Political Affairs Officer, P4

United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Oct 17

Position description

Org. Setting and Reporting

This post is located in the Science, Technology and International Security Unit of the Office for Disarmament Affairs, New York. The Unit advises both the Office of the High Representative and the Office of the Director on scientific and technological issues in the context of international security and on other strategic issues, including those relating to autonomous weapons, outer space, information and telecommunications, and cyberspace, as well as normative and analytical research activities, in support of the Secretary-General's priorities related to disarmament. The Unit is also responsible for the preparation of political analyses and substantive background notes on a broad range of initiatives and topics, as well as on salient cross-cutting issues. Furthermore, the Unit serves as a liaison on programmatic issues with other Secretariat offices and collaborates on the preparation of substantive assessments and inputs to reports to intergovernmental and oversight bodies. The incumbent reports to the Head of the Science, Technology and International Security Unit. For more information, please refer to https://www.un.org/disarmament.


Within delegated authority, the Political Affairs Officer will be responsible for the following duties:

  • Reviews and monitors activities in the field of disarmament and non-proliferation; assesses current status of processes, treaties and other instruments (political and legal) as well as trends which might affect geo-political conditions; makes recommendations on positions to be taken by senior United Nations officials;
  • Analyses political and related events within assigned area with a view to provide early warning advice to the High Representative and Director;
  • Prepares analytical reports and papers on sensitive and high-profile matters of concern to the General Assembly, Security Council, or other bodies; drafts notes, background papers, talking points, speeches and other correspondence for senior UN officials;
  • Participates in the organization and supervision of Secretariat services required by the General Assembly and to other committees and bodies related to its work;
  • Acts as focal point for collection and analyses of information on political issues of assignment;
  • Provides up-to-date information to senior officials regarding substantive political matters and makes recommendations on actions to take;
  • Maintains contacts and collaborates with other offices and departments within the UN, other international organizations and governments on coordination and policy matters; briefs representatives and provides, as appropriate suggestions and recommendations;
  • Participates in conferences, seminars and academic fora related to their assigned area of expertise;
  • Carries out, in consultation with the Head of Unit, administrative functions relating to programme implementation, staff planning, staff selection and administrative and budgetary issues;
  • Drafts plans for projects and participates in the activities of implementation;
  • Performs other related duties as required.


  • Professionalism: Shows ability to complete in-depth studies and reach conclusions on possible causes and solutions to political problems in specific areas and/or countries. Shows ability to relate to various issues and perspectives to political, social, economic and humanitarian programmes in affected countries and areas. 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;
  • 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.


  • An advanced university degree (Master’s or Doctorate degree, or equivalent) in political science, international relations, law, disarmament, security, international development, conflict resolution or related fields is required. A first-level degree (Bachelor’s degree or equivalent) in the specified fields of studies with two additional years of relevant work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience in political science, international relations, law, disarmament, conflict resolution or related area is required;
  • Experience working on policy-making in science and technology issues in the context of international peace and security is required.


  • English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is an advantage.

Application instructions

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