The appointment or assignment and renewal thereof are subject to the availability of the post or funds, budgetary approval or extension of the mandate.
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.
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.
Pursuant to section 7.11 of ST/AI/2012/2/Rev.1, candidates recruited through the young professionals programme who have not served for a minimum of two years in the position of their initial assignment are not eligible to apply to this position.
For this position, applicants from the following Member States, which are unrepresented or underrepresented in the UN Secretariat as of 31 October 2018, 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, Japan, Kiribati, Kuwait, 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, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, 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.
This position is located in the Treaty Section of the Office of Legal Affairs. The incumbent reports to the Legal Officer in charge of the legal team of the Section and the Chief of the Section.
Within delegated authority and depending on location, the Legal Officer will be responsible for the following duties:
• Handles a range of issues related to public international law, including the interpretation and application of treaties and other instruments, the discharge of the Secretary-General’s depositary functions under multilateral treaties and the registration of treaties under Article 102 of the United Nations Charter, in consultation with senior Legal Officers.
• Conducts extensive legal research and analysis and prepare studies, comparative studies, briefs, reports and correspondence.
• Undertakes basic or extensive review of legal documents, instruments, or other material; identifies important issues, similarities, and inconsistencies, etc.
• Prepares or assists in the preparation of drafts of background papers, studies, reports, teaching materials in the field of international law of treaties.
• Prepares or assists in the preparation of legal opinions/advice on a wide range of international public law issues, including the Charter of the United Nations, General Assembly resolutions and decisions involving, inter alia, treaty law and practice.
• Services or assists senior colleagues in servicing diplomatic conferences, committees including in the preparation of Secretary-General reports, background materials, summaries of issues and views of delegations, meeting reports, etc, as well as treaty ceremonies.
• Reviews, advises on and drafts final clauses of multilateral treaties.
• Assists in representing the Organization in treaty-related meetings.
• Administers programmes of legal technical assistance.
• Prepares or assists with the preparation of international law of treaties seminars and symposia, lecture on various legal issues at such events.
• Provides guidance to more junior staff.
• Performs other duties as assigned.
• Professionalism: Knowledge of, and ability to apply, legal principles, concepts and procedures and terminology for review, examination, and processing of a range of legal documents, particularly in the area of international law of treaties. Knowledge of various legal research sources, including electronic, and ability to conduct research and analyze information on a wide range of legal issues. Knowledge of the civil law and/or common law legal systems and principles. Ability to interpret and apply legislative instruments, develop and present results, recommendations, and opinions clearly and concisely. Ability to draft legal papers and work under pressure. Ability to apply good legal judgment in the context of assignments given. 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.
• Teamwork: 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.
• Planning & Organizing: Develops clear 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.
Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in international 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.
A minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in international law, including legal analysis, research and writing is required.
Experience working in public international law, notably in the area of the law of treaties is desirable.
Experience working in the United Nations or another international organization is desirable.
Experience working with electronic document management systems is desirable.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in English and knowledge of French are required. Knowledge of another UN official language is desirable.
Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may 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. 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, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, 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. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.
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.