This position is located in the English Unit, Meetings Coverage Section, Coverage and Media Services Branch of the News and Media Division. Overall guidance is provided by the Chief of Section, and direct supervision by a Senior Editor. The Meetings Coverage Section produces press release summaries, in English and French, of official meetings and other United Nations events at Headquarters and at overseas conferences. This position is available for an initial period of three months, starting 1 March 2018, with the possibility of further extension.
Within delegated authority, the Associate Press Officer will be responsible for the following:
• Covering meetings of the General Assembly and its Main Committees, along with other major bodies of the United Nations, as a member of a two-person coverage team that produces a speaker-by-speaker account of the meeting topped by a lead that summarizes the proceedings and highlights the most newsworthy aspects;
• Knowing political sensitivities of Member States and therefore ensuring political comments, even if obscurely stated, are not omitted from press release reportage of a debate;
• Covering such meetings alone, occasionally, when such single coverage is decided upon by an editor; the selected candidate must be able to take statements from the floor by listening to a speaker and summarizing what is being said while the meeting is in progress;
• Covering press conferences given by top United Nations officials, Member States and non-governmental organizations and summarizing them, highlighting the most newsworthy elements;
• Researching, summarizing and preparing, on the basis of official UN documentation and other sources, drafts of backgrounders on specific topics or themes related to major meetings or conferences;
• Must be able to contribute to spreading of the United Nations message through fast, clear, accurate and mistake-free coverage of intergovernmental meetings at the Headquarters;
• Accurately reporting in order that the press release is issued expeditiously;
• Performing other duties as assigned.
Professionalism – Ability to cover intergovernmental meetings and produce a clear, concise, mistake-free speaker-by-speaker account(s) of meetings. Ability to create a lead, summarize the meeting and highlight the most newsworthy elements. Possess understanding of a wide-range of political issues and how writing about such issues must be perceived by all sides as fair and objective. Ability to research and analyse complex international issues and quickly grasp their essentials. Ability to meet daily news deadlines and work well under stress. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas. 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.
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 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.
A first-level university degree in communications, journalism, international relations, political science or related field.
A minimum of two years of progressively responsible experience in public information, journalism, international relations, political science or a related area. Writing under daily deadlines is required. Experience in journalistic writing, editing and live coverage of intergovernmental meetings is desirable.
No experience is required for candidates who have passed the Young Professionals Programme Examination/United Nations National Competitive Recruitment Examination (NCRE) or the General Service to Professional Examination (G to P).
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this post, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of a second official United Nations language is an advantage.
Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.
•This temporary job opening is subject to the availability of the post.
•Subject to the funding source of the position, this temporary job opening may be limited to candidates based at the duty station.
•A current staff member who holds a fixed-term, permanent or continuing appointment may apply for temporary positions no more than one level above his or her current grade. However, a current staff member who holds an appointment at the G-6 or G-7 level may also apply to temporary positions in the Professional category up to and including the P-3 level, subject to meeting all eligibility and other requirements for the position. A staff member holding a temporary appointment shall be regarded as an external candidate when applying for other positions, and may apply for other temporary positions at any level, subject to section 5.7 below and staff rule 4.16 (b) (ii). Therefore, a staff member holding a temporary appointment in the General Service or related categories may only apply to positions within those categories. For full information on eligibility requirements, please refer to section 5 of ST/AI/2010/4Rev.1 on Temporary Appointments. In its resolution 66/234, the General Assembly further “stressed that the Secretary-General should not recur to the practice of temporarily filling posts in the Professional and higher categories with General Service staff members who have not passed the General Service to Professional category examination other than on an exceptional basis, and requests the Secretary-General to ensure that temporary occupation of such posts by the General Service staff shall not exceed a period of one year, effective 1 January 2013…” Consequently, eligible candidates in the General Service or related categories for temporary job openings in the Professional category that have not passed the competitive examination may be selected only on an exceptional basis endorsed by the Office of Human Resources Management where no other suitable candidate could be identified.
•Upon separation from service, including, but not limited to, expiration or termination of, or resignation from, a fixed-term, continuing or permanent appointment, a former staff member will be ineligible for re-employment on the basis of a temporary appointment for a period of 31 days following the separation. In the case of separation from service on retirement, a former staff member will be ineligible for re-employment for a period of three months following the separation. This equally applies, mutatis mutandis, with respect to a former or current staff member who has held or holds an appointment in another entity applying the United Nations Staff Regulations and Rules and who applies for a temporary position with the Secretariat.
•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. An external candidate selected for this position is bound by the prevailing condition of the staff selection system under ST/AI/2010/3, as amended, and ST/AI/2010/4/Rev.1. A staff member holding a temporary appointment who is recruited in the Professional and above categories on a temporary appointment, and placed on a position authorized for one year or longer may not apply for or be reappointed to his/her current position within six months of the end of his/her current service. This provision does not apply to staff members holding temporary appointments and placed on positions authorized for one year or more in duty stations authorized for peacekeeping operations or special political missions.
•The expression “Internal candidates”, shall mean staff members who have been recruited after a competitive examination under staff rule 4.16 or after the advice of a central review body under staff rule 4.15.
•Please note that candidates will be required to meet the requirements of Article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter as well as the requirements of the position. The United Nations is committed to the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity for all its human resources, including but not limited to respect for international human rights and humanitarian law. Candidates may be subject to screening against these standards, including but not limited to whether they have committed, or are alleged to have committed criminal offences and/or violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.
•For information on special post allowance, please refer to ST/AI/1999/17. For more details on the administration of temporary appointments please refer to ST/AI/2010/4/Rev.1.
•The Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and administrative issuances governing staff appointments can be viewed at: http://www.un.org/hr_handbook/English
United Nations Considerations
Candidates will be required to meet the requirements of Article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter as well as the requirements of the position. The United Nations is committed to the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity for all its human resources, including but not limited to respect for international human rights and humanitarian law. Candidates may be subject to screening against these standards, including but not limited to whether they have committed, or are alleged to have committed criminal offences and/or violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.
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.
Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the At-a-Glance on "The Application Process" and the Instructional Manual for the Applicants, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of inspira account-holder homepage.
Applications are pre-screened by the system according to the published requirements of the job opening on the basis of the information provided in the application. In relation to the requirements of the job opening, applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their qualifications, including their education, work experience, and language skills. Each applicant must bear in mind that submission of incomplete or inaccurate applications may render that applicant ineligible for consideration for the job opening. Initial screening and evaluation of applications will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted. Applications cannot be amended following submission. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to a reference-checking process to verify the information provided in the application.
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