Legal Officer
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
Close on 31 Aug 2020
Location: Paris (France)
Grade: P-4, Mid-level Professional
Occupations: Legal Affairs
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Added 1 week ago
Job Description

Post Number : LA 018

Grade : P-4

Parent Sector : Office of International Standards and Legal Affairs (LA)

Duty Station: Paris

Job Family: Law

Type of contract : Fixed Term

Duration of contract : 2 years

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 31-AUG-2020

UNESCO Core Values: Commitment to the Organization, Integrity, Respect for Diversity, Professionalism


Under the overall authority of the Director of the Office of International Standards and Legal Affairs (LA) and the direct supervision and general guidance of the Chief of the General Legal Affairs Section, the work of the incumbent involves research and analysis of a wide range of legal issues related to the functions, structure and the activities of the Organization.

For this purpose, the incumbent will be required to:

  • Provide legal advice on questions arising in connection with the application and the interpretation of the basic texts of the Organization and other institutional matters such as decisions and resolutions of governing bodies, the use of the name and logo, privileges and immunities and various strategies of the Organization.
  • Provide legal advice on, negotiate and draft various types of contracts, including complex contracts for procurement of goods and/or services, agreements with various partners, funding agreements, seat agreements, host country agreements for the convening of meetings.
  • Provide advice in the handling of disputes or potential disputes within the Section’s mandate.
  • Provide legal advice and support to UNESCO governing bodies and sub-organs as well as to UNESCO treaty bodies.
  • Perform any other duties that may be required to ensure the success and functioning of LA’s activities.

COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial)
Accountability (C)
Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C)
Planning and organizing (C)
Results focus (C)
Teamwork (C)
Communication (C)
Making quality decisions (M)


  • Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent degree) in Law.

Work Experience

  • At least seven (7) years of relevant legal experience dealing with general legal matters in the legal department of an intergovernmental organization or in a law firm, of which preferably at least 3 years acquired at international level.

Skills & Competencies

  • Interpersonal skills and demonstrated analytical skills concerning the application of legal texts.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English and French.
  • Ability to communicate effectively and persuasively and work well under pressure.
  • Ability to participate effectively in high-level negotiations and to build and maintain partnerships with internal and external stakeholders, including government officials.
  • Ability to maintain effective working relationships in a multicultural environment.


  • Excellent knowledge of English and French.



  • Specialized training or diploma in international law or contract law.

Work Experience

  • Experience in contract drafting, negotiating and reviewing and in the preparation of legal opinions on issues related to general law, in the framework of an intergovernmental organization.
  • Experience in advising intergovernmental bodies on rules of procedure.

Skills & Competencies

  • Familiarity with the work and general functioning of international organizations of the UN System.


  • Knowledge of another official language of UNESCO (Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Spanish).
For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework.

UNESCO’s salaries consist of a basic salary and other benefits which may include if applicable: 30 days annual leave, family allowance, medical insurance, pension plan etc.

For more information in benefits and entitlements, please consult ICSC website.


Please note that all candidates must complete an on-line application and provide complete and accurate information. To apply, please visit the UNESCO careers website. No modifications can be made to the application submitted.

The evaluation of candidates is based on the criteria in the vacancy notice, and may include tests and/or assessments, as well as a competency-based interview.

UNESCO uses communication technologies such as video or teleconference, e-mail correspondence, etc. for the assessment and evaluation of candidates.

Please note that only selected candidates will be further contacted and candidates in the final selection step will be subject to reference checks based on the information provided.


UNESCO applies a zero tolerance policy against all forms of harassment.

UNESCO is committed to achieve and sustain gender parity among its staff members in all categories and at all grades. Furthermore, UNESCO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities, as well as nationals from non-and under-represented Member States (last update here) are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the highest level of confidentiality. Worldwide mobility is required for staff members appointed to international posts.

UNESCO does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process.


UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. It seeks to build peace through international cooperation in Education, the Sciences and Culture. UNESCO's programmes contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals defined in Agenda 2030, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015.

UNESCO develops educational tools to help people live as global citizens free of hate and intolerance. UNESCO works so that each child and citizen has access to quality education. By promoting cultural heritage and the equal dignity of all cultures, UNESCO strengthens bonds among nations. UNESCO fosters scientific programmes and policies as platforms for development and cooperation. UNESCO stands up for freedom of expression, as a fundamental right and a key condition for democracy and development. Serving as a laboratory of ideas, UNESCO helps countries adopt international standards and manages programmes that foster the free flow of ideas and knowledge sharing.

As a specialized agency and knowledge-based organization, UNESCO depends on highly skilled, committed professionals. Given the ambitious and exciting challenges of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, our expertise and global presence in the fields of Education, the Sciences, Culture, and Communication and Information, is more relevant than ever.  Geographically diverse and gender-balanced, UNESCO is committed to having a competent, motivated and dedicated workforce that acts with the highest integrity and is empowered to support UNESCO’s capacity to deliver on the sustainable development goals.