Office Assistant

FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

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Application deadline in 6 days: Friday 21 Jun 2024 at 21:59 UTC

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Organizational Setting

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) contributes to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda through the FAO Strategic Framework by supporting the transformation to MORE efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood systems, for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life, leaving no one behind. The Office of Climate Change, Biodiversity and Environment (OCB) works to ensure that countries and stakeholders respond to the challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss, and environmental degradation. OCB provides a cross organizational coordination role on issues related to climate change, biodiversity and the environment and is the focal point to major multilateral environmental agreements including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conferences (UNFCCC) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The Office also assists FAO Members in their responses towards the interlinked challenges of food security, climate change, biodiversity loss and environmental degradation including through facilitating access to climate and environmental financing (such as the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF)). In addition, OCB hosts the Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) Programme, the Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture as well as FAO’s work on environmental safeguards.

The post is located in the Environmental Team of OCB at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy.

Main Purpose

The Office Assistant coordinates and performs the full range of office support, management support and administrative tasks, providing for the smooth and efficient running of the Office. He/she ensures quality and consistency of the flow of office work and information in the work unit.

Supervision Received/Exercised

The Office Assistant reports to the Senior Natural Resources Officer and may receive guidance from senior staff. The incumbent operates independently, takes decisions on work priorities and exercises initiative for dealing with cases without precedents. Supervision received is focused on the quality of work output. He/she provides guidance and advice to other office support staff.

Working Relationships

The Office Assistant works closely with a wide range of colleagues in the Division with central units and external clients, performing and coordinating office and management support services and providing procedural guidance and information.

Key Functions/Results

• Screen requests for appointments with supervisor; maintain supervisor's calendar; confirm mutually convenient schedules and arrange appointments; receive visitors; screen and send e-mails; respond to queries and correspondence, often of a sensitive, confidential or technical nature. • Coordinate office support services for meetings, trainings, seminars, committees and special projects and events; attend meetings, prepare minutes, monitor follow-up activities; make arrangements for formal editing, translation, etc., of documents and publications. • Review, record, distribute and process incoming mail and correspondence; follow-up on pending actions; prepare draft 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 texts for adherence to format, grammar, punctuation and style. • Perform a variety of administrative duties, e.g. contract extensions and requests for temporary staff, leave and attendance recording, budget preparation and follow-up; coordinate with other units to ensure smooth running and expedition of work within the unit. • Research, compile and organize background information and reference materials from various sources for reports, briefs and speeches; generate a variety of statistical and other reports from various databases. • Coordinate the work of other office support staff, establish priorities and ensure equitable distribution of work; train new staff to relevant administrative procedures and practices and provide general assistance as required. • Create and maintain the work unit's filing and reference systems, including an e-book for signatures; review the efficiency of office procedures and make recommendations for improvements; update office websites. • Perform other duties as required.

Impact Of Work

The incumbent's work impacts directly on the smooth and efficient running of the Office. He/she plays a lead role in the provision of office support services for successful achievement of the organizational unit's mandate.


Minimum Requirements Education: Secondary School Education. Experience: Four years of relevant experience in office/management support work. Languages: Working knowledge (proficient - level C) of English. IT Skills: Very good knowledge of the MS Office applications, Internet and office technology equipment.

Residency: General Service Staff are recruited locally. To be eligible for this position, candidates must be nationals of the country of the duty station or possess an existing visa/work permit and reside within commuting distance of the duty station at the time of the application. "Commuting distance" means the distance within which staff members can travel daily between their place of work and their residence.


• Results Focus • Teamwork • Communication • Building Effective Relationships • Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement

Technical Skills

• Very good knowledge of communication and documentation standards. • Very good knowledge of corporate computerized financial/travel/human resources systems and administrative procedures and policies. • Very good knowledge of the organizational structure. •

Desirable Qualifications And Skills

• Good knowledge of FAO administrative procedures and guidelines, in particular electronic Document Processing Requests (eDPRs), purchase orders, funding changes, secondment request/claims. • Ability to draft, edit and prepare correspondence for OCB internal purposes and official external partners. • Very good knowledge of FAO house-style guidelines and experience in formatting and editing documents. • Very good knowledge of travel, procurement and consultant recruitment procedures. • Good knowledge of events planning and meetings organization. • Experience in budget transaction listing, monitoring and reporting. • Limited knowledge (intermediate - level B) of another official FAO language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish).

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