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United Nations ST/IC/2010/8 |
25 January 2010
10-21803 (E) 280110
To: Members of the staff
From: The Assistant Secretary-General for Human Resources Management
Subject: 2010 competitive examination for Russian-language
1. The purpose of the present information circular is to invite applications from
staff members of the Secretariat at the P-3 level and below who wish to take the
2010 competitive examination for Russian-language translators/précis-writers in
accordance with the provisions of administrative instructions ST/AI/1998/7 and
ST/AI/2000/1, as amended by administrative instruction ST/AI/2003/1.
2. The competitive examination for Russian-language translators/précis-writers
will tentatively be held on 21 April 2010 in New York, Geneva, Moscow and other
locations, according to the number and location of qualified applicants invited to
take the examination. The purpose of the examination is to establish a roster from
which present and future vacancies for Russian-language translators/précis-writers
will be filled. When vacancies arise in a service, successful applicants will be
recruited from the roster, subject to the requirements of the service in terms of
subject-matter expertise and language combinations.
3. The examination is open to staff members of the United Nations at the P-3
level and below who meet the eligibility requirements and to qualified external
applicants. Staff members from subsidiary organs of the United Nations and staff
members whose service is limited to a particular organ, fund or programme of the
United Nations or special missions are considered external applicants for the
purpose of this examination. Successful candidates will be offered a new
appointment with the United Nations subject to normal United Nations recruitment
procedures and standards. Staff members who are successful and are selected for
inclusion in the roster will be assigned to fill vacancies for Russian-language posts
as they arise in the translation services/sections/units in New York, Vienna, Geneva,
Nairobi or Bangkok. Assignments are subject to rotation (mobility) and successful
candidates may thereafter be called upon to serve at other duty stations in Africa,
Asia, Europe or at Headquarters, according to the needs of the Organization.
Successful candidates are expected to serve a minimum of five years in language
* Expiration date of the present information circular: 31 December 2010. ST/IC/2010/8
posts. The assignment of staff members of the United Nations who are successful in
the examination and are selected to fill vacancies will be subject to the conditions
set out in paragraphs 12 to 15 below.
4. Staff members of the Secretariat applying for the examination must:
(a) Have Russian as their main language;1
(b) Have a perfect command of Russian and an excellent knowledge of
English and at least one of the other official languages of the United Nations
(Arabic, Chinese, French or Spanish). The Board of Examiners, appointed by the
Assistant Secretary-General for Human Resources Management, requires that
applicants’ claims to knowledge of official languages be supported by relevant
documentation in their official status file. Staff members who have been enrolled in
a United Nations language course in any of the languages claimed must have passed
the United Nations language proficiency examination in that language. Applicants
who have not attended the United Nations language courses in the languages
claimed must substantiate their claims to knowledge of those languages. For that
purpose, staff members should give a clear explanation on the P.11 or personal
history profile (PHP) form of how they acquired their claimed knowledge of the
(c) Hold at least a three-year, first-level degree from a university or
institution of equivalent status at which Russian is the language of instruction or
hold a university degree from a school of translation at which Russian is the
language of instruction. On an exceptional basis, the Board of Examiners may
authorize applicants whose degree has been obtained in an educational
establishment where Russian is not the language of instruction to sit for the
examination if there is sufficient evidence in the candidate’s official status file, P.11
or PHP form of the required perfect command of the Russian language;
(d) Have knowledge of word-processing programmes.
5. In order to meet the Organization’s need to recruit staff for language posts who
will serve for a reasonable period of time before reaching retirement age, staff
members who do not serve on a fixed-term appointment and who will have reached
age 56 by the deadline for submission of applications, 5 March 2010, will not be
eligible to sit for the examination. There is no age limit for full-time staff members
serving on fixed-term appointments.
6. The requirement for a degree or its equivalent from a university or institution
of equivalent status mentioned in paragraph 4 (c) above may be waived for staff
members who, in the judgement of the Board of Examiners, have adequate post-
secondary education qualifications from a university or institution of equivalent
status and adequate secondary education qualifications from an establishment at
which the principal language of instruction is Russian, in addition to five years of
continuous service with the Secretariat by 31 December 1989.
7. All applicants should submit with their application a one-page essay in
Russian, explaining the reasons for their interest in taking this examination. All
applications will be reviewed by the Board of Examiners. In instances where a large
1 "Main language” should be understood to be the language in which the candidate is best able to
work. Candidates’ claims to Russian as their main language must be supported by relevant
documentation in their official status file.
number of applications are received, the Board reserves the right to admit to the
examination only the most qualified applicants based on a review of the
qualifications that are over and above the minimum criteria set out in paragraph 4
above. Convoked applicants may be required to submit evidence of degrees,
knowledge of languages and/or relevant experience prior to convocation. All
applicants will be notified of the Board’s decision in respect of their application.
The Board’s decisions are final.
8. The written examination, to be held tentatively on 21 April 2010, will consist
of four papers:
(a) Translation into Russian of a general text in English (two and a half
hours, morning of 21 April 2010). It should be noted that this paper is eliminatory.
