Senior Political Affairs Officer, P5

UN Department of Political Affairs
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Aug 20

Position description

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 Central 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 Central Africa Team;
  • Monitors and assesses political developments in Central 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 Central 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 inter-agency 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 Central 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 the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA), 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 relatedduties as required.


  • Professionalism: Sound political analysis, knowledge of and ability to support/engage in conflict prevention, peacemaking and peace building at the international level; knowledge and understanding of political issues in Central Africa and an ability to evaluate international and regional political situations; ability to handle confidential matters; understanding of bilateral and multilateral negotiations and mediation; ability to convey complex issues to senior officials and representatives of Member States; 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 additional two years of experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in political science,international relations, law, disarmament, security, conflict resolution or related area is required. Experience working in a field operation of the United Nations common system (inclusive of peacekeeping, political missions and UN regional commissions, agencies, funds, and programmes) - or similar international organization, or nongovernmental organization in Africa is required. Experience in political outreach, facilitation, analysis, advice and reporting is required. Experience liaising with UN legislative bodies or similar intergovernmental bodies 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. Experience working on or in Central Africa is desirable.


  • English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in English is required. Fluency in French is desirable.

Application instructions

Please be sure to indicate that you saw this position on

follow us on Twitter