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Linguist (Chinese) (P-3)

About Us


The Secretariat for the Policy-Making Organs facilitates meetings and wider consultations between States Parties and the Technical Secretariat, ensuring substantive and operative support to the policy-making organs and their subsidiary bodies in their decision making processes, including the follow-up and implementation of their decisions.


In support of this, the Secretariat for the Policy-Making Organs is responsible for the setting of agendas, coordination and meeting support for all scheduled and unscheduled meetings, provision of internal guidance including language and document-processing support to ensure the timely circulation of official-series documents, and provision of reprographic services within the Organisation. 


General Information

  • Contract Type
    Fixed-term Professional
  • Grade
  • Total Salary (including post adjustment)
    USD 87,663
  • Closing Date


Job Summary

The Language Services Branch provides the Organisation and its Policy-Making Organs with linguistic support (editorial, interpretation, and translation services) to assist in their decision-making processes, as well as in the follow-up and implementation of their decisions.

Main Responsibilities

The successful candidate will carry out translation/interpretation and quality control tasks for a variety of projects, ensuring that the translations are clear, coherent and completed on time. This role will involve translation from recorded/written communications or interpretation as people are speaking. The office desk will often be replaced by soundproof booths, where you will listen to speakers through headphones and then deliver their translations through microphones. You may also interpret directly from the conference tables of speakers, or to a limited audience at press conferences and private meetings. The importance of translated information goes far beyond the conference room. Translations of major documents are often cited by the media, quoted in statements and incorporated into legislation.


This role requires great concentration and split-second accuracy to be able to precisely translate speeches as they are occurring. You must have excellent oral comprehension skills, versatility, and an ability to stay calm under pressure and complete tasks within prescribed deadlines. You will work with other language experts, and to share credit equally with others and to accept responsibility for any team issues will be a few of your daily challenges.


To view the complete job outline, please click here.

Qualifications and Experience


You should have a degree or equivalent qualification, preferably in translation and interpretation, from a university or an institution of equivalent status.

  • High level skill in translation (general, specialised, and technical subjects);
  • Knowledge of the Chemical Weapons Convention and related disarmament and technical issues, as well as an understanding of international affairs, is desirable.

Knowledge and Experience

Make sure you have at least 5 years with an advanced degree (or 7 years with a first-level degree) of continuous translation and interpretation experience, preferably within the United Nations System.

Skills and Competencies

To succeed in this role you will need the following skills and competencies:

  • Perfect command of Chinese language, both written and spoken (which must be a first language);
  • Ability to work effectively to meet deadlines as part of a team;
  • Good interpersonal skills and ability to work harmoniously in a multicultural environment;
  • Ability to plan and organise;
  • Tact, accuracy, and respect for confidentiality;
  • Ability to work independently or with minimal supervision in exceptional circumstances.


Fluency in English is essential and a good working knowledge of one of the other official languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish) is desirable.

Additional Information

This fixed-term appointment is for the duration of two years with a six-month probationary period, and is subject to the OPCW Staff Regulations and Interim Staff Rules.

The OPCW is a non-career organisation with limited staff tenure. The total length of service for Professional staff shall not exceed 7 years.

The Director-General retains the discretion to not make any appointment to this vacancy, to make an appointment at a lower grade, or to make an appointment with a modified job description. Several vacancies may be filled.

Only applications submitted before the closing date and through OPCW CandidateSpace will be considered. Only applicants under serious consideration for a post will be contacted.

Applications from qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged.

OPCW General Terms and Conditions


Important notice for applicants who are currently insured under the Dutch Social Security system

Although headquartered in the Netherlands, the OPCW is not a regular Dutch employer but a public international organisation with its own special status. Please be advised that if you are currently insured under the Dutch Social Security system, you will be excluded from this system as a staff member of the OPCW. You will consequently be insured under the organisation’s system. The above also applies to your dependents unless they are employed by a regular Dutch employer, they are self-employed in the Netherlands, or are receiving Dutch social security payments.

Please refer to the website of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment for more information about the possible consequences for you and your dependents, such as exclusion from ‘AWBZ’ and ‘Zorgverzekeringswet’ coverage: ‘Werken bij een internationale organisatie’.