Org. Setting and Reporting
This position is located in the Mediation Support Unit (MSU) of the Policy and Mediation Division of the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (PMD/DPPA) at Headquarters in New York.
MSU serves as a system-wide resource that assists the mediation and dialogue initiatives of the UN and provides technical and operational support of mediation and dialogue processes; capacity-building; and mediation guidance, lessons learned and comparative analysis. Under the overall supervision of the Director of the Policy and Mediation Division and the Chief of MSU/Deputy Director of PMD, the incumbent will report to the Team Leader of MSU.
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 mediation support on thematic areas of ceasefires and transitional security arrangements; 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 division/department on conflict prevention and resolution, with a specific focus on ceasefires and transitional security arrangements; 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 capacity building programmes, projects and activities on ceasefires and transitional security arrangements, 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 peace-making, conflict prevention and conflict resolution initiatives, with a specific focus on ceasefire mediation and transitional security 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;
- 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 technical support missions related to ceasefire and transitional security arrangements mediation;
- Manages, coordinates, organizes and supervises research on a variety of political and conflict prevention and resolution issues, with a focus on the thematic area of ceasefires;
- Represents division/office/mission 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 Section/Division or mission; 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 unit’s strategic direction and ability to transform it into a results-oriented work programme. 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;
- 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.
- Vision: Identifies strategic issues, opportunities and risks; clearly communicates links between the Organization’s strategy and the work unit’s goals; generates and communicates broad and compelling organizational direction, inspiring others to pursue that same direction; conveys enthusiasm about future possibilities;
- 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 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;
- Five years of experience in managing, monitoring, providing strategic advice to senior UN officials on the mediation and the implementation of ceasefires and transitional security arrangements is required;
- Experience in conceptualizing, planning, facilitating and delivery of capacity building training courses and projects on ceasefires and transitional security arrangements for clients both within and outside of UN is required;
- Experience in advising senior officials from member states, regional/sub-regional organizations on ceasefires and transitional security arrangements is desirable.
- English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position(s) advertised, fluency in English (both oral and written) is required. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is an advantage.
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