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Legal Officer

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United Nations Jobs: Legal Officer in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

  • Duty Station: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • Posting Period: 26 February 2020 – 10 April 2020

Org. Setting and Reporting

Established by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations (UN) in 1958 as one of the UN’s five regional commissions, ECA’s mandate is to promote the economic and social development of its member States, foster intra-regional integration, and promote international cooperation for Africa’s development. Made up of 54 member States, and playing a dual role as a regional arm of the UN and as a key component of the African institutional landscape, ECA is well positioned to make unique contributions to address the Continent’s development challenges. The strategic objective of ECA is framed around delivering ideas and actions for an empowered, inclusive and transformed Africa in the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Agenda 2063 of the African Union through its three core functions, namely, its function as a think tank, its convening function and its operational function.

This position is located in the Office of the Executive Secretary (OES) at the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Legal Officer reports to the Secretary to the Commission.

Your missions as Legal Officer at the UN

Within limits of delegated authority, the Legal Officer would be responsible for the following duties: 

  • Handle a range of issues related to constitutional, international, public, private, administrative law, including the interpretation and application of constitutive, legislative and other instruments governing United Nations activities and operations, in consultation with senior Legal Officers. 
  • Conduct extensive legal research and analysis and prepare studies, briefs, reports and correspondence. 
  • Undertake extensive review of legal documents, instruments, or other material. 
  • Prepare or assist in the preparation of drafts of background papers, studies, reports, legislative texts and commentaries on those texts. 
  • Prepare or assist in the preparation of legal opinions/advice on a wide range of public international or private law issues, involving, inter alia, issues relating to the United Nations Charter. General Assembly resolutions, privileges and immunities, institutional questions, treaty law and practice, procedural issues arising during meetings of United Nations organs, constitutional and administrative law of the Organization. 
  • Prepare draft host country, conference and other agreements, and other legal texts and instruments required for the conduct of institutional or operational activities carried out by of the ECA, 
  • Service, or assist senior colleagues in servicing, conferences, commissions, committees, task forces, expert groups and other bodies, including preparation of background materials, summaries of issues and views of delegations, meeting reports, etc. 
  • Prepares or assists in the preparation of agreements and contracts with governments, NGOs and other public and private entities, as well as in the negotiation and settlement of claims and disputes and in handling private international law and international trade law matters.
  • Assists in representing the Organization before the UN Dispute Tribunal and the UN Appeals Tribunal and other tribunals or administrative proceedings, including disciplinary cases; 
  • Provides legal advice on human resources and administrative matters; 
  • Prepare or assist with the preparation of seminars and symposia, lecture on various legal issues at such events. 
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Job requirements

Professionalism: Knowledge of public international law, including the Charter of the United Nations and the law of privileges and immunities; Familiarity with the institutions and organization of the UN system; Analytical skills and ability to conduct legal research on a range of relatively complex and intricate issues; Proficiency in legal drafting and ability to draft clearly and well under time pressure; Ability to apply good legal judgment in the context of assignments given; Negotiating skills; 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.

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.

Education

Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in law with emphasis in the area of public international law. 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 five years of progressively responsible experience in law with emphasis in Public International Law is required.
  • Experience in legal analysis, research and writing is required.
  • A minimum of two years as an advocate/litigator before courts and tribunals is required.
  • Experience working in the United Nations or other comparable international organizations is desirable.

Languages

Fluency in one of the working languages of the UN Secretariat, English or French, (both oral and written) is required; knowledge of the other is desirable. Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage

Assessment

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

Special Notice

The United Nations is Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance 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 2019, are strongly encouraged to apply: Afghanistan, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Belize, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Central African Republic, China, Comoros, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Mozambique, Nauru, Norway, Oman, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Suriname, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Vanuatu, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

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.

An impeccable record for integrity and professional ethical standards is essential. All staff of the Ethics Office are required to submit a financial disclosure statement upon appointment and annually thereafter.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee

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.

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