Summary of Principal Responsibilities
“QUNO’s mission is to help the United Nations fully carry out its responsibility to prevent violent conflict and build sustainable peace around the world. We work with diplomats, UN officials and civil society groups to change the way the UN community thinks and acts at a policy level in New York, which then impacts the actions of the UN and others on the ground.” - QUNO New York Mission Statement
QUNO - New York is set up as a partnership between AFSC and the Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC), acting together as trustees of the Quaker witness and the Quaker presence at the United Nations in New York. The Quaker UN Committee (QUNC) for New York is responsible for setting program priorities, recommending program plans and budgets to the AFSC Board of Directors, and monitoring and evaluating the work of QUNO-New York.
QUNO staff members facilitate dialogue among UN stakeholders, help bring new ideas and perspectives from the ground to the international policy agenda, offer expert input into UN processes and represent the insights and concerns of Friends in the UN context.
QUNO-New York has a collegial relationship with the Quaker United Nations Office – Geneva (QUNO-Geneva).
Essential Functions/Responsibilities: The key responsibilities of the Program Assistant at the Quaker United Nations include the following:
- Participate in the Administrative functioning of the office, including phone answering, mail opening and distribution, email distribution, greeting of visitors; when Office Coordinator is out of office, provide coverage for office.
- Attend and participate in all QUNO staff-related meetings where appropriate.
- Specialize in one or several of QUNO’s priority issues within the areas of peacebuilding and the prevention of violent conflict and help provide coverage of the work of the UN inter-governmental bodies and the Secretariat. Attend relevant UN meetings to promote and communicate Quaker perspectives and concerns regarding matters before the UN. Maintain contacts with appropriate individuals in the UN community regarding issues and support them in areas where their aims correspond to Quaker concerns.
- Work with permanent program staff to plan, arrange and conduct lunch meetings and longer conferences, bringing together UN diplomats and Secretariat with outside experts and others as appropriate, to discuss issues within the scope of QUNO priorities. Develop and post summaries of these meetings.
- Keep generally informed about issues currently before the UN. Be alert for opportunities to support Quaker perspectives in international work. Provide advice and access for the work of Friends at the UN.
- Help interpret QUNO activities and concerns to Friends, AFSC and other groups. This includes attending appropriate gatherings, writing articles and periodic reports and addressing meetings. Encourage interest in international matters.
- In consultation with FWCC and AFSC, represent Quakers through QUNO.
- Participate in the planning of the QUNO Committee Meetings.
- Assist the staff in the recruitment and selection of future Program Assistants.
- Develop articles as needed for “In and Around the UN”, the Annual Review and website.
Education: University degree or equivalent in experience.
Experience: Experience with analysis and interpretation of international social, economic, political developments.
Other Required Skills and Abilities:
- Knowledge of and experience with Friends’ meetings and/or organizations very helpful.
- Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively in English, orally and in writing; other languages useful esp. Spanish and/or French.
- Ability to carry out assignments independently, but remain in close consultation with supervisor and colleagues.
- Demonstrated ability to work with people of differing backgrounds and ideologies, especially those of the third world. Facility in meeting people and conversing easily; sensitivity to cultural, religious, gender and class differences among people.
- Ability to respond to the rapidly changing situations in the UN community and resultant shifting emphasis in Quaker UN programs.
- Computer literacy, including word processing, spreadsheet, database, and communications software.
- Availability to attend occasional evening and weekend meetings, and to travel very occasionally.
- Commitment to Quaker values and testimonies. Understanding of and compatibility with the principles and philosophy of the American Friends Service Committee including non-violence and the belief in the intrinsic worth of every individual.
- Understanding of and commitment to the principles, concerns, and considerations, of AFSC with regard to issues of race, class, nationality, religion, age, gender and sexual orientation, and disabilities. Demonstrated ability to work and communicate with diverse staff.
Compensation: $26,242 before taxes, per annum equivalent. Comprehensive medical, dental and hospitalization plan, plus paid leave.
The American Friends Service Committee is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. Qualified persons are encouraged to apply regardless of their religious affiliation, race, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability.
AFSC’s Central Office and some of its offices in the U.S. are unionized workplaces. This position is not represented.
The Quaker United Nations Office is a smoke-free workplace.
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