Senior Political Affairs Officer, P5

UN Office for Disarmament Affairs
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Jun 07

Position description

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the Weapons of Mass Destruction Branch, Office for Disarmament Affairs (ODA-WMDB). The position is established in connection with a project to continue work of the ODA to enhance the level of preparedness of the Secretary-General’s Mechanism (SGM) for the investigation of the alleged use of chemical, biological and toxin weapons, further to the authority granted by resolution A/RES/42/37 (C). The Senior Political Affairs Officer reports to the Chief of Weapons of Mass Destruction Branch.


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 general and in specific geographical areas; 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 office i.e., disarmament and arms control; incorporates an integrated approach that includes a conflict prevention sensitivity and a gender perspective into the policy, planning and operational activities of the unit;
  • Plans, coordinates and manages the assigned projects and related activities and facilitates interdepartmental and/or interagency involvement and participation;
  • Liaises with relevant international parties such as INTERPOL, OIE, OPCW, WHO, and with laboratories on the roster of the SGM; identifies and initiates follow-up actions.
  • Prepares briefing notes and talking points for the Secretary-General, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs and other senior officials;
  • Leads and directs a work team; plans and allocates work assignments; coaches, mentors, and evaluates staff; participates in the development of training programs;
  • Manages, coordinates, organizes and supervises research on a variety of political, disarmament and non-proliferation issues;
  • Represents office at round tables, seminars and conferences;
  • Responds to/prepares responses to comments, statements, queries of parties;
  • 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 branch; coordinates and oversees work of colleagues and 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. Ability to evaluate international political situations in area of assignment. Ability to manage and coordinate many different levels and participants in operations in both the field and UN common system. 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;
  • 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;
  • 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;
  • 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, microbiology, chemistry or related field. A first-level university degree in combination with 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 related to biological and/or chemical weapons disarmament and non-proliferation, including in planning and delivering of relevant training courses and activities, is desirable;
  • Experience in the planning and conduct of training activities and/or a field mission in the context of the SGM is desirable.


  • Fluency in English (both oral and written) is required. Knowledge of another UN official language is desirable.


Application instructions

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