Senior Political Affairs Officer, P5

UN Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on Cyprus
  • Location
    Nicosia, Cyprus
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Aug 25

Position description

Org. Setting and Reporting

On 3 September 2008, the Leaders of the Greek Cypriot community and of the Turkish Cypriot community decided to start their full-fledged negotiations, under the good offices mission of the United Nations Secretary-General. The aim of the full-fledged negotiations is to find a mutually acceptable solution in Cyprus, which will safeguard the fundamental and legitimate rights and interest of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. The role of the Office of the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on Cyprus (OSASG-Cyprus) (also known as the Secretary-General’s Good Offices Mission) is to assist the parties in the conduct of negotiations aimed at reaching a mutually agreed settlement. During the current hiatus in substantive political negotiations, the mission is active in supporting continued dialogue and working to find common ground between the sides, facilitating the twelve technical committees set up by the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders in the context of the Track 1 peace process, and promoting trust-building measures and contact and rapprochement.


Political Analysis and Advice

  • Identify, analyze and monitor political developments and emerging issues in the country/region with respect to the implementation of the mission's mandate;
  • Provide support to the negotiation process on a range of substantive issues that may include governance & power-sharing, EU matters, property, territory, economic matters or security & guarantees;
  • Prepare analysis, assessments and reports on a range of issues in the context of the overall negotiations , including on measures and initiatives to build confidence and trust;
  • Research key points of interest between the sides and options for specific approaches;
  • Provide assessments to the Coordinator/Head of Office outlining implications in the context of issues discussed in the negotiations;
  • Assess implications and make recommendations to senior UN leadership on possible policies, strategies and other measures to address issues of concern and to advance mandated objectives including on approaches to assist the parties to reach common ground towards resumption of substantive political negotiations;
  • Identify emerging issues and provide advice on approaches to the negotiations in Cyprus;
  • Work with UN thematic experts to assess the positions of the parties and explore possible bridging options;
  • Plan and undertake politically sensitive projects as needed;
  • Manage information to ensure its accessibility and utility.

Reporting and Information Management

  • Prepare summary and analytical reports including, but not limited to, situation reports, briefing notes, options papers, code cables, and input for the reports of the Secretary-General to the Security Council on Cyprus;
  • Prepare and review contextual information materials, such as background notes, analytical materials and assessments on political and related policy options in support of the negotiations.

Planning, Coordination and Facilitation

  • Develop and maintain collaborative relationships with the authorities, political leaders and civil society actors, the broader UN family and other national and international partners on coordination and policy matters;
  • Consult and cooperate with partners to develop strategies and plans of action to address political challenges, in the context of the overall negotiations;
  • Serve as a facilitator for one or more Technical Committee’s. set up by the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders in the context of the Track 1 peace process;
  • Plan and implement the operational activities related to the work of the OSASG in line with the mission’s strategic vision and guidance;
  • Support preparations for official meetings, events and visits, including through the provision of secretariat services and by drafting talking points and speeches of senior UN officials;
  • Participate in fact-finding – and other – missions;
  • Prepare written summaries of meetings/visits and assist with follow-up activities, as appropriate;
  • Monitor, evaluate and report on implementation.


  • Assist with formulating and managing the implementation of the programme of work, including through support to planning and budgetary processes;
  • Supervise, mentor, and evaluate staff including consultants, as required;
  • Participate in the selection of new staff;
  • Perform other relevant duties as required.


  • Professionalism: in-depth understanding of the political work of the United Nations, as well as knowledge and experience of political negotiations and capacity to adopt a strategic approach to the development of a range of issues; sound analytical skills, with ability to assess complex political environments, identify problems, and propose policy options; proven drafting, reviewing and editing skills and experience; diplomacy, tact and judgment in dealing with others; conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments and achieving results; tact in negotiation 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. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work;
  • 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 decisions, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position. Shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings;
  • Accountability: Takes ownership for all responsibilities and honours commitments. Delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost, and quality standards. Operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules. Supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments. Takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, if any;
  • 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 improvement, does not accept the status quo. Shows the courage to take unpopular stands;
  • 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.


  • 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 two (02) additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of ten (10) years of progressively responsible experience in political science, international relations, law, disarmament, security, development management, conflict resolution or related area is required;
  • Extensive experience in political analysis and diplomacy with a demonstrated ability to manage and coordinate many different levels and participants is required;
  • Experience in mediation and multilateral or bilateral negotiations is required;
  • Experience with practices and procedures on conflict resolution in an international organization or government is desirable;
  • Experience in providing political support and guidance to peacemaking, peacekeeping operations and/or good offices mission is desirable;
  • Experience, in particular field experience with a United Nations peacekeeping operation/Special Political Mission (SPM) and professional experience in the region is desirable.


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

Application instructions

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