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Senior Language Assistant (GS-5)

The Hague (Netherlands)

Position Remarks

Staff members in the General Services category are normally recruited and paid on a local basis. This appointment is for duration of two years, with a six-month probationary period and is subject to the OPCW Staff Regulations and Interim Staff Rules, as applicable. The Director-General retains the discretion not to make any appointment to this vacancy, to make an appointment at a lower grade, or to make an appointment with a modified job description. Several vacancies may be filled.

Principal Functions

Under the direct supervision of the Senior Editor/Linguist (English), and in accordance with the OPCW Core Values of Integrity, Professionalism and Respect for Diversity/Gender Equality, the Senior Language Assistant (English) will have the following primary responsibilities:

· Proofreads edited documents in English, following OPCW editorial style and checking for grammatical accuracy and correctness in terminology, references, dates, etc. Subjects of documentation include all official-series documents, such as reports by the Director-General, Technical Secretariat documents, as well as decisions of the policy-making organs, and cover areas such as confidential information (e.g. final inspection reports, mandates, declarations of States Parties), scientific and technical text (e.g. chemistry, disarmament, finance, law) and politically sensitive content (notifications, notes verbales). The incumbent also proofreads the national statements of Member States delivered during sessions of the Executive Council and Conference of the States Parties, and is required to work under a strict confidentiality regime and comply with rules, procedures and practices currently in operation;

· Prepares official-series documents for publication, observing prescribed deadlines;

· Operates word-processing equipment, database and spreadsheet applications; determines practical solutions to computer problems; customises the software applications by creating new styles and templates to adapt them to the requirements of the language section; decides on the most appropriate presentation and format of the documents in that language, taking into consideration the unique features of the language;

· Creates and updates the external and internal official-series document database in the section’s language used by OPCW staff members and Member States; prepares lists of all official documents in that language;

· Participates in the selection of short-term staff recruited to provide, on a substitute or supplementary basis, the same services as the incumbent within the language section: provides training and administrative assistance to the short-term staff and reviews their work;

· Organises and coordinates workflow, determines work priorities, distributes workload to the short-term staff during the sessions of the Executive Council and Conference of the States Parties and other peak work periods, as applicable;

· Within the specific language section, assists the short-term language staff in using OPCW terminology and seeking reference documents; prepares background and reference file for short-term and contractual language staff; in the absence of editors/linguists, advises short-term and contractual language staff on internal practices and procedures;

· Assists the editors/linguists with research, compilation and editing of a list of abbreviations and in-house glossaries of specific terminology;

· Transcription (English) as required;

· Performs other duties as required.

Knowledge and Skills

Education (Qualifications):
· Minimum high school diploma or equivalent diploma of higher secondary education, preferably with emphasis on languages.

Skills and Abilities (key competencies):
· Advanced skills in using modern personal computer equipment are essential, including in-depth knowledge of Windows-based word processing, database and spreadsheet applications;
· Knowledge of standard proofreading practices and procedures, as well as familiarity with grammatical standards;
· Attention to detail: ability to identify and correct errors in grammar, syntax, spelling, punctuation, formatting and consistency, in order to produce error-free final documents;
· Strong written and verbal communication skills;
Ability to plan, organise and manage conflicting priorities;
Tact, accuracy and discretion;
Flexibility and ability to work under pressure: working within set, tight deadlines efficiently and independently;
Good interpersonal skills and ability to establish and maintain effective working relations with people in a multi-cultural environment.


Essential: At least four years of progressively responsible and related experience, preferably in an international organisation.

Desirable: Experience in conference services, language services, or related area in an international organisation is an asset.


Language Requirements: A thorough knowledge of English, which must be a first language. A working knowledge of one of the other official languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish) is desirable.

Salary Remarks

Annual Salary
Total annual salary consists of a net annual salary (net of taxes and before medical insurance and provident fund deductions).

Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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  • Organization: OPCW - Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
  • Location: The Hague (Netherlands)
  • Grade: GS-5, General Service - No need for Higher Education - Locally recruited position - Administrative support
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Translations and Languages
    • Administrative support
  • Closing Date: 2018-07-20

What does it mean?

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