Programme Assistant

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

Paris, France

The World Heritage Centre of the Culture Sector of UNESCO ensures the Secretariat, management and effective implementation of the 1972 Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. The Entity also supports the implementation of the 2011 Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape. The Arab States Unit of the World Heritage Centre is one of the regional units of the Entity, ensuring the day-to-day management and effective implementation of the 1972 Convention in 19 States Parties of the Arab States region.

Under the overall authority of the Assistant Director-General for Culture (ADG/CLT), the general supervision of the Director of World Heritage (DIR/WH) and the direct supervision of the Head of the Arab States Unit, the Programme Assistant provides support in the organization and delivery of programme activities/projects, carrying out a range of office support and administrative functions, as a member of the team.

In particular, the incumbent will:

Produce, consolidate, complete and edit in final form a variety of documents, publications and correspondence related to the work of the Unit, on the basis of draft texts. Search, locate, compile, review and update information and data used in the development of documents, work plans and budgets, while ensuring accuracy and compliance with the approved data and amounts. Enter data in and run reports from automated systems, including on programme/project implementation, budgetary and financial information, statistics and/or projections. Provide administrative support for resource mobilization initiatives.

Prepare required administrative documentation in line with internal rules and procedures and in collaboration with the Administrative Unit of the Culture Sector (CLT/AO), using templates and learning from previous practice. Initiate administrative procedures and ensure follow-up, notably with regards to contracts, submission of related deliverables and payments. Inform team members of administrative processes, ensure the appropriate follow-up and alert team members of outstanding tasks, deadlines and bottlenecks. Perform general administrative tasks. Maintain files (both paper and electronic) and databases for the Unit.

Organize meetings, events and workshops by providing the necessary administrative and logistical support. Organize the related official travel on mission by making travel arrangements, tracking and preparing itineraries, preparing the necessary documentation such as visa applications, and providing assistance in view of facilitating the overall preparation of missions. Provide administrative support for the events; collate/format information and data for presentation in final form; inform participants; organize the distribution of documentation; draft minutes, collect information/documentation and prepare associated documentation.

Receive, analyze, sort, register and distribute correspondence and documents. Update and maintain large distribution lists and process requests for data and reports; determine the importance and priority of documents received, and ensure the appropriate follow-up on the internal processes entailed. Draft, review, proofread and edit outgoing correspondence according to standard practices and protocol; recommend changes/corrections; handle arrangements for the translations of documents. Maintain information systems and databases.
Long Description
Respond to enquiries and follow up on routine outstanding matters; route information and queries; provide information to supervisor and colleagues; make appointments, receive visitors, answer general enquiries and/or refer them to the concerned Programme Specialist(s) or entity(ies). Liaise with various entities in the Culture Sector or within UNESCO, including the Executive Office and the Administrative Unit of the Culture Sector, as well as Central Services of UNESCO in order to obtain relevant information/clarifications. Provide guidance to short-term temporary staff on general office processes and procedures, automated systems, etc. 

Required Qualifications


  • Completed secondary, technical or vocational school.

Work Experience

  • Minimum of three (3) years of relevant work experience in secretarial, and/or administrative support tasks or related tasks, preferably in an international environment.

Skills & Competencies

  • Good interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Good skills in drafting correspondence and documents in English and French, with strong attention to detail.
  • Good organizational and coordination skills with the ability to take initiative, establish priorities and monitor own work plans.
  • Ability to work under pressure, to deal with complex and sensitive situations and flexibility to adjust work schedules.
  • Diplomacy and politeness in dealing with external and internal partners requesting information.
  • Ability to work efficiently in a multi-cultural environment, with team spirit.
  • Good IT skills, including MS Office software (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint etc.).


  • Excellent knowledge (written and spoken) of English or French and good knowledge of the other language.