Senior Political Affairs Officer, P5

UN Department of Peace Operations
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
  • Posted
    Nov 08

Position description

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the Office of the Under-Secretary-General (OUSG) of the Department of Peace Operations (DPO) at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The incumbent heads the Integrated Assessment and Planning Unit (IAPU) and reports to the Chief of Office (Principal Political Affairs Officer) DPO/OUSG

The Integrated Assessment and Planning Unit (IAPU), provides strategic, policy, operational and technical advice and mission-specific analysis and assessment of planning and integration processes, and develops policy, guidance and training on issues related to planning and integration.

The Office of the USG DPO is in charge of the overall policy direction, supervision and management of the Department.

The Department of Peace Operations (DPO) serves as an integrated "centre of excellence" for United Nations Peace operations, responsible for preventing, responding to and managing conflict and sustaining peace in the context of mandates in countries where peace operations under its purview are deployed. This includes facilitating and implementing political agreements, providing integrated strategic, political, operational and management advice, direction and support to peace operations; developing political, security and integrated strategies, leading integrated analysis and planning of peace operations and backstopping those operations.


Accountable to the Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, the incumbent directs and manages her/his team and is responsible for the following duties:

  • Develops the priorities and direction for the work of the IAPU, under the supervision of the Chief of Office, OUSG.
  • Prepares analyses and assessments of planning and integration processes at Headquarters and in field missions under the purview of the Department of Peace Operations.
  • Identifies emerging issues pertaining to planning and integration policy.
  • Develops recommendations on possible planning and integration strategies and measures and provides advice and policy recommendations on planning and integration processes.
  • Coordinates activities related to planning and integration policy with other units within DPO, in field missions under the purview of DPO, and with other United Nations entities.
  • 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 IAPU.
  • Prepares briefing notes and talking points for the Secretary-General and Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations.
  • Advises on and participates in the planning for the establishment and transition of operations and develops guidelines for operational plans.
  • Plans and allocates work assignments of the IAPU, under the supervision of the Chief of Office, OUSG.
  • Coaches, mentors and evaluates staff.
  • Participates in the recruitment and selection of new staff within the IAPU and in the development of training programs.
  • Represents the IAPU at round tables, seminars and conferences.
  • Responds to/prepares responses to comments, statements, queries of Member States and supports the management of operations involving several components, including civilian, military and police.



  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.



  • 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.


  • 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 qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

  • At least 10 years of progressively responsible experience in political science, international relations, law, disamament, security, development management, conflict resolution or related area is required.
  • Field experience in peacekeeping or in other post conflict settings is highly desirable.
  • Experience in planning for multidimensional operations is highly desirable.


  • Fluency in one of the working languages of the UN Secretariat, English or French, (both oral and written) is required; knowledge of the other is desirable. Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.

Application instructions

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