Senior Economic Affairs Officer, P5

UN Conference on Trade and Development
  • Location
    Geneva, Switzerland
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Sep 11

Position description

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the Investment Trends and Issues Branch, Division on Investment and Enterprise, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The Senior Economic Officer reports to the Head of the Investment Issues Analysis Branch.


Under the overall supervision of the Director, Division on Investment and Enterprise, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the direct supervision of the Head of the Investment Issues Analysis Branch, the Senior Economic Officer will undertake 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 strategies, policies and actions regarding international investment and Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) activities, as well as key issues related to them for adoption by the international community;
  • Leads or participates in the identification of new or emerging development issues of potential concern to the international community, particularly in the area of international investment and MNEs activities, and designs and develops programmes to address them;
  • Supervises a team of staff economists undertaking this work;
  • Commissions economic studies and analyses on international investment and MNEs activities that cannot be undertaken internally;
  • Conceives, plans and manages expert group meetings, seminars and similar consultations that contribute to the finalization of the work unit’s outputs;
  • Finalizes reports on questions related to investment and development 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 to intergovernmental bodies (such as the General Assembly, UNCTAD, the Commission on Investment, Enterprise and Development, the Trade and Development Board, and the subsidiary bodies of each, by offering strategic advice, giving technical guidance and assisting in developing a consensus;
  • Manages the section’s contribution to the preparation and management of meetings of intergovernmental bodies;
  • Represents the organizational unit at international, regional and national meetings on investment and 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 investment issues and policies;
  • Negotiates with donor and recipient governments on technical assistance programmes and projects;
  • Leads or participates in technical cooperation missions.

Programme support

  • Functions as the Chief of the Investment Issues Section;
  • Contributes to the formulation of the programme of work and the budget of the section and participate in the formulation of the organization's overall programme of work and other similar endeavours;
  • Attends to various administrative matters concerning the Section;
  • Performs other related duties as required.


  • Professionalism: In-depth expertise in the area of international economic and development issues, particularly in the areas of Foreign Direct Investment (FD)I and MNEs and related key issues. Ability to conduct independent research on development issues and investment and to determine suitability, validity and accuracy of related data provided by different sources. Ability to develop economic policies in the area of international investment 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. 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;
  • 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;
  • 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;
  • Vision: Identifies strategic issues, opportunities and risks; clearly communicates links between the Organization’s strategy and the work unit’s goals; generates and communicates broad and compelling organizational direction, inspiring others to pursue that same direction; conveys enthusiasm about future possibilities;
  • Managing Performance: Delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision-making authority; makes sure that roles, responsibilities and reporting lines are clear to each staff member; accurately judges the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a task and matches task to skills; monitors progress against milestones and deadlines; regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff; encourages risk-taking and supports creativity and initiative; actively supports the development and career aspirations of staff; appraises performance fairly.


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in economics or related field. A PhD is highly desirable. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying work 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, of which a minimum of five years experience in economic research and analysis as well as policy formulation in international investment for development is desirable. Proven record of publications, including dealing with international investment is desirable. Experience of quantitative analysis is 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 UN official language is desirable.

Application instructions

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