Political Affairs Officer (2 positions), P4

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

Position description

These positions are located in the Electoral Assistance Division (EAD) of the Department of Political Affairs (DPA) in New York. The incumbents will report to a Senior Political Affairs Officer who leads the Policy and Institutional Memory Cluster of EAD (Cluster II). Cluster II develops system-wide policies and provides policy advice to ensure the quality and consistency of UN electoral assistance. It is also responsible for maintaining an institutional memory of the Organization’s assistance activities.


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

•Participate in the discussion and formulation of political and technical strategies in the electoral field.
•Review, monitor and assess trends in the area of elections and electoral assistance; identify and analyse emerging policy issues and recommends solutions/possible actions by United Nations.
•Analyse political and electoral events in assigned area with a view to provide early warning advice to the EAD Director and USG of DPA.
•Prepare analytical reports on electoral matters of concern to the Assembly, as well as electoral policies and guidelines with UN system-wide application; draft notes, background papers, talking points and other correspondence for senior UN officials as required.
•Meet regularly with counterparts in the Department of Political Affairs, DPKO, UNDP, and other departments, agencies and programmes of the UN System on electoral policy matters.
•Ensure up-to-date information regarding substantive electoral/political matters and electoral policy, and make recommendations on actions to take.
•Participate in policy discussions regarding electoral matters and democratization.
•Make contact with other sectors of the UN and other international organizations on coordination and policy matters with regards to electoral operations; briefs representatives and provides, as appropriate suggestions and recommendations.
•Contribute to developing and maintaining the institutional memory of the UN in electoral matters;
•Prepare briefing notes/talking points for the SG and other Senior UN officials as needed.
•Develop and deliver training courses on electoral issues or practices as part of the ongoing internal capacity-building efforts of the organization.  
•Lead or deputize needs assessment missions to evaluate Government requests for electoral assistance, project formulation missions and/or expert advisory missions to UN operations and field offices.
•Perform other related duties as required.


Ability to complete studies and reach conclusions on electoral and political issues and propose solutions to political problems in specific areas or countries. Field expertise and technical understanding of electoral operations. Ability to relate various issues and perspectives to political, social, economic and humanitarian programmes in affected countries and areas. 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.

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 degree) in political science, international relations, law, public administration, or related field. A first-level university degree in any of these fields, in combination with two additional years of qualifying work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience in political science, international relations, law, disarmament, security, development management, conflict resolution or related area is required. Experience in electoral assistance in at least two countries is required. Experience working in an international or non-governmental organization in a conflict or post-conflict setting is desirable. Experience in policy development is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations. For this post advertised, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.


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

Special Notice

Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.

For this position, applicants from the following Member States, which are unrepresented or underrepresented in the UN Secretariat as of 30 September 2017, are strongly encouraged to apply: Afghanistan, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Belarus, Belize, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Central African Republic, China, Comoros, Cyprus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Japan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Mozambique, Nauru, Norway, Oman, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Suriname, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Vanuatu, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and Viet Nam. 

The United Nations is Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

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.

Application instructions

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