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Administrative Assistant (Culture)

Paris (France)

  • Organization: UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • Location: Paris (France)
  • Grade: GS-5, General Service - No need for Higher Education - Locally recruited position - Administrative support
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Administrative support
    • Social Affairs
    • Culture and Sport
  • Closing Date: 2020-11-27

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Post Number : CLT 393

Grade : G-5

Parent Sector : Culture Sector (CLT)

Duty Station: Paris

Job Family: Finances

Type of contract : Fixed Term

Duration of contract : 2 years

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 27-NOV-2020


UNESCO Core Values: Commitment to the Organization, Integrity, Respect for Diversity, Professionalism




Under the overall authority of the Assistant Director-General for Culture, the general supervision of the Chief of the Executive Office, and the direct supervision of the Senior Finance and Administrative Officer, the incumbent provides financial and administrative services in full compliance with UNESCO rules, regulations and procedures to support the planning, the implementation and the management of regular programme, special accounts and voluntary contributions funded projects of the Culture Sector towards the implementation of its programmes and Conventions, and conducts related reporting activities.

The incumbent shall perform the following tasks:

Long Description

General Accountabilities

  • Act as certifying officer up to the authorized level delegated by the Chief Financial Officer in the examination and approval of any commitments;
  • Review contract files to ensure that contracts of all types are prepared in accordance with UNESCO rules, regulations and procedures, using the financial and budgetary system and verifying the accuracy of the budget breakdown and other supporting documents;
  • Provide guidance and interpretation on administrative rules, regulations and procedures to staff members, including temporary staff and newly recruited staff;
  • Liaise with Central Services to obtain or provide information/clarifications, resolve problems or seek policy interpretation;
  • Assist in the preparation of budgetary and financial reports, statistics or projections for the use of the managers, etc.;
  • Review draft reports, verify overall accuracy and consistency, cross-check consistency of figures;
  • Draft and prepare routine correspondence, memoranda, reports, updates, briefings and tables;
  • Maintain confidential and general files and establish reference systems (hard-copy and electronic).
Long Description

Finance Accountabilities

  • Assist and inform the supervisor on financial status, by using management information systems and reporting;
  • Record and reconcile accounting transactions;
  • Verify contract files and requests for payments against commitments, process payments  within the authorized limits, and seek clarifications to programme staff in case of funding shortfalls;
  • Ensure regular follow-up of the unliquidated obligations (ULOs), proceed with closure of the contracts and liquidation of ULOs when appropriate, and undertake administrative actions with Corporate services and programme staff whenever required in the contract file (request for reimbursement, etc.);
  • Calculate and compile financial data, prepare routine reports, generate expenditure reports from the automated systems;
  • Alert the supervisor of any errors/omissions observed and undertake corrective actions as directed;
  • Provide assistance and guidance to staff on basic financial procedures, requirements related to payments, and on currency provisions.
Long Description

Budget Accountabilities

  • Review the budget and budget revisions for voluntary contributions funded projects and special accounts in the light of the project proposals, agreements, amendments, governing bodies’ decisions, and in accordance with the financial regulations;
  • Monitor the allocations, allotments, commitments and expenditures of voluntary contributions funded projects and special accounts;
  • Provide assistance and guidance in the preparation of budgets, workplans, cost estimates, etc;
  • Keep track of budget levels and alert the supervisor and concerned managers to avoid potential shortfalls in funds, ensure the follow-up of decentralized funds and recommend modifications and improvements to support internal control;
  • Assist the supervisor in the review of project documents, in the preparation of budget documents, compile data and carry out preliminary analysis, review overall accuracy and consistency of tables and draft reports, cross-check consistency of figures, analyze any variances between budgets and actual expenditures;
  • Identify any anomalies, irregularities and errors; alert the supervisor, investigate discrepancies and undertake actions to correct errors/omissions in agreement with the supervisor;
  • Assist the supervisor in reviewing SISTER, in the application of the cost recovery policy, in the support provided to the Secretariats of the Conventions.


  • Procurement: assist in procurement processes, in the preparation of purchase orders and contracts/amendments, in the preparation of the submissions to the Contracts Committee, monitor purchase requisitions;
  • Travel: assist and provide guidance in preparation of travel plans, certify travel orders, review and process travel claims, and issue travel advances when applicable;
  • Meetings: verify the meeting files, ensure the accuracy of the needs and posting of commitments, etc.
  • Assist in the management of the Sector’s general operating expenses (telephone, copiers, postage, UNLPs, IT and webconference related expenses, etc.), verify any other needs for operating expenses and proceed with the commitments where applicable;
  • Assist in overseeing activities related to space allocation, security, and similar services.


COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial) Accountability (C) Communication (C) Innovation (C) Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C) Planning and organizing (C) Results focus (C) Teamwork (C) - For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework. REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS



  • Completed secondary, technical and/or vocational education.

Work Experience

  • At least five (5) years of relevant professional experience in accounting, finance, administration or related areas in an international environment.

Skills & Competencies

  • Experience with finance modules of ERP such as SAP.
  • Ability to process financial, budgetary and other administrative records, to substantiate, clarify and negotiate solutions to budgetary issues with counterparts.
  • Very good analytical and problem-solving skills, good sense of judgement and capacity to support sound financial and budgetary practices.
  • Good organizational and coordination skills, ability to take initiative, establish priorities and monitor own work plans.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, strong service orientation and ability to deal efficiently with partners at different levels, within and outside the Organization.
  • Discretion, tact, diplomacy.
  • Ability to work as part of a team, in a multicultural environment, and provide efficient, quality and timely support and services, and capacity to work efficiently under pressure.
  • Good IT skills with proficiency in the use of MS Office (Outlook, Word, Excel, etc.).


  • Excellent knowledge of English or French and good knowledge of the other language.





  • Specialized training or course in one or more of the following disciplines: administration, finance, accounting and/or procurement.

Work Experience

  • Relevant experience in the UN System or other international organization.

Skills & Competencies

  • Good knowledge of UNESCO's financial and administrative rules, regulations, procedures and standard practices.
  • Knowledge of UNESCO's Culture Programme, Cultural Conventions and their Special Accounts.


  • Knowledge of other UNESCO official language (Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Spanish).



UNESCO’s salaries consist of a basic salary and other benefits which may include if applicable: 30 days annual leave, family allowance, medical insurance, pension plan etc.


For more information in benefits and entitlements, please consult ICSC website.


Please note that all candidates must complete an on-line application and provide complete and accurate information. To apply, please visit the UNESCO careers website. No modifications can be made to the application submitted.

The evaluation of candidates is based on the criteria in the vacancy notice, and may include tests and/or assessments, as well as a competency-based interview. 

UNESCO uses communication technologies such as video or teleconference, e-mail correspondence, etc. for the assessment and evaluation of candidates.

Please note that only selected candidates will be further contacted and candidates in the final selection step will be subject to reference checks based on the information provided.


UNESCO applies a zero tolerance policy against all forms of harassment.

UNESCO is committed to achieve and sustain gender parity among its staff members in all categories and at all grades. Furthermore, UNESCO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities, as well as nationals from non-and under-represented Member States (last update here) are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the highest level of confidentiality. Worldwide mobility is required for staff members appointed to international posts.

UNESCO does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process.

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
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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