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  • Organization: UNEP - United Nations Environment Programme
  • Location: Geneva
  • Grade: Internship - Internship
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Legal - Broad
  • Closing Date: Closed

Org. Setting and Reporting

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment. UNEP is the United Nations system's designated entity that addresses environmental issues at the global and regional levels. Its mandate is to coordinate the development of environmental policy consensus by keeping the global environment under review and bringing emerging issues to the attention of governments and to the international community for action. The position is located in the Funds Management, Administration and Human Resources (FMAHR) Branch of the Secretariats of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade and the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, three Multilateral Environmental Agreements administered by UNEP, and based in Geneva. The Branch is responsible for the overall management of funds, human resources and administration, and include institutional & corporate legal affairs, among other functions.

The internship in the Secretariats of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions / UNEP is for 6 (six) months.

The Internship is for 6 months and UNPAID. Interns work five days per week (40 hours) under the supervision of a staff member in the department or office to which they are assigned.

Interns are not financially remunerated by the United Nations. Costs and arrangements for travel, visas, accommodation and living expenses are the responsibility of interns or their sponsoring institutions.


Daily responsibilities will depend on the individual's background, the intern's assigned office as well as the internship period. Under the direct supervision of the legal officer, the intern will primarily provide legal assistance in implementing the Programmes of Work of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, i. e. by assisting the legal officer and as needed, other relevant team members of the FMAHR Branch of the Secretariats of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm (BRS) Conventions. The selected intern may also provide support to other relevant secretariat staff members, as necessary. Tasks will include, without being limited to: - legal assistance and support in general; more specifically: - collecting and reviewing legal information (e.g. in due diligence review); - conducting legal research and analysis; - editing, drafting and reviewing legal instruments, letters and other legal documents or materials such as presentations, reports, etc.; - assisting in preparing, organising, and participating in relevant meetings and other events, such as the 2023 meetings of the Conferences of the Parties (COPs) to the BRS Conventions; - as well as other legal tasks as may be required. Areas of work may include: - general international law; - law of international organisations; - corporate and institutional legal matters (e.g. contract drafting and review); - administrative law; - labour law; - financial law e.g. arrears as to the assessed contributions due by Parties to the BRS Conventions; - law of communications, intellectual property (IP)/information technology (IT), e.g. as to requests for use of the three BRS Conventions’ respective names, acronyms, emblems or logos; - as well as any other legal areas as may be assigned.


Core Competencies: 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 the audience; - demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

Teamwork: - works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; - solicits input by genuinely valuing others' ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; - places team agenda before personal agenda; - supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; - shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.

Client Orientation: - considers all those to whom services are provided to be "clients " and seeks to see things from clients' point of view; - establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; - identifies clients' needs and matches them to appropriate solutions; - monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients' environment to keep informed and anticipate problems; - keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects; - meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.


Applicants must, at the time of application, meet the following requirements: - be enrolled in a law school of a university, in a Master’s degree level programme (at least) in the field of international law; - have graduated with an undergraduate university law degree; - have knowledge of, essentially, general international law, international public and private law, law of international organisations, administrative law, international economic law, international contract law, intellectual property/information technology law; - have excellent communications skills; - have good editing, proofreading and legal drafting skills in English and an eye for details; - able to work as a team; - be computer literate.

Have demonstrated keen interest in the work of the United Nations and have a personal commitment to the ideals of the Charter.

Have a demonstrated ability to successfully interact with individuals of different cultural backgrounds and beliefs, which include willingness to try and understand and be tolerant of differing opinions and views.

Work Experience

No working experience is required to apply for the United Nations Internship Programme. Your training, education, advance course work or skills should benefit the United Nations during your internship.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this internship, fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of French and/or Spanish is desirable; other UN languages an asset.


Potential candidates will be contacted by hiring manager directly for further consideration.

Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.

Special Notice

Your application for this internship must include:

1. A Completed application (Personal History Profile) and Cover Note, through the UN careers Portal. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

The Cover Note must include:

- Title of the degree you are currently pursuing
- Graduation Date
- IT skills and programmes you are proficient in
- Explain why you are the best candidate for this specific internship

Explain your interest in the United Nations Internship Programme, ensure to include all past work experience (if any).

2. Proof of enrolment from current University (if not graduated).

3. A copy of degree certificate (if you have already graduated).

Due to a high volume of applications received, ONLY successful candidates will be contacted.

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, applicants may be requested to undertake the internship remotely in view of constraints regarding visa issuance, international travel and access to UN premises. Applicants must be willing and prepared to undertake the internship remotely for a part or the entirety of the internship. The work hours during the internship shall be determined based on individual discussion between the intern and the supervisor(s) taking into consideration the minimum requirements of the Organization and the time difference between the hosting office and the location of the intern.

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.

No Fee


This vacancy is now closed.
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