Secretary to the Commission
Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)
Org. Setting and Reporting
The Economic Commission for Africa’s (ECA) mission is to deliver ideas and actions for an empowered and transformed Africa; informed by the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063.
The mission will be guided by ECA’s five new strategic directions which are:
Advancing ECA’s position as a premier knowledge institution that builds on its unique position and privilege to bring global solutions to the continent’s problems and take local solution to the continent; developing macroeconomic and structural policy options to accelerate economic diversification and job creation; designing and implementing innovative financing models for infrastructure, and for human, physical and social assets for a transforming Africa; contributing solutions to regional and transboundary challenges, with a focus on peace security and social inclusion as an important development nexus; advocating Africa’s position at the global level and developing regional responses as a contribution to global governance issues.
This position is located in the Office of the Executive Secretary (OES) at the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). The incumbent works under the direct supervision of the Chief of Staff/Officer designated by the Executive Secretary to this effect.
Within delegated authority, the Secretary of the Commission will be responsible for the following duties:
•Prepare for and organizes the meetings of the legislative bodies/intergovernmental processes of the Commission and other official meetings convened by the Executive Secretary, including quarterly briefings to members States and annual retreat of ECA with permanent representatives.
•Lead the preparatory process of the Conference of Ministers as chair of the Conference of Ministers Task Force. Coordinate the preparation of agenda and programme of work of the sessions and coordinates the in-session deliberations; provide support to the bureau of the committee of experts and the Conference of Ministers.
•Responsible for day-to-day external relations of the Commission with Member States, providing legal guidance and advice.
•Supervise overall legal aspects with host country, including representation and legal aspects.
•Serve as a recognized expert and independently handle a wide range of multi-discipline, highly complex and often sensitive and/or conflicting legal matters involving issues relating to international, public, private and administrative law, to include interpretation and application of instruments in that area of focus including of resolution of disputes and arbitration working with UN legal bodies.
•Provide the ECA secretariat with legal counsel, manage legal affairs and in this connection liaise with UN headquarters. Perform extensive legal research and analysis and prepare legal opinions, studies, briefs, reports and correspondence; make recommendations to senior officials of substantive Divisions and Sub-Regional offices with respect to actions to take.
•Provide authoritative legal advice on diverse substantive and procedural questions of considerable complexity, which may include those related to administration and management, and other operational matters.
•Prepare legal submissions/motions as necessary in the course of investigations.
•Review, advise on and supervise the review, negotiation and drafting of complex contracts (including procurement), agreements (such as host country agreements), institutional and operational modalities, or legal motions/submissions and other legal documents; develops new legal modalities to meet unique needs/circumstances.
•Advise the Commission on more complex cases before arbitral and other tribunal or administrative proceedings, including disciplinary cases and staff appeals to UN Dispute Tribunals and Administrative Tribunals.
•Conduct and manage day-to-day internal and external relations of the Commission and where necessary liaise with the UN Office of Legal Affairs in New York and other UN bodies.
•Perform other duties as assigned. Work implies frequent interaction with the following: UN headquarters, OLA, Regional Commissions, Directors both within and outside the duty station, Embassies, counterparts, senior attorneys and officials in UN common system organizations, specialized agencies, governments, law firms and other external entities.
•Professionalism: Strong analytical skills and ability to conduct comprehensive legal research on a range of issues, including those of a unique and/or complex nature; proficiency in legal writing and expression and ability to prepare legal briefs, opinions, or legal submissions/motions, and a variety of legal instruments and related documents. Discretion and sound judgment in applying legal expertise to sensitive, complex legal issues. Strong negotiating skills and ability to influence others to reach agreement. Ability to work to tight deadlines and handle multiple concurrent projects/cases. Knowledge of contemporary international relations and of UN system and UN Staff Rules and Regulations, organization and interrelationships. 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: 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.
•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.
•Leadership: Services 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 improvement; 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.
•Vision: Identifies strategic issues, opportunities and risks. Clearly communicates links between the Organization’s strategy and the work unit’s goals. Generates and communicates broad and compelling organizational direction, inspiring others to pursue that same direction. Conveys enthusiasm about future possibilities.
An advanced university degree (Master’s or Doctorate degree, or equivalent) in international law or related fields is required. A first-level or advanced degree (Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctorate degree, or equivalent) in any fields of studies with two additional years of relevant work experience may be accepted in lieu of an advanced university degree in the specified fields of studies.Work Experience
A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in law, including legal analysis, research and writing is required.
Experience in the area of contemporary international relations and of UN system and UN Staff Rules and Regulations, organization and interrelationships is highly desirable.
Fluency in one of the working languages of the UN Secretariat, English or French, (both oral and written) is required; knowledge of the other is desirable. Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.Assessment
Evaluation of qualified candidates may include assessment exercises which may be followed by competency-based interview.Special Notice
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.
Staff members of the United Nations Secretariat must fulfill the lateral move requirements to be eligible to apply for this vacancy. Staff members are requested to indicate all qualifying lateral moves in their Personal History Profile (PHP) and cover letter.
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.
An impeccable record for integrity and professional ethical standards is essential.
For this position, applicants from the following Member States, which are unrepresented or underrepresented in the UN Secretariat as of 31 July 2020, are strongly encouraged to apply: Afghanistan, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Belize, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, China, Comoros, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Japan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Norway, Oman, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Suriname, Timor-Leste, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Vanuatu, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
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.
THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, OR TRAINING). THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS’ BANK ACCOUNTS.