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UNIC Port of Spain - Caribbean UN - Wayde Mark Ramnarine

World population set to grow another 2.2 billion by 2050

The world’s population is set to grow by 2.2 billion between now and 2050, the UN said on Wednesday, and more than half of that growth - 1.3 billion - is likely to be in sub-Saharan Africa, where women’s rights are hampered by limited access to healthcare and education, along with “entrenched gender discrimination”.

Monica Ferro, Director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) in Geneva, said the trend globally is towards smaller families, indicating that more people are making choices about exactly how many children they want, or can afford to raise.

Despite the gradual transition to lower fertility rates, which began in Europe in the late 19th century, no country can claim that all their citizens enjoy reproductive rights at all times, Ms Ferro told journalists at a press briefing. “No matter if it is a high fertility-rate country or low fertility-rate country, in both of them, you will find individuals and couples who say they don’t have the number of children they want. They either have too many or too few.”

In 43 countries, women have more than 4 children

According to UNFPA’s State of World Population 2018, there are 43 countries where women have more than four or more children, and 38 of these are in Africa.

In all but five East African countries, fewer than half of all women surveyed, said they would prefer not to have any more children.

If UNFPA’s predictions are correct, Africa’s share of the world population will grow from 17 per cent in 2017, to 26 per cent in 2050.

Staying with the African continent, fertility rates are “significantly lower” in cities than in rural areas, the report indicates. In Ethiopia, for example, women have around 2.1 children in cities, whereas they have around five in the rest of the country.

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Vacancy for a Project Engineer (Engineering Specialist ) for office fit-out - UNHCR

  • 16 October 2018 |
  • Published in Notices

Deadline for this application - 26 October 2018


UNHCR office in Trinidad and Tobago is planning to move to a new office premise given the increase in the staffing level due to Venezuela situation response. A suitable building has been identified in Port of Spain.

The two-story building is approximately 8000 sq ft and comes with secure underground parking (basement). It was previously occupied by a diplomatic presence, but has not been occupied for the last 6 years. While the building is structurally sound and in line with MOSS requirements, it requires internal refurbishment including carpeting, repainting, partitioning and installation of security features (CCTV, smoke alarms, emergency signs etc.).  A layout design has already been developed with a specified Scope of Work.  UNHCR seeks to contract a suitably qualified Civil Project Engineer who will provide oversight and guidance on the project to its completion.


This assignment is procured with following major objectives:

  1. Provide support to reorganize the layout in a cost effective and functional manner while respecting safety and security concerns.
  2. Assure that the fit-out works meet UNHCR operational requirements while prioritizing the most critical works to provide a ‘complete and usable facility’.
  3. Ensure the suitability and accuracy of design, quality construction and transparent project execution.
  4. Mitigate and resolve probable technical problems associated with the project and hence accelerate project execution.

The services of a Project Engineer are required to provide necessary service/support to UNHCR agency in engineering and contract management aspects of the project, so that the above mentioned objectives shall be achieved. The specific responsibilities are broadly divided into two headings

Task and Responsibilities

The duties shall comprise the complete engineering services related to the project design and construction supervision. All services shall be performed in accordance with any applicable UNHCR, host nation building and fire norms, standards, building codes and/or international standards.

The services shall comprise the complete engineering services related to the project design and construction supervision. All services shall be performed in accordance with any applicable UNHCR and host nation building and fire norms, standards, and building codes and/or International standards.

1. General requirements and principles

The incumbent shall participate in all meetings and advise the Employer by:

  1. Performing technical administration and management of activities pertaining to the renovation of the demised premise;
  2. Leading and serving as UNHCR point of contact in any discussion, meeting or review on construction related matters;
  3. Provide necessary technical support to the UNHCR on its project management, including risk management, cost control, scheduling, monitoring and reporting;
  4. Review design documents, modify design and make changes where necessary;
  5. Regularly updating the Employer on the status of the project;
  6. Maintaining hard and soft copy of project and technical documentation.

1.1.   Construction supervision and post‐construction phase responsibilities:

The Project Engineer will supervise construction of the project components; monitor construction methods and quality control; certify that the quality of works conforms to the specifications, norms, standards and drawings; assess the adequacy of the Contractor's input materials, labour, equipment, and construction methods; resolution of contractual issues, furnish all revisions and detailed drawings as necessary during the continuance of the contract; attend third party inspections as necessary; examine the Contractor's claims for variations/extension, additional compensation, etc., and prepare recommendation for approval by Employer; record the work measurement, certify the Contractor's claim and assist in contract monitoring and in preparing the “as built” drawings for issuance of work completion certificate to the Contractor. Responsibilities of Project Engineer under this heading includes, but not necessarily limited to following:

  1. Scrutinize and approve Contractor’s detailed work program including Contractor’s resource planning;
  2. Scrutinize and approve construction methods proposed by Contractor, modify as necessary and monitor environmental and social safeguard requirements;
  3. Assess and enforce the adequacy of Contractors’ inputs in terms of materials, equipment, construction machinery, workers, funds, and construction approach and methodologies;
  4. Supervise and monitor construction of all project components, modify designs as required by site conditions and issue variation orders to the Contractor; check measurements for works completed and in-progress and verify bills for payments to the Contractors;
  5. Interpret the technical specifications, where required;
  6. Supervise all aspects of construction work including periodical inspection of Contractor’s machinery and equipment;
  7. Attend third party inspections, as necessary, and provide certification on the quality of the supplies based on such inspections;
  8. Monitor mobilization and progress of work;
  9. Prepare bi-weekly progress reports and draft final project completion report within one month of the completion of the services;
  10. Approve and/or issue working drawings and issuing instructions to the Contractors as required in accordance with the contract specification and Contractors’ quality management plan;
  11. Maintain detailed records of measurement of the completed works, correspondence, detailed diaries, photographs, daily site records submitted by the Contractor on ambient conditions and Contractor's resources at the site and their use including other documents concerning relevant events and activities;
  12. Approve interim certificates for progress payments and verify the quantities for such certificates and recommend for payment to the employer;
  13. Asses and make recommendations to the employer on the Contractor’s claim for additional payment, extension of time and any other matters related to contract administration;
  14. Certify completion of part or all of the works and issue the Taking Over Certificate;
  15. Check and certify ‘as-built' drawings for the works prepared by the Contractors at the end of assignment;
  16. At the completion of the works, assist the Employer in preparing a consolidated Project Completion Report in the format as prescribed by UNHCR;
  17. Inspect the works at appropriate intervals during defect liability period and recommend for certification.

