Legal Affairs Associate, Macau, China At United Nations University (UNU)

United Nations University (UNU)

The United Nations University (UNU) is an international community of scholars engaged in policy-oriented research, capacity development and dissemination of knowledge, furthering the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. The mission of UNU is to contribute, through research and capacity building, to efforts to resolve the pressing global problems that are the concern of the United Nations and its Member States.

For the past four decades, UNU has been a go-to think tank for impartial research on human survival, conflict prevention, sustainable development, and welfare. With more than 400 researchers in 12 countries, UNU’s work spans the 17 Sustainable Development Goals’ full breadth, generating policy-relevant knowledge to effect positive global change. UNU maintains more than 200 collaborations with UN agencies and leading universities and research institutions across the globe. For more information, please visit

About Office of Rector

The UNU Office of the Rector supports the Rector in his capacity as chief academic and administrative officer of the UNU. The Office assists in executive management and coordination of the UNU system, and provides overall direction in matters of governance and policy development. The Office supports the work of the University’s governing board, the UNU Council and its Executive Committee, and manages the legal affairs of the University.


Under the supervision of the Senior Legal Officer, the Legal Affairs Associate will: 1. Support the Senior Legal Officer with legal analysis and research, and draft and review legal opinions, briefs, and reports on issues within the scope of the operational and administrative activities and functions of UNU, including contractual and legal issues pertaining to public and private sector partners/donors, funding proposals, human resources policies and labour relations, intellectual property rights, contract implementation and risk assessment, legal precedents/practices of UNU and the United Nations system, and the privileges and immunities of UNU and its personnel.

2. Assist the Senior Legal Officer in the review, negotiation, and drafting of legal agreements:

  •  Draft, review and finalise cooperation agreements, memoranda of understanding, donor, contribution, and grant agreements, and contracts with implementing partners;

3. Support the Senior Legal Officer by drafting and reviewing policies, guidelines, and other documents:

  •  Support in drafting, reviewing and finalising legal documents, instruments, policies and other administrative issuances with the aim of identifying salient issues and inconsistencies and improving internal knowledge management systems.

4. Contribute to knowledge building and sharing in UNU, and improving the internal knowledge management system for the Legal Office:

  •  Management of the legal database, ensuring that legal information is up-to-date, accessible, and relevant.
  •  Develop and maintain the legal section of the UNU Intranet.

5. Support the Office of the Rector:

  •  Support the Office of the Rector as needed in various analytic and administrative tasks, including by assisting in the preparation for the sessions of the UNU governing board and other meetings by drafting and revising agendas, discussion papers, briefs, reports, and minutes.

6. Perform other duties as required by the Senior Legal Officer or head of the Rector’s Office.

Key Performance Indicators

  •  High quality, accurate, and timely legal advice;
  •  Quality and timely review and preparation legal documents, including agreements, policies, and guidelines;
  •  Effective and efficient coordination with stakeholders;
  •  Effective engagement with UNU personnel to disseminate legal knowledge; and
  •  Timely, cogent written products and support in academic and administrative projects for the Rectorate.



  •  Inclusion – Take action to create an environment of dignity and respect for all, regardless of age, culture, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, gender expression, geography, grade, language, nationality, racial identity, religion, sex, sex characteristics, sexual orientation, social origin or any other aspect of identity.
  •  Integrity – Act ethically, demonstrating the standards of conduct of the United Nations and taking prompt action in case of witnessing unprofessional or unethical behaviour, or any other breach of UN standards.
  •  Humility – Demonstrate self-awareness and willingness to learn from others.
  •  Humanity – Act according to the purposes of the United Nations: peace, dignity and equality on a healthy planet.


  •  Connect and Collaborate – Build positive relationships with others to advance the work of the United Nations and work coherently as One UN
  •  Analyse and Plan – Seek out and use data from a wide range of sources to understand problems, inform decision-making, propose evidence-based solutions and plan action
  •  Deliver Results with Positive Impact – Hold oneself and others accountable for delivering results and making a positive difference to the people and causes that the United Nations serves
  •  Learn and Develop – Pursue own learning and development and contribute to the learning and development of others
  •  Adapt and Innovate – Demonstrate flexibility, agility and the ability to think and act in novel ways


Education and certification

  •  An advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent degree) in law is required. OR A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree


  •  At least two (2) years of relevant work experience practicing law, including public international law, some of which is preferably in an international setting or for an international organization;
  •  Strong skills in drafting a broad range of documents of a legal nature, including briefing notes and reports on legal issues, policy documents and issuances, legal advice and contractual documents;
  •  Strong verbal communication skills, including a demonstrated ability to provide oral briefings on complex legal issues to legal and non-legal audiences;
  •  Client orientation with constructive approach to the resolution of problems and dedication to providing timely support;
  •  Ability to work efficiently and effectively under pressure;
  •  Strong interpersonal skills and personal maturity;
  •  Integrity and probity; ability to work with utmost discretion in handling sensitive and confidential matters;
  •  Sound judgment;
  •  Ability to multi-task, handling a complex workload involving concurrent deadlines;
  •  Ability to establish, build and sustain effective relationships with clients, demonstrating understanding of client’s perspective; ability to anticipate client needs and addresses them promptly; and
  •  Excellent team player with strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work in a multi-cultural, multi- ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.
  •  Prior experience of working in a UN legal office and knowledge of the privileges and immunities of international organizations is highly desirable.
  •  A legal professional qualification, such as Bar membership, is considered an asset.
  •  Strong command of Office 365 and SharePoint is highly desirable.

Language Requirements:

  •  Fluency in English is required.
  •  Knowledge of another UN official working language is an asset.


The successful candidate will be employed under an international Personnel Service Agreement (PSA). UNU offers an attractive compensation package including an annual net salary (of/in the range of) JPY 5,665,000 – JPY 6,457,000, commensurate with the experience and qualifications of the candidate. Benefits include 30 days annual leave and a health insurance scheme.

PSA holders are required to enroll in Japan’s national social health care and pension insurance systems. UNU is not liable for any taxes that may be levied on the remuneration PSA holders receive under their employment contract. Payment of any such taxes remains the sole responsibility of PSA holders.

Duration of contract

The duration of the initial contract is one (1) year with the possibility for renewal subject to funding and satisfactory work performance. The combined duration on a PSA contract with UNU may not exceed six (6) years. The mandatory age of retirement for PSA holders is 65 years.

Expected start date

1 December 2023 or early 2024 depending on visa requirements.

How to Apply

To apply to UNU, you will not need an account. Instead, we ask that you:

  •  Apply via the apply link;
  •  Fill in the UNU P11 form (please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organisations);
  •  Provide a motivation statement (in the P11 form);
  •  Answer the questions provided at the link.You may wish to refer to the UN Values and Behaviours Framework for more information.

Application Deadline

1 October 2023


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by a competency-based interview, background checks, and references.

Special Notice PSA holders do no hold international civil servant status nor are they considered a “staff member” as defined in the UN Staff Rules and Regulations.

UNU is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities to apply and become part of the organization. Applications from developing countries, and from women are strongly encouraged. Eligible internal applicants are also encouraged to apply.

UNU has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNU, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination.

Information about UNU rosters

UNU reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement. We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNU at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.

Scam Warning

UNU does not charge any application, processing, training, interviewing, testing or other fee in connection with the application or recruitment process. Should you receive a solicitation for the payment of a fee, please disregard it. Furthermore, please note that emblems, logos, names and addresses are easily copied and reproduced. Therefore, you are advised to apply particular care when submitting personal information on the web.



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October 2023