Within delegated authority, the Senior Political Affairs Officer will be responsible for the following duties:
Political Analysis and Advice:
- Identify, analyze and monitor political developments and emerging issues in the country/region with respect to the implementation of the peace process;
- Prepare analysis, assessments and reports on the implementation of the peace process and developments in the country;
- Assess implications and make recommendations to the Chief PRO on possible policies, strategies and other measures to address issues of concern and to advance mandated objectives, with a special focus on the implementation of the peace agreement;
- Identify emerging issues and provide advice to the Chief PRO on suitable course of actions to address major challenges to the implementation of the peace agreement making full use of the follow-up and implementing mechanisms;
- Support signatories for the effective management of follow-up and implementing mechanisms of the peace process;
- Provide technical and operational support for mediation, good offices, dialogue processes, local conflict management and other reconciliation/mediation activities, including for strategy development, process design, mediation techniques and thematic advice. Mobilize support to help build the capacity of national counterparts in mediation, facilitation, reconciliation, and peaceful resolution of conflicts;
- Analyze root causes and conflict drivers and provides continuous reporting, guidance and advice to the head of mission and partner organizations concerning actual or potential conflicts;
- Develop and maintains relations with senior government officials and advises them on issues and policies of mutual concern;
- Respond to/prepare responses to comments, statements, and queries of parties.
Reporting and Information Management:
- Prepare summary and analytical reports including, but not limited to, situation reports, briefing notes, options papers, code cables, and input for the reports of the Secretary-General to the Security Council as they relate to the peace process;
- Prepare and review contextual information materials, such as background notes, analytical materials and assessments on political and related policy options in support to the implementation of the peace agreement.
Planning, Coordination and Facilitation:
- Plan and implement the operational activities related to the work of the office or mission, i. e., support to peace and reconciliation process, conflict prevention and resolution, post-conflict rehabilitation, political and governance institution-building, civil society support work, etc.; 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 unit;
- Develop and maintain collaborative relationships with the authorities, political leaders and civil society actors, the broader UN family, signatories, guarantor and facilitators of the agreement as well as other national and international partners on coordination and policy matters;
- Consult and cooperate with partners to develop strategies and plans of action to address political challenges, in the context of the overall implementation of the peace agreement;
- Plan and implement the operational activities related to SRSGs good offices, dialogue and engagements in line with SRSG’s strategic vision and guidance as per the mandate;
- Support preparations for official meetings, events and visits, including through the provision of secretariat services and by drafting talking points and speeches of senior UN officials;
- Participate in fact-finding – and other – missions;
- Prepare written summaries of meetings/visits and assist with follow-up activities, as appropriate;
- Monitor, evaluate and report on the implementation of the peace agreement.
- Assist with formulating and managing the implementation of the program of work, including through support to planning and budgetary processes as they relate to UN support to the peace process;
- Lead a work team; plans and allocates work assignments; coaches, mentors, and evaluates staff; Manages, coordinates, organizes and supervises research on a variety of political issues in a region and or country or major conflict. Plans, coordinates and manages programmes, projects and activities requiring mission and/or interagency involvement and participation;
- Participate in the selection of new staff;
- Perform other relevant duties as required.
- Professionalism: In-depth understanding of the political work of the United Nations, as well as knowledge and experience of political negotiations and capacity to adopt a strategic approach to the development of governance and power- sharing issues; sound analytical skills, with ability to assess complex political environments, identify problems, and propose policy options; proven drafting, reviewing and editing skills and experience; diplomacy, tact and judgment in dealing with others; conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments and achieving results; tact in negotiation skills; 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;
- 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 decisions, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position. Shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings;
- Accountability: Takes ownership for all responsibilities and honours commitments. Delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost, and quality standards. Operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules. Supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments. Takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, if any;
- 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 improvement, 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;
- Building Trust: Provides an environment in which others can talk and act without fear or repercussion. Manages in a deliberate and predictable way. Operates with transparency, has no hidden agenda. Places confidence in colleagues, staff members and clients. Gives proper credit to others. Follows through on agreed upon actions. Treats sensitive or confidential information appropriately.
- Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) degree in political science, international relations, international economics, law, public administration, economy 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 (10) years of progressively responsible experience in political affairs, diplomacy, international relations, conflict resolution or related area is required;
- Extensive experience in political outreach, facilitation, analysis, advice and reporting is required;
- Experience working in a United Nations common system field operation (inclusive of peacekeeping, political missions and UN agencies, funds, and programmes) or similar international or non-governmental organization in a conflict or post-conflict setting is required;
- Experience in mediation and multilateral or bilateral negotiations is required;
- Experience working in a similar role in Afghanistan on political/analysis/peace-building issues is required;
- Experience managing a team is required;
- Experience working with governments and insurgents/opposition groups in peace processes is desirable;
- Experience facilitating multi-stakeholder processes in a peace consolidation or conflict setting is desirable.
- English and French are the working languages of the UN Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge or Dari, Pashto or a local language is desirable.
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