1.2.   Approval by the Employer:

The incumbent will be required to obtain specific approval of the Employer before taking any of the following actions that are specified in the Contract:

  1. Approving subcontracting of any parts of the works issuing variation order;
  2. Approving extension time;
  3. Fixing new rates for works.

A.      Essential minimum Education and Professional qualifications:

  1. Minimum five (5) years of successful documented experience in either:
    1. Design of office buildings;
    2. Active registration in the professional board of engineers (or architects) in the Trinidad and Tobago.
    3. University degree in Civil Engineering / Architecture.
    4. Construction supervision and accounting
  2. Working knowledge of the following standard software packages:
    1. MS Outlook
    2. MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
    3. MS Project
    4. Adobe Acrobat Professional
    5. Autodesk AutoCAD (2D)
  3. Working knowledge of the English language, with special regard to technical English.


A.      Desirable qualifications:

  1. Masters in Civil Engineering or related disciplines.
  2. Experience in Electrical Engineering is desirable.

B.      Consultancy:

  1. It is anticipated that the chosen applicant will be contracted for a period of 3 months, with approximately two days of work per week.

C.       Submissions:

To apply, send UNHCR Personal History Form (use Supplementary Sheet for extra space) and application/letter of motivation, resume to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and note in the subject line: Project Engineer and submit by 26th October 2018 together with your motivation letter, CV and a price proposal.  Please note that submissions without the UNHCR Personal History Form and the price proposal will be deemed as incomplete and not included for further consideration.

Unsuitable Candidates will not be acknowledged

Message on International Day for the Eradication of Poverty - 17 October 2018

Twenty-five years ago, the world commemorated the first International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Since then, nearly 1 billion people have escaped poverty, thanks to political leadership, inclusive economic development and international cooperation.

However, many are still being left behind. Over 700 million people are unable to meet their basic daily needs. Many live in situations of conflict and crisis; others face barriers in accessing health care, education and job opportunities, preventing them from benefitting from broader economic development. And women are disproportionately affected.

Eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, as embodied in Goal 1 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, remains one of the greatest global challenges and a major priority for the United Nations.

This year, as we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, let us remember that ending poverty is not a matter of charity but a question of justice. There is a fundamental connection between eradicating extreme poverty and upholding the equal rights of all people.

We must listen to the millions of people experiencing poverty and destitution across the globe, tackle the power structures that prevent their inclusion in society and address the indignities they face. We must build a fair globalization that creates opportunities for all and ensure that rapid technological development boosts our poverty eradication efforts. On this International Day for the Eradication of Poverty let us commit to uphold the core pledge of the 2030 Agenda to leave no one behind

UN report shows climate change causing ‘dramatic rise’ in economic losses

Climate-related and geophysical disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis have killed 1.3 million people over the last 20 years and left a further 4.4 billion injured, homeless or in need of emergency assistance, UN experts said on Wednesday.


The findings, published by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), also show that people in low- and middle-income countries are seven times more likely to die from natural disasters than those in developed nations.

“This puts a big emphasis on the need to…make sure that we curb greenhouse gas emissions,” said Ricardo Mena, UNISDR chief, in charge of implementing the Sendai Framework.

Failing to do this, risks letting climate-related hazards get out of control, he told journalists in Geneva, before calling for greater investment in disaster risk-reduction measures, “so that we do not allow for countries to create new risk”.

In terms of the impact of disasters on the global economy between 1998 and 2017, affected countries reported direct losses of $2.908 trillion. That’s more than twice what was lost in the previous two decades.

Illustrating the growing threat from climate change, extreme weather events now account for 77 per cent of total economic losses, $2.245 trillion, the report notes.

This represents a “dramatic rise” of 151 per cent compared with losses reported between 1978 and 1997, which amounted to $895 billion.

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UN resolution paves way for mass use of driverless cars

A resolution to ensure the safe use of automated vehicles was passed at the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Global Forum on Road Traffic Safety in Geneva, on Wednesday.

In a statement, the UNECE said that automated vehicles have the potential to create safer, more efficient and environmentally friendly transport, which could reshape entire sectors of the economy and improve the lives of millions of people, notably those unable to drive or with limited access to mobility.

However, there are still many questions relating to areas such as road safety standards, traffic rules, insurance regimes, cybersecurity and data protection, which must still be addressed before the mass introduction of driverless cars to the market.

The resolution offers recommendations to ensure the safe interaction between automated vehicles, and road users, and stress the key role that people need to play, whether as responsible drivers, occupants or on the road in general.

[ read the full story on UN News ]

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Email: unic.portofspain@unic.org 

Telephone: 1(868) 623 8438 or 623 4813

Fax: 1 (868) 623 4332 


2nd Floor Bretton Hall, 16 Victoria Avenue, 

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago




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