Job Description

New York City

Saturday, 29 June 2019

UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs




Org. Setting and Reporting

The vacancy is in the Capacity Development Unit of the International Tax and Development Cooperation Branch in the Financing for Sustainable Development Office (FSDO), United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. The Office is mandated to provide effective substantive support for sustained follow-up to and implementation of the agreements and commitments reached at the International Conferences on Financing for Development, including these contained in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA), as well as the means of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The FSDO’s Capacity Development Unit is tasked with overseeing and coordinating all capacity development activities, undertaken by the Office, aimed at better enabling Member States to implement the above agreements and commitments. The Office also provides secretariat support to the work of United Nations Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters. The Adviser will be member of DESA’s IRA Network. The services of the IRA aim to ensure the provision of high-level technical expertise, the transfer of knowledge from global entities to Governments on policy-related issues and development strategies and the formulation, assessment or evaluation of projects and programmes. The services of the IRA need to comply with intergovernmental guidance on the use of the Regular Programme on Technical Cooperation (RPTC), when appropriate, and with strategies and guidance concerning capacity development activities endorsed by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs and supported by the Capacity Development Office. The Inter-regional Adviser reports to the Chief of Branch.


The incumbent:
1.Provides support to the regular programme of technical cooperation in the area of international tax cooperation, including preparation of capacity development tools to be used to conduct training seminars and provide technical advice related to implementing UN Model Tax Convention-based treaties as well as in the area of transfer pricing and in other relevant aspects of policy and administration; Undertakes short-term field missions to Governments and other relevant stakeholders in developing countries upon their request to provide advice on aspects of international taxation, including the negotiation and administration of bilateral tax treaties based on the United Nations Model Double Taxation Convention between Developed and Developing Countries (the UN Model) as well as policy and administration issues related base erosion and profit shifting, as well as on tax aspects related to resource mobilization for achieving the SDGs;
2.Monitors, studies and analyzes the trends and best practices in international taxation matters and prepares advisory notes to inform Governments as well as feed into the intergovernmental process;
3. Contributes to the design/redesign of national policies and strategies on international tax matters, upon requests from developing countries, and to the achievement of the SDGs and/or implementation relevant international norms and standards;
4.Provides leadership in the design and implementation of capacity development programmes, projects and activities at national, regional and global levels and carries out relevant programmatic, , monitoring, reporting and evaluation activities on these initiatives. These will include: (1) face-to-face training on double tax treaties based on the UN Model, as well as on transfer pricing based on the United Nations Practical Manual on Transfer Pricing for Developing Countries (UN TP Manual); (2) technical cooperation activities in follow up to the latest developments, especially at the UN level, in the area of tax base protection; (3) capacity development activities on policy and administration aspects related to sustainable development-oriented tax reforms; (4) development of publications on issues related to international tax cooperation, in particular in the area of tax base protection; (5) development of tools addressing tax-related aspects of SDG-responsive fiscal policies.
5.Coordinates activities related to budget funding (programme/project preparation and submissions, progress reports, financial statements,etc.) and prepares related documents/reports (pledging, work programme, programme budget, etc).
6.Ensures implementation of gender mainstreaming guidelines by assessing the implications for men and women of any planned action, including legislation, policies or programmes, in all areas and at all levels;
7.Makes substantive contributions to global/regional/subregional/ national workshops, seminars, colloquia, other training events, including proposals concerning agenda topics, possible participants, preparation of documents and presentations, etc.; Contributes to the Department’s resource mobilization strategies, notably as far as extrabudgetary funding is concerned and develops and updates training materials for the areas covered in capacity development activities for the use by different stakeholders and provides inputs for the normative and advocacy functions of the Division based on the capacity development expertise. Work implies frequent interaction with the following: High-level counterparts, senior officers and technical staff in relevant UN Secretariat entities and in UN funds, programmes and specialized agencies. Members of the United Nations Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters; high-level representatives and officials in national governments, international (including regional and inter-regional) organizations, non-governmental organizations, business groups, academia and consultants.

Expected Outputs: Written outputs (policy papers, technical notes, etc.) of sound and innovative advice to strengthen DESA’s own capacity to undertake capacity development in developing countries by proposing innovative approaches and methodologies in capacity needs assessment, results-based management and monitoring and evaluation, and synergies and complementarities with other parts of the UN development system; Written outputs (mission reports, policy papers, technical notes, etc.) of sound and innovative advice to Governments and other relevant stakeholders in developing countries; The advisory services provided should cover a wide range of issues, including developing strategies for issues on a long-term and large-scale basis in the best interests of clients and/or, as appropriate, of the organization; Other expected outputs include, as appropriate, policy and administrative recommendations, complex papers, analysis, toolkits, guidance notes,project proposals, and, upon request, substantive sections of reports and studies, publications, etc.


The successful incumbent is expected to adhere to and practice the three core values of the UN system (integrity, professionalism and respect for diversity) and in particular possess the following competencies:

Professionalism: In general: a) Shows pride in his/her work and achievements; b) demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter (as described above); c) is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; d) is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; e) shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; d) remains calm in stressful situations. In particular DESA is looking for staff with the following technical professional skills: 1) high-level technical expertise in the area of international tax policy and administration, including international tax cooperation, including in the area of bilateral tax treaties, transfer pricing and addressing tax avoidance and evasion; 2) familiarity with relevant international taxation developments, including an understanding of the work and role of the United Nations Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters; 3) proven ability in preparing robust project proposals; 4) familiarity with potential donors’ policies (member states, UNDP, global funds, International Financial Institutions, etc.); 5) familiarity with concepts and approaches related to capacity development and conversant with RBB/RBM approaches and M&E approaches; 6) proven ability to be a broker of knowledge (not only provider of knowledge, brokering issues close to DESA normative analytical mandates); 7) proven ability in building partnerships with national institutions and other organizations involved in the development process; 8) proven ability in mobilizing resources; 9) taking responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

Planning and Organizing: a) Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; b) identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; c) allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; d) foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; e) monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; f) uses time efficiently.

Creativity: a) Actively seeks to improve programmes or services; b) Offers new and different options to solve problems or meet client needs; c) Promotes and persuades others to consider new ideas; d) Takes calculated risks on new and unusual ideas; thinks “outside the box”; e) Takes an interest in new ideas and new ways of doing things; f) Is not bound by current thinking or traditional approaches.


Advanced University degree (Master’s degree or equivalent degree) in macroeconomics, public finance, accounting, tax law, international relations, international law or a related field.

Work Experience

A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in the area of international taxation, including bilateral tax treaty aspects of tax base erosion and other aspects of international tax cooperation is required. At least five years of the professional experience should be advisory work in developing countries (including transition countries), preferably in more than one region. Experience in the implementation of capacity-building activities on financing for development-related matters in developing countries, preferably in more than one region, is desirable.


An excellent knowledge of English and Spanish is required. Knowledge of another UN official language would be an advantage.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.

Special Notice

This Job Opening refers to a specialised interregional adviser position. The initial appointment is for one year. Annual renewal of appointment is subject to endorsement by an internal Departmental Panel on the continued need for the technical speciality depending on updates to DESA’s priorities in the area of capacity development, and availability of funds. The functional requirements will be reassessed after five years. Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures. This vacancy is subject to availability of post and funds. 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 as a Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.


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.

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.

No Fee


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