Org. Setting and Reporting
This post is located in the Africa II Division of the Department of Political Affairs (DPA). The Division covers Central, North and West Africa.The incumbent works under the general supervision of the Director and Deputy Director of Africa II Division and the direct supervision of the Senior Political Affairs Officer/Team Leader for West Africa.
Within delegated authority, the Political Affairs Officer will be responsible for the following duties:
• Monitors political, peace and security events in assigned countries in the West Africa region in order to provide early warning advice to senior UN officials; Assesses national and regional trends which might affect the political situation in the countries within his/her purview or in West Africa; recommends solutions/possible action by the United Nations.
• Provides up-to-date information to senior officials regarding substantive political matters and cross-cutting regional issues and makes recommendations on actions to take.
• Drafts notes, background papers, talking points, speeches and other correspondence for senior UN officials.
• Prepares analytical reports and papers on sensitive and high profile matters of concern to the Department of Political Affairs as well as the General Assembly, Security Council, or other bodies, including reports of the Secretary-General.
• Provides support to mediation, conflict prevention and good offices missions and initiatives led by senior UN officials to the countries assigned in the West Africa region.• Arranges and participates in technical, fact-finding, and assessment missions in assigned countries in West Africa, as relevant.
• Organizes, supports, or participates in inter-agency meetings and crisis mechanisms relevant to the countries assigned in West Africa.
• Provides advice and support to the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), as well as Resident Coordinators and Peace and Development Advisors, for countries within his/her purview.
• Liaises with UN departments/agencies/funds/programmes, other international organizations and governments; briefs representatives and provides, as appropriate suggestions and recommendations.
• Participates in conferences, seminars and academic fora related to his/her assigned area of expertise.
• Carries out, in consultation with the Senior Political Affairs Officer, administrative functions relating to the staff planning and budget.
• Performs other related duties as required.
Professionalism: Demonstrates knowledge and understanding of the political and socioeconomic dynamics in the West Africa region; Shows ability to complete in-depth studies and
reach conclusions on possible causes and solutions to political problems in specific areas and/or countries. Shows ability to relate to 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.
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.
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.
Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent) in political science, international relations, international economics, law, public administration or related area. 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 seven years of progressively responsible experience in political science, international relations, law, disarmament, security, conflict resolution or related area. Experience working on or in West Africa is required. Experience providing support to a field operation at the international level in Africa is required. Experience advising and/or supporting senior officials is desirable.
Experience in project development and management is desirable.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations. For the post advertised, fluency in oral and written English and French is required.
Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.
Notes: This position is available until 31/12/2018
• A current staff member who holds a fixed-term, permanent or continuing appointment may apply for temporary positions no more than one level above his or her current grade. However, a current staff member who holds an appointment at the G-6 or G-7 level may also apply to temporary positions in the Professional category up to and including the P-3 level, subject to meeting all eligibility and other requirements for the position. A staff member holding a temporary appointment shall be regarded as an external candidate when applying for other positions, and may apply for other temporary positions at any level, subject to section 5.7 below and staff rule 4.16 (b) (ii). Therefore, a staff member holding a temporary appointment in the General Service or related categories may only apply to positions within those categories. For full information on eligibility requirements, please refer to section 5 of ST/AI/2010/4Rev.1 on Temporary Appointments. In its resolution 66/234, the General Assembly further “stressed that the Secretary-General should not recur to the practice of temporarily filling posts in the Professional and higher categories with General Service staff members who have not passed the General Service to Professional category examination other than on an exceptional basis, and requests the Secretary-General to ensure that temporary occupation of such posts by the General Service staff shall not exceed a period of one year, effective 1 January 2013…” Consequently, eligible candidates in the General Service or related categories for temporary job openings in the Professional category that have not passed the competitive examination may be selected only on an exceptional basis endorsed by the Office of Human Resources Management where no other suitable candidate could be identified.
• 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.
• Retirees above the mandatory age of separation who wish to be considered for the current temporary job opening must indicate the reason for their last separation as "retirement." Such retirees shall not be employed by the Organization, unless (a) the operational requirements of the Organization cannot be met by staff members who are qualified and available to perform the required functions; and (b) the proposed employment would not adversely affect the career development or redeployment opportunities of other staff members and represents both a cost-effective and operationally sound solution to meet the needs of the service.
• 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.
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.
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