General Information

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 vision of UNIDIR is a stable and more secure world in which States and people are protected from threats of arms-related violence. The role of UNIDIR is to support Member States, the United Nations and policy and research communities in advancing ideas and actions that contribute to a more sustainable and peaceful world. UNIDIR is based in the Palais des Nations, Geneva.

UNIDIR’s Security and Technology Programme (SECTEC) supports multilateral disarmament processes in responding effectively to the security challenges raised by technological innovation through the provision of accessible knowledge, relevant analysis and facilitated multi-stakeholder dialogue. SECTEC currently focuses on three research priorities:

  • Identifying and better understanding the new and emerging technologies relevant to international peace and security.
  • Analyzing the application and impact of such new and emerging technologies on international peace and security.
  • Exploring how to improve technology governance and modernize arms control to account for the challenges posed by new and emerging technologies.

More information on the Programme’s research and activities can be found here.


Within UNIDIR’s SECTEC Programme, the Programme Assistant will perform the following duties under the supervision of the Head of Programme:

Undertake day-to-day planning and organization of SECTEC activities, including but not limited to

  • Provide administrative support for SECTEC programme activities, including liaison between UNIDIR’s Finance, Budget, and Administration (FBA) unit and SECTEC researchers on the procurement of goods and services, as well as liaison with external consultants and vendors.
  • Oversee the programme’s section on the UNIDIR website and social media engagement.
  • Compile the programme’s monthly newsletter contributions.
  • Assist in SECTEC’s monitoring and evaluation activities and ensure the regular updates in the programme’s monitoring and evaluation database.
  • Support the editing and design of SECTEC publications and maintain up-to-date publication catalogues.
  • Support the Head of Programme in managing recruitment and procurement processes.
  • Assist the Head of Programme in outreach activities with relevant stakeholders to promote SECTEC’s work.
  • Mentor and supervise the work of graduate professionals and division of tasks.
  • Support the design, development and review of SECTEC strategies and projects.
  • Organize and maintain SECTEC’s documentation and records. 

Assist in event organization for the SECTEC programme, including but not limited to:

  • Support SECTEC Head of Programme and researchers in organizing meetings, events, and workshops centered on international security and technology topics.
  • Provide administrative and operational support for SECTEC’s annual flagship events, including the Cyber Stability Conference and the Innovations Dialogue.
  • Assist in the full lifecycle of event organization, including, but not limited to, drafting and distributing invitations, monitoring registrations, promoting and conducting outreach for events, collaborating with service providers, and managing procurement activities.
  • Coordinate logistical arrangements with event attendees and speakers, including arranging travel for event participants in compliance with UN travel rules.
  • Provide technical support for SECTEC events, including the hosting of events on video conferencing platforms such as Webex and Zoom, and liaising with technicians as needed.
  • Coordinate internal team meetings, including scheduling and maintaining meeting notes.
  • Oversee the maintenance of SECTEC mailing lists for event invitations.

Performs other duties as required:

Schedule for the proposed work

A workplan for the duration of the contract will be established within the first two weeks of the contract. The Programme and Events Assistant will have regular meetings with the Head of Programme in order to set assignments within the workplan and monitor progress. The Programme and Events Assistant will inform the Head of Programme and relevant researchers if there are any issues concerning meeting agreed deadlines.

Performance Indicators

The Programme Assistant will be evaluated at the end of his/her contract. Performance indicators include:

  • Assignments are completed on time and to the satisfaction of the Head of Programme.
  • Engagement is professional, team oriented and positive.
  • Active participation in the activities of Institute.
  • The Programme and Events Assistant demonstrates the core values of the UN and the core competencies described below in the discharge of their duties.

The Programme Assistant is to demonstrate the core values of the United Nations: Professionalism, Integrity, and Respect for Diversity. 

In addition, in this role, the Programme Assistant will demonstrate the following competences:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Qualifications and Experience


Advanced university qualification (Master’s degree or equivalent) in public administration, business administration, organizational studies, international affairs, political science, or related field is required.


  • A minimum of 2-years of experience in project administration and coordination, office support, or a related field is required.
  • Computer competency, including but not limited to Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint), is required.
  • Experience of event organization is required. 
  • Knowledge of video conferencing platforms such as Webex and Zoom is strongly desirable.
  • Experience working with digital tools such as Adobe InDesign and Canva is strongly desirable.
  • Experience in the field of administration with the United Nations or similar international organizations is desirable. 
  • Knowledge of gender issues or experience with gender mainstreaming is desirable.


For this assignment, fluency in English (both written and oral) is required. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is considered an asset.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by a competency-based interview.


The Programme and Events Assistant may be required to travel during the course of this assignment. Dates and locations will be determined during implementation of relevant projects. The Programme and Events Assistant must complete the UN course BSAFE (online) and provide UNIDIR with a certificate of completion.


UNIDIR retains copyright of all documents and the ownership of the intellectual property resulting from all work carried out under this contract. The Programme and Events Assistant warrants that outputs will be original works or that where he/she incorporates copyright material from another source, copyright permission for its use will be obtained. Written output(s) may be attributed to the Programme and Events Assistant.

How to apply

The applicant should submit:

  • A cover letter letter
  • A CV, or PDF of a UN Personal History Profile (PHP) created via Inspira
  • Name and contact details of three references

Applications should be sent as email attachments, with the subject line “Application: SECTEC Programme Assistant” to Deadline for submission of applications is 14 July 2024, midnight Geneva time.

UNIDIR promotes the core values of the United Nations: Integrity, Professionalism and Respect for Diversity. Women are encouraged to apply.

Subject line Application: SECTEC Programme Assistan

Please note

No inquires will be accepted by phone. No applications will be accepted by post. 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.

UNIDIR promotes the core values of the United Nations: Integrity, Professionalism and Respect for Diversity. Women are encouraged to apply.