Only candidates who are successful in this paper will have their other papers
(b) Translation into Russian of one text chosen by the candidates from a total
of four texts, one in each of the other official languages of the United Nations
(Arabic, Chinese, French or Spanish) (one and a half hours, morning of 21 April
(c) Preparation of a summary in Russian of a text in English (one and a half
hours, afternoon of 21 April 2010);
(d) Translation into Russian of one English text, to be chosen by the
candidate from a total of three specialized texts (economic, legal, scientific/
technical) (one and a half hours, afternoon of 21 April 2010).
9. The use of a dictionary or any other reference material will not be permitted
during the examinations. In addition, cell phones and other electronic devices may
not be brought into the examination room or used during the examination process.
10. On the basis of the results of each written examination, the Board of
Examiners will invite selected candidates to a competency-based interview. The
Board will interview each candidate to assess whether he or she possesses the
competencies required for the position. Candidates may also be required to take
some additional short tests at the time of the interview. The interview is an integral
part of the examination. Therefore, candidates who are invited for an interview
should not assume that they will automatically be offered an assignment. Successful
candidates who receive an offer of appointment are strongly encouraged to accept it,
as declining may affect their prospects of receiving a subsequent offer.
11. On the basis of the overall results of the examination, the Board will
recommend to the Assistant Secretary-General for Human Resources Management
the names of candidates who qualify for inclusion in the roster. All candidates
admitted to the examination will be informed in writing of the Board’s final
recommendation in respect of their candidature. The Board’s recommendations
are not subject to appeal. The Board does not release individual scores/results.
12. Staff members selected to fill vacancies will be assigned as Russian-language
translators/précis-writers for a trial period of two years. Staff members below the
P-2 level or who are in the General Service category will receive a special post
allowance to the P-2 level. Staff members at the P-2 and P-3 levels will be assigned
at their respective levels. During the trial period, following on-the-job training if
necessary, successful candidates who are recruited as translators/précis-writers ST/IC/2010/8
should be prepared to use a computer workstation, including for keyboarding and
digital dictation of their translations.
13. Successful candidates in translation assigned directly to duty stations away
from Headquarters will normally be required to spend the first six months of their
trial period in the translation service at Headquarters.
14. Staff members with a special post allowance to the P-2 level and those already
at the P-2 level who complete the trial period successfully and are recommended by
the Department for General Assembly and Conference Management and the Office
of Human Resources Management may be promoted to the P-3 level. Staff members
already at the P-3 level who complete the trial period successfully will be confirmed
in their functions at the P-3 level. After two years of satisfactory service on a fixed-
term appointment, the candidate will be considered for an appropriate, open-ended
appointment. This means that the candidate will have to demonstrate within that
time that he/she possesses the requisite qualifications to serve as a career staff
member of the United Nations in order to receive such appointment. Staff members
who do not complete the trial period successfully will be reassigned to a post at
their previous level and the special post allowance, if any, will be discontinued.
15. In accordance with the needs of the services/sections/units concerned,
successful candidates may be called upon to work outside normal working hours,
including weekends and holidays.
16. Staff members applying for the examination should complete the attached form
and submit it together with a copy of the P.11 or PHP form and the essay, mentioned
in paragraph 7 above, no later than 5 March 2010, to:
2010 Competitive Examination for Russian-language Translators/
Examinations and Tests Section
Strategic Planning and Staffing Division
Office of Human Resources Management
United Nations Secretariat
New York, New York 10017
Fax No.: (212) 963 3683
Applications may be sent by e-mail, facsimile or mail. To the extent possible,
applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their applications early and, preferably,
by e-mail or facsimile. Applications received after the aforementioned deadline will
not be considered. Incomplete applications, including those without the essay, will
not be considered either.
17. In order to ensure receipt of all applications submitted by staff members from
offices away from Headquarters, such staff members are requested to return their
applications to the Strategic Planning and Staffing Division of the Office of Human
Resources Management through the Chief Administrative Officer or Director of the
United Nations Information Centre of their respective duty stations by 5 March
2010, the deadline for receipt of applications in the Examinations and Tests Section.
Application (for staff members of the United Nations
2010 competitive examinations for Russian-language
Last name Category Level
Date of entry on duty
Type of contract
Room No. Tel. extension
Have you taken this examination before?
Have you taken another United Nations
Yes Year No
If yes, which examination(s)
What is your main language?
Please submit an up-to-date P.11 or personal history profile (PHP) form and
attach it to this application. Describe your educational background and work
experience (giving dates and length of time), in the area of translation, if any.
Applications submitted without a P.11 or PHP form or without the one-page
essay in Russian mentioned in paragraph 7 will NOT be considered.
I certify that the information I have provided above is correct to the best of my
knowledge and belief.
I have read information circular ST/IC/2010/8 and I understand that, if I am
successful in the 2010 competitive examination for Russian-language
translators/précis-writers and am recommended for inclusion in the roster, my
assignment as a Russian-language translator/précis-writer will be subject to my
acceptance of the conditions of service indicated in paragraphs 3 and 12 to 15 of the
"Main language” should be understood to be the language in which the candidate is best able to
work. Candidates’ claims to Russian as their main language must be supported by relevant
documentation in their official status files.
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