Senior Economic Affairs Officer

United Nations

Geneva, Switzerland

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Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the Office of the Director of the Division on International Trade and Commodities (DITC) in the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Geneva. The Senior Economic Affairs Officer reports to the Director of the Division.

Responsibilities

Within delegated authority, the Senior Economic Affairs Officer will be responsible for the following duties in his/her role also as Chief of the Office of the Director:

Economic or sectoral analysis

  • Assists the Director in and coordinates the formulation, organization and management of mandated programmes of economic analysis and the formulation of possible economic strategies, policies and actions for adoption by the international community.
  • Leads or participates in the identification of new or emerging development issues of potential concern to the international community, particularly those of a regional or global nature, and designs and develops programmes to address them.
  • On behalf of the Director, supervises a team of staff undertaking research, supporting project design and/or implementation, programme monitoring related-work.
  • Commissions economic studies and analyses that cannot be undertaken internally.
  • Conceives, plans and manages expert group meetings, seminars and similar consultations that contribute to the finalization of the work unit’s outputs.
  • Finalizes reports on development for issuance by the United Nations.
  • Prepares speeches for the Director and makes presentations on economic issues for specialist or non-specialist audiences.

Intergovernmental support

  • Provides direct substantive support on development issues to intergovernmental bodies (such as the General Assembly, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the Economic and Social Council, the Trade and Development Board, the regional commissions and the subsidiary bodies of each) by offering strategic advice, giving technical guidance and assisting in developing a consensus.
  • Manages the work unit’s contribution to the preparation and management of meetings of intergovernmental bodies.
  • Represents the organizational unit at international, regional and national meetings on development issues.

Technical cooperation

  • Develops and maintains relations with senior officials of member governments and ensures a response to requests for advice and/or assistance on economic issues and policies.
  • Negotiates with donor and recipient governments on technical assistance programmes and projects.
  • Organizes and coordinates cooperation among Member States on economic programmes or issues.
  • Leads or participates in technical cooperation missions.

Programme support

  • Provides management and direction to the Office of the Director in: (i) preparing work plans and budgets in line with defined priorities, goals and strategic directions; (ii) efficiently using resources available and undertaking necessary actions to that effect, managing the work of the team accordingly, and (iii) monitoring performance of staff;
  • Contributes to the formulation of the medium-term plan, the programme of work and the budget of the Division and participate in the formulation of the organization's overall programme of work and other similar endeavours. Attends to various administrative matters concerning the larger organizational unit (Section or Division).
  • Performs other related duties as required.

Competencies

PROFESSIONALISM: Ability to apply economic theories and concepts in different sectors of economic and sustainable development. Demonstrates clear understanding of the global trade environment. Ability to conduct independent research on trade and development, determine suitability, validity and accuracy of data provided by different sources. Ability to develop economic policies and make recommendations on their implementation. Demonstrated ability to negotiate and apply good judgment. Ability to develop and maintain effective partnerships and to communicate clearly with a wide range of audiences. 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. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

PLANNING AND 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.

BUILDING TRUST: Provides an environment in which others can talk and act without fear of repercussion; manages in a deliberate and predictable way; operates with transparency; has no hidden agenda; places confidences in colleagues, staff members and clients; gives proper credit to theirs; follows through on agreed upon actions; treats sensitive or confidential information appropriately.

MANAGING PERFORMANCE: Delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision-making authority; makes sure that roles, responsibilities and reporting lines are clear to each staff member; accurately judges the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a task and matches task to skills; monitors progress against milestones and deadlines; regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff; encourages risk-taking and supports creativity and initiative; actively supports the development and career aspirations of staff; appraises performance fairly.

JUDGEMENT/DECISION-MAKING: Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly; gathers relevant information before making a decision; considers positive and negative impacts of decisions prior to making them; takes decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the Organization; proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information; checks assumptions against facts; determines the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision; makes tough decisions when necessary.

Education

Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent degree) in economics or related field. A first-level university degree in the above-mentioned field in combination with two additional years of qualifying work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in economic research and analysis, policy formulation, application of economic principles in development programmes or related area is required. Five years of experience in the area of international trade and trade policy formulation, out of which at least three years in the United Nations Common System or an international organization is desirable. Prior experience in the management of technical cooperation projects in the area of trade and development is desirable. Experience coordinating inter-governmental meetings is desirable. Prior experience in speech-writing is an asset. Experience working in front office settings, fulfilling managerial responsibilities, including supervising teams, and advising senior level officials are desirable.


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