This position is located within the Political Affairs Service, United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), based in Kabul. Kabul is classified in the "E" category and as a non-family duty station. The incumbent will report to the Chief of Service, Political Affairs.
Within delegated authority, the Senior Political Affairs Officer will focus on regional cooperation issues and be responsible for the following duties:
Political Analysis, Advice and Reporting:
- Formulates political affairs strategies with respect to the regional cooperation component of UNAMA’s mandate; develops a vision or direction for work; proposes policy directives and plan of action for immediate and longer term solutions to political problems; identifies emerging issues pertaining to the mandate; analyses implications and makes recommendations on possible strategies and measures.
- Plans and implements the activities related to the work of the office; 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 Political Pillar and the Mission as a whole.
- Prepares briefing notes and talking points for the Mission leadership; drafts code cables, periodic analytical notes, briefing notes for high-level meetings, reports of the Secretary-General.
Coordination and Facilitation:
- Keeps the Mission leadership informed of political developments relevant to UNAMA's regional cooperation mandate.
- Develops and maintains relations with senior government officials.
- Represents the Mission, as required, with national authorities, regional and bilateral partners, UN system and nongovernmental partners, including at round tables, seminars and conferences.
- Maintains contacts and provides briefings for diplomatic community counterparts and UN Country Team (UNCT).
- Leads and directs a work team; plans and allocates work assignments; assumes direct supervision and oversees the work of team as appropriate within the area of assigned responsibility; coaches, mentors, and evaluates staff.
- Formulates the programme of work, and inputs to budgeting processes and medium-term plan of the Mission.
- Performs any other duties as required.
- PROFESSIONALISM: Knowledge of the work of intergovernmental bodies, the work of the United Nations and its related bodies concerned with political, economic, social and related matters. Knowledge of international and regional political situations in area of assignment. 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 organisational 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 decisions, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishment and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.
- LEADERSHIP: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow: empowers others to translate vision into results; is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; drives for change and improvements; does not accept the status quo; shows the courage to take unpopular stands. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.
- 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 two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
- A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in political affairs, diplomacy, conflict resolution or related area is required.
- Experience working in a United Nations peacekeeping operation, or special political mission, in a conflict or post-conflict setting is highly desirable.
- Extensive experience in political outreach, facilitation, analysis, advice and reporting is required.
- Experience supporting or facilitating regional initiatives and strategies is required.
- Experience working in Afghanistan is required.
- Experience with multi-agency and multi-actor coordination is desirable.
- English and French are the working languages of the UN Secretariat. For this position, fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of a language spoken in Afghanistan and/or the region is desirable.
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