Senior Economic Affairs Officer, P5

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
  • Location
    Geneva, Switzerland
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Apr 28

Position description

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the Debt and Development Finance Branch, Division on Globalization and Development Strategies (DGDS), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Geneva.


Within delegated authority and under the supervision of the Chief of the Debt & Development Finance Branch (DDFB), Division on Globalization and Development Strategies, the incumbent will be responsible for the following duties:

Economic or sectoral analysis

  • Leads or participates in the formulation, organization and management of mandated programmes of economic analysis and the formulation of possible economic strategies, policies and actions for adoption by the international community in the area of domestic and international, private and public financial resource mobilization, including illicit financial flows, and international development cooperation with particular focus on the Financing for Development Follow-up process in the United Nations and the implementation of relevant targets of Agenda 2030..
  • Leads or participates in the identification of new or emerging development issues in these areas of potential concern to the international community, particularly those of a regional or global nature, and designs and develops programmes to address them.
  • Coordinates inputs by the Branch and the Division to the UN Financing for Development Follow-up process and on the implementation of relevant targets of Agenda 2030, tailoring substantive contributions for high-level national and regional policy-makers and experts.
  • Supervises a team of staff economists undertaking this work, where appropriate.
  • Commissions economic studies and analyses that cannot be undertaken internally.
  • Conceives, plans and manages expert group meetings, seminars and similar consultations that contribute to the finalization of the Branch’s outputs.
  • Finalizes reports on development finance and international development cooperation for issuance by the United Nations.
  • Prepares speeches for senior staff and makes presentations on economic issues for specialist or non-specialist audiences.

Intergovernmental support

  • Provides direct substantive support on development issues in the areas of financial resource mobilization for development and international development cooperation to intergovernmental bodies (such as the General Assembly, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the Economic and Social Council, the Trade and Development Board, the regional commissions and the subsidiary bodies of each) by offering strategic advice, giving technical guidance and assisting in developing a consensus.
  • Provides substantive support for liaison with member States on issues arising from UNCTAD's contributions to the UN Financing for Development Follow-Up process and to the High Level Political Forum on Agenda 2030 implementation.
  • Manages the Branch’s contribution to the preparation and management of meetings of intergovernmental bodies in these areas.
  • Represents the organizational unit at international, regional and national meetings on development issues.

Technical cooperation

  • Develops and maintains relations with senior officials of member governments and ensures a response to requests for advice and/or assistance on economic issues and policies.
  • Negotiates with donor and recipient governments on technical assistance programmes and projects.
  • Organizes and coordinates cooperation among Member States on economic programmes or issues.

Programme support

  • Contributes to the formulation of the medium-term plan, the programme of work and the budget of the unit and participate in the formulation of the organization's overall programme of work and other similar endeavours.
  • Attends to various administrative matters concerning the Division.
  • Performs other related duties as required.


  • Professionalism: Extensive knowledge of current macroeconomic theory and policy debates with a particular focus on issues of domestic and international, private and public, financial resource mobilization, including illicit financial flows, and international development cooperation; In-depth understanding of empirical and conceptual issues raised by the working of the global economy and for structural transformation in developing countries; Ability to conduct independent research in these areas in an interdisciplinary context, both in terms of the development of theoretical and conceptual frameworks for policy analysis and in terms of overseeing empirical quantitative and statistical analysis. Ability to develop economic policies, primarily at the global and regional levels, with a focus on reforms of global economic governance and development systems and make recommendations on their implementation. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 that the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision; makes tough decisions when necessary.


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent degree) in economics or related social sciences. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in economic research and analysis, policy formulation, application of economic principles in development programmes or related area is required, preferably including the application of economic principles in macroeconomic issues of developmental transformation and development finance. A relevant publication record, including in peer-reviewed books and journals, is desirable. A minimum of five years of experience in engaging with intergovernmental activities and processes on economic policy issues is also desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English is required; knowledge of another is another UN official language is an advantage.

Application instructions

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