Secretary to the Commission
Org. Setting and Reporting
The Economic Commission for Africa's (ECA) mission is to deliver ideas and actions for an empowered and transformed Africa; informed by the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063.
The mission will be guided by ECA's five new strategic directions which are: Advancing ECA's position as a premier knowledge institution that builds on its unique position and privilege to bring global solutions to the continent's problems and take a local solution to the continent; developing macroeconomic and structural policy options to accelerate economic diversification and job creation; designing and implementing innovative financing models for infrastructure, and for human, physical and social assets for a transforming Africa; contributing solutions to regional and transboundary challenges, with a focus on peace security and social inclusion as an important development nexus; advocating Africa's position at the global level and developing regional responses as a contribution to global governance issues.
This position is located in the Office of the Executive Secretary (OES) at the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). The incumbent works under the direct supervision of the Deputy Executive Secretary (Programme Support).
Within delegated authority, the Secretary of the Commission will be responsible for the following duties:
•Educates staff on their rights while supporting the system in its building of a harmonious Commission including with partners.
•Discusses issues of conflict resolution and work with the Ombudsman's office to organize meetings with the teams to unblock issues and support dialogue.
•Supports the Commission's goals to ensure smooth relationships with partners, especially standardized partners, and events by ensuring agreements with partners are always updated and the Commission is ahead of the processes needed to keep relationships running smoothly.
•Works with HQ to ensure ECA meets all OIOS recommendations in line with the Chief of Staff and DOA offices.
•Prepares for and organizes the meetings of the legislative bodies/ intergovernmental processes of the Commission and other official meetings convened by the Executive
•Secretary, including quarterly and regular briefings to member States and annual retreat of ECA with permanent representatives
•Leads and provides substantive coordination to the preparatory process of the annual session of the commission, including the Conference of Ministers of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development (Conference of Ministers). Acts as chair of the preparatory Task Force and secretary to the Steering Committee. Leads the preparation of agendas and programmes of work of the sessions, oversees the development of statutory and background documents, and provides substantive servicing to in-session deliberations; provides support to the bureau of the committee of experts and the Conference of Ministers.
•Leads team members’ efforts to collect and analyze data and provides insight to identify trends or patterns for data-driven planning, decision-making, presentation, and reporting. Ensures that everyone can discover, access, integrate, and share the data they need.
•Serves as a focal point for ECA’s engagement with the main committees of the UN General Assembly, in particular, the Economic and Financial Committee (Second Committee), Social, Humanitarian & Cultural Issues (Third Committee), Administrative and Budgetary Committee (Fifth Committee), and Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ).
•Responsible for day-to-day external relations of the Commission with Member States, host countries, other UN organizations and agencies, intergovernmental organizations, and non-governmental organizations, providing legal guidance and advice.
•Supervises overall legal aspects with the host country, including representation and legal aspects.
•Serves as a recognized expert and independently handles a wide range of multi-discipline, highly complex, and often sensitive and/or conflicting legal matters involving issues relating to international, public, private, and administrative law, including interpretation and application of instruments in that area of focus including of resolution of disputes and arbitration working with UN legal bodies.
•Provides the ECA secretariat with legal counsel, manages legal affairs and in this connection liaises with UN headquarters. Perform extensive legal research and analysis and prepare legal opinions, studies, briefs, reports, and correspondence; make recommendations to senior officials of substantive Divisions and Sub-Regional offices with respect to actions to take.
•Leads proactive measures to improve staff and management engagement and reduce risks of litigation and identify opportunities to regularly raise awareness of standards of conduct.
•Provides technical leadership to the development of strategic risk registers, supports the implementation of the ECA Risk Treatment Plan, and contributes to proactive awareness-raising initiatives on managing strategic risks.
•Leads initiatives and activities that improve understanding and awareness of internal justice systems and reduce errors in administration staff-related decisions
•Provides authoritative legal advice on diverse substantive and procedural questions of considerable complexity, which may include those related to administration and management and other operational matters.
