Org. Setting and Reporting
This position is located in the Africa II Division, which covers North, West and Central Africa, in the Department of Political Affairs (DPA), in New York.
The Senior Political Affairs Officer will be in charge of the West Africa Team and report to the Director and Deputy Director of the Africa II Division.
Under the overall supervision of the Director and Deputy Director, the Senior Political Affairs Officer will be responsible for the following duties:
• Provides daily substantive guidance for professional and administrative staff members within the West Africa Team.
• Monitors and assesses political developments in West Africa.
• Formulates political strategies; develops a vision or direction for work; proposes policy options and plans of action for immediate and long-range solutions to political problems in West Africa; analyses implications and makes recommendations on possible strategies and measures.
• Initiates and carries out in-depth analyses and studies on complex political developments, cross-cutting issues and current trends and problems with a view to providing early warning advice to the Secretary-General, the Under-Secretary-General/Assistant Secretary-General, as well as policy options for conflict prevention and resolution, and post-conflict peace building.
• Plans, coordinates and manages programmes, projects and activities requiring interdepartmental and/or interagency involvement and participation.
• Prepares briefing notes and talking points for the Secretary-General, Senior Advisers, Under-Secretary-General/Assistant Secretary-General.
• Participates and follows up on meetings/decisions of the Security Council, the General Assembly and other inter-governmental committees and bodies related to his/her area of work.
• Leads and directs the West Africa Team; plans and allocates work assignments; coaches, mentors, and evaluates staff; participates in recruitment and selection of new staff and in the
development of training programs.
• Backstops special political missions in West Africa, including supervising and preparing Resource Based Budgets and overseeing the preparation and timely submission and defense of budgetary requirements to management as well as the governing organs of the UN.
• Participates in fact-finding, preventive diplomacy or peace-making missions as requested or approved by the Secretary-General or the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs.
• Represents Africa II at round tables, seminars and conferences.
• Liaises with the Permanent Missions to the UN, UN Departments, agencies and programmes, international organizations and academic institutions.
• Performs other related duties as required.
Professionalism: Sound political analysis, knowledge of and ability to support/engage in conflict prevention, peacemaking and peace building at the international level; in-depth knowledge and understanding of political issues in West Africa and an ability to evaluate international and regional political situations; ability to handle confidential matters; in depth understanding of bilateral and multilateral negotiations and mediation; ability to convey complex issues to senior officials and representatives of Member States; in-depth understanding of Division's strategic direction and ability to transform it into a results oriented work programme; thorough knowledge of the practices and procedures of the United Nations in conflict prevention and resolution, familiarity with negotiating skills; 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.
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 the audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
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.
Leadership: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow; empowers others to translate vision into results; is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; Establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions. drives for change and improvement; does not accept the status quo; shows the courage to take unpopular stands.
Judgment/ Decision making: Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly; gathers relevant information before making a decision;
considers positive and negative impacts of decisions prior to making them; takes decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the Organization; proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information; checks assumptions against facts; determines that the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision; makes tough decisions when necessary.
Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent) degree in political science, international relations, international economics, law, public administration, or related field. A first-level university degree in combination with qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in political science, international relations, law, disarmament, security, conflict resolution or related area. Extensive experience in political outreach, facilitation, analysis, advice and reporting is required. Experience providing support to a field operation at the international level in Africa is required. Experience liaising with UN legislative bodies or similar intergovernmental bodies is required. Experience working on or in West Africa is required. Experience in drafting analytical papers on politically sensitive and high-profile matters is desirable. Experience in delivering briefings as well as providing advice and support to senior officials is desirable. Experience in project development and management is desirable.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in oral and written English is required. Fluency in oral and written French is desirable.
Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.
• This position is temporarily available for an initial period of 6 months. If the selected candidate is a staff member from the United Nations Secretariat, the selection will be administered as a temporary assignment.
• While this temporary assignment may provide the successful applicant with an opportunity to gain new work experience, the selection for this position is for a limited period and has no bearing on the future incumbency of the post.
• Subject to the funding source of the position, the eligibility for this temporary job opening may be limited to candidates based at the duty station.
• This temporary job opening may be limited to “internal candidates,” who have been recruited through a competitive examination administered according to staff rule 4.16 or staff selection process including the review of a central review body established according to staff rule 4.15.
• Staff members of the United Nations common system organizations who will reach the mandatory age of separation or retirement within the duration of the current temporary need period are not eligible to apply.Submitting an application or selection for the current temporary job opening does not delay or increase the mandatory age of separation.
• Retirees above the mandatory age of separation who wish to be considered for the current temporary job opening must indicate the reason for their last separation as "retirement." Such retirees shall not be employed by the Organization, unless (a) the operational requirements of the Organization cannot be met by staff members who are qualified and available to perform the required functions; and (b) the proposed employment would not adversely affect the career development or redeployment opportunities of other staff members and represents both a cost-effective and operationally sound solution to meet the needs of the service.
United Nations Considerations
According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation or sexual abuse, or crimes other than minor traffic offences, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions.
Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.
Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.
The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.
Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.
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