Senior Economic Affairs Officer, P5

Senior Economic Affairs Officer, P5

UNCTAD - United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

Geneva, Switzerland

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the Division on International Trade and Commodities (DITC) at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The Senior Economic Affairs Officer heads the Commodity Policy Implementation and Outreach Section (CPIOS) and reports directly to the Chief of the Commodities Branch of the Division.


Within delegated authority, the Senior Economic Affairs Officer will undertake the following functions as Chief of CPIOS:

Economic or sectoral analysis

  • Leads or participates in the formulation, organization and management of mandated programmes of economic analysis on commodities and development topics and the formulation of possible economic strategies, policies and actions 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 those of a regional or global nature by monitoring economic data and on-going policy debates as well as conducting conceptual and empirical studies, and designs and develops programmes to address them. Carries out econometric studies leading up to technical cooperation project design and supervises a team of staff economists undertaking this work;
  • Commissions economic studies and analyses that cannot be undertaken internally;
  • Conceives, plans and manages expert group meetings, seminars and similar consultations on commodity and development issues that contribute to the finalization of the work unit’s outputs;
  • Finalizes reports on commodity-related 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 relating to the commodity sector 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;
  • Formulates draft proposals and recommendations on commodity-sector development policies, strategies and measures for consideration by intergovernmental forums, regional and national policy makers, and industry practitioners;
  • Manages the work unit’s contribution to the conceptualisation, preparation, and management of meetings of intergovernmental bodies;
  • Represents the organizational unit at international, regional and national meetings on development issues.

Technical cooperation

  • Leads and coordinates technical cooperation activities in the Commodities Branch to facilitate evidence-based policy making in commodity-dependent developing countries;
  • 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;
  • Leads or participates in technical cooperation missions;
  • Overhauls the Branch’s technical cooperation modalities to make delivery more resilient to external shocks such as COVID-19;
  • Develops the Branch’s advisory capacity on commodity dependent countries’ response to important emerging issues, particularly the challenges and opportunities of climate change, environmental degradation, and the transition to greener sources of energy.

Programme support

  • Functions as the head of the Commodity Policy Implementation and Outreach Section;
  • Contributes to the formulation of the medium-term plan, the programme of work and the budget of the unit and participates 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: Ability to apply economic theories and concepts in different sectors of economic and sustainable development, particularly in the area of commodities. Expert knowledge on the challenges posed by climate change, environmental degradation, and the transition to greener sources of energy on commodity dependent economies. Ability to conduct independent research on economic topics, determine suitability, validity and accuracy of data provided by different sources. Knowledge of econometrics. Ability to develop economic policies 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;
  • 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;
  • 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;
  • 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 degree) in economics or related field is required. 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;
  • At least five years of experience conceptualizing and formulating work programmes relating to commodities is desirable;
  • Experience working in commodity dependent developing countries and on global value chains is desirable;
  • Experience conducting econometric analysis on commodities topics is desirable;
  • Experience undertaking research and providing advisory services on the interaction between commodity dependence and emerging issues of climate change, environmental degradation, and the transition to greener sources of energy is desirable;
  • Experience formulating, implementing, and managing technical cooperation projects is desirable;
  • Experience fundraising for economic development related programmes 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 French is desirable. Knowledge of another UN official language is desirable.

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© EuroJobsites 2021

EuroJobsites is a registered company number: 4694396 VAT number: GB 880 9055 04

Registered address: EuroJobsites Ltd, Unit 8, Kingsmill Business Park, Kingston Upon Thames, London, KT1 3GZ, United Kingdom

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