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Technical Officer (Legal)

Geneva (United States of America)

  • Organization: WHO - World Health Organization
  • Location: Geneva (United States of America)
  • Grade: P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Legal - Broad
  • Closing Date: 2021-06-29

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The mission of WHO's UHC/Healthier Populations Division is to contribute to reducing health inequalities and reducing preventable disease and injury caused by environmental, social and economic determinants of health. This is achieved through a coordinated inter-sectoral approach aimed at enabling all people to enjoy better health and well-being, in line with the Organization's 13th General Programme of Work (GPW13) and the Sustainable Development Goals.Within the Division, the Department of Health Promotion (HPR) works to reduce risks associated with tobacco use, alcohol consumption and physical inactivity, thereby contributing to better population health, through cross-cutting normative, fiscal and legal measures to enhance wellbeing, health literacy and engage multi stakeholders through settings approach and community engagement strategies.Within the HPR Department, the Public Health Law and Policies (LAW) unit provides cross-cutting support on legal and regulatory issues with a focus on tobacco control, healthy diets, physical activity, harmful use of alcohol and good governance. The Unit provides specialized technical assistance at all stages of the policy cycle, from assisting Member States to manage legal risk during policy development, to assisting in the event of litigation. The Unit also builds the legal and regulatory capacity of Member States to implement WHO guidance and supports development of norms and standards at the international level.


Coordinate with teams based within WHO Headquarters, regional and country offices on tobacco control, healthy diets, harmful use of alcohol, physical activity and fiscal policies and on other issue areas where legal support is required.Assist Member States to develop and implement laws and regulations, including by providing policy guidance, drafting or commenting on policy documents, legislation and regulations, and providing support in the event of related litigation.Strengthen the capacity of Member States and civil society organizations on law and policy, including by developing country missions, workshops and other approaches to training.Support development of international norms and standards including by drafting background documents, briefings and statements, representing WHO in international forums, and engaging with other intergovernmental organizations.Develop relevant tools and publications, and contribute technical analysis and drafting to WHO publications relevant to the Department's work.Anticipate and track emerging legal and regulatory issues relevant to the Department's work.Perform all other related duties as assigned.



Essential: Advanced degree in law with relevance to health providing a basis for admission to legal practice in the territory of a WHO Member State


Essential: At least seven years of experience including at least five years in law, with relevance to health policy. Experience working with governments in development of policies, legislation and / or regulations on tobacco control, healthy diets, harmful use of alcohol or physical activity.
Desirable: Experience in international intergovernmental forums, including multilateral negotiations.Experience working with public and intergovernmental stakeholders; experience conducting courses, training and workshops with diverse participants.Demonstrated track record of publications in peer reviewed journals in the areas of expertise required to perform the specialized functions of this post. Demonstrated exposure at the international level.


• Excellent skills in legal drafting, analysis and review• Excellent understanding of international relations, relevant legal frameworks and accountability mechanisms related to health matters• Excellent knowledge of public health law and policy issues relevant to the work of the Department• Familiarity with relevant WHO framework action plans• Ability to identify issues, formulate opinions, make conclusions and recommendations• Experience in organizing and managing intergovernmental processes including multi-stakeholder meetings, negotiations and consultations including coordination of global consultations on relevant technical topics• Ability to review and revise policies and objectives of assigned program and activities• Excellent communication and interpersonal skills using tact, patience and courtesy• Proven knowledge of technical aspects in the field of specialty• Team spirit and time management skills• Knowledge of WHO corporate information systems and communication tools is an asset

WHO Competencies

Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences
Producing results
Building and promoting partnerships across the organization and beyond

Use of Language Skills

Essential: Expert knowledge of English.
Desirable: Intermediate knowledge of French.


WHO salaries for staff in the Professional category are calculated in US dollars. The remuneration for the above position comprises an annual base salary starting at USD 74,913 (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance, as applicable), a variable post adjustment, which reflects the cost of living in a particular duty station, and currently amounts to USD 5306 per month for the duty station indicated above. Other benefits include 30 days of annual leave, allowances for dependent family members, home leave, and an education grant for dependent children.


  • This vacancy notice may be used to fill other similar positions at the same grade level
  • Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.
  • A written test may be used as a form of screening.
  • In the event that your candidature is retained for an interview, you will be required to provide, in advance, a scanned copy of the degree(s)/diploma(s)/certificate(s) required for this position. WHO only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU)/United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed through the link: Some professional certificates may not appear in the WHED and will require individual review.
  • Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to WHO Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and Manual.
  • Staff members in other duty stations are encouraged to apply.
  • WHO is committed to workforce diversity.
  • WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.
  • WHO has a mobility policy which can be found at the following link: Candidates appointed to an international post with WHO are subject to mobility and may be assigned to any activity or duty station of the Organization throughout the world.
  • Applications from women and from nationals of non and underrepresented Member States are particularly encouraged.
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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