Political Affairs Officer, P-4

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UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs-Department of Peace Operations

Political Affairs Officer, P-4 2

Position description

Org. Setting and Reporting

The position is located within the United Nations Operations and Crisis Centre (UNOCC), which is a multi-party entity reporting to the USG for Policy in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General and on peacekeeping matters, with oversight from the USG for Peace Operations. The UNOCC provides global situational awareness, crisis and risk management, and facilitates cross-pillar analysis and decision-making in the UN. The Centre is operationally positioned under the OCSS between the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and the Department of Peace Operations.


Within delegated authority, the Political Affairs Officer will be responsible for the following duties in the 24/7 UNOCC Watch Room:

  • Provides supervisory direction and training to Watch Room staff, including as necessary during weekends and Silent Hours.
  • Oversees drafting, compilation and issuance of regular and ad hoc reporting for UNHQ leadership situational awareness and coordinates strategic-level crisis response support services.
  • Analyses political and related events within assigned area with a view to provide early warning advice to UNHQ leadership.
  • Drafts notes, background papers, talking points, speeches and other correspondence for senior UN officials.
  • Participates in the organization and supervision of Secretariat services required by the Security Council and to other committees and bodies related to its work.
  • Acts as focal point for collection and analyses of information on political issues of assignment.
  • Arranges and participates in fact-finding missions, when requested.
  • Meets regularly with operational teams, including UN staff, national officials as well as Military and Civilian Police officers to plan projects and review project activities.
  • Provides up-to-date information to senior officials regarding substantive political matters and country or regional issues and makes recommendations on actions to take.
  • Maintains contacts with other sectors of the UN, other international organizations and governments on coordination and policy matters; briefs representatives and provides, as appropriate suggestions and recommendations.
  • Participates in conferences, seminars and academic fora related to assigned area of expertise.
  • Provides input for assessment of staff to be deployed to important posts in the field.
  • Carries out, in consultation with the Director and Deputy UNOCC, administrative functions relating to staff planning and budget and supports the UNOCC’s policy and guidance work and outreach to stakeholders.
  • Drafts plans for start-up of operations and participates in the activities of implementation, to include backstopping of Joint Operations Centres (JOC) in field missions.
  • Leads Watch Room in the use of social media tools and deployment of innovative methods and approaches to digital information collection and data visualization to enable data-driven planning, decision-making, presentation and reporting.
  • Performs other related duties as required.


  • PROFESSIONALISM: Shows ability to complete in-depth studies and reach conclusions on possible causes and solutions to political problems in specific areas and/or countries. Shows ability to relate to various issues and perspectives to political, social, economic and humanitarian programmes in affected countries and areas. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.
  • COMMUNICATION: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
  • TEAMWORK: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.
  • PLANNING & ORGANIZING: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.


  • Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in political science, international relations, international economics, law, public administration or other related area. A first-level university degree in combination with qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience in political science, international relations, law, disarmament, security, development management, conflict resolution or related area are required.
  • At least two years of experience working in a supervisory role and two years in field context is required.
  • At least two years of experience in crisis management support is required.


  • English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position(s) advertised, fluency in both oral and written English is required. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is an advantage.


Application instructions

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