Senior Chemicals Specialist, UNEA 5/8

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    4 days ago
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    Biology and Life Sciences
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Organization: United Nations Environment Programme
Deadline: 27-Mar-23

Result of Service

The objectives of the work are to provide input to the Head of the Secretariat for the OEWG by delivering the outputs as outlined above. The consultant will also process administrative documents as required as part of project management and will provide guidance to UNEP based on their professional experience.

Work Location


Expected duration

12 Months

Duties and Responsibilities

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the United Nations body mandated to support member states to address the three global crises facing the world today. The UNEP Medium Term Strategy for 2022-2025 sets out the need for all stakeholders to work together to combat the risk from climate change, loss of biodiversity and pollution. The lead UNEP Division supporting the “pollution action” pillar is the Economy Division. The Division includes the Chemicals and Health Branch which supports member states to address priority issues linked to chemicals, waste and prevention of pollution.

UNEA Resolution 5/8 was passed at UNEA 5.2 in February 2022. The resolution calls upon the UNEP Executive Director to constitute an ad-hoc Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) in 2022 in order to develop proposals for the establishment of a Science-Policy panel on chemicals, waste and the prevention of pollution. The resolution calls upon the UNEP Executive Director to work in close collaboration with WHO in a multi-stakeholder approach during the OEWG process. The resolution goes on to specify that the ambition is for the OEWG process to result in proposals for the establishment of the new panel to be concluded by the end of 2024. The resolution specifies that the work of the OEWG is extra-budgetary to the current UNEP Programme of Work 2022-2023.

In response to the resolution the UNEP Executive Director has taken immediate action to establish a Secretariat to the OEWG. Notification to member states on the establishment of the Secretariat was made in April 2022, hosted by the UNEP Chemicals and Health Branch and based at UNEP HQ in Nairobi. The notification letter from the UNEP Executive director also called upon member states to nominate national focal points for the OEWG in addition to establishing a bureau of member states based on regional and gender balance. The notification also invited member states to make contribution to the cost of the OEWG and associated Secretariat if at all possible. The UNEP Executive Director (ED) has also established an Advisory Group to the ED with the aim to facilitate as broad as possible consultation with all interested affected groups to include relevant MEAs, concerned Intergovernmental Organisations, academia, industry / private sector, and civil society.

The UNEP Secretariat to the OEWG will be responsible for:

1) With the Bureau and Chair of the OEWG, contribute to the development of options papers on key aspects of the operation of the new panel, to include, but not be limited to options for the scope of the panel, options for the functions of the new panel, options for the operating procedures and governance of the new panel, options for the provision of technical support to the new panel, options for budgeting and resource mobilization of the new panel, and options for secretariat support to the new panel.

2) The organization and delivery of a stakeholder engagement plan in the lead up to OEWG meetings 2 and 3, to include webinar events, panel discussions, videos and surveys.

3) Coordination of inputs from member states and major groups to the intercessional process.

It is foreseen that the consultant will work in the Secretariat in the development and delivery of item 1 above plus the delivery of items 2 & 3 as required. The consultant will also contribute to the work of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to the ED to support stakeholder engagement in the development of options papers under item 3.

Reporting lines.

Under the overall supervision of the Head of the OEWG Secretariat, the consultant shall report directly to the Head of the OEWG Secretariat. Final deliverables shall also be approved by the same Head of the OEWG Secretariat.

2. Specific duties and responsibilities

2.1. Meeting and Information documents for OEWG 2 (80% of time):

The period of this assignment will coincide with the development of meeting and information documents for the OEWG 2 meeting planned for Q4 2023. The consultant may be called upon to work with the secretariat team in researching, drafting, review and editing of documents. The working documents to be developed under this assignment include options for consideration of the OEWG on:
• A prioritization framework.
• A conceptual framework.
• Relationship with key stakeholders and arrangements for cooperation.
• Operating principles.
• Rules of procedure.
• Governance structure.
• Secretariat structure.
• Financial rules of procedure.

The consultant will also provide input in the development of a series of related INF Documents:
• Background notes on prioritization and conceptual frameworks.
• Mapping of capacity building in the CWP space.
• Procedures for horizon scanning.
• Conflict of interest arrangements.
• Policy for protection of commercially sensitive data.
• Gender policy.
• Zero Draft proposal format for intergovernmental meeting to establish the SPP.

2.2. Work with the Advisory Group to the UNEP Executive Director (20% of time):

The UNEP Executive Director has established a technical advisory group (TAG) to assist the Secretariat in the development of a sub-set of the above working papers. The TAG will work to ensure that the OEWG process is inclusive and participatory. The Group will work across stakeholder groups to facilitate inputs from academia, industry / private sector (a wide and diverse group in itself), civil society, and representatives from across the other 9 Major Groups of UNEP / UNEA stakeholder (including youth, labour / unions, indigenous groups). The consultant will work with the Chair of the Advisory Group and the Head of the UNEP Secretariat to make the work of the Group transparent to all stakeholder groups.

2.3. Monitoring and Progress Controls

The incumbent will be under the direct supervision of the Head of the OEWG Secretariat. The incumbent will prepare a workplan for the duration of the contract during the first month of the assignment. The detailed work plan will include deliverables by month. The workplan will be reviewed jointly with the Head of the Secretariat on a monthly basis. Report on the delivery of the workplan will be prepared at the end of each calendar month in combination with the monthly progress report to monitor and identify issues.

Qualifications/special skills

Advanced university degree in a field related to Environmental Sciences (chemistry, chemical engineering, environmental studies, environmental management) is required.

At least 7 years of working experience in chemicals, waste and / or pollution management at international level is required.

Experience in intergovernmental processes is required.
Working knowledge of the chemicals related MEAs and international instruments is required.


Fluency in English, including good drafting/writing skills is required. Working knowledge of other UN languages is an asset.

No Fee