Secretarial Assistant


Post Number : LA 010

Grade : G-5

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

Duty Station: Paris

Job Family: General Administrative Support

Type of contract : Fixed Term

Duration of contract : 2 years, renewable

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 22-JUL-2024



Under the overall delegated authority of the UNESCO Legal Adviser and Director of the Office of International Standards and Legal Affairs (LA) and the direct supervision of the Chief of the Section of Conventions and Recommendations (LA/CR), the Secretarial Assistant performs a full range of secretarial, administrative and servicing tasks, and provides direct assistance to the Chief of Section LA/CR, in order to ensure quality and consistency of the workflow of the Section and of the online communication of the Office. In particular, the Secretarial Assistant will perform the following duties:


  • Organize the logistics of meetings of the Committee on Conventions and Recommendations of the Executive Board (CR) in close coordination with relevant programme sectors, central services and representatives of Member States. Ensure that all required services, including venue, interpretation and documents, are available for the Committee to meet according to schedule, and maintain reference material and background documents for meetings.
  • Perform all secretarial and administrative tasks relating to the confidential procedure for the examination of communications received by UNESCO concerning alleged violations of human rights in its fields of competence, as set out in 104 EX/Decision 3.3 of the Executive Board (“the 104 Procedure”). Prepare draft correspondence addressed to the authors of the communications, the governments concerned and, if necessary, the secretariats of other United Nations international organizations that have competence in the protection of human rights.
  • Provide secretarial and administrative support in the discharge by the Office of International Standards and Legal Affairs of the depositary functions of the Director-General in relation to multilateral treaties adopted by the Organization or under its auspices. Liaise with relevant central services in the preparation of the depositary letters of the Organization addressed to the treaty departments of ministries of foreign affairs and international organizations concerned.

Long Description

  • Assist in the preparation of the documents and provide secretarial and administrative support for the Legal Committee of the General Conference (LEG), in particular within its function as credentials committee. Receive the representatives of Member States submitting credentials for their participation to each session of the General Conference, and maintain updated filing and reference system thereon.
  • Perform a full range of secretarial and administrative tasks, such as reviewing, recording, distributing and processing incoming mail and carrying out quality control functions for outgoing documents. Organize and maintain reference material and background documents, including decisions and resolutions of UNESCO governing bodies, for the participation of the Office in sessions of intergovernmental bodies (i.e., the Headquarters Committee) and internal meetings (i.e., the Contracts Committee).
  • Assist in the maintenance and development of the Legal Affairs website of the Organization, including through: the publication and uploading of official documents of the CR and LEG Committees; the drafting of online news; and the creation and updating of webpages concerning the legal activities of the Organization.
  • Perform any additional secretarial or administrative tasks that may be required to ensure success of the work of the team.

Long Description

COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial)

Accountability (C)
Communication (C)
Innovation (C)
Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C)
Planning and organizing (C)
Results focus (C)
Teamwork (C)
Professionalism (C)


For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework.



  • Completed secondary, technical and/or vocational education. 


Work Experience

  • At least five (5) years of relevant work experience in paralegal work, conference servicing, general office support or related area, preferably in an international environment. 

Long Description

Skills & Competencies

  • Excellent organizational and coordination skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal communication skills, including drafting skills.
  • Excellent computer skills (Microsoft Office 365 applications) and excellent knowledge of web publishing systems (Drupal).
  • Capacity to handle information objectively, precisely and confidentially.
  • Ability to perform tasks in an autonomous manner.
  • Flexibility in adjusting to work schedules and setting priorities, and to manage multiple tasks.
  • Ability to show tact and discretion in dealing with high-ranking officials and with confidential matters and materials.



  • Excellent knowledge (oral and written) of English or French and good knowledge of the other language.



  • Specialized training/certification in paralegal or related area.


Work Experience

  • Experience in paralegal work in an international or similar organizations, judicial administration or a large law firm.
  • Experience in servicing intergovernmental meetings of governing bodies.
  • Experience in the handling of legal documentation. particularly treaties and intergovernmental agreements.
  • Experience in desktop publishing and web content management or related area.
  • Experience using documents management system and tools, such as gDocs or similar.


Skills & Competencies

  • Familiarity with the work and general functioning of international organizations and/or of the United Nations system.
  • Excellent proof-reading skills.



  • Knowledge of another official language of UNESCO (Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Spanish).


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.

The approximate annual starting salary for this post is 43 734 Euro.

For full information on benefits and entitlements, please consult our Guide to Staff Benefits.



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 recalls that paramount consideration in the appointment of staff members shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, technical competence and integrity. UNESCO applies a zero-tolerance policy against all forms of harassment. UNESCO is committed to achieving and sustaining equitable and diverse geographical distribution, as well as 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. Candidates from non- and under-represented Member States (last update here) are particularly welcome and strongly encouraged to apply. Individuals from minority groups and indigenous groups and persons with disabilities 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.