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Sustainable Development Officer, P-4
DATE OF ISSUANCE:   26 Jan 2005
ORGANIZATIONAL UNIT:   Department of Economic and Social Affairs

Depending on professional background, experience and family situation, a competitive compensation and benefits package is offered.
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United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
Under the overall supervision and guidance of the Chief of the Programme Coordination, Major Groups and Partnerships Branch of the Division for Sustainable Development (DSD), the incumbent will be responsible for the following: 1. Coordinating the Division's work related to the effective consideration of regional and sub-regional inputs to the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development's (CSD) implementation cycles, by : (i) organizing regional sessions during CSD, in collaboration with UN Regional Commissions, on the follow-up on the implementation of Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI), ensuring a coordinated approach, and coordinating the drafting of regional sections of the CSD Chair's summary; (ii) collaborating with Regional Commissions to organize their regional implementation meetings and other relevant activities in supporting implementation of Agenda 21 and the JPOI at the regional level and contributing to the work of the Commission on Sustainable Development; assessing outcomes of regional implementation meetings and ensuring timely input into the CSD preparatory process; (iii) monitoring regional implementation and providing substantive advice to the regional commissions related to sustainable development and intergovernmental issues; (iv) liaising and collaborating with regional commissions, UN agencies and their regional bureaux, Secretariats of Conventions, non-UN entities and others on various issues relating to sustainable development; (v) ensuring that regional information relevant to the CSD implementation cycles is kept up-to-date on DSD's website. 2. Supporting inter-governmental deliberative processes by: (i) providing substantive support to the Commission on Sustainable Development, as well as relevant Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and General Assembly (GA)sessions on issues relating to the implementation of Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation; (ii) coordinating side events at CSD sessions and at other official events for which DSD has responsibility; (iii) preparing a variety of studies, reports, background papers, parliamentary and other documentation on sustainable development issues and on regional implementation. 3. Planning, organizing and providing substantive servicing to ad hoc expert group meetings, workshops, seminars, and conferences, etc. for promoting the implementation of Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, including identification and selection of participants, development of background documentation, preparation of reports, documents, recommendations based on the results. 4. Formulating policy advice and coordinating inputs on regional implementation to the Secretary-General's reports, including ensuring all regional and sub-regional inputs reflecting best practices, case studies and lessons learned are considered, while identifying emerging issues. 5. Serving as the Division's Regional Focal Point for the implementation of Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, by: (i) representing the Division and Branch at international, regional and national fora and presenting the Department's and UN's views and policies; and (ii) monitoring developments in all regions of the world regarding the implementation of Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation. 6. Providing substantive support to the work of the Branch and Division by: (i) participating in planning and preparation of programme budget proposals for the Branch and its work programme and cost plans and allotments for extrabudgetary activities; (ii) preparing briefing notes, presentations and statements for the Chief of Branch, Director of DSD, Under-Secretary-General of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) as required; (iii) preparing funding proposals to prospective donor countries to enhance and support Branch activities; (iv) representing the Division at meetings, and providing briefings to public interest groups on the work of the Division and CSD and related activities.

Professionalism: Excellent grasp of the key policy issues in sustainable development and major trends in sustainable development; Solid knowledge of the various components of the economic, social affairs and environmental programme of the United Nations; Solid knowledge of the programmes and activities of the UN system in implementing Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation and the major actors; Sound knowledge of the role of the Commission on Sustainable Development and its secretariat in relation to regional commissions and other regional institutions in advancing the implementation of Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation; Proven analytical skills in sustainable development issues. Planning and organizing: Proven ability to plan and organize own work, manage conflicting priorities and work under pressure; Ability to coordinate inputs from a wide variety of sources and synthesize those inputs into a well constructed brief; Ability to plan, organize and service intergovernmental bodies and technical meetings or workshops, seminars; Proven ability to successfully plan, coordinate, organize and effectively manage, simultaneously and under pressure, a variety of activities/events at meetings/conferences that bring together numerous stakeholders, for example organizing Functional Commission side events; Ability to coordinate the work of others. Communications: Very good communication abilities (both oral and written); Technological Awareness: Proficiency in computer applications including use of the Internet, word processing, and spreadsheet packages. Teamwork: Excellent interpersonal skills; Proven ability to work in collaboration with other colleagues to achieve common goals and to lead and gain assistance of others in a team endeavour; Ability to establish and maintain effective working relations with people in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment, with sensitivity and respect for diversity. Client Orientation: Proven ability to establish and maintain excellent working relationships with counterparts both inside and outside the organization, including representatives of member States, major groups and other relevant actors, and demonstrated diplomacy and tact.


Advanced University degree (Masters degree or equivalent) in economics or other related social sciences. A first level university degree with a relevant combination of academic qualifications and experience in sustainable development may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience
At least seven years of progressive national/international experience related to sustainable development and policy analysis and intergovernmental processes. Practical experience in providing substantive services to intergovernmental bodies in the economic and social fields or practical experience representing a member state in an intergovernmental organ is required. Practical experience in undertaking activities in collaboration with entities of the UN system as well as other partners is required. Experience in networking with national representatives in intergovernmental fora, regional institutions or other stakeholders outside own organization is required. Experience in working with a wide range of professionals and United Nations officials as well as external clients is required.

English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of another official language an asset.

Other Skills
Knowledge of relevant institutional mandates, policies and guidelines pertaining to sustainable development and knowledge of the institutions and processes of the UN system is desirable.

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).   English and French are the two working languages of the United Nations Secretariat.  The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.



How to apply

All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply online as soon as possible after the vacancy has been posted and well before the deadline stated in the vacancy announcement. Because applications submitted by United Nations (UN) staff members are considered first, provided the eligibility requirements set out in ST/AI/2006/3 are met and the application is submitted in a timely fashion, staff members should apply within 15-day or 30-day mark.

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    Fax: 1-917-367-0524

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