Org. Setting and Reporting
This post is located in the Middle East and West Asia Division (MEWAD) of the Department of Political Affairs (DPA). The incumbent reports to the Director and the Co-Chair of the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) on Syria post-agreement planning, and will work in close cooperation with the Syria team.
Within delegated authority, the Political Affairs Officer will be responsible for the following duties:
•Reviews and monitors activities in the country or region assigned; assesses trends which might affect the political situation and the political impact of intra-regional issues such as refugees, drug control and natural resources; recommends solutions/possible action by United Nations.
•Analyses political and related events within assigned area with a view to provide early warning advice to ASG/USG.
•Prepares analytical reports and papers on sensitive and high profile matters of concern to the General Assembly, Security Council, or other bodies; drafts notes, background papers, talking points, speeches and other correspondence for senior UN officials.
•Participates in the organization and supervision of Secretariat services required by the Security Council and to other committees and bodies related to its work.
•Acts as focal point for collection and analyses of information on political issues of assignment.
•Arranges and participates in negotiations and fact-finding missions.
•Provides up-to-date information to senior officials regarding substantive political matters and country or regional issues and makes recommendations on actions to take.
•Maintains contacts with other sectors of the UN, including UNCT-Syria and OSE-Syria, relevant international and regional organizations as well as relevant governments on coordination and policy matters related to the post-agreement planning process;
•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 Special Envoy’s Office, administrative functions relating to the staff planning and budget.
•Support the Syria IATF and Planning Working Group (WG) substantive engagement in the ongoing Syria planning process led by UNHQ in NY;
•Provide strategic and programmatic technical assistance to the IATF in substantive areas, including stabilization, early recovery, peacebuilding, and transition;
•Contribute to updating the UN’s 180-day post-agreement plan, including the stakeholder analysis, activity mapping, lessons learned, and priority action plans of the UN agencies, funds and programmes in Syria;
•Contribute to the work of the secretariat of the Syria IATF with coordination and management of planning process for Syria, including development and preparation of outputs required under the Secretary-General’s directive;
•Review and monitor activities in Syria and in neighboring countries with particular focus on issues pertaining to political developments, protection issues, and UN inter-agency coordination, in order to assess trends and recommend solutions;
•Support the implementation of the due-diligence document on “Principles and Parameters for UN engagement in Syria” adopted in October 2017;
•Performs other related duties as required.
•Professionalism: Deep knowledge of Syria and regional issues and developments; Shows ability to support, and participate in interdisciplinary/inter-departmental teams and task forces; Shows knowledge of the work of the United Nations and of the functions, priorities and policies of the Department of Political Affairs. 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. 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.
•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.
• Communication: Strong and effective communicator, both written and verbal; 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.
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.
A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience in political science, international relations, law, development management, conflict resolution or related area. Field experience in conflict and post-conflict settings is required. Experience with Syrian conflict is required. Experience managing stabilization, resilience, reconstruction, protection, mine action, reconciliation, governance and peace-building programs is required. Experience in UN coordination is required.
English and French are the working languages of the UN Secretariat. For this post fluency in English (both oral and written) is required. Knowledge of Arabic language is an advantage.
Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.
• This position is temporarily available until 31 December 2018. If the selected candidate is a staff member from the United Nations Secretariat, the selection will be administered as a temporary assignment.
• 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.
• Subject to the funding source of the position, the eligibility for this temporary job opening may be limited to candidates based at the duty station.
• This temporary job opening may be limited to “internal candidates,” who have been recruited through a competitive examination administered according to staff rule 4.16 or staff selection process including the review of a central review body established according to staff rule 4.15.
• 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.Submitting an application or selection for the current temporary job opening does not delay or increase the mandatory age of separation.
• 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.
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.
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