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.
The position is located in the Office of the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The incumbent provides direct support to the Executive Secretary. For more information about ECA, please visit the website at www.uneca.org
Within delegated authority, the Senior Staff Assistant will be responsible for the following duties:
•Serve as the primary communication link between the Executive Secretary and senior staff both at Headquarters and the Sub-regional offices; on behalf of supervisor, keep others informed by conveying directives, reports, status updates and other relevant information as well as bringing sensitive and urgent matters to the attention of the Executive Secretary in a timely and accurate manner;
•Serve as first point of contact and liaison with senior officials internally and externally. Liaise with relevant officials (including senior officials) and ensure the timely preparation and submission to the Executive Secretary of reports, talking points and briefing papers;
•Take full responsibility for the time management and scheduling of the Executive Secretary's calendar of appointments by carefully evaluating prospective appointments in respect of ranks, affiliations and subject matter to be discussed with the Executive Secretary, scheduling appointments mindful of the Executive Secretary's workload and protocol requirements with appropriate consultation as required; effectively prioritize and resolve related conflicts and competing demands; ensure that subject matter materials relevant to the Executive Secretary’s meetings are prepared and submitted in a timely manner;
•Screen and prioritize all incoming correspondence and all telephone calls/inquiries with tact and discretion and direct calls to officials under whose competence a particular call/inquiry falls; compile relevant background documents and references; identify issues requiring the Executive Secretary's attention and refer others to relevant officer for appropriate disposition; monitor and follow-up on actions to be taken;
•Organize all administrative requirements with respect to the Executive Secretary's official travels by making travel arrangements, ensuring valid travel documents such as visas and laissez-passer; Ensure that all concerned are informed of the Executive Secretary's travel/visit and scheduled activities;
•Compile and analyze basic data from a variety of sources (including Umoja and Unite Docs), summarizing and presenting conclusions for review by manager;
•Support the Executive Secretary in presentations to intergovernmental bodies and other meetings, researching issues, preparing briefing notes, slides and subject files, gathering relevant documentation, etc.;
•Organize official receptions, meetings, etc., handling all necessary arrangements (e.g. room reservations, guest/participant lists, invitations, catering, seating arrangements, background documentation, special equipment, etc.);
•Exercise quality control function for all outgoing documents; proofread and edit texts for adherence for format, grammar, punctuation and style. Ensure that correspondence emanating from the Divisions/Offices for the Executive Secretary's signature as well as talking points, profiles and briefing notes conform to the established format;
•Assist in the overall administration of the office, i.e. provide substantive and administrative support in managing priorities and work flow of the Executive Secretary and the office; coordinate and monitor multiple and diverse activities and work processes to ensure that management directives and decisions are properly carried out and products delivered in a timely manner;
•Independently handle a wide range of complex information requests and inquiries (e.g. answer requests requiring file or other research); respond, or draft responses, to a diverse range of correspondence and other communications;
•Establish/improve administrative procedures and systems to ensure smooth functioning of the office, including filing (paper and electronic) systems;
•Prepare, process and classify confidential information; - Use standard word processing package to produce a wide variety of large, complex documents and reports;
•Manage, update and further develop internal databases; update website; generate a variety of standard and non-standard statistical and other reports from various databases;
•Perform other duties as assigned.
Professionalism: Knowledge of general office and administrative support including administrative policies, processes and procedures. 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.
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.
Accountability: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments; delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards; operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable
High school diploma or equivalent is required. Additional studies in the area of administration are highly desirable.
A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience in general office support or related areas is required.
Experience working for senior officials in an international organization is required.
Experience in handling sensitive and confidential information is required.
Experience involving contact with diplomatic personnel is required. Experience in making travel arrangements is desirable.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of French is desirable.
Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.
Recruitment for this position is done on a local basis, whether or not the candidate is a resident at the duty station. Passing the Global General Service Test (GGST) is a prerequisite for recruitment consideration in the General Services category in the United Nations. External candidates will be responsible for any travel expenses incurred in order to take the GGST examination and, in the event of an employment offer, any cost related to travel and relocation to the duty station on appointment and separation. The candidate will also be responsible to obtain any visas and work permits in order to take up the appointment. If selected, external candidates will be recruited on a local basis and would not be entitled to international benefits. Candidates who are short-listed for this position will be scheduled to sit for the GGST at a later date.
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.
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.
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.
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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