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JPO in Environmental Affairs


UNECE – United Nations Economic Commission for Europe


I. General Information

Post Title: JPO in Environmental Affairs

Sector of Assignment: Environmental Affairs

Organization/Office: United Nations / United Nations Economic Commission for Europe  (ECE), Environment Division, Operational Activities and Review Section

Location: Geneva, Switzerland

Duration: Two years with possibility of extension for another year. The extension of appointment is subject to yearly review concerning priorities, availability of funds, and satisfactory performance.

Please note that for participants of the JPO-Programme two years work experience are mandatory! Relevant work experience can be counted. In order to assess the eligibility of the candidates, we review the relevant experience acquired after obtaining the first university degree (usually bachelor’s degree).

II. Supervision

Title of Supervisor:

Environmental Performance Review Programme Manager

Content and methodology of supervision:

Establishment of a Work Plan: During the first month of the assignment, the Junior Professional Officer (JPO) will work jointly with his/her direct supervisor to finalize an agreed upon work plan. The final work plan will be discussed and mutually agreed to by the JPO and his/her supervisor.

Evaluation: The United Nations Performance Evaluation System (e-performance) will serve as a primary platform to evaluate of the JPO’s performance.

Direct feedback will be provided in regular meetings with the supervisor, as necessary. During the assignment, the level of responsibility and the complexity of the tasks to be carried out by the Junior Professional Officer will be gradually increased. As a fully integrated member of the Environment Division, s/he will be invited to participate in and contribute to different activities of the Division to maximize the learning elements.

III. Duties and Responsibilities

Within delegated authority, and under the supervision of the Environmental Performance Review (EPR) Programme Manager and the Operational Activities and Review Section Chief, the JPO will be responsible for the following duties:

  • Assist in assessing the most urgent environmental needs in Ukraine based upon the methodology of the ECE EPR Programme and on the results of ongoing and planned impacts assessments, and in making recommendations to advance a sustainable recovery of the country;
  • Assist also in planning and monitoring the implementation of EPRs in countries of the Caucasus, Central Asia and Eastern and South-Eastern Europe and interested countries in other regions, carry out research, undertake field missions and draft chapters on themes covered by EPRs;
  • Support the Environmental Monitoring and Assessment (EMA) Programme, including the implementation of relevant project activities.

In particular, the incumbent will:

  • Support, as necessary, the coordination of stakeholders engaged in assessing the environmental damage resulting from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and undertake mappings, evaluations and analyses of such assessments, including to identify the most significant environmental challenges to the country’s recovery and the restoration of damaged ecosystems. Explore and support the adaptation of the EPR methodology to provide a mechanism for assessing the most urgent environmental needs in Ukraine;
  • Analyse recommendations made by multiple actors on greening the economic recovery of Ukraine and reconstruction in the country. Participate in the development, communication and promotion of principles for a green recovery and reconstruction in Ukraine and in the promotion and prioritization of remediation measures for certain types of environmental damage. Support providing input to the Ukraine recovery conferences and process;
  • Under the EPR Programme, contribute to the analysis of environmental policy and management; evaluate frameworks of strategic management practices; carry out desk studies; carry out interviews in the reviewed country; crosscheck information and prepare recommendations; and participate in integrating or assembling the chapters of the report, and in verifying and harmonizing information and recommendations;
  • Under the EMA Programme, contribute to follow-up to decisions taken at the 9th Environment for Europe Ministerial Conference on environmental monitoring, assessment and reporting in support of informed policymaking. Participate in the regular assessment of the environmental state and trends in the region, and support member States in enhancing their monitoring and information systems and in production of high-quality data and indicators;
  • Prepare or contribute to the preparation of publications and other written reports, documents and communications (e.g., policy papers, meeting summaries, analytical reports, studies, background papers, parliamentary documents, briefings and correspondence), highlights, press releases and articles; and provide substantive input for updating website content and managing social media;
  • Assist in planning, organizing and servicing of meetings under the EPR and EMA programmes and provide support to intergovernmental processes dealing with environmental policy and management;
  • Represent the work section at international and other meetings; and prepare inputs to statements by secretariat staff to such meetings;
  • Perform other related duties as required, including a variety of administrative tasks necessary for the delivery of the section’s services;
  • Undertake on-the-job and other training activities, both internally and externally.

