Job description
Posting Title: SENIOR LIAISON OFFICER, P5 (Temporary Job Opening)
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: ADDIS ABABA
Deadline  14 October 2021
Job Opening Number: 21-Political Affairs-UNEP-163023-J-Addis Ababa (X)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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. UNEP’s Africa Office helps to implement UNEP’s global programs in the regions by initiating, coordinating and catalyzing regional and sub-regional cooperation and action in response to environmental problems and emergencies.

This position is located in the Regional Office for Africa at the Addis Ababa duty station. Under the supervision of the Director of UNEP’s Regional Office for Africa, and in close collaboration with UNEP’s relevant Divisions, Convention Secretariats and the Executive Office, the incumbent will perform the following duties:


1. Develop policy linkages between UNEP and the African Union (AU) and its individual component institutions: Develop strategic linkages with the AU Commission, particularly mechanisms for integrating UNEP contribution to the work of the relevant organs; Keep under review the AU agenda and programmes in light of AU’s development and UNEP priorities together with the implementation of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD); Establish mechanisms for policy exchange between UNEP and AU/AU’s component institutions; Prepare briefs and organize meetings for the UNEP Executive Director and AU senior officials, organize public hearings, present UNEP’s work and special events; Promote and facilitate co-coordinated follow-up on joint decisions by AU and UNEP.

2. Promote and facilitate the development of joint programmes with the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA): Develop UNEP policy and priorities towards ECA’s and vice-versa; Ensure co-ordination of joint activities with the ECA; Maintain regular dialogue with relevant ECA officers; Propose and develop projects, agreements and joint initiatives as appropriate in light of policy developments; Monitor the implementation of joint activities, anticipating and solving problems; Regularly update the Review of Co-operation between UNEP and ECA, ensuring its widest relevant circulation.

3. Undertake information gathering and networking: Gather information on new developments in African environmental policies and initiatives; Set up and maintain a network of regular contacts with relevant organizations and Ethiopian Government Officials; Act as the Liaison Officer for UNEP’s relations with government representatives of the AU and a Primary liaison between UNEP’s office in Addis Ababa and the Ethiopian Government; Represent UNEP at meetings of AU/its component institutions, at meetings of ECA and the Ethiopian Government, and the United Nations Country Team in Ethiopia; Maintain information flow between UNEP and the Addis Ababa based institutions and organizations; Increase, inter alia through media activities, UNEP’s visibility in Addis Ababa.

4. Liaise closely with the Chair of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) and others by providing assistance in the preparation, documentation and logistics for meetings of the Conference.

5. Perform any other relevant duties as required by the Regional Director.


PROFESSIONALISM: Knowledge of environment and sustainable development issues and a clear vision of UNEP’s role at the national and regional levels; Ability to establish and maintain productive partnerships, resolve complex and politically sensitive issues with governments and cooperating institutions; Discretion and sound judgement in applying expertise to complex and sensitive issues; Ability to identify clients’ needs and develop appropriate solutions.

COMMUNICATION: Highly developed communication skills (spoken, written, public speaking and presentation), including the ability to explain and present sensitive issues/positions and prepare clear, concise and meaningful reports on short notice.

TEAMWORK: Strong interpersonal skills, ability to operate effectively across organizational boundaries; Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.

LEADERSHIP: Establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; Ability to develop strategies and empower others to accomplish objectives and solve problems; Demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.

MANAGING PERFORMANCE: Ability to appraise performance fairly and mentor staff; Delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision-making authority;
Accurately judges the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a task and matches


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in Political Science, International Affairs, Environmental Sciences or related area is required. A first-level university degree 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 progressive experience in environmental/natural resources management, environmental policy development or related field is required.
Three (3) years, of the ten (10) years, experience at the international level is required.
Experience in liaising with other UN agencies, inter-governmental organizations and non-governmental organizations is desirable.
Experience in resource mobilization is desirable.
Experience in implementing country-level or organizational environmental policies, guidelines and standards is desirable.


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

NOTE: ‘Fluency’ equals a rating of ‘fluent’ in all four areas (speak, read, write and understand) and ‘Knowledge of’ equals a rating of ‘confident’ in two of the four areas.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.

Special Notice

This position is temporarily available for a duration of 364 days. If the selected candidate is a staff member from the United Nations Secretariat, the selection will be administered as a temporary assignment.
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.

While this temporary assignment may provide the successful applicant with an opportunity to gain new work experience, the selection for this position is for a limited period and has no bearing on the future incumbency of the post.

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

Internal Applicants – when completing the PHP, ensure ALL fields, ALL professional experience and contact information are completed and up to date. This information is the basis for the hiring manager to assess your eligibility and suitability for the position and to contact you.

Individual Contractors and Consultants who have worked within the UN Secretariat in the last six months, irrespective of the administering entity, are ineligible to apply for or be appointed to any professional and higher temporary or fixed-term positions, within six months of the end of their current or most recent service. For such positions, at least six months need to have elapsed between the end of a consultancy or individual contract and the time of application and consideration for an appointment as a staff member under the Staff Rules and Regulations of the United Nations.

All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply on-line as soon as possible after the job opening has been posted and well before the deadline stated in the job opening. On-line 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. If the problem persists, please seek technical assistance through the Inspira “Need Help?” link.

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.

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.

No Fee