Senior Political Affairs Officer, P5

United Nations Investigative Team for Accountability of Da’esh/ISIL
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Mar 07

Position description

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located within the United Nations Investigative Team for Accountability of Da'esh/ISIL (UNITAD) and will be based in New York. The Senior Political Affairs Officer will lead the UNITAD Backstopping Office and reports to the Special Adviser.

UNITAD was established by the Secretary-General pursuant to Security Council resolution 2379 (2017), according to which it is mandated to support domestic efforts to hold ISIL (Da'esh) accountable by collecting, preserving and storing evidence in Iraq of acts that may amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed by the terrorist group ISIL (Da'esh) in Iraq.


Within delegated authority, the Senior Political Affairs Officer/Special Assistant will be responsible for the following duties:

  • Provides strategic advice and support to the Special Adviser and Head of the Iraq Investigative Team established pursuant to Security Council resolution 2379 (2017);
  • Address all political, legal, and security issues relevant to the work of the Investigative Team;
  • Serve as the main liaison with a wide range of Iraqi Government officials, Member States representatives in Iraq, civil society organizations and other relevant stakeholders;
  • Serve as the main liaison with Representations of Member States of the United Nations in New York, with US-based Non-Governmental-Organisations and representatives of civil society;
  • Prepares the biannual Security Council report and the Security Council Briefing for the Special Adviser;
  • Coordinate the cooperation of the Team with all entities of the United Nations and stays in regular contact with all counterparts of UNITAD within the United Nations;
  • Coordinate the work of the Team with all relevant components of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), including the Office of the SRSG of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (both as head of mission and as Designated Official), as well as security, administration, political and human rights sections;
  • Identify and achieve synergies and coherence across all aspects of the Team's work;
  • Prepares briefing notes and talking points for the Special Adviser and senior staff in the Investigative Team;
  • Leads and directs a work 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 programs;
  • Represents the Investigative Team when appropriate at meetings, round tables, seminars and conferences;
  • Responds to/prepares responses to comments, statements, queries of parties and manages operations involving the Investigative Team;
  • Responds to/prepares responses to comments, statements, queries of parties and manages operations involving different components, including civilian, military and humanitarian operations;
  • Formulates the programme of work, budget and medium-term plan of the unit and participates in the overall approval of the programme of work, and administrative matters concerning the newly established office; coordinates and, when appropriate, oversees work of colleagues and units;
  • Prepares drafts on OIOS matters for the consideration and decision of the Special Adviser or on advice of OIOS and manages all the respective matters;
  • 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: Sound political analysis, knowledge of and ability to support/engage in conflict prevention, peacemaking and peace building at the international level; knowledge and understanding of political issues in Iraq and an ability to evaluate international and regional political situations; ability to handle confidential matters; understanding of bilateral and multilateral negotiations and mediation; ability to convey complex issues to senior officials and representatives of Member States; understanding of the Team’s strategic direction and ability to transform it into a results-oriented work programme; thorough knowledge of the practices and procedures of the United Nations in conflict prevention and resolution, familiarity with negotiating skills; 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 the audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed;
  • 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.

Managerial Competencies

  • Building Trust: Provides an environment in which others can talk and act without fear of 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;
  • Judgment/ 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 law, political science, international relations, international economics, 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

  • A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in political science, international relations, law, conflict resolution or related area is required;
  • At least three years of legal experience in in political analysis, as well as advising senior officials at the international level is required;
  • Experience working with a solid legal background and advanced knowledge in International Criminal Law and International Humanitarian Law with an international organization or a jurisdiction on the national level is required;
  • At least three years of experience working for a United Nations field operation or other international organizations is required;
  • At least one year of legal experience as a lawyer with terrorism-related issues is required;
  • At least two years of experience dealing with international criminal law, transitional justice and/or accountability issues in the field is required, preferably as a judge or a prosecutor/attorney;
  • Experience working in middle east is desirable.


  • English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in English is required. Fluency in Arabic is desirable. Fluency in French is desirable.

Application instructions

Please be sure to indicate you saw this position on