Programme Assistant, Peace and Disarmament

Closing date

This is a one-year junior professional role starting September 2021 for a person with an interest in international affairs and the United Nations and an alignment with Quaker values. Working primarily as an assistant to QUNO’s Representative for Peace and Disarmament, the Programme Assistant will gain experience of how we work to strengthen peacebuilding and disarmament processes and arms control measures through the United Nations.

Our Peace & Disarmament programme raises up the concerns of social justice linked to peacebuilding and arms control, so they are better understood by international policy makers, which leads to stronger international standards. Our current priorities are human rights-based approaches to peacebuilding, enhancing conventional arms control measures, and bridging silos at the UN.

Duties and Responsibilities

The post comprises two sets of responsibilities as follows:

1) Programme tasks

The work of Programme Assistants varies from year to year depending on the priorities of the programme and the competencies of the Programme Assistant. In assisting the Representative for Peace and Disarmament the Programme Assistant’s work will include:

· attending and reporting on UN, NGO and other meetings, giving presentations and representing QUNO at such meetings, as appropriate, and writing internal notes and reports;

· helping to develop programme strategy, by helping identify opportunities and sharing analysis on priorities;

· supporting formal and informal networks of NGOs, for example through managing mailing lists, drafting email updates, setting up meetings, taking minutes, coordinating joint positions;

· assisting in organising and participating in meetings and events at Quaker House, online and other venues;

· collecting, reading, analysing, sorting and filing documents;

· supporting all QUNO programmes to engage with peace & security and arms control mechanisms and undertaking other cross programme activities;

· writing content for and updating QUNO’s website and social media channels

· responding to enquiries by letter, email, and telephone.

Depending on the priorities of the Programme and the opportunities in the year, work will probably include:

· researching and writing submissions to the UN (for example for the Working Group on Business and Human Rights or calls for inputs from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR));

· investigating and developing a particular area of work, within the programme’s priority areas;

· preparing publications or briefing papers through research, writing, editing and liaison on design.

2) Additional Administrative and Support Tasks

· Jointly leading the organization and the logistics and programme planning for QUNO’s Geneva Summer School and taking a major role in its delivery;

· assisting with fundraising research, grant proposals and report writing;

· assisting in the arrangements for lunches and other events which take place at Quaker House or online, including providing technical support, organising catering and clearing up and other tasks around the House;

· arranging travel and other logistics for the Peace and Disarmament Representative and visiting partners;

· working with members of staff on routine clerical duties including minute taking, dealing with filing, post, photocopying, and all aspects of hospitality;

· assisting with the maintenance of the QUNO database and other tasks related to QUNO outreach activities;

· taking joint responsibility for QUNO’s communication products such as gathering content from colleagues, editing, layout and production of QUNO’s Geneva Reporter, Annual Review and other publications from across all of QUNO’s programmes, and developing content for the website and social media for QUNO as a whole (equivalent to one day per week).

Whilst the work focuses on the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva, much of the day-to-day work is administrative and takes place in the Quaker UN Office or from home when remote working is required or recommended.

Everyone at QUNO works as part of a small team and contributes to the work of all programmes, including exploring the connections between them. From time to time, we are all asked to assist in other areas of work.

How to apply

For more information download the complete job description and application form at:


Eligibility to Work in Switzerland

Regrettably, we are unable to obtain permission to employ Programme Assistants who are not nationals of Switzerland, an EU or EFTA Member State or a country participating in the Young Professionals Programme or already have permission to work in Switzerland. Please note that for this reason we currently cannot accept applications from candidates who have only UK nationality unless they already have permission to work in Switzerland for the duration of this appointment.