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Principal Legal Officer, D1

Nairobi, Kenya

Salary rangeConfidential | Contract type: Fixed term

You have 6 days left to apply for this job.

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Job Summary

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment. UN-Habitat is the focal point within the United Nations system on sustainable urbanization and human settlements, including in the implementation, follow-up to and review of the New Urban Agenda. Both UNEP and UN-Habitat are co-located in Nairobi at the United Nations Office in Nairobi (UNON). Their respective governing bodies, the United Nations Environment Assembly and UN Habitat Assembly as well as their inter-sessional bodies convene in Nairobi at UNON. In addition, UNEP serves as the Secretariat for certain Multilateral Environment Agreements (MEAs) that are located at various duty stations including in Nairobi. This post is located in UNEP, Law Division at the Nairobi duty station. Under the direct supervision of the Director, Law Division, and in close collaboration with the Secretariats for the Governing Bodies of UNEP and UN-Habitat as well as the Secretariats of the MEAs, the incumbent will carry out the following duties:
  • Advanced University Degree (Masters or equivalent) in law is required. A first level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced degree.
Work Experience
  • A minimum of 15 years of progressively responsible experience, preferably in the field of international relations, international law and policy is required.
  • Proven experience in dealing with senior government officials and other stakeholders, multilateral governance, UN experience or similar international organization is required.
  • Experience in providing legal advice to Governments, intergovernmental bodies and stakeholders is desirable.


- Provide authoritative advice on the applicability of the decisions of United Nations bodies to the activities of UNEP and UN-Habitat and their governing bodies. - Advise on rules of procedure. – Coordinates and oversees the service to governing body assemblies, committees, task forces, expert groups and other bodies, their secretariats and presiding officers, including through the preparation of legal opinions, background materials, review of draft decisions and proposals and review of credentials. - Advise on the accreditation and participation of inter-governmental organizations, United Nations agencies, accredited non-governmental organization and relevant civil society organizations in accordance with rules of procedure.
- Leads the inter-governmental support, procedural and legal advice to the secretariats of multilateral environmental agreements (“MEAs”), and inter-governmental platforms to which UNEP provides support. – Undertakes and oversees the preparation of official documentation for UNEP, UN-Habitat, MEAs and inter-governmental platforms. – Represents the Organization on various standing committees, ad hoc working groups and task forces, as required. Represents the Organization as the main interface with the Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations, on governing body legal matters.
- Leads and supervises the review and preparation of new instruments, policies, guidelines and rules of procedure as they apply to governing and treaty bodies to which UNEP and UN-Habitat provides support. - Manage, guide, develop and train staff under his/her supervision. - Perform any other duty as may be assigned.

Job Requirements

Required education: Post-graduate education
Required relevant work experience: 10 years
Required languages: English (Spoken: fluent | Written: fluent)
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