United Nations – The Nippon Foundation Critical Needs Fellowship

Deadline: 13 September 2019

Apply for “United Nations – The Nippon Foundation Critical Needs Fellowship” program with an aim to assist developing States, particularly least developed countries, small island developing States and landlocked developing countries, to address identified critical needs in the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and related instruments, as well as Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 and other related SDGs.

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Through the targeted building of human capacity, the Critical Needs Fellowship addresses needs-based capacity gaps at the national level to overcome critical capacity barriers to enable the most vulnerable States to better address strategically important and time-sensitive ocean affairs and the law of the sea issues they are faced with.

This specific purpose will be achieved through the delivery of critical capacity assistance, in the format of a Fellowship Programme, to Government officials from developing States with limited background in ocean affairs and the law of the sea, who are filling key positions in their Administration to address identified critical needs in the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 and other related SDGs.


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  • The Fellowship consists of a four-month training programme at the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. It consists of a highly customized programme of activities.
  • Depending on needs identified, Fellows may, during the four-month training programme, undertake a learning placement with either a Department of the United Nations Secretariat, a specialized agency, or an organization affiliated with the United Nations or other relevant organization.

Selection Criteria

  • Nominated candidates must meet all the following criteria:
    • Must be between the ages of 25 and 40;
    • Must have successfully completed a first university degree;
    • Must be Government officials from developing countries dealing directly with critical issues related to sustainable development of oceans and seas including the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; national and/or regional ocean policy; establishment of maritime zones and the delimitation of maritime boundaries; coastal zone management; conservation and management of marine living resources; maritime transport and shipping; maritime security; the protection and preservation of the marine environment; and marine science;
    • The “Nomination and Recommendation Form” must be completed by a Government official who can attest to the nature of applicants’ work with respect to the Government’s ocean affairs and law of the sea related activities, and indicate how an Award would directly contribute to these activities;
    • The proposed study programme must contribute directly to the State’s formulation and/or implementation of ocean affairs and law of the sea policies and programmes;
    • Must be free of all non-Fellowship obligations during this entire period unless otherwise authorized by the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, Office of Legal Affairs.
  • Satisfaction of the above criteria must be clearly demonstrated by the candidate through the application forms and confirmed by a Nominating Authority.
  • Women candidates are strongly invited to apply, with a view to achieve gender balance in the selection process.

How to Apply

  • The Fellowship application package consists of the following two forms:
    • The Personal History and Proposed Research/Study Programme Form
    • The Nomination and Recommendation Form
  • Applications should be sent at the address given on the website.

For more information, please visit https://www.un.org/Depts/los/critical/

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