Special Assistant, Political Affairs, P5

United Nations Support Office in Somalia
  • Location
    Mogadishu, Somalia
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Nov 08

Position description

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the Office of the Assistant Secretary-General (ASG), Head of the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS). The Special Assistant will be based in Mogadishu and reports directly to the Head of UNSOS.


Within delegated authority, the Special Assistant, will be responsible for the following duties:

Mandate Implementation Analysis, Advice and Reporting:

  • Identify, analyze and monitor strategic and operational developments, including cross cutting and emerging issues with respect to the implementation of the Mission's mandate;
  • Assess implications and make recommendations on possible policies, strategies and other measures to address issues of concern and to advance mandated objectives;
  • Monitor, evaluate and report on implementation;
  • Coordinate/draft summary and analytical reports including, but not limited to, situation reports, briefing notes, notes to file, code cables and input for the reports of the Secretary-General to the Security Council;
  • Formulating and managing the implementation of the Mission's programme of work, including through regular review and update of the mission concept and support to planning and budgetary processes.


  • Provide day to day supervision of the mission's Risk Management and Compliance Unit and the mission's Gender Adviser.

Coordination and Facilitation:

  • Provide substantive and practical support to the Head of UNSOS in implementing the Mission's mandate;
  • Coordinates the work of the Office of the Head of UNSOS components ensuring oversight measures and other priorities are addressed;
  • Keep the Head of UNSOS informed on all matters requiring his/her personal attention, assist in formulating options as to how those matters might be handled, and ensure appropriate follow up, as directed;
  • Plan, organize and manage the Head of UNSOS's meetings and Mission events, prepare written summaries and conduct follow-up activities, as appropriate;
  • Coordinate/draft correspondence for the Head of UNSOS's signature;
  • Develop and maintain collaborative relationships with mission components, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), AMISOM/African Union Commission, Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and local authorities, the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU), donors and other national and international partners on coordination and policy matters;
  • Coordinates, as required, actions related to the transition planning activities of AMISOM and FGS and broader UNSOS support to UNSOM, AMISOM and the Somali Security Forces and other members of the United Nations family. This includes liaising with UN Headquarters, UNOAU, bilateral donors and other international organizations in support to the mandate of UNSOS;
  • Coordinates operational and strategic guidance issues on behalf of Head of UNSOS, with Office of Director and Pillar Heads of UNSOS;
  • Performs other duties, as assigned.


  • Professionalism - 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. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work;
  • 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;
  • 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;
  • 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;
  • 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) in political science, international relations, social science, economics, law, public administration, or a related field is required. 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 security sector affairs, international peace operations diplomacy, or related area is required;
  • Extensive international experience in working with international security forces, 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 organization or nongovernmental organization-in a conflict or post-conflict setting is required;
  • Previous experience working in the office of a senior public official and/or as a Special Assistant (or similar) to a senior public official is desirable;
  • Knowledge of the geo-political environment in the Horn of Africa and experience working with the African Union Commission would be an advantage.


  • English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English (both oral and written) is required.

Application instructions

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