Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Position: Senior Legal Officer for Convention on Biological Diversity, Montreal (Deadline: June 16, 2013)

Very Interesting Job Opportunity, though requires significant environmental/international experience.  I guess this must have Lyle Glowka's position, which he recently left.


Department/ Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station:    MONTREAL
Posting Period:   17 April 2013-16 June 2013
Job Opening number:    13-LEG-UNEP-26869-R-MONTREAL (X)

Org. Setting and Reporting
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the United Nations system's designated entity for addressing environmental issues at the global and regional level. Its mandate is to coordinate the development of environmental policy consensus by keeping the global environment under review and bringing emerging issues to the attention of governments and the international community for action. At the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, world leaders agreed on a comprehensive strategy for sustainable development. One of the key agreements adopted at Rio was the Convention on Biological Diversity. The Convention establishes three main goals: the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits from the use of genetic resources. In recent years the Conference of the Parties has adopted the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing and the Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. At its tenth meeting, in 2010, the Conference of the Parties also adopted the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) is located in Montreal and is administered by UNEP. This position is located in the UNEP, SCBD office at the Montreal duty station. Under the supervision of the Principal Officer, the incumbent will perform the following duties:

1. Development and implementation of Legal Regimes: a) Advise and provide technical support for the development and implementation of legal regimes under the Convention; b) Advise and provide technical support for the development of legal regimes under the Biosafety Protocol and the Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress; c) Prepare and up-date documents on national legislation and policies in the field of biological diversity and biosafety,  preparation of model legislation and guidelines and the compilation of case-studies and best-practices. 2. Monitor and review developments in international law and processes: a) Monitor trends in international law and development in relevant international processes and identify their implications; b) Undertake reviews of existing international and regional legal frameworks of relevance to the Convention and the Protocol; c) Liaise with relevant convention secretariats, the United Nations Office for Legal Affairs, the other relevant international organizations on key legal issues of relevance to the Convention and the Protocol. 3. General Legal Counsel Responsibilities: a) Provide legal advice to the Office of the Executive Secretary, Convention and Protocol bodies, and other Divisions of the Secretariat; b) Responsible for the implementation of the Host Government Agreement with the Government of Canada and the Entente with the Government of Quebec; c) Review and provide advice on the retirement and consolidation of the decisions; d) Monitor and advise on procedural matters regarding the conduct of meetings of the Conference of the Parties and its subsidiary bodies; e) Liaise with the United Nations Office for Legal Affairs on the ratification of and accession to the Convention and the Protocol, and the United Nations rules, procedures and practices;  f) provide legal advice on the drafting and signing of memorandums of cooperation between the Secretariat and other entities and host government agreements for meetings held outside headquarters. 4. Meeting and documentation: a) Organize and/or service meetings under the Convention and the Protocol; b) Prepare and/or contribute to the preparation of background documentation for the meetings under the Convention and the Protocols. 5. Other functions: a) Assign and review work of Programme Assistants; staff, consultants and interns; b) Perform any other duties as assigned.

Professionalism: Thorough knowledge of the work Programme of the SCBD and legal matters relating to biological diversity, the Convention and its Protocols, as well as general knowledge of international environmental law. Knowledge of procedural matters regarding the function of the Conference of the Parties and its subsidiary bodies. Knowledge of other relevant organization is required.
Planning and organization: demonstrated planning and organizational skills, especially ability to organize own work to handle multiple concurrent issues and activities and manage complex matters. Be able to work under pressure.
Communication: Excellent communications (spoken, written) to be able to exchange interpret decision and exchange, information on legal matters.
Leadership: Serves 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 improvements; does not accept the status quo; shows the courage to take unpopular stands.
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 whether the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision; makes tough decisions when necessary.

Advanced University degree in environmental law, international law, or other relevant discipline, preferably with specialization in legal issues or a first university degree with a relevant combination of professional and academic qualifications.

Work Experience:
A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience of which at least six years in an international legal context with a focus on environmental law. Experience in the United Nations system is desirable.

English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in oral and written English is required. Good working knowledge of French or other UN languages is desirable.

Assessment Method:
Evaluation of qualified candidates for this position may include a substantive assessment 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.

All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply online as soon as possible after the job opening has been posted and well before the deadline stated in the job opening. Online applications will be acknowledged where an email address has been provided.
If you do not receive an e-mail acknowledgement within 24 hours of submission, your application may not have been received. In such cases, please resubmit the application, if necessary. If the problem persists, please send an email to, quoting the job opening number in the subject header of your email.

United Nations Considerations
The United Nations shall place 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. (Charter of the United Nations - Chapter 3, article 8). The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

No Fee:

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