Political Affairs Officer [Two (2) positions], P4 (Temporary Job Opening)

UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Mar 29

Position description


Duration of need: Through 08 October 2017 with the possibility of extension. 
Estimated Start Date: Immediate

• These posts are financed by the Support Account for Peacekeeping Operations. Extension of appointment will be subject to budgetary approval.

• Upon separation from service, including, but not limited to, expiration or termination of, or resignation from, a fixed-term, continuing or permanent appointment, a former staff member will be ineligible for re-employment on the basis of a temporary appointment for a period of 31 days following the separation. In the case of separation from service on retirement, a former staff member will be ineligible for re-employment for a period of three months following the separation. This equally applies, mutatis mutandis, with respect to a former or current staff member who has held or holds an appointment in another entity applying the United Nations Staff Regulations and Rules and who applies for a temporary position with the Secretariat.

• Subject to the funding source of the position, this temporary job opening may be limited to candidates based at the duty station.

• 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. An external candidate selected for this position is bound by the prevailing condition of the staff selection system under ST/AI/2010/3, as amended, and ST/AI/2010/4/Rev.1. A staff member holding a temporary appointment who is recruited in the Professional and above categories on a temporary appointment, and placed on a position authorized for one year or longer may not apply for or be reappointed to his/her current position within six months of the end of his/her current service. This provision does not apply to staff members holding temporary appointments and placed on positions authorized for one year or more in duty stations authorized for peacekeeping operations or special political missions.

• The expression “Internal candidates”, shall mean staff members who have been recruited after a competitive examination under staff rule 4.16 or after the advice of a central review body under staff rule 4.15.

• Please note that candidates will be required to meet the requirements of Article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter as well as the requirements of the position. The United Nations is committed to the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity for all its human resources, including but not limited to respect for international human rights and humanitarian law. Candidates may be subject to screening against these standards, including but not limited to whether they have committed, or are alleged to have committed criminal offences and/or violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.

• For information on special post allowance, please refer to ST/AI/1999/17. For more details on the administration of temporary appointments please refer to ST/AI/2010/4/Rev.1.

• The Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and administrative issuances governing staff appointments can be viewed at: http://www.un.org/hr_handbook/English

• 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.

• Staff members are not eligible to apply for the current temporary job opening if they are unable to serve the specified duration of temporary need before reaching the mandatory age of separation. Submitting an application or selection for the current temporary job opening does not delay or increase the mandatory age of separation.

Org. Setting and Reporting

These positions are located in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), Office of Operations (OO), Asia, Middle East, Europe and Latin America Division (AMELAD). Under the direct supervision of the Europe, Latin America and Asia Integrated Operational Team (IOT) Leader and general supervision of the Director of AMELAD, the incumbent will serve as Desk Officer in the IOT and assist in providing integrated operational and political guidance to the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) and the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).


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

• Monitor and analyze developments related to UNFICYP and UNMIK and related regions and countries, including relations between the parties, troop/police contributors, governments and regional organizations; 
• Maintain up-to-date knowledge of events as they affect the Mission; 
• Review available information in situation reports, cables, correspondence, media, etc.; 
• Identify matters for follow-up and the need for action; identify and respond to changes, problems and incidents; ensure consultation and input from the parties involved; and prepare timely responses to issues and questions raised in the field, as well as monitor and follow-up outstanding issues.
• Prepare or respond to requests for information (verbal and written) from a range of sources with respect to operational and political issues in UNFICYP and UNMIK, collect advice and inputs from units in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations as well as various Secretariat offices and United Nations agencies; maintain liaison through informal and formal contacts with a wide-range of actors within the Department, Secretariat offices and UN agencies as well as the parties to the conflict, members of the Security Council, other relevant Member States, troop and police contributing countries, and regional organizations with respect to relevant peacekeeping operations.
• Draft various documents, i.e., reports of the Secretary-General, briefing notes to the Security Council, talking points and briefing notes for meetings of senior officials with parties, contributors, Member States etc.; prepare draft press releases and review draft reports and publications prepared by others to ensure accuracy. Draft responses to comments, statements, and queries of parties, contributors, representatives of Member States, members of the Security Council, etc. with respect to aspects of peacekeeping operations, ensuring input of and consultations with a wide range of DPKO interlocutors.
• Maintain up-to-date knowledge of events relating to international political developments in general and, in particular as they affect UNFICYP and UNMIK; provide early warning of potential trouble spots.
• Maintain preparedness for and participate in the transition planning for UNFICYP; 
Participate in fact-finding and other missions to Mission area and TCCs; and represent the Division or Department at seminars, conferences or other meetings as requested.
• Coordinate the substantive results-based budgeting process for the preparation of annual budget documents and performance reports of the peacekeeping operation(s) and provide relevant briefing to legislative bodies, as required.
• Participate in activities to implement operations, devise guidelines, terms of reference and concepts of operations, ensure input from participants and integrate different aspects (e.g., security, administrative and legal), and coordinate implementation. Advise on operational mechanisms and models to achieve departmental goals. 
• Participate in fact finding, planning and other missions to countries or operations within assigned area of responsibility and draft reports thereon. 
• The Political Affairs Officer will also be called upon to replace colleagues during their absences.
• Perform other duties as required.


• PROFESSIONALISM: Knowledge of the work of the United Nations, in particular the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and UNFICYP and UNMIK; proven analytical skills, with ability to identify problems (political, social, economic) affecting a country or a geographic area; demonstrated professional competence in UN strategic planning and political analysis. 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. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

• 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.


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in political science, international relations, international economics, law, public administration or other related. A first-level university degree in combination with qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience in international relations, conflict resolution, political affairs or related areas at the national and international levels is required. Previous experience at an international organization and knowledge of policies and procedures is required. At least three years of experience in a field operation in a civilian capacity is required. Experience in the integrated planning and backstopping of field operations from Headquarters is highly desirable. Experience and familiarity with the European region – particularly Cyprus and/or Kosovo – is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this post, fluency in oral and written English is required.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.

United Nations Considerations

The United Nations shall place 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. (Charter of the United Nations - Chapter 3, article 8). The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

Application instructions

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