Senior Political Affairs Officer, P-5

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

Position description

Org. Setting and Reporting

The position is located in the Departments of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) and Peace Operations (DPO), in the front office that supports the work of the Assistant Secretary General overseeing Europe, Central Asia and the Americas in the United Nations Headquarters, New York. The incumbent will report to the Assistant Secretary-General for the Americas, Europe and Central Asia.


Within delegated authority, the Senior Political Affairs Officer will be responsible for the following duties:

  • Monitors, provides advice and recommendations on the activities within the ASG ‘s area of responsibility.
  • Liaises, coordinates and follows up with the Directors, Deputy-Directors and Political Affairs Officers on the planning and implementation of conflict prevention, confidence building and conflict resolution strategies.
  • Advises and supports the ASG on policy, personnel and budgetary matters.
  • Plans, coordinates and manages projects and activities requiring interdepartmental and/or interagency involvement, promoting cooperation and coordination with other departments
  • Contributes to building strong partnerships within the UN system, particularly with UNDP under the Join UNDP-DPA Programme on Building National Capacity for Conflict prevention, with Member States and with regional and sub-regional security organizations and initiatives
  • Manages workplans for the office, gathers information on the workplans from the Divisions and compiles reports on their implementation.
  • Coordinates extra-budgetary projects for the office and represents the office and divisions on Committees related to extra-budgetary projects.
  • Manages the performance and provides leadership for the staff of the front office of the Assistant Secretary-General.
  • Provides advice and guidance on staffing matters, in coordination with the Executive Offices of the Departments.
  • Provides technical and substantive back up in the implementation of mandates of the office, branch or unit.
  • Performs any other front office duties assigned on an ad hoc basis.


  • Professionalism: Demonstrated expertise in the analysis of political conflict and an ability to assess political proposals in the resolution of conflicts. Knowledge and understanding of United Nations system and the intergovernmental mechanisms, is required as well as conflict resolution and negotiating skills; ability to propose innovative solutions; demonstrated ability to manage and coordinate activities at many different levels, both in the field and the UN common system. Good knowledge of the regions covered by the ASG ‘s portfolio (Europe, the Americas, and Central Asia). Knowledge of and ability to apply sound results based management principles. Excellent drafting skills. Strong management skills and proven ability to relate to others and build partnership. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.
  • 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 and 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.
  • Empowering others: Delegates responsibility, clarifies expectations, and gives staff autonomy in important areas of their work. Encourages others to set challenging goals. Holds others accountable for achieving results related to their area of responsibility. Genuinely values all staff members’ input and expertise. Shows appreciation and rewards achievement and effort. Involves others when making decisions that affect them.
  • Managing performance: Delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision-making authority. Makes sure that roles, responsibilities and reporting lines are clear to each staff member. Accurately judges the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a task and matches task to skills. Monitors progress against milestones and deadlines. Regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff. Encourages risk-taking and supports creativity and initiative. Actively supports the development and career aspirations of staff. Appraises performance fairly.


  • Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent degree) in political science, international relations, international economics, law, or related field. A first-level university degree in any of these fields, in combination with two additional years of qualifying work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in political analysis and diplomacy in the areas of conflict prevention and crisis management at international level in advisory positions is required.
  • Experience in UN inter-agency coordination and partnership building is required.
  • Experience drafting sensitive political analysis and diplomatic correspondence is required.
  • Experience working directly with and assisting senior officials, such as in a front office, is required.
  • Experience working in issues related to the Americas, Europe, Central Asia or working on decolonization topics is required.
  • Experience in strategic planning, programme design implementation and resource mobilization is desirable.
  • Field experience with a peace operation, UN Country Team or other international organization is desirable.
  • Experience in reviewing or auditing staffing and recruitment processes is desirable. Experience working on programme or project budgets is desirable.


  • English and French are the working languages of the United Nations. For this post advertised, fluency in English is required. Fluency in Spanish and/or Russian is desirable. Knowledge of another UN official language is desirable.


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