Org. Setting and Reporting
This position is located in the Office of the Under-Secretary-General, within the Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), at UN Headquarters in New York. The Political Affairs Officer will report to the Chief of the Front Office under the overall supervision of the Chief of the Office of the Under-Secretary-General (OUSG).
The United Nations Office of Counter Terrorism (OCT) was established by the Secretary-General in 2017. The Office has five main functions: (a) provide leadership on the General Assembly counter-terrorism mandates across the United Nations System; (b) enhance coordination and coherence across the 46 Counter-Terrorism Compact entities to ensure the balanced implementation of the four pillars of the Strategy; (c) strengthen the delivery of United Nations counter-terrorism capacity-building assistance to Member States; (d) improve visibility, advocacy and resource mobilization for United Nations counter-terrorism efforts; and (e) ensure that due priority is given to counter-terrorism across the United Nations System and that the important work on preventing violent extremism is firmly rooted in the Strategy. The United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT) is part of UNOCT and promotes the delivery of United Nations capacity building assistance to Member States.
Within delegated authority, the Political Affairs Officer will perform the following functions:
- Coordinates the logistical and substantive preparations of bilateral meetings, roundtables and other key events of the USG and the OCT, in close consultation with the OCT’s senior management and appropriate counterparts;
- Supports the USG and the senior management of the OCT in establishing and managing effective mechanisms for strategic planning and timely reporting in the OCT.
- Gathers, selects and analyses information contained in communications and publications received from different sources, including the press.
- Monitors national and regional level political developments and maintains up-to-date knowledge of events relating to political issues, in general, and in particular as they affect the countries, regions and thematic mandates for which the staff member is responsible.
- Maintains up-to-date knowledge of events relating to political issues, in general, and in particular as they affect the countries and thematic mandates for which the staff member is responsible.
- Keeps abreast of latest trends and developments in the area of assignment and provides inputs on issues to senior officials and colleagues in missions and elsewhere in the Secretariat.
- Provides technical and substantive back up in the implementation of Front Office portfolio.
- Monitors actions taken by intergovernmental groups, UN organisations, government and non-governmental organizations as may be required.
- Participates in fact-finding and other missions to countries within assigned area of responsibility.
- Prepares analytical reports and written outputs on sensitive matters for senior management, e.g. draft background papers, concept notes, analysis, sections of reports and studies, inputs to publications, etc.
- Prepares briefing materials and talking points for senior officials as well as provides guidance and advice on assigned issues to senior management.
- Provides substantive support to consultative and other meetings, conferences, etc., to include proposing agenda topics, identifying participants, preparation of documents and presentations, etc.
- Performs other related duties as required.
- Professionalism: Knowledge of cross cutting peace and security issues, and policy matters related to counter-terrorism, the UN system and its work on counter-terrorism and prevention of violent extremism as and when conducive to terrorism. Ability to identify and analyze political, ethnic, racial, social and economic problems that cause civil unrest in a country or geographic area. 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.
- Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent degree) in political science, international relations, international economics, law, public administration or other related. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
- A minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in political science, international relations, law, disarmament, security, conflict resolution or related area is required.
- Experience working on counter-terrorism and/or prevention of violent extremism, as and when conducive to terrorism, is required.
- Experience in drafting analytical papers on politically sensitive and high-profile matters is required.
- Experience in delivering briefings to senior officials is desirable.
- Experience in providing advice and substantive support to senior officials in international organizations is required.
- English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this position, fluency in English (both oral and written) is required. Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.
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