Org. Setting and Reporting
The position is located in the Sudan Country Office of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Africa Branch, Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division (FOTCD). The incumbent will report to the Chief of the Africa Branch and Director of the Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division, under the overall authority of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Deputy High Commissioner.
The incumbent heads the OHCHR Sudan country office and is the deputy representative of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Sudan, working in close collaboration with the Director of the UNITAMS Office for the Support of the Protection of Civilians (OSPC) and establishing and maintaining relations inter-alia with the government, state institutions, the diplomatic community, civil society, the United Nations system, the private sector and the academia in respect of the work of OHCHR; identifying human rights priorities in the country through the coordination of the observation, technical assistance, etc., and elaborating a strategy for the effective promotion and protection of human rights in the country supervising the implementation of the associated work.
This position will be based in Khartoum but has been temporarily relocated to Nairobi until the end of the conflict in Sudan and the return conditions allow for deployment to Khartoum.
The Head of Office provides authoritative advice and maintains constant communication with headquarters; ensures mainstreaming of human rights and contributes significantly to the coordination of the work of the United Nations in Sudan; provides substantive support and guidance to the country office staff and to the relevant human rights mechanisms and United Nations mandated work; and is responsible for the timely reporting obligations of the country office.
Within delegated authority, the Head of Office will be responsible for the following duties:
• Formulates the strategy to implement OHCHR’s mandate and oversight/coordination of its implementation in Sudan.
• Identifies the human rights developments and priorities in the country (through the head office in Khartoum as well as the sub-offices) in conformity with the OHCHR mandate and the Host Country Agreement between OHCHR and the Transitional Government of Sudan; and advises the High Commissioner, the Deputy High Commissioner and the Assistant Secretary-General, in collaboration with the UNITAMS Director, OSPC, through the Chief of the Africa Branch, on these developments and issues as well as on adequate actions required to address them for the promotion and protection of human rights in compliance with applicable international law and recommendations from UN human rights mechanisms;
• On this basis, develops (and adjusts, as relevant) country strategies, including identification and definition of specific tools needed for the effective promotion and protection of human rights in consultation with relevant parts of the Office as well as relevant partners;
• Formulates, guides, leads and supervises the substantive work programme in the country;
• Actively promotes the integration of universally recognized human rights norms and standards into policies, programmes and activities of national institutions, including through dialogue with counterparts, as well as public advocacy; promotes and facilitates inclusive and meaningful participation of governmental and state institutions, National Human Rights Institution, civil society and academia in the execution of its programme;
• Develops and leads a strategy for engagement with international human rights mechanisms, including human rights treaty bodies, the Universal Periodic Review and special procedures mandate holders of the Human Rights Council;
• Represents the Office and speaks on behalf of the High Commissioner in meetings with authorities, non-state actors, diplomatic missions, governmental and non- governmental organizations both at the international and country level on human rights and protection issues in close cooperation with headquarters in Geneva and in NY;
• Establishes and maintains relations with governments, state institutions, regional organizations, national human rights institutions, the diplomatic community, civil society, academic and research communities, the private sector and the media for the promotion and protection of human rights;
• Builds and maintains cooperation with other United Nations entities, including Resident Coordinator and the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) and Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) to promote and ensure the integration of human rights in their work; organizes regular meetings with the heads of agencies and programmes with the view of adopting UN human rights-based strategies in the country;
• Participates, where relevant, in inter-agency coordination bodies on humanitarian, development and peace related issues;
• Engages proactively with development partners and develops, leads and implements a fundraising strategy for the country office;
• Provides leadership and ensures management of the staff of the country office, including individual work plans, division of responsibilities and timely performance appraisal and related tasks,
• Ensures the timely preparation and presentation to headquarters of reports on the activities of the Office and on achievement of the objectives set in the mandate, including an annual report;
• Leads the formulation and implementation of a communications strategy and interaction with international and local media, in close cooperation and consultation with the Communications Section in Geneva;
• Reports to the High Commissioner, in collaboration with the UNITAMS Director, OSPC, through the Chief of the Africa Branch, on a regular basis on mandate implementation and relevant human rights developments and the work of the Office in the country;
• Coordinates and fulfils the reporting obligations of the Office including for the human rights mechanisms;
• Coordinates knowledge management efforts within the country office, including sharing of lessons learned and good practices;
• Performs other duties, including special projects, as requested by the Chief of the Africa Branch or the High Commissioner.
PROFESSIONALISM: Strong knowledge of institutional mandates and international standards pertaining to human rights and international humanitarian law; Good knowledge of and wide exposure to the full range of human rights issues, in particular with regard to national protection systems, and human rights mainstreaming; Experience with approaches and techniques to address highly sensitive and complex issues and problems; Ability to exercise independent judgment and discretion in advising on and handling major issues and problems; Substantive experience in managing projects and programmes; Sound knowledge of the structure and functions of the United Nations system, its organs, agencies and programmes. Good knowledge of the region or country of assignment, including familiarity with the political environment and regional structures for the protection and promotion of human rights. Comprehensive knowledge of international human rights standards and the work carried out by the United Nations in the field of human rights (especially with regard to the functions of OHCHR, the monitoring bodies of the international human rights treaties and the thematic mechanisms established by the Human Rights Council) as well as extensive experience in managing UN projects and programmes. 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 the audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
TEAMWORK: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.
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 improvement; 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 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 law, human rights, political sciences, international relations or related area is required. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
A minimum of fifteen years of progressively responsible experience in human rights, political sciences, international relations or related field is required.
Experience working in the United Nations Common System or other international or non-governmental organization, advocating for the promotion and protection of human rights in conflict or post-conflict environments is required.
Experience in advising senior officials on human rights is required.
Out of the fifteen years, at least ten years of experience in human rights is desirable.
At least seven years of experience in supervising and managing teams of at least 10 staff is desirable.
Experience in monitoring and documenting human rights violations and leading monitoring teams is desirable.
Relevant experience in the region of assignment is desirable.
Experience in fundraising 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 Arabic is desirable.
Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which will be followed by competency-based interview.
Staff members of the United Nations Secretariat must fulfill the lateral move requirements to be eligible to apply for this vacancy. Staff members are requested to indicate all qualifying lateral moves in their Personal History Profile (PHP) and cover note.
The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.
At the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the recruitment and employment of staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, with due regard to geographic diversity. All employment decisions are made on the basis of qualifications and organizational needs. The United Nations is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. The United Nations recruits and employs staff regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds or disabilities. Reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities may be provided to support participation in the recruitment process when requested and indicated in the application.
For this position, applicants from the following Member States, which are unrepresented or underrepresented in the UN Secretariat as of 31 Aug 2023, are strongly encouraged to apply: Afghanistan, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Belize, Brunei Darussalam, Cabo Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Israel, Japan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malta, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Oman, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Qatar, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Sudan, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Vanuatu.
United Nations Considerations
According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.
Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.
Reasonable accommodation may be provided to applicants with disabilities upon request, to support their participation in the recruitment process.
The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.
By accepting a letter of appointment, staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General, who may assign them to any of the activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). Further, staff members in the Professional and higher category up to and including the D-2 level and the Field Service category are normally required to move periodically to discharge functions in different duty stations under conditions established in ST/AI/2023/3 on Mobility, as may be amended or revised. This condition of service applies to all position specific job openings and does not apply to temporary positions.
Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.
The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.
Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.
THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, OR TRAINING). THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS’ BANK ACCOUNTS.