Precursors Expert

  • Added Date: Tuesday, 17 September 2019
  • Deadline Date: Wednesday, 16 October 2019

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Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the Precursors Control Section (PRE) of the Secretariat of the International Narcotics Control Board (SINCB) in the Division for Treaty Affairs (DTA), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in Vienna. The Precursors Expert will work under the direct supervision of the Senior Technical Adviser and receive overall guidance from the Chief, Precursors Control Section, SINCB.

For more information on INCB, please please visit our website:


Within limits of delegated authority and in line with provisions of the project, the Precursors Expert is accountable for the implementation and fulfilment of key objectives of the global project. In particular, the Precursors Expert will be responsible for the following tasks:

• Develop, coordinate and evaluate specific international initiatives addressing the diversion of precursor chemicals and recommend actions by both, SINCB and Governments.

• Support Governments’ operational activities under specific international initiatives. Facilitate exchange of information and intelligence to support related follow-up investigations conducted by Governments, including into suspicious shipments in legitimate trade and reported cases of diversion. Support backtracking investigations.

• Carry out the ongoing review, monitoring and analysis of developments and trends in the licit trade in and trafficking of precursor chemicals at the national, regional and global levels with a view to evaluating Governments’ implementation of the provisions of articles 12 and 13 of the 1988 Convention and the implications/ weaknesses identified in global monitoring initiatives.

• Research, analyze and present information gathered from diverse sources. Organize and prepare a variety of written outputs, e.g., background papers, analyses, sections of reports and studies, inputs to publications, briefing notes, presentations, correspondence with Governments, etc.

• Assess and improve methods for the collection and analysis of information related to the diversion of chemicals, in particular through the utilization and further development of the existing databank and the Precursors Incident Communication System (PICS).

• Coordinate project GLO565 in a timely and efficient manner, including grants and financial management, project and budget revisions, reporting, monitoring and evaluation, in compliance with organizational regulations and rules. Identify problems and issues to be addressed and initiate corrective actions. Liaise with relevant parties and ensure follow-up actions.

• Contribute to mobilizing policy and funding support for the project.

• Guide and coordinate the work of assigned project staff, including consultants, and co-ordinate work of the staff towards the goals set in the project.

• Participate as a resource person in technical working groups, inter-agency task forces, workshops, seminars and training courses. Provide substantive backstopping to consultative and other meetings, conferences, etc., to include proposing agenda topics, identifying participants, preparation of documents and presentations, delivering presentations on assigned topics/activities.

• Lead and/or participate in complex technical and fact-finding missions, including provision of guidance to counterparts, government officials and other parties and drafting mission summaries.

• Advise in the organization and/or delivery of specialized technical services for Governments in order to assist with their implementation of the provisions of articles 12 and 13 of the 1988 Convention as well as the provisions of resolutions of the UN’s subsidiary bodies relating to precursors control.

• Advise Governments and other counterparts on the programmes of work, policies and strategies in assigned areas of precursors control and in the implementation of relevant resolutions of CND (Commission on Narcotic Drugs) and ECOSOC.

• Perform other work-related duties as required.


• Professionalism: Has good knowledge and understanding of the theories, concepts and approaches relevant to precursors control and related trends, including control and monitoring measures applied at the national and regional level. Has knowledge of policies and practices in international drug control and crime prevention, as well as the mandates of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the International Narcotics Control Board. Has strong conceptual, analytical and evaluative skills to conduct independent research and analysis. Is able to identify key issues, opportunities and risks and to analyze and participate in the resolution of issues/problems. Has proven ability to communicate effectively with government officials. Has very good research skills, knowledge and experience in the use of various research and data collection methodologies and sources, including electronic sources on the internet, intranet and other databases. Is able to apply good judgment in the context of assignments given and to provide effective specialized advice. Has demonstrated project management skills. 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.

• 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.

• Planning & Organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates 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.


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in international relations, law, political or social sciences, economics, statistics, public administration, chemistry or other related field is required. A first-level university degree in similar fields in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible professional work experience in drug or chemical/precursor control at the national or international level is required.
Solid experience in project/programme management, administration or related area is required.
Work experience with United Nations or similar international organization is highly desirable.
Experience with governmental control mechanisms in respect of drugs or precursor chemicals is desirable.
Operational or work experience in international criminal investigations, law enforcement and/or regulatory matters is desirable.
Experience with SAP-based ERP systems, such as UMOJA, especially for grants and project management is desirable.
Experience with other specialized software (such as desktop publishing and graphic design) is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this position, fluency in English, including good drafting ability, is required. Knowledge of another United Nations official language is desirable.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise and a competency-based interview.

Special Notice

This is a project post. The initial appointment will be for a period of one year. An extension of the appointments is subject to the availability of the funds.

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 is Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

Vienna is classified as a H and a family duty station.

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.

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 archived.

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