Org. Setting and Reporting
This position is located within the International Trade Law Division (ITLD), Office of Legal Affairs (OLA), which serves as a substantive Secretariat to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) and is based in Vienna. The incumbent reports to the Principal Legal Officer heading the Legislative Unit, which provides the substantive secretariat services to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) and its subsidiary bodies, as first reporting Officer, and to the Director of the Division as second reporting Officer.
For more information, please visit: https://uncitral.un.org/ .
Within assigned authority, the Senior Legal Officer will be responsible for the following duties:
• Provide services to UNCITRAL sessions and act as secretary of one or more working groups; draw up portions of draft reports for adoption at the conclusion of Commission and working group sessions.
• Direct the work in one or more substantive areas of the work programme of the Commission; consult with outside experts and officials of other organizations working in that area.
• Supervise one or more legal officers responsible for elements of a subject or for drafts of reports, draft instruments and commentaries; review drafts submitted to him/her; conduct research on particularly difficult issues with a view to devising solutions acceptable to countries with different legal, social and economic systems; finalize the drafting of legal instruments, such as draft conventions, model laws, model agreements, legal guides and various other legal texts; prepare commentaries on those texts.
• As requested, provide legislative assistance to Member States, in particular developing States, with respect to the enactment in domestic legislation of the texts that emanate from the work of UNCITRAL; provide any other legislative drafting assistance as may be requested by Member States in the context of law reform projects aimed at modernizing commercial law in that country (to that end, consult with senior Ministry officials in Member States).
• Coordinate the work of various agencies that, inside and outside the United Nations system, engage in the preparation of legal texts governing international trade (to that end, consult with senior officials in international organizations); keep abreast of any developments in those regional and specialized international organizations regarding harmonization of international trade law; maintain a constant link between those bodies to ensure consistency with the texts prepared by the Commission.
• Lecture at seminars and symposia on international trade law; provide substantive inputs into training materials and activities organized either by UNCITRAL or by other organizations in different countries; supervise the organization of regional or national symposia and seminars; promote the adoption and use of UNCITRAL legal texts by explaining them to government officials, legal practitioners, chambers of commerce and other users.
• Perform other work-related duties as assigned.
PROFESSIONALISM: Has expert knowledge of international trade law. Has knowledge of the substantive field of work in general and of specific areas being supervised. Is able to produce reports and papers on technical issues and to review and edit the work of others. Has diplomatic skills to lecture to expert audiences and ability to manage international meetings. Is able to apply United Nations rules, regulations, policies and guidelines in work situations. 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.
ACCOUNTABILITY: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments; delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards; operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.
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.
MANAGING PERFORMANCE: Delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision-making authority; makes sure that roles, responsibilities and reporting lines are clear to each staff member; accurately judges the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a task and matches task to skills; monitors progress against milestones and deadlines; regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff; encourages risk-taking and supports creativity and initiative; actively supports the development and career aspirations of staff; appraises performance fairly.
JUDGEMENT/DECISION-MAKING: Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly; gathers relevant information before making a decision; considers positive and negative impacts of decisions prior to making them; takes decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the Organization; proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information; checks assumptions against facts; determines that the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision; makes tough decisions when necessary.
An advanced university degree in law (Master’s degree or equivalent), with specialization in commercial, comparative or private international law is required. A first-level university degree in similar fields like commercial, comparative or private international law in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.Work Experience
A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible professional experience in commercial law, comparative law, international trade law or a related field, including several years at the international level is required.
Experience in providing policy-making and other substantive support to government or intergovernmental bodies is desirable.
Experience in dealing with United Nations policies, procedures and operations is desirable.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of French is desirable. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is an advantage.
Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise and a competency-based interview.Special Notice
This position is vacant due to the temporary assignment/secondment of the regular incumbent to another office/organization until July 2022. The selection and extension of appointment of the selected candidate will be contingent on the return of the incumbent who maintains a lien against this post. If the selected candidate is an internal staff member of the UN Secretariat, the selection will be recorded as a temporary assignment.
Staff members of the United Nations Secretariat must fulfill the lateral move(s) requirements, or geographical to be eligible to apply for this vacancy. Staff members are requested to indicate all qualifying lateral or geographical move(s) in their Personal History Profile (PHP) and cover note.
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.
At the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the recruitment and employment of 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.
The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance and geographical diversity in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.
For this position, applicants from the following Member States, which are unrepresented or underrepresented in the UN Secretariat as of 30 November 2020, are strongly encouraged to apply: Afghanistan, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Belize, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, China, Comoros, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Japan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Norway, Oman, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Republic of Korea,Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Suriname, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Vanuatu, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
Vienna is classified in the H category and as 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.
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.