Posting Title: LEGAL OFFICER, P4
Department/ Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: BONN
Posting Period: 6 October 2020-19 November 2020
Job Opening number: 20-LEG-UNEP-140972-R-BONN (X)
Staffing Exercise ID: N/A

United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity

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. Its mandate is to coordinate the development of environmental policy consensus by keeping the global environment under review and bringing emerging issues to the attention of governments and the international community for action.

The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) is a global intergovernmental treaty aiming at the coordinated and concerted conservation and management of migratory species and the ecosystems on which they depend. These species are a unique component of the world’s biological diversity, most vulnerable because of their migratory behavior and in need of care by all the countries through which they migrate. CMS provides the special instruments for their appropriate conservation and sustainable utilization.

The Convention fits into the system of international treaties dealing with the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. It provides the whole range of measures from trans-boundary research and monitoring of species, their linkages with resident plant and animal species, strict protection of habitats and restrictions of taking from the wild of animals of endangered species, through appropriate conservation and shared utilization of species which have an unfavorable conservation status.

The position of Legal Officer is located in CMS in the Bonn duty station. Under the supervision of the Executive Secretary of CMS, the Legal Officer is responsible for the following functions.


1. Provide legal and governance advice and support on matters pertaining to the interpretation, implementation and further development of CMS, and its family of agreements as appropriate:

a) Serving as legal advisor to the meetings of the Conference of the Parties to the CMS and its subsidiary bodies, advising on procedural and substantive matters, reviewing credentials, overseeing the election of officers and members of bodies, and advising on meeting documents, resolutions and decisions;
b) Leading the work of the CMS Secretariat on law, compliance and enforcement matters, providing advice to the Executive Secretary and relevant colleagues on legally complex and politically sensitive matters;
c) Reviewing and advising the Executive Secretary and CMS Secretariat staff on legal instruments and rules of procedure;
d) Leading CMS Secretariat work related to the Review Mechanism, including specific submissions, and the review of general issues of implementation and compliance;
e) Leading CMS Secretariat work related to national legislation; and
f) Acting as main point of contact with the Depositary of the Convention.

2. Leading the CMS Secretariat Conference Services Unit by:

a) Planning, organizing and overseeing the work of the conference services unit;
b) Providing guidance and oversight of document preparation and management;
c) Supervising staff and when needed short-term consultant(s) and intern(s);
d) Performing general and routine office management practices including effective budget management and stewardship; and
e) Negotiating the development of contracts and other legal instruments such as host government agreements in line with UN rules and regulations.

3. Promote engagement in and implementation of the CMS by:

a) Liaising with relevant intergovernmental entities and stakeholders, in particular Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEA) Secretariats, the UN Environment Programme, and other relevant organizations on legal and governance issues of relevance to CMS,
b) Promoting accession of governments to CMS, providing outreach and support to non-Parties in their accession process, including coordination with the Depositary
c) Representing the CMS Secretariat in relevant meetings and processes

4. Perform other duties as required


PROFESSIONALISM: Demonstrates professional competence and knowledge of subject matter relevant to international environmental or conservation law, including linkages between international legal commitments and national implementation. Ability to apply legal expertise to analyzing a diverse range of issues and problems and to develop innovative and creative solutions. Strong analytical skills. Ability to demonstrate discretion and sound judgement in applying legal expertise to sensitive, legal and administrative issues. Ability to establish and maintain productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect. Ability to identify clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions. 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.

COMMUNICATION: Communicates sensitive issues with key external clients in an appropriate manner, demonstrating good judgment. 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: Demonstrates ability to identify and nurture the capabilities of different team members to achieve organizational goals; 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.

TECHNOLOGICAL AWARENESS: Keeps abreast of available technology; understands applicability and limitation of technology to the work of the office; actively seeks to identify and apply technology and knowledge management tools relevant to the functions under their responsibility; shows willingness to learn new technology.


Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) in law, public administration, social sciences with specialized knowledge in international environmental law or a closely related field is required. A first-level university in combination with two additional years of relevant work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of seven (7) years of progressively responsible experience in the field of environmental law is required.
At least two or three years of experience in an international context or related area is desirable.
Experience in legal analysis of Multilateral Environmental Agreement (MEA) provision and rules of procedure of an MEA Secretariat is desirable.
Experience in support of national-level implementation of MEA mandates desirable.
Experience in MEA conference procedures and practices is highly desirable.
Experience in working on issues related to biodiversity or migratory species desirable.


English is the working language of the Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in oral and written English is required. Fluency (written and oral) in another working language (French or Spanish) of the Secretariat is desirable.


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

Special Notice

Appointment against this position 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.

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.

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.

Internal Applicants – when completing the PHP, ensure ALL fields, ALL professional experience and contact information are completed and up to date. This information is the basis for the hiring manager to assess your eligibility and suitability for the position and to contact you.

Individual contractors and consultants who have worked within the UN Secretariat in the last six months, irrespective of the administering entity, are ineligible to apply for professional and higher temporary or fixed-term positions and their applications will not be considered.

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, 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.

The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.

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


Above texts are copied from United Nations Official Web Page ( 
Copyright 2020 United Nations. All rights reserved

Like and Follow us on

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Leave a Reply