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Chief of Section (Relations with the United Nations and Intergovernmental Organizations)


  • Organization: UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • Location: Paris
  • Grade: Senior level - P-5, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Development Cooperation and Sustainable Development Goals
    • International Relations
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: Closed

Post Number : PAX 333

Grade : P-5

Parent Sector : Priority Africa and External Relations Sector (PAX)

Duty Station: Paris

Job Family: External Relations

Type of contract : Fixed Term

Duration of contract : 2 years, renewable

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 08-DEC-2022


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




Under the overall authority of the Assistant Director-General for Priority Africa and External Relations (ADG/PAX), and the direct supervision of Director of the External Relations Division (DIR/PAX/DRX), the Chief of Section for the Relations with United Nations and International Organizations acts as coordinator responsible for defining and conceptualizing, in cooperation with senior management, an overall vision to strengthen cooperation with the United Nations, the UN Specialized Agencies, Funds and Programmes and the Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs) enabling their close collaboration with the Organization.


The incumbent will manage, supervise and evaluate the work of the Section for Relations with the United Nations and Intergovernmental Organization, to:

  • Lead and coordinate the participation and contribution of the Secretariat in the UN Development System activities, including the UN Reform.
  • Manage UNESCO's contribution to UN Governing Bodies and interagency system mechanisms and ensure follow-up of ail decisions relevant to the Organization.
  • Recommend potential courses of action to senior management, including the Director-General, to support decision-making on cooperation with the UN System entities and intergovernmental organizations.
  • Set objectives, develop and maintain efficient tools, reports and  evaluates results.
Long Description

In particular, the incumbent will:

  • Define and ensure implementation of an overall strategy and vision to strengthen cooperation with the United Nations, the UN Specialized Agencies and the UN Funds and Programmes.
  • Develop and lead UNESCO's strategies positioning and participation in the UN Development System Reform with a view to ensure that the Organization's priorities are adequately reflected at global, regional and country levels.
  • Provide guidance and authoritative advices to UNESCO Liaison Offices in New York and Geneva, Field Offices, Programmes Sectors and Central Services.
  • Design and ensure the management of new strategies changes to strengthen the cooperation and identify new cooperation opportunities with the IGOs. Lead the preparation of new Cooperation Agreements with IGOs, in conformity with relevant rules and regulations and in line with decisions and resolutions of UNESCO Governing Bodies.
  • Supervise the preparation of reports and briefings for the Director-General and the senior management.
  • Represent the Organization in UN system-related activities, discussions and meetings, including UN reform inter-agency mechanism.
  • Advise and inform Member States, Permanent Delegations and National Commissions on UNESCO's activities related to the UN.


COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial) Communication (C) Accountability (C) Innovation (C) Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C) Planning and organizing (C) Results focus (C) Teamwork (C) Professionalism (C) Building partnerships (M) Driving and managing change (M) Leading and empowering others (M) Making quality decisions (M) Managing performance (M) Strategic thinking (M) - For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework. REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS



  • Advanced university degree (Master's or equivalent) in the field of Political Sciences, International Relations or other related fields.


Work Experience

  • Minimum of ten (10) years of progressively responsible relevant experience in the field of international relations, diplomacy, or related fields, preferably in relation with the UN and IGOs, of which preferably 5 years acquired at the international level.
  • Proven knowledge and experience in intergovernmental cooperation, multilateral diplomacy and/or partnerships.
Long Description

Skills & Competencies

  • Commitment and knowledge of the Organization's mandate, vision, strategic direction and priorities.
  • Knowledge of the UN system, including the ongoing reform of the UN Development System, and of other major IGOs.
  • Proven diplomatic skills with excellent political awareness and understanding.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Proven leadership and demonstrated managerial and administrative skills.
  • Proven ability to work effectively in a team and establish/maintain effective working relations in a multicultural environment, with sensitivity and respect for diversity.



  • Excellent knowledge (written and spoken) of English or French and good knowledge of the other language. 





  • Training courses in leadership and people’s management.


Work Experience

  • Experience in working directly with the UN, its Programmes, Funds and Specialized Agencies, as well as other IGOs.
  • Knowledge of the different work-streams of the UN Sustainable Development System, the UN Chief Executives Board and its subsidiary bodies.


 Skills & Competencies

  • Familiarity with the work and general functioning of international organization and/or the UN system.
  • Capacity to actively participate in building and strengthening relations with the UN, IGOs and Member States.
  • Capacity to interact with high ranking officials from the UN and IGOs as well as from Member States.
  • Familiarity with the UN reform process.
  • Ability for independent analysis, accurate judgement and keen understanding of geopolitics.



  • Knowledge of other official UNESCO languages (Arabic, Chinese, Russian and/or 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.

The approximate annual starting salary for this post is 126 476 US $.

For full information on benefits and entitlements, please consult our Guide to Staff Benefits.


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 recalls that paramount consideration in the appointment of staff members shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, technical competence and integrity. UNESCO applies a zero-tolerance policy against all forms of harassment. UNESCO is committed to achieving and sustaining equitable and diverse geographical distribution, as well as 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. Candidates from non- and under-represented Member States (last update here) are particularly welcome and strongly encouraged to apply. Individuals from minority groups and indigenous groups and persons with disabilities 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.

This vacancy is now closed.
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