United Nations Job Vacancy : Special Assistant, Administration



Org. Setting and Reporting

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) 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. The overall objective of the UNEP’s Division of Technology, Industry and Economics (DTIE) is to encourage decision makers in government, local authorities and industry to develop and adopt policies, strategies and practices and technologies that promote sustainable patterns of consumption and production, make efficient use of natural resources, ensure safe management of chemicals and contribute to making trade and environment policies mutually supportive. It promotes the development, use and transfer of policies, technologies, economic instruments, managerial practices and other tools that assist in environmentally sound decision making and the building of corresponding activities (http://www.unep.fr/). The position is located in the Division of Technology, Industry and Economics (DTIE), Division Office, Nairobi duty station.

Under the direct supervision of the Director, DTIE, the incumbent will be responsible for the following:


Provide management, liaison and operational support:

•Oversee substantive preparation for Director’s meetings/missions by coordinating briefing notes, organize mission files etc.;
•Bring/flag priority issues to Director’s attention and seek guidance where required;
•Organize and oversee the Director’s agenda in coordination with the Director’s Personal Assistant; Coordinate the logistic and substantive organization of the Director’s missions and meetings, in coordination with the Paris office;
•Organize special events and meetings, coordinating all logistical preparations and attendance/ representation to these events;
•Support consistent sharing of information, respond to queries from DTIE staff and provide guidance and assistance in response to Director’s specific requests; act as main intermediary between DTIE branches and the Director;
•Act as focal point between out-posted DTIE offices and EO, OfO and HRMS vis-a-vis DTIE key recruitments, audits and evaluations;
•Ensure adequate information flow supporting sub-programme coordinators and Branch staff in monitoring their completion of audits and evaluations and supporting timely completion of HR processes relevant to DTIE, acting as intermediary between relevant constituencies;
•Draft Director’s formal and e-mail correspondence as may be requested;
•Organize and maintain paper- and electronic files updated;
•Finalize and edit speeches and presentations for the Director;
•Assist in the preparation of working documents for various international and intergovernmental meetings;
•Provide liaison support to DTIE out-posted Branches (Geneva, Paris, Osaka) and Initiatives;
•Assist the Director in liaising with other UNEP Divisions and staff to ensure smooth communication of information and coordination;
•Perform other relevant duties as assigned.


• Professionalism: Conceptual analytical and evaluative skills to conduct independent research and analysis, including familiarity with and experience in the use of various research sources, including electronic sources on the internet, intranet and other databases. Ability to apply judgment in the context of assignments given, plan own work and manage conflicting priorities. 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.

• 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 environmental sciences, management, political science or law or related area 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 five (5) years’ of progressively responsible working experience in the programme areas such as climate change, resource efficiency and chemicals and wastes, is required. Three (3) years’ working experience at the international level is desirable. Knowledge of the UN System is an advantage.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.


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

United Nations Considerations

Candidates will be required to meet the requirements of Article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter as well as the requirements of the position. The United Nations is committed to the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity for all its human resources, 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 and/or violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.

The United Nations shall place 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. (Charter of the United Nations – Chapter 3, article 8). 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 inspira account-holder homepage.

Applications are pre-screened by the system according to the published requirements of the job opening on the basis of the information provided in the application. In relation to the requirements of the job opening, applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their qualifications, including their education, work experience, and language skills. Each applicant must bear in mind that submission of incomplete or inaccurate applications may render that applicant ineligible for consideration for the job opening. Initial screening and evaluation of applications will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted. Applications cannot be amended following submission. 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.

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