•Prepares legal submissions/motions as necessary in the course of investigations.
•Reviews, advises on, and supervises the review, negotiation, and drafting of complex contracts (including procurement), agreements (such as host country agreements), institutional and operational modalities, or legal motions/submissions and other legal documents; develops new legal modalities to meet unique needs/circumstances.
•Advises the Commission on more complex cases before arbitral and other tribunal or administrative proceedings, including disciplinary cases and staff, appeals to UN Dispute Tribunals, and Administrative Tribunals.
•Conducts and manages day-to-day internal and external relations of the Commission and where necessary liaises with the UN Office of Legal Affairs in New York and other UN bodies.
•Performs other duties as assigned.
•Professionalism: Strong analytical skills and ability to conduct comprehensive legal research on a range of issues, including those of a unique and/or complex nature; proficiency in legal writing and expression and ability to prepare legal briefs, opinions, or legal submissions/motions, and a variety of legal instruments and related documents. Discretion and sound judgment in applying legal expertise to sensitive, complex legal issues. Strong negotiating skills and ability to influence others to reach an agreement. Ability to work to tight deadlines and handle multiple concurrent projects/cases. Knowledge of contemporary international relations and of the UN system and UN Staff Rules and Regulations, organization, and interrelationships. The ability to analyze and interpret data in support of decision-making and convey resulting information to management. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines, and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.
•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 audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
•Planning & Organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates an appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.
•Leadership: Services as a role model that other people want to follow. Empowers others to translate vision into results. Is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives. Establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support. Anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions. Drives for change and improvement; does not accept the status quo. Shows the courage to take unpopular stands. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.
•Vision: Identifies strategic issues, opportunities, and risks. Clearly communicates links between the Organization's strategy and the work unit's goals. Generates and communicates broad and compelling organizational direction, inspiring others to pursue that same direction. Conveys enthusiasm about future possibilities.
An advanced university degree (Master's or Doctorate degree, or equivalent) in international law or related fields is required. A first-level or advanced degree (Bachelor's degree or equivalent) in any field of studies with two additional years of relevant work experience may be accepted in lieu of an advanced university degree in the specified fields of studies.
Successful completion of both degree and non-degree programs in data analytics, business analytics, or data science programs is an advantage.
A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in law, including legal analysis, research, and writing is required.
Experience in data analytics or related area is desirable.
Experience in the area of contemporary international relations and of the UN system and UN Staff Rules and Regulations, organization, and interrelationships are desirable.
Experience in leading intergovernmental negotiations, managing member-state engagement, developing host country agreements, and servicing intergovernmental processes is desirable.
Experience in leading UN statutory sessions, large conferences, and intergovernmental meetings is desirable.
English and French are the working languages of the UN Secretariat. For this position advertised, fluency in English or French is required; knowledge of the other is desirable. Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.Assessment
Evaluation of qualified candidates may include assessment exercises which may be followed by a competency-based interview.Special Notice
Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.
The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving a 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.
Staff members of the United Nations Secretariat must fulfill the lateral move requirements to be eligible to apply for this vacancy. Staff members are requested to indicate all qualifying lateral moves in their Administrative Profile (AP) and cover letter.
At the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the recruitment and employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity, with due regard to geographic diversity. All employment decisions are made on the basis of qualifications and organizational needs. The United Nations is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. The United Nations recruits and employs staff regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religious, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds, or disabilities. Reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities may be provided to support participation in the recruitment process when requested and indicated in the application.
For this position, applicants from the following Member States, which are unrepresented or underrepresented in the UN Secretariat as of 30 November 2022, are strongly encouraged to apply: Afghanistan, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Belize, Brunei Darussalam, Cabo Verde, Central African Republic, China, Comoros, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Israel, Japan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Malta, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Norway, Oman, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Vanuatu.
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.
Reasonable accommodation may be provided to applicants with disabilities upon request, to support their participation in the recruitment process.
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.
THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, OR TRAINING). THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS’ BANK ACCOUNTS.
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