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Director, Legal Affairs, D2

United Nations - Office of Legal Affairs

New York, United States

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the General Legal Division, Office of Legal Affairs. The Director reports to the Under-Secretary-General (USG) of Legal Affairs.

Responsibilities

Within delegated authority and under the supervision of the Under-Secretary-General the Director will be responsible for the following:

  • Contributes to the formulation of the department’s overall strategies and policies by participating in various committees, preparing documents on policy issues, and acting, as required, in an advisory capacity to the USG/ASG; contribute to the overall management of the Department’s activities and operations;
  • Formulates the work programme of the Division, particularly by determining priorities, identifying implementation modalities and allocates resources accordingly for the completion and timely delivery of outputs;
  • Oversees the provision of advice and, as appropriate, undertakes the negotiating, drafting and reviewing of major agreements entered by the United Nations and its subsidiary organs, undertakes resolution of torts, contract or other claims by third parties against the United Nations and its subsidiary organs; undertakes the resolution of disputes within the Organization and, as appropriate, with Member states relating to governance of and activities of the Organization, including execution of projects and support of peacekeeping and other missions; undertakes resolution of issues arising under the Staff and Financial Regulations and Rules and Administrative Issuances of the Organization and its subsidiary organs;
  • Oversees the preparation of reports for presentation to intergovernmental bodies such as the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budget Questions, Committee for Programme Coordination, the General Assembly and other policy-making organs, as appropriate. Reports to intergovernmental bodies on budget/programme performance or on programmatic/substantive issues, as appropriate, particularly those presented in biannual and/or annual reports;
  • Ensures that the outputs produced by the Division maintain high-quality standards; that reports are clear, objective and based on comprehensive data. Ensures that all outputs produced by the office/division under his/her supervision meet required standards before completion to ensure they comply with the relevant mandates;
  • Oversees the programmatic/administrative tasks necessary for the functioning of the Division, including supervision of the preparation of budgets, reporting on budget/programme performance, preparation of inputs for results-based budgeting, evaluation of staff performance (PAS), including participation in interviews of candidates for job openings and evaluation of candidates;
  • Oversees the recruitment of staff for Division taking due account geographical and gender balance and other institutional values;
  • Manages the development of staff of the Division; fosters teamwork and communication among staff in the Division and across organizational boundaries.
  • Represents the Organization at international, regional, inter-agency meetings, seminars and conferences; consults with Permanent Missions, Government entities, other international organizations and the private sector on matters relating to the work of the Division;
  • Perform other related duties as requested by the senior management of the Organization.

Competencies

  • Professionalism: Expert knowledge in international law and intergovernmental organization law including constitutional and procedural processes. Thorough background in matters dealing with privileges and immunities, settlements of disputes and litigation are essential. Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly; proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information; checks assumptions against facts; determines that the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs of the decision;
  • 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;
  • 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;
  • Leadership: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow: empowers others to translate vision into results; is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; drives for change and improvements; does not accept the status quo; shows the courage to take unpopular stands. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing;
  • 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 law is required. A first-level degree (Bachelor’s or equivalent) in the specified field with two additional years of relevant work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

More than fifteen years of progressively responsible experience in public and private international law including law and practice of international/national organizations is required. Experience in managerial and advisory positions requiring legal analysis in a national or international organization is required. Experience in matters dealing with privileges and immunities, settlements of disputes and litigation is desirable.

Languages

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. Knowledge of another official UN language is an advantage.

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