Department/Office:United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station:MONTREAL
Posting Period:01 July 2019 – 14 August 2019
Job Opening Number:19-Programme Management-UNEP-118032-R-Montreal (X)
Staffing ExerciseN/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity

Org. Setting and Reporting

The United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) 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’. The Convention on Biological Diversity was opened for signature in Rio in 1992. 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 UN Environment. This post is located in the Convention on Biological Diversity, Office of the Executive Secretary (OES). Under the overall supervision of the Executive Secretary and the direct supervision and general guidance of the Deputy Executive Secretary, the incumbent will perform the following duties:


A. Leads, manages and coordinates the programme of work of the Biosafety and Biosecurity Unit (BBU) to ensure the successful delivery of its outcomes, in a timely and effective manner, including continuously monitoring and reviewing work plans: (i) Provides leadership, manages staff performance and facilitates the deployment of human, technical and financial resources necessary to implement the programme of work, building close working relationships with Parties and liaising with relevant agencies with a view to follow up cooperative/collaborative arrangements; (ii) Provides capacity development opportunities to and facilitates technical and scientific cooperation among Parties and other stakeholders; (iii) Oversees and ensures the planning, organization and servicing of meetings under the various programme areas of the Cartagena Protocol and invasive alien species are held in an efficient and timely manner; (iv) Oversees the recruitment of staff from core budget as well as short-term staff and consultants, taking into account geographical, gender balance and other institutional values; (v) Manages, guides, mentors and trains staff under supervision; (vi) Fosters teamwork and communication among staff within the unit and across divisions. B. Coordinates and ensures that meetings of the Conference of Parties serving as the meeting of Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (COP-MOP) and its subsidiary bodies run and function effectively, including: (i) Ensures the timely preparation of documents for meetings of the COP-MOP and its subsidiary bodies; (ii) Advises senior management and liaises with the COP-MOP and its Bureau in preparation for the meetings; (iii) Services meetings of the COP-MOP and its subsidiary bodies and acts as Secretary to its working groups and contact groups, as appropriate; (iv) Reports to the Executive Secretary and to donors, as appropriate, on budget proposals, programme performance and programmatic issues. C. Coordinates, liaises and leads the implementation of the Biosafety Clearing-House (BCH) as the most authoritative global repository of information and knowledge on biosafety to facilitate the exchange of information on living modified organisms and assists the Parties to better comply with their obligations under the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, including: (i) Administers the central portal of the BCH and improves access to information contained therein in a manner consistent with the modalities of operation of the BCH, the Strategic Plan for the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and decisions of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol; (ii) Plans and coordinates with staff in the Information Technology and Knowledge Management units to ensure the effective deployment of human, technical and financial resources for the development of the BCH; (iii) Collaborates and maintains close collaboration with BCH stakeholders, such as UNEP/GEF (Global Environment Facility) project, and relevant Biosafety information systems such as those of FAO and OECD; (iv) Creates and improves awareness for the effective participation and use of the BCH by Parties and conveys decisions of the Parties to the Protocol to relevant BCH stakeholders; (v) Establishes and maintains fundraising channels for the maintenance of the BCH. D. Ensures and promotes regular, adequate and appropriate linkage with other work programmes under the Convention on Biological Diversity, including developments under the Clearing-House Mechanism and Clearing-House of the Nagoya Protocol, and with relevant organizations, such as UN agencies, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions and businesses, to explore and promote effective collaboration, partnerships and synergies for the implementation of the Protocol. E. Undertakes other functions as assigned by the Executive Secretary.


Professionalism: Leads, manages and coordinates the programme of work of the Biosafety and Biosecurity Unit (BBU). Coordinates and ensures that meetings of the Conference of Parties serving as the meeting of Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (COP-MOP) and its subsidiary bodies run and function effectively. Provides capacity development opportunities to and facilitate technical cooperation among Parties and stakeholders. 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.

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.

Empowering Others: Delegates responsibility, clarifies expectations and gives staff autonomy in important areas of their work. Encourages others to set challenging goals. Holds others accountable for achieving results related to their area of responsibility. Genuinely values all staff members’ input and expertise. Shows appreciation and rewards achievement and effort. Involves others when making decisions that affect them.

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.

Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals. Solicits inputs 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 decisions, even when such decisions many not entirely reflect own position. Shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in biological or environmental sciences, natural resources management, environmental law or international law, preferably with specialization on biosafety, biotechnology or related discipline is required. A first level university degree combined with an additional two years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in project or programme management and team leadership is required. Working experience of at least five years in biosafety, is required. Experience in the work of intergovernmental processes of the United Nations’ sustainable development programmes and initiatives is highly 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 is desirable.


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

Special Notice

Appointment against this post is for an initial period of one year and may be subject to extension. Staff members of the United Nations Secretariat must fulfill the lateral move(s) requirements, or geographical to be eligible to apply for this vacancy. Staff members are requested to indicate all qualifying lateral or geographical move(s) in their Personal History Profile (PHP) and cover note. 

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 is 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.

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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