Senior Political Affairs Officer, P5

UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs-Department of Peace Operations-Shared Structure
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Oct 29

Position description

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the Eastern Africa Division of the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and Peace Operations (DPPA-DPO). The incumbent reports to the Director of the Division.


Within delegated authority, the Senior Political Affairs Officer will act as Team Leader for Somalia and be responsible for the following duties:

  • Formulates political affairs strategies related to Somalia; develops a vision for the work of the Somalia team; proposes policy directives and plans of action for immediate and long range solutions to political problems in Somalia and the region; identifies emerging issues pertaining to the work of the team; analyses implications and makes recommendations on possible strategies and measures.
  • Plans and implements the operational activities related to the work of the Somalia team, especially regarding conflict prevention and resolution, post-conflict rehabilitation, constitutional support and elections, political and governance institution-building, and civil society support work.; 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 team.
  • Plans, coordinates and manages programmes, projects and activities requiring interdepartmental and/or interagency involvement and participation.
  • Prepares and oversees the preparation of briefing notes and talking points for the Secretary-General, Senior Advisers, Under-Secretary-General/Assistant Secretary-General.
  • Support mission planning initiatives for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM); advises on and participates in the negotiation to extend the mandate of the mission.
  • Oversees the backstopping of the UNSOM, including by providing strategic and operational guidance.
  • Leads and directs the work of the Somalia team; plans and allocates work assignments; coaches, mentors, and evaluates staff; participates in recruitment and selection of new staff and in the development of training programs.
  • Acts as coordinator for complex coordination and support missions, including strategic and technical assessment missions.
  • Manages, coordinates, organizes and supervises research on a variety of political issues in Somalia and the region.
  • Represents the East Africa Division and the Somalia team at round tables, seminars and conferences.
  • Responds to or prepares responses to comments, statements, queries of parties.
  • Coordinates the support of other UN Departments and entities to UN operations in Somalia , including civilian, military and humanitarian operations.
  • Formulates the programme of work, budget and medium-term plan of the team and participates in the overall approval of the programme of work, and administrative matters concerning the Division; coordinates and oversees the work of colleagues and the team.
  • Develops and maintains relations with senior government officials and advises them on issues and policies of mutual concern.
  • Performs other related 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. In-depth knowledge and understanding of political and operational issues in Somalia. Ability to manage and coordinate many different levels and participants in operations in both the field and UN common system. Strong analytical and drafting skills; Ability to deliver under pressure; 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.

Client Orientation: Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients” and seeks to see things from clients’ point of view; establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions; monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients’ environment to keep informed and anticipate problems; keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects; meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.

Planning and 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.

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.

Managing Performance: Delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision-making authority; makes sure that roles, responsibilities and reporting lines are clear to each staff member; accurately judges the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a task and matches task to skills; monitors progress against milestones and deadlines; regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff; encourages risk-taking and supports creativity and initiative; actively supports the development and career aspirations of staff; appraises performance fairly.


Advanced university 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.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in political science, international relations, law, disarmament, security, development management, conflict resolution or related area is required.
  • Experience in political analysis, as well as in strategic or programme planning, is required.
  • Experience of management in multicultural settings, including coordination of interdisciplinary teams, is required.
  • Experience working on peace and security and political issues pertaining to Africa is desirable
  • Experience working in a UN field Mission or other relevant field operation is desirable.


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

Application instructions

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