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UN Women: Legal Specialist

New York City (United States of America)

  • Organization: UN WOMEN - United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
  • Location: New York City (United States of America)
  • Grade: P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Women's Empowerment and Gender Mainstreaming
    • Legal - Broad
  • Closing Date: 2021-06-22

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Background

UN Women, grounded in the vision of equality enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, works for the elimination of discrimination against women and girls; the empowerment of women; and the achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action and peace and security. Placing women’s rights at the center of all its efforts.

The UN Women Legal Office is responsible for providing high quality legal advice and support to the UN Women Executive Director, senior management, HQ units, country offices on a wide-range of multidisciplinary legal matters relating to the interpretation and application of international, public, private and administrative law, in the following broad areas:

  • Legal status, authorities, privileges and immunities, and relationships with UN Women Governing Bodies, Programme Country and Partner Governments;
  • Corporate, commercial and private law matters, including legal support to the Organization’s financial and procurement operations;
  • Administrative law matters relating to the Organization’s relationship with its staff members, including legal support to human resources management issues.

Under the overall supervision of Chief of the Legal Office the Legal Specialist will provide legal advice to UN Women management, HQ units, regional, sub-regional and country offices, including providing legal advice and support to the UN Women Executive Director and senior management team, headquarters units, country offices, on legal and related policy matters, providing legal advice and support in relation to UN Women’s procurement, resource mobilization and programmatic activities, identifying and implementing innovative solutions and best practices that address the priorities of UN Women and promoting knowledge and awareness within UN Women in relation to legal and related issues, and representing UN Women’s interests before, external entities, networks and bodies.

Duties and Responsibilities

Provide legal advice and support to the UN Women Executive Director and senior management team, headquarters units, country offices, on legal and related policy matters:

  • Provide legal advice on the interpretation and application of the rules of procedure of the UN Women Executive Board.
  • Provide legal advice on issues relating to the status of the organization and privileges and immunities, to ensure respect for the privileges and immunities of UN Women, its officials and experts on mission.
  • Provide legal advice on the application of the Staff Regulations, Rules and the UN Women Financial Regulations and Rules.

Provide legal advice and support in relation to UN Women’s procurement, resource mobilization and programmatic activities:

  • Prepare, review and negotiate contracts, agreements and other arrangements for UN Women, and the preparation of standard forms of contracts and agreements for use by UN Women.
  • Review, negotiate and settle claims and disputes arising from agreements, contracts and other arrangements.
  • Provide legal guidance in the negotiation and establishment of host country, conference and other agreements, constitutive instruments and other legal texts and instruments required for the conduct of operational activities carried out by UN Women in the various Member States.
  • Identify mismanagement or non-compliance with delegation of authority, control frameworks and other administrative issuances and provide informal and/or formal advice to management.
  • Identify and advise on areas where changes may be warranted to standard forms of contracts and agreements to strengthen UN Women’s accountability and its effectiveness and efficiency.

Provide legal advice to the UN Women Executive Director and senior management team on policy matters, identify and implement innovative solutions and best practices that address the priorities of UN Women and promote knowledge and awareness within UN Women in relation to legal and related issues:

  • Provide leadership and advice towards ongoing alignment and implementation of evolving programme initiatives, strategies and operational practices, from the corporate, institutional and administrative law perspective.
  • Identify and advise on areas where systemic or policy changes may be warranted to strengthen UN Women’s accountability and/or allow operational units to carry out their functions more effectively and efficiently.
  • Technically contribute to the review and design of new legal instruments, policy, guidelines, and systems; including oversee the establishment and implementation of the UN Women Legislative Framework, and collaborating with substantive offices, divisions and sections to ensure its effective operation.
  • Promote knowledge in UN Women of the applicable legal framework and related policies and compliance therewith through preparation and facilitation of training for staff and managers at all levels, including training on preventing, detecting and addressing fraud and misconduct, in collaboration with substantive offices, divisions and sections.

Represent UN Women’s interests before, external entities, networks and bodies:

  • Represent UN Women’s interests in the HLCM Legal Network, the UNDG Legal Group, high level inter-agency meetings, and participate in task forces and working groups, covering issues of corporate, institutional or administrative law, including the internal system of justice, as appropriate.
  • Prepare substantive input to and represent UN Women before internal and external oversight and intergovernmental bodies and entities including the Executive Board and Audit Advisory Committee and other policy-making and oversight bodies.
  • Lead on the coordination of relationships with the Office of Legal Affairs, the Office of Audit and Investigation/UNDP, the Office of Internal Oversight Services.

Competencies

Core Values:

  • Integrity;
  • Professionalism;
  • Respect for Diversity.

Core Competencies:

  • Awareness and Sensitivity Regarding Gender Issues;
  • Accountability;
  • Creative Problem Solving;
  • Effective Communication;
  • Inclusive Collaboration;
  • Stakeholder Engagement;
  • Leading by Example.

Please visit this link for more information on UN Women’s Values and Competencies Framework: https://www.unwomen.org/-/media/headquarters/attachments/sections/about%20us/employment/un-women-values-and-competencies-framework-en.pdf?la=en&vs=637

Functional Competencies:

  • Ability to work efficiently and effectively under pressure;
  • Excellent skills in drafting under pressure a broad range of documents of a legal nature, including briefing notes and reports on legal issues and submissions to courts and tribunals;
  • Strong verbal communication skills, including a demonstrated ability to provide oral briefings on complex legal issues to legal and non-legal audiences;
  • Sound negotiation skills;
  • Client orientation with constructive approach to resolution of problems and dedication to providing timely support;
  • Demonstrated consciousness and efficiency in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and personal maturity: sense of initiative;
  • Ability to work with utmost discretion in handling sensitive and confidential matters;
  • Ability to multi-task, handling a complex workload involving concurrent deadlines;
  • Demonstrated ability to work as part of a team;
  • Understanding of UN Women’s goals and programmes;
  • Affinity with UN Women’s mandate;
  • Fully proficient computer skills and ability to use relevant software applications, in particular information databases, internet/intranet services, library sources, etc.;
  • Ability to  incorporate gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work;
  • Proficiency in MS Word, Excel, Access and PowerPoint and electronic media applications.

Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • Master’s degree (or equivalent) in law; a first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Experience:

  • At least 7 years of practical experience in the practice of law with a law firm, a government and/or an international organization’s legal office.

Languages:

  • Excellent command of oral and written English. Knowledge of another United Nations official language, particularly French or Spanish, is an asset.  

Application:

All applications must include (as an attachment) the completed UN Women Personal History form (P-11) which can be downloaded from https://www.unwomen.org/-/media/headquarters/attachments/sections/about%20us/employment/un-women-p11-personal-history-form.doc?la=en&vs=558. Kindly note that the system will only allow one attachment. Applications without the completed UN Women P-11 form will be treated as incomplete and will not be considered for further assessment.

Note:

In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly created UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. The creation of UN Women came about as part of the UN reform agenda, bringing together resources and mandates for greater impact. It merges and builds on the important work of four previously distinct parts of the UN system (DAW, OSAGI, INSTRAW and UNIFEM), which focused exclusively on gender equality and women's empowerment.

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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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