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Legal/Economic Affairs Officer


  • Organization: WTO - World Trade Organization
  • Location: Geneva
  • Grade: Junior level - Grade 6 - Professional Staff - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Legal - Broad
    • Economics
  • Closing Date: Closed

VN Category (INT / EXT / EOI):


Application Deadline:



Grade 6

Contract Type:


Annual Salary:


The recruitment policy of the WTO is to seek to attract and retain staff members offering the highest standards of competence, efficiency and integrity. As an Equal Opportunities Employer, the WTO gives full regard to merit and diversity.

This is an External Vacancy Notice open to external candidates and WTO staff. It is posted on the WTO internal as well as external career site. Eligible WTO staff on short-term, fixed-term or regular contracts and interns must apply through the Workday internal career site.

The Secretariat of the WTO is seeking to fill a position of Legal/Economic Affairs Officer in the Accessions Division. This is an entry level professional position.

The Accessions Division works to facilitate the negotiations between WTO members and states and entities requesting accession to the WTO by encouraging their integration into the multilateral trading system through the effective liberalization of their trade regimes in goods and services; and to act as a focal point in widening the scope and geographical coverage of the WTO.

General Functions

Under the supervision of the Director of the Division, the incumbent will undertake the following responsibilities:

1.         Function as Secretary/Co-Secretary of at least three accession Working Parties; responsibilities include assisting in the servicing of Working Party meetings; drafting Chairperson's Notes, Working Party Reports, agenda, summary reports; preparing Accession Packages (i.e.  Working Party Reports and Schedules of Goods and Services).

2.         Provide information to delegations and advise senior management on accession-related matters.

3.         Assist in organizing and preparing accession-related technical assistance and capacity-building activities, including in close coordination with relevant Divisions.

4.         Conduct research and analysis of economic and trade-related issues concerning accessions.

5.         Participate in and contribute to other activities of the Division, as required.



Advanced university degree in economics, law, international relations or another relevant field.

Knowledge and Skills:

Technical knowledge and skills:

Knowledge of the requirements of WTO accession and the commitments involved in WTO Agreements is required.

Knowledge of WTO legal instruments and the Uruguay Round Multilateral and Plurilateral Trade Agreements is essential.

Analytical skills to research and organize background material.

Strong drafting skills, reflecting ability to communicate in a clear manner, to prepare and review briefs and reports on accession- and trade-related issues.

Behavioural skills:

Time management and prioritization skills; ability to meet strict deadlines within a dynamic work environment, working swiftly and accurately under the pressure of deadlines, while paying close attention to the detail.

Ability to communicate complex abstract ideas to an audience of informed people and understand ideas when communicated by others.

Ability to make fact-based presentations to knowledgeable specialised audiences.

Ability to work independently as well as cooperate with others in a diverse international setting as a member of a team. 

Political sensitivity and awareness; tact and diplomacy. Ability to initiate and build relationships with acceding governments, WTO members, and various types of stakeholders and partners.

Ability to adhere rigorously to rules of conduct ensuring confidentiality, impartiality and an absence of conflicts of interest.

Work Experience:

A minimum of two years of professional experience in the area of trade, accessions or  international relations in academia, Governmental Institutions and/or International Organisations.


Excellent English is required, including the ability to draft accurately, concisely and rapidly.  A good knowledge of at least one of the other two WTO working languages (French and Spanish) is an advantage.

English language is required at a level corresponding or equivalent to a minimum of C1 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)). Shortlisted candidates will be assessed on their language skills as part of the selection process and may be asked to provide proof of their language skills under a recognized framework (e.g. CEFR, IELTS, UN Language Proficiency Exam, etc.).

Additional Information:
Only applications from nationals of WTO Members will be accepted. 

The recruitment process will be undertaken as per Administrative Memorandum No. 976 (OFFICE(16)/15) on Staff Promotions and external recruitment through Vacancy Notices.

For non-entry level positions, the position may be offered at a lower grade if the selected candidate does not fully meet all the required qualifications. 

The initial fixed-term contract shall be two years, which shall be probationary, as per Administrative Memorandum No. 997 (OFFICE(23)/4) on Probation Policy.

The WTO may use various communication technologies such as video or teleconference for the assessment and evaluation of candidates. The recruitment process may also involve the use of various forms of testing, assessment centres, interviews and reference checks. 

Applicants may be required to sit a written examination. 

Applicants will be contacted directly if selected for an interview. 

Candidates not selected whose performance in the selection process nevertheless shows them to be suitable for a similar position may be kept on a roster for up to 24 months, and may subsequently be called upon as and when the need arises for additional resources.

All applicants are encouraged to apply online as soon as possible after the vacancy has been posted and well before the closing date – Geneva (Switzerland) time – stated in the vacancy announcement. 
The WTO is a non-smoking environment.

This vacancy is now closed.
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