Vacancy Announcement – Traineeship – Mercury

Organizational Unit: Chemicals and Waste Management Programme

Duration of contract: 3 to 6 months (some flexibility)

Indicative starting date: March 2018

Duty Station: Geneva, Switzerland

Deadline for Application: 28 February 2018

General objectives

The UNITAR Chemicals and Waste Management is offering a traineeship position for young professionals or postgraduate students. The working experience is designed to allow trainees to strengthen their knowledge and gain practical experience in the work of UNITAR. They will also benefit from working in a multicultural and vibrant environment.

UNITAR-CWM has a number of key project activities in a wide range of programme areas requiring assistance based in Geneva, including but not limited to: SAICM, PRTR, GHS, mercury, and preparation of new GEF project proposals.  The Mercury programme is currently expanding and includes a number of national projects and broader global and international initiatives such as the Mercury:Learn platform, a joint UNEP-UNITAR initiative built in support of the ratification of the Minamata Convention; Mercury Management (development of Minamata Initial Assessment (MIAs) and National Action Plans for Artisanal Small Scale Gold Mining (ASGM), Global Monitoring Plan (GMP), Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), nano, Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR), Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS), Ban Amendment, and preparation of new project proposals (including Global Environment Facility (GEF)).

CWM is now accepting applications from interested and qualified candidates for a traineeship on a full-time basis at UNITAR headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

Overview of responsibilities

The trainee will provide ongoing support to the team. The services requested include:

  • Providing overall support for the effective execution of the Minamata Initial Assessment (MIA) projects in Mauritania, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Samoa and Bangladesh;
  • Assist in reviewing and revising all individual reports that compose the MIA project, including the legal and institutional analysis, the mainstreaming and socio-economic study, awareness-raising strategy, national priorities and intervention plans, as well as the final MIA report;
  • Providing support for other aspects of national legislation in relation to the sound management of chemicals and waste;
  • Contribute to the development of the CWM activities on “Women and Chemicals”.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the traineeship, the incumbent will be able to:

  • To have a thorough understanding of legal processes that support sound management of chemicals and waste;
  • To have a good understanding of multi-stakeholder consultations and processes;
  • To have a good understanding of internet-based research techniques and other research tools and methodologies;
  • To have a good understanding of the Minamata Convention and the MIA development processes;
  • To understand better the development of scientific evidence that contributes to the development of the MIA project;
  • To understand the global discourse of management of chemicals and waste;
  • To understand better the global research on chemicals and waste with a focus on mercury pollution and legal issues.


Applicants must have completed their higher education either in law, international relations, international development, political science or a related subject.

Candidates should also have:

  • Ability to write in a clear and concise manner;
  • Analytical, research and creative skills;
  • Administrative and organizational skills;
  • A high level of individual responsibility, commitment and initiative.

Language: Fluency in oral and written English is required. Good knowledge of French or Portuguese would be a valuable asset.

Duration of contract: 3 to 6 months (some flexibility)

Deadline for applications: 28 February 2018

Indicative starting date: March 2018

How to apply

Send your CV and motivation letter to quoting “Traineeship – Mercury” in your subject line.

General conditions of contracts for the service of Traineeship apply. The trainee will be hosted on UNITAR-Geneva premises. In order to cover transportation and other miscellaneous costs during the traineeship, a monthly lump-sum of CHF 700 will be paid.