Org. Setting and Reporting
This post is located in the regional political-operational structure of the Departments of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and Peace Operations (DPPA-DPO), Northern Africa Division (NAD). NAD is tasked with monitoring and reporting on major developments in the countries under its purview, and recommending actions for addressing the related challenges, risks and threats. The Senior Political Affairs Officer will report to the NAD Director and Deputy Director.
Within delegated authority, the Senior Political Affairs Officer will be responsible for the following duties:
• Formulates political affairs strategies; develops a vision or direction for work; proposes policy directives and plan of action for immediate and long-range solutions to political problems in North Africa; identifies emerging issues pertaining to the mandates of the unit; analyses implications and makes recommendations on possible strategies and measures.
• Plans and implements the operational activities related to the work of the Northern Africa Division.; 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.
• Plans, coordinates, and manages programmes, projects and activities requiring interdepartmental and/or interagency involvement and participation.
• Prepares briefing notes and talking points for the Secretary-General, Senior Advisers, Under-Secretary-General/Assistant Secretary-General.
• Designs political and peacekeeping initiatives; advises on and participates in the negotiation to establish operations and develops guidelines, terms of reference and operational plans and time frames for new operations.
• Leads and directs the work of a 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 programmes.
• Acts as coordinator for complex coordination and support missions.
• Manages, coordinates, organizes, and supervises research on a variety of political issues in North Africa.
• Represents division at round tables, seminars, and conferences.
• Responds to/prepares responses to comments, statements, queries of parties and manages operations involving several components, including civilian, military, and humanitarian operations.
• Develops and maintains relations at the highest levels of governments and advises them on issues and policies of mutual concern.
• Performs other related duties as required.
• PROFESSIONALISM: Knowledge of the work of the United Nations, in particular its peacekeeping activities; substantial knowledge of the evolving peacekeeping doctrine and of the priorities and policies of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and its activities both at Headquarters and in the field; familiarity with the political and operational conditions in Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria and Western Sahara and broader knowledge of the region. Ability to provide high calibre strategic and tactical advice on all aspects of peace operations. 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 decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.
• 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.
• 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 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 science, international relations, law, disarmament, security, development management, conflict resolution or related area is required.
Experience in providing support to multi-dimensional operations is required.
Experience working in a field operation of the United Nations common system inclusive of peacekeeping, political missions and UN regional commissions, agencies, funds, and programmes) - or similar international organization, or nongovernmental organization in Africa is desirable.
Experience in providing support to peace operations in the areas of political affairs in or on Africa is desirable.
English and French are the working languages of the UN Secretariat. Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of French is desirable. Knowledge of Arabic is an advantage.
Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.
Staff members of the United Nations Secretariat must fulfil the lateral move requirements to be eligible to apply for this vacancy. Staff members are requested to indicate all qualifying lateral moves in their Personal History Profile (PHP) and cover letter.
The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.
Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.
For this position, applicants from the following Member States, which are unrepresented or underrepresented in the UN Secretariat as of 31 May 2020, are strongly encouraged to apply: Afghanistan, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Belize, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, China, Comoros, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Japan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Mozambique, Nauru, Norway, Oman, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Suriname, Timor-Leste, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Vanuatu, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
United Nations Considerations
According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.
Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places 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. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.
Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.
The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.
Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.
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