Vacancy announcement -- Ramsar Convention on Wetlands
Position vacancy: Secretary General
Ramsar Convention Secretariat
POST: Secretary General. This is a position funded from the Convention's core budget. The position is currently occupied by Mr Peter Bridgewater, whose contract finishes on 31 July 2007. Mr Bridgewater has indicated that, as he wishes to pursue other activities, he will not seek a further contract.
The post is the most senior position in the 20-member Ramsar Convention Secretariat which was established pursuant to Article 8 of the Convention. The principal responsibilities of the Secretary General are:
1. To implement those decisions of the Conference of the Contracting Parties and the Standing Committee that concern the Secretary General/Ramsar Secretariat.
2. To provide leadership to the Ramsar Secretariat in the implementation of work plans approved by the Standing Committee and/or the Conference of the Parties.
3. To ensure an effective management of the Ramsar Secretariat budget, including the submission of audited accounts for each financial year to all Contracting Parties, through the Standing Committee.
4. To raise additional funds beyond the Ramsar Secretariat core budget for project implementation.
5. To represent the Convention in international fora and to act as the Convention's spokesperson.
6. To provide leadership for the further implementation of the Convention by all Contracting Parties, and to this end to bring initiatives for consideration by the Standing Committee and/or the Conference of the Parties.
7. To promote and ensure effective synergies with the Biodiversity liaison group and other environment-related treaties, appropriate intergovernmental and non-governmental institutions, and the private sector.
8. To prepare the annual meetings of the Standing Committee and the triennial meetings of the Conference of the Contracting Parties.
9. To maintain effective and harmonious working relations with the host institution of the Ramsar Secretariat.
The Secretary General is answerable to the Standing Committee of the Convention and ultimately to the Conference of the Parties.
1. The principal qualities required of the incumbent are enthusiasm, a commitment to nature conservation and sustainable use, proven leadership qualities, demonstrated high level representational skills in an international context, and the ability to motivate staff and others.
2. Applicants should have a university degree (preferably a post-graduate degree) or an equivalent demonstrated level of knowledge in at least one subject relevant to wetland conservation and sustainable use, such as geography, biology, hydrology, marine sciences, natural resources management, land-use planning, and socio-economic aspects of sustainable development.
3. Extensive work experience and evidence of achievements in the area of nature conservation and/or sustainable use issues, and a minimum of ten years' work experience in senior positions, are indispensable. Experience and evidence of achievements in the areas of policy development, financial and people management, and programme administration within government agencies or inter-governmental organizations will be an advantage.
4. Exposure to and a good understanding of world current affairs is necessary, including the workings of multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) and other intergovernmental institutions, in particular the UN system. Familiarity with and understanding of the workings of national and international non-governmental organizations are also important requirements.
5. Candidates are also required to have a solid understanding of cultural diversity and gender issues and should be naturally inclined to take them into account in the management of the Ramsar Secretariat and in their relations with the Ramsar constituency.
6. Applicants should have well-developed computer skills and be able and prepared to perform the duties of the position in a fairly independent manner, with limited assistance from support staff.
7. The Ramsar Secretariat's working languages are English, French, and Spanish. The ability to work independently in English is essential and knowledge of at least one of the other two languages will be strongly preferred. An ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing is essential.
8. The incumbent should be prepared to travel extensively to all parts of the world, noting that the class of travel offered is economy.
STARTING DATE: 6 August 2007, or as soon as possible thereafter.
The schedule for the selection process is as follows:
a) Applications are due by 12 January 2007. All applications will be acknowledged.
b) Short list for interviews: those applicants who are shortlisted for interview should be informed of this by 16 February. All other candidates will be informed that they have not been shortlisted as soon as possible thereafter.
c) Interviews will be carried out at the Ramsar Secretariat on 22-23 March 2007. Applicants should be prepared to be in Gland on those days if called.
d) Final decision will be communicated not later than 2 April 2007.
CONDITIONS OF SERVICE
While the Convention on Wetlands is fully recognized by the international community as an intergovernmental agreement, its secretariat is currently under the special circumstance of being administered by The World Conservation Union (IUCN), and shares the premises provided to both IUCN and the Convention by the Government of Switzerland, located in Gland. However, the Ramsar Secretariat is under the authority of the Standing Committee of the Convention and ultimately of its Conference of the Parties.
Legally, Ramsar Secretariat staff, including the Secretary General, are IUCN employees, and their contracts are governed by the IUCN Global Human Resources Policy, Guidelines and Procedures for Expatriates, Conditions of Service for Switzerland, and Swiss labor law. IUCN does not have the status of an intergovernmental organization under a host country agreement in Switzerland: consequently, IUCN must obtain a Swiss work permit for non-Swiss staff. IUCN and Ramsar staff do not have diplomatic immunity or international civil servant (UN) status.
The incumbent will be offered an initial three-year contract, subject to a three-month probation period, with expiry date on 5 August 2010.
This position is graded at level S in the IUCN Position Evaluation System. Depending upon the qualifications and experience of the successful candidate, the remuneration will be a gross salary between CHF190,000 and a maximum of CHF220,000 per annum before tax and deductions for statutory social security schemes in Switzerland and contributions to a second-pillar pension scheme.
The following additional benefits are provided: full accident insurance and a fixed contribution for health insurance (for the employee only, not his/her family); a salary entitlement in case of illness or accident; a family allowance if applicable. Expatriate entitlements include the possibility of an education allowance; a home leave travel allowance; and installation and repatriation costs. These entitlements are governed by the Guidelines and Procedures for Expatriates.
Applications should be submitted in English and should include:
a) An application letter of no more than two pages, briefly describing the suitability of the candidate for the post in relation to each of the eight selection criteria stated above, and in the order stated above.
b) A maximum one-page statement on the applicant's interpretation of the main challenges facing the Convention for achieving its Mission.
c) A curriculum vitae.
d) The names/contact details of three referees, including one recent employer.
All applications will be treated with the utmost confidentiality. E-mail applications are preferred. They should be sent only to the following address before 12 January 2007: E-mail: RamsarSGApplications@iucn.org