UNNF Critical Needs Fellowship
The Critical Needs Fellowship aims to enable the most vulnerable States, particularly least developed countries, small island developing States and landlocked developing countries, to better address strategically important and time-sensitive issues facing them in ocean affairs and the law of the sea. Government officials from these States with a limited background in ocean affairs and the law of the sea, who are filling key positions in their Administration, are provided with in-depth highly customized training on ocean affairs and the law of the sea, with a focus on those areas in which States have identified critical capacity barriers.
Upon completion of the Fellowship, Fellows are expected to return to their positions and use their training on international legal frameworks, key issues and best practices in ocean affairs, the work of the United Nations, and professional skills, to assist their States 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. For further details on the Fellowship objectives see this document.
Fellowship structure, curriculum and deliverables
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. A highly customized individual curriculum is developed by DOALOS for successful candidates, based on the high‐priority needs identified by their States and with a view to building the capacity of Fellows to assist the State in effectively addressing those needs.
In addition, the Fellows will be fully integrated in the training activities developed for the UN-NF Fellows, thereby being exposed to opportunities for additional learning and networking. For further details on the Fellowship curriculum, see this document.
The deliverables of the Fellowship Programme include a number of assignments to be completed in the context of the training curriculum and the development of an ocean governance matrix.
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.
The Critical Needs Fellowship is offered annually, usually between the months of March and July.
Application process and eligibility criteria
States are invited to nominate Government officials with limited background in ocean affairs and the law of the sea, who are filling key positions in their Administration and who are tasked with assignments relating to 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.
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;
Their 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. The "Nomination and Recommendation Form" must be completed by a Government official who can attest to the nature of the candidate’s 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.
Women candidates are strongly invited to apply, with a view to achieving gender balance in the selection process.
Applications are welcome only when a call for applications is open.
Please note that the in-person implementation of the 2020 Fellowship programmes has been delayed until 2021 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. There will, accordingly, be no call for applications issued for the 2021 sessions of the Fellowship programmes.