Org. Setting and Reporting
This position is located in the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General within the Executive Office of the Secretary-General. The incumbent reports to the Spokesperson.
The Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General provides information to the media on the activities of the UN system as a whole through daily briefings, direct responses to media enquiries, press conferences, background briefings and interviews with the Secretary-General, the Deputy Secretary-General and other senior officials. The Office provides advice on media relations to the Secretary-General, the Deputy Secretary-General and senior Secretariat officials. The Office also keeps the Secretary-General regularly informed of major breaking news stories around the world.
Under the direct supervision of the Spokesperson and/or Deputy Spokesperson, the incumbent will be responsible for the following duties:
• Responsible for in-depth and daily coverage of a specific region of the world, thematic issue as they relate to the UN's programme of work and specific UN peacekeeping and/or peacebuilding relations; acts as focal point on specific issues, monitoring, and reporting on political, social, economic and humanitarian developments, responding to inquiries, etc.
• Monitors any breaking news which might affect the Organization, selects stories for inclusion in the product 'Spokesperson's alert and daily headlines' which is distributed to the Secretary-General, Deputy Secretary-General and other senior UN advisers;
• Drafts notes to be read at the Spokesperson's daily press briefing; rotates responsibility for drafting a daily summary of the noon briefing and posts on website; drafts the product 'Week ahead' - a planning tool used by journalists regarding noteworthy events throughout the UN for the following 7 days;
• Establishes and maintains contacts with desk officers in a number of Secretariat departments, United Nations programmes and agencies, in order to gather information on subjects under incumbent's area of responsibility and offers advice on dealing with the media;
• Follows Security Council deliberations as they relate to incumbent's specific area of responsibility;
• Provides and manages content for social media platforms;
• Gives on and off-the-record interviews in English and/or in another language as required;
• Anticipates questions and drafts corresponding answers in preparation for any possible press encounters by the Secretary-General;
• Availability to travel with the Secretary-General as a Spokesperson and participates in the roster of late duty officer in the Office.
Professionalism: Must have a refined news sense and the ability to draw on a wide breadth of knowledge concerning current affairs and the role and policies of the United Nations. Ability to identify public affairs issues, opportunities and risks in a politically sensitive environment. Ability to diplomatically handle sensitive situations with target audiences and cultivate productive relationships. Ability to rapidly produce a variety of written communications products in a clear, concise style. Has the ability to work under constant pressure and within tight daily deadlines. Maturity, discipline and political judgement are required to speak on behalf of the Secretary-General on matters of policy and substance in live interviews; an ability to analyse and articulate complex UN polices in layman's terms to the media. Ability to build a relationship of trust with the media, as well as anticipate and satisfy the media needs of the Secretary-General and his senior staff. 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.
Client orientation: Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients” and seeks to see things from clients’ point of view. Establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect. Identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions. Monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients’ environment to keep informed and anticipate problems. Keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects. Meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.
Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent degree) in communications, international relations, journalism or related field. A first-level university degree in combination with additional two (2) years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
A minimum of five (5) years of progressively responsible experience in public information, journalism, or other relevant media relations at the national or the international level is required. Experience in a news environment with a wire service, newspaper or similar media outlet is required.
Experience in dealing with the press is desirable.
Experience working in an international organization or national government in a communications environment is desirable.
Experience in political analysis, advice and reporting is desirable.
Experience in generating content for social media platforms is desirable.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English is required. Fluency in one of the other UN official languages is desirable.
Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.
• This position is temporarily available beginning January 2020 for a period of 6 months, with a possibility of extension. If the selected candidate is a staff member from the United Nations Secretariat, the selection will be administered as a temporary assignment.
• 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.
• Subject to the funding source of the position, the eligibility for this temporary job opening may be limited to candidates based at the duty station.
• This temporary job opening may be limited to “internal candidates,” who have been recruited through a competitive examination administered according to staff rule 4.16 or staff selection process including the review of a central review body established according to staff rule 4.15.
• Staff members of the United Nations common system organizations who will reach the mandatory age of separation or retirement within the duration of the current temporary need period are not eligible to apply.Submitting an application or selection for the current temporary job opening does not delay or increase the mandatory age of separation.
• Retirees above the mandatory age of separation who wish to be considered for the current temporary job opening must indicate the reason for their last separation as "retirement." Such retirees shall not be employed by the Organization, unless (a) the operational requirements of the Organization cannot be met by staff members who are qualified and available to perform the required functions; and (b) the proposed employment would not adversely affect the career development or redeployment opportunities of other staff members and represents both a cost-effective and operationally sound solution to meet the needs of the service.
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.
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