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Finance Officer

Vacancy #:   3917
Unit:   Ramsar Convention Secretariat
Organization:   The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar)
Location:   Headquarters, Gland, Switzerland
Reporting to:   Secretary General
Work percentage:   100%
Grade:   P2
Expected start date:   01 May 2019
Type of contract:   Max-term (24 months with possibility of renewal)
Closing date:   19 December 2018
The Convention on Wetlands, also known as the “Ramsar Convention” from the name of the city in Iran where it was signed in 1971, is an intergovernmental treaty which provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and sustainable use of wetland biodiversity and services. It was the first of the modern global multilateral environmental agreements and remains the only one devoted to a specific critical ecosystem.

The Ramsar Convention Secretariat has its headquarters in Gland, Switzerland where the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), provides some administrative services to the Convention’s Contracting Parties for the operations and implementation of the Convention.

The Finance Officer is responsible for the financial administration of the Ramsar Convention, facilitating positive relationships with donors, providing clear financial information to the Contracting Parties to the Convention and advising the Secretary General on the financial management of the Convention. The incumbent is responsible for financial management within the Secretariat through the provision of accurate and timely information on both core and project finances. The Finance Officer will adjust to the needs of the Secretariat’s recurring triennial cycle.

The Finance Officer has a major role in the effective management of the resources of the Convention. Responsible for approximately CHF 3 million in project funds; and CHF 5 million in annual contributions to the core budget.


The Finance Officer is involved in all areas of preparation of budgets; working closely with the Secretary General for the core budget, and the regional teams for non-core projects. The Finance Officer is responsible for the following operational tasks:

• Reviewing and, if necessary, adapting the Convention’s financial and administrative processes and procedures in accordance with the processes of the host organisation, IUCN, The International Union for Conservation of Nature.
• Preparing budgets for the Convention for approval by the Standing Committee and the triennial Conference of the Parties.
• Calculating the annual contributions (the core funding of the Secretariat) and overseeing the invoicing and collection processes for the Secretariat.
• Presenting the yearly budget and results to the Standing Committee.
• Presenting monthly core financial reports to the Secretary General.
• Overseeing the preparation of travel and expense advances for all related meetings.
• Overseeing the preparation and input of invoices for submission to authorising signatories.
• During the year of the Conference of the Parties, taking responsibility for the Convention’s Conference of the Parties Administrative budget and also sponsored delegates’ travel and travel costs.
• Responsible for the overview and control of all contracts and monitors the register of these commitments. The Finance Officer also oversees the service arrangements between Ramsar and IUCN regarding financial services, and is responsible for the annual external audit.
• Organising training for staff on financial management procedures and provide support to staff to follow the processes in place.
• For non-core projects, including grants programmes, the Finance Officer is responsible for providing guidance to staff with project management responsibilities, preparing budgets, controlling contracts and expenditures and reporting to donors.


The Finance Officer is particularly responsible for:

• Ensuring that the budgeting process reflects and supports the guidance and instructions from the Standing Committee and the Conference of the Parties.
• Providing a clear picture and understanding of the financial health of the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, including the development of a set of financial performance indicators.
• Closely liaising with IUCN to ensure provision of high quality financial information to the Secretary General and Convention bodies to support good decision making.
• Harmonising Ramsar’s financial processes with IUCN.
• Providing support and high quality relevant information to fundraising efforts to ensure adequate income and strong interest and commitment from donors.


This position will have direct management responsibility for a finance and accounting assistant position.
The Finance Officer works as part of a whole-of-Secretariat approach, thus taking responsibility on the tasks included in this job description and supporting others to deliver on the common goals and objectives of the Secretariat and at the required standards of financial management.

The Finance Officer has a key role in Secretariat technology projects, both in relation to the project specification and vendor selection, and supporting the project management and delivery.
  • 5-7 years' experience in a finance manager position in an international environment

• Recognised Accounting diploma (such as CA or equivalent)

• Experience preparing required information and being the key contact person for annual Financial Statement audits

• Excellent managerial, analytical, interpersonal, negotiating and team building skills

• Ability to work under pressure, deal tactfully with sensitive issues

• Good oral and written presentation skills

• Experience with ERP computer systems (such as Navision)

• Experience preparing and tracking annual/triennium and donor project budgets

• Experience with donor reporting

• Experience in finance management in an intergovernmental setting would be a plus

• Experience and willingness to spend time to dig into details when necessary

• Fluency in written & spoken English. French and/or Spanish as advantage.
The gross annual salary for this position is in the range from CHF 100'355 to CHF 125'444, subject to deductions for social security contributions and second-pillar pension, and before tax.

Applicants are requested to apply online through the HR Management System, by opening the vacancy announcement and pressing the "Apply" button.

Applicants will be asked to create an account and submit their profile information. Applications will not be accepted after the closing date. The vacancy closes at midnight, Swiss time (GMT+1 / GMT+2 during Daylight Saving Time, DST). Please note that only selected applicants will be personally contacted for interviews.

Other job opportunities are published in the IUCN website: http://www.iucn.org/involved/jobs/

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