Posting Title:Senior Programme Management Assistant, G7
Job Code Title:Senior Programme Management Assistant
Department/Office:United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station:MONTREAL
Posting Period:16 December 2019 – 14 January 2020
Job Opening Number:19-Programme Management-UNEP-127372-R-Montreal (X)
Staffing ExerciseN/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity

Org. Setting and Reporting

The UN 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. At the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, world leaders agreed on a comprehensive strategy for ‘sustainable development’. One of the key agreements adopted at Rio was the Convention on Biological Diversity. The Convention has three main objectives: the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of genetic resources. The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) is located in Montreal and is administered by UNEP. This post is located in the Convention on Biological Diversity, Office of the Executive Secretary (OES), Biosafety Protocol Unit. Under the general guidance of the Head of the Unit and the direct supervision of the Programme Management Officer (Legal), the incumbent will perform the following duties:


A. Within delegated authority, the Senior Programme Management Assistant is responsible for providing substantive input and support for the implementation of activities under the Legal and Policy programme of work of the Biosafety Protocol Unit, in particular in the areas related to (i) the Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress, (ii) compliance, (iii) socio-economic considerations, (iv) handling, packaging, transport and identification of living modified organisms, and (v) mainstreaming biosafety and (vi) long-term strategic planning: a) Prepares and edits pre-session and information documents and assists with final reports of meetings/workshops and drafting of in-session documents during meetings.
b) Services meetings and workshops, including meetings of the Conference of the Parties – Meetings of the Parties (COP-MOP) and the subsidiary bodies of the COP-MOP.
c) Independently provides full range of assistance in ensuring the proper management of substantive projects, including drafting and coordinating agreements, reviewing outputs from project partners and consultants to monitor the implementation of these projects and authorizing the disbursement of funds. d) Develops presentations and other materials for capacity-building workshops, training programmes and meetings.
e) Reviews and revises capacity building materials, including e-learning materials (in English, French and Spanish).
f) Liaises with representatives of Parties, in English, French and Spanish, as necessary, to follow up on issues arising under the different programme areas and answers queries, in coordination with the programme officer.
g) Prepares draft programme of work related to relevant areas in line with applicable COP-MOP decisions and the Strategic Plan and monitors, reviews and advises on progress with implementation of programme in coordination with the programme officer.
h) Provides training and supervision of Individual Contractors and interns, including by distributing and reviewing assignments.
i) Identifies possible areas and activities for synergies with other programmes areas in Biosafety and other activities organized by other Units;
j) Undertakes research and identification of issues to obtain up-to-date information on topics relevant to the programme areas.
k) Provides support and assistance to facilitate the ratification or accession to and implementation of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and its Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress.
l) Tracks and examines latest developments in international environmental law, national biosafety laws and guidelines, and legal cases or disputes involving living modified organisms, preparing briefs for use by relevant programme officers.
m) Compiles and synthesizes submissions from Parties to the Protocol or other stakeholders in the form of information documents that accompany pre-session documents.
n) Manages and maintains programme related webpages and e-learning courses on the Biodiversity E-learning Platform.
o) Provides support, as needed, for the servicing of meetings of the Nagoya Protocol in legal and policy related areas.
B. Provides administrative and logistics related assistance for activities under the programme areas and undertakes the organization and servicing of meetings, online forums and other events, as required, and in particular:
a) Organizes the logistics and administrative arrangements for workshops/meetings in coordination with host governments and/or partner organizations, as applicable (i.e. arranging venue, services, accommodations and preparing host agreements) and liaises with the Secretariat’s Conference Services Unit, as necessary.
b) Coordinates and facilitates logistical arrangements for the participation of representatives from Parties and observers in meetings and workshops, liaising with the travel and finance units.
c) Organizes and handles on-site registration for meetings held outside the seat of the Secretariat, including, as required, the disbursement of daily subsistence allowance to funded participants.
d) Establishes and maintains internal databases, files and other data and information necessary for the implementation of the programme.
e) Organizes online discussions, including by designing and managing webpages for such discussions.
f) Facilitates online discussions, including real-time conferences, by providing substantive support to the relevant programme officer or the chair of the online discussions.
g) Liaises with the Chairs and members of the Compliance Committee as well as experts in Ad-Hoc Technical Expert Groups (AHTEGs), as necessary.
h) Liaises with other units and divisions, as necessary.
i) Liaises with and/or supervises local support staff during events that take place outside of the seat of the Secretariat, as required.
j) Arranges for clearance, publication and distribution of pre and post meeting documents and any other documentation, as required;
k) Provides translation or interpretation services for the Unit, as needed.
l) Undertakes mission work in support of above activities.
m) Performs other duties as assigned.


– Professionalism: Shows pride in work and 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 calms in stressful situations.

– 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 and 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.


Completion of high school diploma or equivalent is required. Courses in law, environmental or political sciences is an asset. Computer skills (word, excel, PowerPoint) are required.

Work Experience

A minimum of ten years of experience in collecting and researching data across various areas of biosafety law and policy or related area is required.
At least six years of experience in the United Nations or similar organization is desirable.
Experience in providing administrative and management support in an international organization, government or public sector is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this post, fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of other UN languages, particularly French and Spanish, is an advantage.


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

Special Notice

This position is open for recruitment 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. 1. 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. 2. If you do not receive an email acknowledgement within 24 hours of submission, your application may not have been received. In such cases, please resubmit the application, if necessary. 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.

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.

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 2018 United Nations. All rights reserved

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