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Secretarial Assistant


Post Number : WHC 379

Grade : G-5

Parent Sector : Culture Sector (CLT)

Duty Station: Paris

Job Family: General Administrative Support

Type of contract : Fixed Term

Duration of contract : 2 years

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 18-DEC-2019


UNESCO Core Values: Commitment to the Organization, Integrity, Respect for Diversity, Professionalism




Under the overall authority of the Assistant Director-General for Culture and the direct supervision of the Deputy-Director of the World Heritage Centre (WHC), the incumbent coordinates and performs the full range of office and management support, administrative tasks and provides direct assistance to the Deputy-Director of the World Heritage Centre in order to ensure quality and consistency of the flow of World Heritage Centre's work and management of the information.


The incumbent will, in particular:

  • Manage the Deputy-Director's agenda; confirm mutually convenient schedules and arrange appointments or re-arrange schedules disrupted by unexpected events; receive visitors; place and screen telephone calls. Respond to queries and correspondence, often of a sensitive, confidential or technical nature; make travel/mission arrangements, prepare correspondence and assemble documents for these meetings/missions, take notes and follow up on required action.
  • Receive, analyze, register and distribute incoming mail and correspondence; follow up on pending actions; prepare draft technical responses to a wide range of correspondence and other communications, often requiring knowledge of technical terminologies and/or detailed office procedures. Carry out quality control functions for outgoing documents; proofread and edit texts for adherence to format, grammar, punctuation and style.
  • Coordinate and lead secretarial support services for high-level meetings, World Heritage Centre -or organization-wide training and special projects/events. Attend meetings and monitor follow-up activities; make arrangements for format editing, translation, etc., of documents and publications. Coordinate the work of other support staff, establish priorities and ensure equitable distribution of work.
  • Perform a variety of administrative duties (e.g., leave and attendance recording, arrangements for meetings and other events, reservations, budget preparation and follow-up, etc.). Coordinate with other units to ensure smooth running and expedition of work within the unit (e.g. following up on contract extensions and requests for temporary staff). Orient new staff to relevant administrative procedures and practices and provide general assistance to other office support staff as required.
  • Research, compile and organize background information and reference materials from various sources for reports, briefs and speeches. Create and maintain the World Heritage Centre’s filing and reference systems; etc.; ensure the transmission of the requests to the relevant units for evaluation and follow up on deadlines for input in SISTER.
  • Replace the Director’s Assistant during his/her absence.


Long Description

(Only candidates who are entitled to work in France may apply to this position).

COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial)
Accountability (C)
Communication (C)
Innovation (C)
Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C)
Planning and organizing (C)
Results focus (C)
Teamwork (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 professional experience in office and management support functions.
  • Experience in similar functions at international and/or national level, in the public and/or private sector.



  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Good time management skills.
  • Capacity to deal efficiently and tactfully with a variety of stakeholders in a multicultural environment.
  • Ability to work under pressure, to deal with complex situations and flexibility to adjust work schedules.
  • Good sense of diplomacy, discretion and professional integrity.
  • Excellent IT skills (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc…).



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




Work Experience

  • Experience within the UN system.



  • Knowledge of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and of the Cultural Conventions.
  • Knowledge of UNESCO rules, administrative procedures and standard practices.



  • 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.

For more information in benefits and entitlements, please consult ICSC website and UNESCO's career website.


Evaluation of qualified applicants may include an assessment exercise and a competency-based interview.



UNESCO applies a zero tolerance policy against all forms of harassment

UNESCO is committed to promoting geographical distribution (last update) and gender equality within its Secretariat. Therefore, women candidates are strongly encouraged to apply, as well as nationals from non- and under-represented Member States. Persons with disabilities are also encouraged to apply. Worldwide mobility is required for staff members appointed to international posts.

UNESCO does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process.