-governmental organizations or private sector entities. Providing legal advice on modalities for fund-raising and partnerships with the private sector. Reviewing UNCTAD's technical cooperation projects and serving in the UNCTAD's Grants Committee;
• Providing legal advice, including the preparation of opinions and studies, to the Secretary-General, the Deputy Secretary-General, the Directors of Divisions and the Chiefs of programmes of UNCTAD on diverse substantive and procedural questions, institution support, procurement and contracts, trust fund agreements and other operational modalities financed with extra-budgetary resources. Preparing legal briefs and handling of claims arising out of agreements, contracts and UNCTAD's operational activities;
• Providing advice to government officials on the implementation of international legal instruments concluded under UNCTAD auspices;
• Liaising as necessary with the Office of Legal Affairs, United Nations Headquarters. Representing UNCTAD at the meetings of Legal Liaison Officers organized by the Legal Counsel of the UN which brings together the chiefs or senior legal officers of offices away from headquarters, and at other relevant inter-agency meetings;
• Co-ordinating, as required, the legal work of UNCTAD in relation to that of other Organizations and representing the Secretary-General of UNCTAD at legal conferences and meetings. Carrying out other functions of legal nature, as required.
• PROFESSIONALISM: Extensive broad-based knowledge in the practical application of legal principles, concepts and policies to a diverse range of legal issues mainly in the area of international commercial law (such as international legal instruments, financing agreements with governments, inter-governmental, non-governmental or private sector entities), law of international organizations or private international law. Thorough knowledge of UN rules and procedures. Good knowledge of the United Nations common system and familiarity with the United Nations activities. Superior skills in legal writing and ability to deliver final draft reports, correspondence and legal documents clearly and succinctly; strong negotiating skills and ability to influence others to reach agreement. 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.
• LEADERSHIP: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow: 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; drives for change and improvements; does not accept the status quo; shows the courage to take unpopular stands. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.
• JUDGEMENT/DECISION-MAKING: Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly; gathers relevant information before making a decision; considers positive and negative impacts of decisions prior to making them; takes decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the Organization; proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information; checks assumptions against facts; determines the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision; makes tough decisions when necessary.
Advanced university degree in law (Master’s degree or equivalent degree) with specialization in private law. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
At least ten years of progressively responsible experience in the practice of law either in the legal department of a government or international organization or with a private law firm, with substantive experience in international commercial matters and/or the law of international organizations, including legal analysis, research and writing, is required. Proven experience with common and civil law legal systems including at least five years of experience in the UN common system or other intergovernmental organization is required. Experience in advising senior officials on complex legal issues is desirable. Experience in intergovernmental negotiations is desirable.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English is required. Fluency in French is desirable. Knowledge of other official UN languages is an advantage.
Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which will be followed by competency-based interview.
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.