IV. Qualifications and Experience

Master’s degree
in environmental science, environmental economics, environmental management, environmental law, or another relevant discipline.

Work experience:

A minimum of two years of relevant work experience in Governmental service, research institutions or in international intergovernmental or non-governmental organizations, or the private sector on environment-related issues and/or sustainable development.


English and French are the working languages of the UN Secretariat. For this position, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of Russian and/or another official language of United Nations is an advantage.

Other skills:

Experience in using office, data analysis and geographical Information System software tools.

UN competencies:

PROFESSIONALISM: 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. Sound knowledge and in-depth understanding of environmental policy and management, sustainable development and the specific problems facing reviewed countries. Strong analytical capacity and ability to identify, analyse and articulate complex environmental issues; sound judgment; strong ability to evaluate and integrate information from a variety of sources, draw conclusions and assess environmental impact.

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.

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.

Workforce Diversity

The United Nations believes that an inclusive culture attracts the best talent and encourages all qualified applicants, regardless of gender, disability, sexual orientation, cultural or religious backgrounds, to apply.

V. Learning Elements

On completion of the assignment, the JPO will understand international negotiations, the servicing of United Nations bodies, the impacts of policy recommendations and advice, and the challenges faced by countries with economies in transition. S/he will have gained an understanding also of the administration and functioning of intergovernmental bodies. S/he will be able to coordinate with United Nations agencies and partner organizations. S/he will likely have improved her/his written, and possibly spoken, English having written reports and undertaken studies of technical and policy materials. S/he will also have had the opportunity to follow language courses in the UN official languages, computer and other relevant training courses that are available on UN premises (to be covered by the JPO training budget).

During the first year, the incumbent will become familiar with all relevant activities under the two ECE programmes, with the procedures for the organization and funding of missions and workshops. S/he will oversee the elaboration of capacity-building tools and activities and finalize related documents with limited supervision. S/he will compile information on environmental activities on the reviewed countries. S/he will have gained knowledge of the work of the secretariat of the two programmes. S/he should have become familiar with the systems for the management of information and have improved his/her English drafting skills, if necessary. S/he fully participates in the discussions, planning and work of the secretariat.

During the second (and possibly the third/fourth year), the JPO will be able to organize missions and workshops, including the finalization of related documents with minimal supervision. S/he monitors the implementation of activities and projects and undertakes the technical evaluation of the results of the activities. S/he makes suggestions on possible follow up action and initiates contacts with relevant organizations and countries. S/he autonomously replies to queries sent to the secretariat concerning capacity-building activities. S/he has gained experience in the organization and servicing of the relevant intergovernmental meetings and can represent on request the secretariat at meetings and other events.

VI. Background Information

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) was set up in 1947. It is one of five regional commissions of the United Nations. As a multilateral platform, ECE facilitates greater economic integration and cooperation among its 56 member countries and promotes sustainable development and economic prosperity through:

  • policy dialogue,
  • negotiation of international legal instruments,
  • development of regulations and norms,
  • exchange and application of best practices as well as economic and technical expertise,
  • technical cooperation for countries with economies in transition.

The approximately 250 staff of ECE are spread across the Office of the Executive Secretary and six substantive divisions. Over 60 staff work in the Environment Division, split between three sections, one of which is the Operational Activities and Review Section. This section comprises staff working on the EPR and EMA Programmes, environment and health, the Transport, Health and Environment Pan-European Programme (THE PEP) and other areas.

ECE is part of the UN family in Geneva, located in the historic Palais des Nations. Over 12,000 meetings are held at the Palais des Nations every year, each in different ways touching the lives of people around the globe. Geneva is home to the World Health Organization, the International Labour Organization, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the World Trade Organization, the Conference on Disarmament, the High Commissioner for Refugees and much more.

Bitte senden Sie Ihre JPO-Bewerbung direkt an das
Büro Führungskräfte zu Internationalen Organisationen (BFIO)
unter Angabe der Chiffre Nr. 2024-2-50 auf dem Bewerbungsbogen

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Büro Führungskräfte zu Internationalen Organisationen (BFIO)

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