UNHCR Representation in China
Terms of Reference
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) invites applications for the below post.
Functional Title:Senior Government Liaison Officer
Contract/Grade:Fixed Term Appointment, NOD
Duty Station:Beijing, China
Entry on Duty:01 April 2021
Duration:One year (extendable subject to satisfactory performance and availability of funds)
Application closing date: 6 November 2020
1. General Background
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was established on December 14, 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly. The agency is mandated to provide protection (including assistance) and seek durable solutions for millions of refugees around the world. In the People’s Republic of China, UNHCR registers and conducts refugee status determination for those seeking asylum, working to help refugees find solutions to their situations. UNHCR is involved with ensuring support for the protection of refugees and works with Government authorities to build domestic capacity. In addition, it has a specific mandate for the prevention and addressing situations of statelessness.
2. Organizational Context
The Senior Government Liaison Officer is usually located in country operations. S/he plays a crucial role in ensuring UNHCR’s approach to the Government is consistent, strategic and coherent. UNHCR assists the Government on coordination, response delivery and protection issues. Typically, this involves joint coordination arrangements, partnership with various government departments in service delivery, and regular dialogue at all levels on refugee protection issues. The main aim is to ensure that UNHCR can fulfil its role to support the Government to lead the refugee response ensuring the protection of refugees and - in line with the GCR - promote the inclusion of refugees into national systems by coordinating with other actors - including development actors at the early stages of a refugee response and in mixed situations supporting the Government to prevent, respond to and resolve internal displacement while complementing and reinforcing national response efforts. This should be done in line with UNHCR’s Mandate, the Global Compact for Refugees, the IDP policy, and agreed inter-agency commitments. More specifically, the incumbent advises the senior management on issues and processes concerning the relationship with the Government and related positioning, coordination, advocacy, information, resource allocation, fundraising, reporting, and communication with other UN agencies, NGOs, civil society actors, private sector, media and other relevant actors through strong engagement in humanitarian inter-agency processes, but also with a focus on development processes as they impact on UNHCR. The overall goal of the position is to strengthen and enhance the effectiveness of UNHCR’s leadership roles and responses to situations affecting people of concern to UNHCR (refugees, asylum-seekers, IDPs, stateless persons, returnees, host communities) through an open and transparent partnership approach with the Government.
Proactively lead and/or participate in meetings with the Government to ensure that refugee protection and assistance as well as inclusion of refugees into national systems is given due attention and is reflected within inter-governmental fora.
Formulate UNHCR positions on protection, assistance and inclusion of refugees; in particular by following up developments in asylum procedures and ensure senior management endorsement for internal and external consumption by providing briefing notes, talking points and issue papers for relevant discussions with the Government, and in inter-governmental fora.
Promote UNHCR's policies and liaise with Government authorities as well as with regional intergovernmental fora (IGAD, ASEAN, ECOWAS, etc) on issues related to latest humanitarian and development processes.
Establish and coordinate country-specific coordination mechanisms for situations co-led by UNHCR and the Government. Where applicable, coordinate the development of country-specific refugee response plans (or refugee and migration response plan and refugee and resilience plan) and comprehensive responses.
Participate and ensure the coherence of the work of the Multi-sector group (MSG) in accordance with the Government.
Analyse protection issues relating to refugees and asylum seekers and entry points for the inclusion of refugees into national systems and make proposals to the competent authorities for improvements.
Provide protection for persons of concern to UNHCR by ensuring the observance by the local authorities of the recognised principles of refugee law.
Intervene with the authorities in the event of refoulement or other legal action against refugees if/when necessary.
Develop, propose and implement seminars or training programmes for target groups (e.g. government, judiciary, law enforcement and academic institutions) with the aim of promoting refugee law; invest in capacity-building initiatives that strengthen the ability of host government systems and national services for coordinated refugee response and inclusion of refugees into national systems.
Maintain relations with the press and develop public information activities to ensure greater knowledge in public opinion of refugee and asylum issues and promote UNHCR objectives.
Promote the deeper understanding within UNHCR on Government-related issues and priorities.
Maintain frequent formal and informal contacts with counterparts in other organisations.
Maintain close contact with the regional bureau and HQ on emerging issues.
Perform other related duties as required.
4. Essential Minimum Qualifications and Professional Experience Required
9 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 8 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 7 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree.
Field(s) of Education: Law/International Law; Political/Social Science; Economics; Business Administration or other relevant field.
Minimum 5 years in international capacity. Excellent interpersonal skills. Experience of working with partners at field or Headquarters level. Experience of liaising with governments and/or the donor community. Thorough understanding of UNHCR's protection mandate and core mission. Thorough understanding of humanitarian coordination processes and recent inter-agency developments related to the IASC and the broader UN.
5. Desirable qualifications and competencies
Strong Field Experience. Experience in Training Design and Delivery.
Applicants who wish to be considered for this vacancy should send their (i) Letter of Motivation, (ii) CV, (iii) updated Factsheet (internal candidate only) and (iv) signed Personal History Form
(available at <http://www.unhcr.org/hk/wp-content/uploads/sites/13/2017/10/UNHCR_Personal_History_Form_October-2017.zip>) by email to email@example.com with subject “Senior Government Liaison Officer (Post No. 10003798)” no later than 6 November 2020.
1) Incomplete applications will not be considered.
2) Only those short-listed candidates will be notified and invited for written test and interview.