The United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) is an autonomous institution within the United Nations that conducts independent research on disarmament and related problems, particularly international security issues. The role of UNIDIR is to support Member States, the United Nations, and policy and research communities in identifying and promoting practical measures that contribute to a more sustainable and peaceful world. It carries out that role through four core services: promoting knowledge, generating ideas, facilitating dialogue and providing advice.
Within limits of delegated authority, the Administrative Assistant will be responsible for the following duties:
Human Resources Management
- Initiates, processes, monitors, reviews and follows-up on actions related to the administration of the unit’s human resource activities, e.g., recruitment, placement, relocation, promotion, performance appraisal, job classification reviews, separation, training etc., ensuring consistency in the application of regulations and procedures.
- Enters and maintains administrative data and records for time and attendance, performance appraisal, etc. in electronic information systems.
- Reviews entitlements-related claims and reports.
- Provides advice and guidance to staff with respect to administrative procedures, processes and practices, liaising with central administrative services as necessary.
- Maintains and reviews organizational staffing tables.
Budget and Finance
- Consolidates data received and provides support to higher-level staff with respect to budget reviews of relevant intergovernmental and expert bodies.
- Reviews status of relevant expenditures and compares with approved budget.
- Reviews requisitions for goods and services to ensure (a) correct objects of expenditure have been charged and (b) availability of funds.
- Assists in the preparation of budget performance submissions.
- Prepares statistical tables and standard financial reports.
- Prepares, processes and follows-up on administrative arrangements and forms related to the official travel of staff.
- Drafts routine correspondence.
- Maintains an organized filing system and files of rules, regulations, administrative instructions and other related documentation.
- Maintains up-to-date work unit files (both paper and electronic).
- Coordinates extensively with service units and liaises frequently with internal team members both at Headquarters and in the field.
- Performs other related administrative duties, as required, e.g., leave and attendance recording, arrangements for meetings and other events, reservations, operational travel programme; monitoring accounts and payment to vendors and individual contractors for services; physical space planning; identification of office technology needs and maintenance of equipment, software and systems; organizing and coordinating administrative arrangements for seminars, conferences and translations.
- Updates and maintains large distribution lists; monitors, prepares and distributes various materials, reports, where possible using electronic formats; handles arrangement for printing and translation as necessary; coordinates shipment arrangements, courier services, etc.
- Reviews, records, distributes and/or processes mail and other documents; follows-up on impending actions.
- Maintains calendar/schedules; monitors changes and communicates relevant information to appropriate staff inside and outside the immediate work unit.
- Assists with day-to-day administration of contracts between the UN and external contractors for outsourced services.
- Audits the contractors’ invoices against the goods and services provided by the contractor and approved by the UN.
- Processes the payment of contractors’ invoices and monitor payments.
- Prepares and processes all UN forms and permissions for contractual and work Unit, Section or Service UN staff, including: UN grounds passes, property passes, UN parking permits, swipe-card access and door keys.
Schedule for the proposed work
A workplan will be agreed within the first two weeks of the contract. The Administrative Assistant will have regular meetings with their First Reporting Officer in order to set assignments within the workplan and monitor progress. The Administrative Assistant will inform their First Reporting Officer and relevant personnel if there are any issues concerning meeting agreed deadlines.
The Administrative Assistant will be evaluated against their agreed work plan and according to the UN staff performance evaluation guidelines.
All UNIDIR personnel are required to demonstrate the core values of the UN.
The competencies required for this position are:
- Professionalism: Ability to perform a broad range of administrative functions, e.g., budget/work programme, human resources, database management, etc. Ability to apply knowledge of various United Nations administrative, financial and human resources rules and regulations in work situations. 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. Commitment to implementing the goal of gender equality by ensuring the equal participation and full involvement of women and men in all aspects 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 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.
- Planning & 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.
- 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.
- Creativity: Actively seeks to improve programmes or services; offers new and different options to solve problems or meet client needs; promotes and persuades others to consider new ideas; takes calculated risks on new and unusual ideas; thinks “outside the box”; takes an interest in new ideas and new ways of doing things; is not bound by current thinking or traditional approaches.
- 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.
- Commitment to Continuous Learning: Keeps abreast of new developments in own occupation/profession; actively seeks to develop oneself professionally and personally; contributes to the learning of colleagues and subordinates; shows willingness to learn from others; seeks feedback to learn and improve.
- Technological Awareness: Keeps abreast of available technology; understands applicability and limitation of technology to the work of the office; actively seeks to apply technology to appropriate tasks; shows willingness to learn new technology.
Qualifications and Experience
High school diploma or equivalent. Must have passed the United Nations Administrative Support Assessment Test (ASAT) at Headquarters or an equivalent locally-administered test at Offices Away.
- At least five (5) years of experience in administrative services, finance, accounting, audit, human resources or related area is required.
- Experience in the field of administration with the United Nations or similar international organizations is desirable.
- Experience using an ERP in a large organization is desirable.
- Experience preparing and editing official correspondence is desirable.
- Experience compiling statistics and providing analysis, including through the use of spreadsheet software such as Microsoft Excel, is desirable.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is an advantage.
Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.
The Administrative Assistant may be required to travel during the course of this assignment. Dates and locations will be determined during implementation of relevant projects. The Administrative Assistant must complete the UN course BSAFE (online) along with other mandatory trainings. Copies of certificates of completion must be provided to UNIDIR.
How to apply
The applicant should submit:
- A cover letter.
- PDF of a UN Personal History Profile (PHP) created via Inspira.
- Name and contact details of three references (may be included in PHP).
Applications should be sent as email attachments, with the subject line “Application: Administrative Assistant” to firstname.lastname@example.org. No applications will be accepted by post. Deadline for submission of applications is 19 December 2023. Closing date is midnight Geneva time.
Due to the high volume of applications received, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Should you move forward in the process, you may be contacted for further assessment.
This post is financed through extra budgetary funding. Possibility of extension beyond the initial appointment will be subject to satisfactory performance, availability of the post and funds, budgetary approval or extension of the mandate.
This position is subject to local recruitment pursuant to staff rule 4.4 of the United Nations Staff Rules. All Staff in the General Service and related categories shall be recruited in the country or within commuting distance of each office, irrespective of their nationality and of the length of time they may have been in the country. A staff member subject to local recruitment shall not be eligible for the allowances or benefits applicable to international recruitment.
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.