Org. Setting and Reporting
Under the general supervision of the Principal Officer/Team Leader for the West Africa and Sahel Integrated Operational Team (WASIOT) and the Director of the Africa Division II, Office of Operations, the officer will function as a Senior Political Affairs Officer responsible for the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and the wider Sahel region involving several components (civilian, military, police, civil affairs, rule of law, security sector reform, human rights and justice). The officer may be called upon to travel in/to the area of assignment.
Within delegated authority, the Senior Political Affairs Officer will be responsible for the following duties:
- Formulates political affairs strategies; develops a vision or direction for work; proposes policy directives and plan of action for immediate and long range solutions to political problems in general and in specific geographical areas; identifies emerging issues pertaining to the mandates of the unit; analyses implications and makes recommendations on possible strategies and measures.
- Plans and implements the operational activities related to the work of the integrated operational team (IOT)/division/department, i.e., peacekeeping, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, conflict prevention and resolution, post-conflict rehabilitation, election administration, political and governance institution-building, civil society support work, etc.; incorporates an integrated approach that includes a rights-based dimension, conflict prevention sensitivity, and a gender perspective into the policy, planning and operational activities of the unit.
- 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.
- Designs peacekeeping initiatives; advises on and participates in the negotiation to establish operations and develops guidelines, terms of reference and operational plans and time frames for new operations.
- Coordinates and directs the provision of secretariat services for the General Assembly, ECOSOC and the Security Council and their subsidiary bodies, and special conferences and summits.
- Provides continuous guidance and advice to the Presidents and Chairs as well as other elected offices of intergovernmental bodies concerning the organization of work, status of negotiations, conduct of business including interpretation of the rules of procedure.
- Leads and directs a work 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.
- Acts as coordinator for complex coordination and support missions.
- Manages, coordinates, organizes and supervises research on a variety of political issues in a region and or country or major conflict.
- Represents IOT/division/Department at round tables, seminars and conferences.
- Responds to/prepares responses to comments, statements, queries of parties and manages operations involving several components, including civilian, military and humanitarian operations.
- Formulates the programme of work, budget and medium-term plan of the unit and participates in the overall approval of the programme of work, and administrative matters concerning the IOT/Division; coordinates and oversees work of colleagues and unit.
- Develops and maintains relations with senior government officials and advises them on issues and policies of mutual concern.
- Performs other related duties as required.
- PROFESSIONALISM: Knowledge of the work of intergovernmental bodies, the work of the United Nations and its related bodies concerned with political, economic, social and related matters. Ability to evaluate international political situations in area of assignment. Ability to manage and coordinate many different levels and participants in operations in both the field and UN common system. 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. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas, demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.
- 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.
- 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.
- JUDGEMENT/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 two additional years of 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, development management, conflict resolution or related area is required. Experience in peace operations is required. Experience in providing substantive support to peace operations is desirable. Experience in providing support to peace operations in the areas of political affairs in or on Africa is desirable.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of French is required. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is desirable.
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