Chief of Section, Civil Affairs, P-5

UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus
  • Location
    Nicosia, Cyprus
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
  • Posted
    Feb 06

Position description

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP). The Chief of Section, Civil Affairs reports to the Senior Advisor or her/his delegate. S/he will ensure that the Civil Affairs component operates as a cohesive and integrated section in support of its objectives and delivers consistently high-quality results supporting the development and implementation of conflict management, peace and reconciliation strategies and liaising with other international and national partners to promote the peace building process. The Chief of Section, Civil Affairs works with national / local authorities and other partners to identify critical support needs and to design strategies for responding to them.


Core Profile

  • Contributes to the development of the strategic vision for the overall Mission and UN effort and ensures that Civil Affairs work is clearly conceptualized in support of this, in line with the evolving situation on the ground and in accordance with the DPKO/DFS Civil Affairs Policy Directive.
  • Formulates and implements the substantive work programme of Civil Affairs, in consultation with key partners inside and outside the Mission, taking account of gender considerations and ensuring that the component functions as one part of a coherent overall UN effort to support the peace process.
  • Provides clear guidance on activities and performance expectations to component staff and oversees the management of programmed activities, including the delivery of high-quality outputs and results.
  • Institutes effective partnership and information-sharing arrangements with both relevant Mission and non- Mission actors, including the UN Country Team (UNCT). Oversees and ensures effective cooperation and coordination on the ground with all partners by Civil Affairs component staff. Ensures that all Mission and non-Mission partners are clear about the role and contributions of the Civil Affairs component.
  • Ensures that the Mission and its mandate is effectively and consistently represented to relevant interlocutors at the sub-national level by the Civil Affairs component (and other Mission actors where appropriate), and that the perceptions and concerns of all sectors of the population are accurately fed into Mission-wide situation analysis and planning processes.
  • Ensures that the Mission is provided with high-quality information and consistent analysis concerning conflict dynamics at the sub-national level and progress with or obstacles to the peace process countrywide, including via identification of critical peacebuilding gaps.
  • Advocates for, and provides contextual advice to the Mission on, adherence to the principle of local ownership in the execution of its mandate.
  • Undertakes the programmatic/administrative tasks necessary for the functioning of Civil Affairs, including; preparation of budgets, reporting on budget/programme performance, evaluation of staff performance, evaluation of candidates, and preparation of inputs for results-based budgeting. Ensures appropriate balance of skills and specializations are recruited to the Civil Affairs component, in accordance with (and where possible anticipating) evolving requirements over time.
  • Fosters team spirit among Civil Affairs staff, ensures they are provided with the requisite guidance and training to fulfill their tasks (including mission-specific induction and skills training), oversees the systematic identification of lessons and good practice and the sharing of these with Civil Affairs components in other Missions, and encourages free and active participation by all component staff in the online Civil Affairs Community of Practice.
  • Performs other duties as required, in line with the DPKO/DFS Policy Directive on Civil Affairs.

Conflict Management

  • Provides leadership for the development of a Civil Affairs or (where appropriate) Mission-wide conflict management strategy, including mechanisms for information-sharing, crisis response and protection of civilians as needed.
  • Promotes a culture of peace and reconciliation by identifying appropriate domestic actors and/or processes and designing strategies for the Civil Affairs component to support them at both national and sub-national levels.
  • Convenes or oversees support to national level dialogue and negotiation between groups in conflict. Facilitates, enables, or mediates dialogue where appropriate.
  • Forges partnerships with relevant actors to advocate the protection and empowerment of excluded and/or threatened groups in full respect of humanitarian and international law.
  • Identifies and coordinates a response to specific conflict drivers countrywide, including mobilizing a response from other actors where appropriate.

Support to State Institutions

  • Provides leadership and vision for effective cooperation between Civil Affairs and state institutions, as one part of the overall effort in this area, with a view to; strengthening local ownership of the peace process, building capacity, promoting cooperation between authorities and relevant interest groups, as well as supporting operations, policy and decision-making processes as appropriate.
  • Forges partnerships with other actors in this area, including the UN Country Team (UNCT) and particularly UNDP.
  • Oversees work with national / local authorities and other partners to identify critical support needs of local authorities and to design strategies for responding to them, either through Civil Affairs support or though mobilization of other actors and resources.
  • Performs other related work as required.


  • Professionalism: 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. 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.
  • Accountability: Takes ownership of 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, where applicable.
  • Creativity: Actively seeks to improve programmes or services. Offers new and different options to solve problems or meet client needs. Promotes and persuades others to consider new ideas. Takes calculated risks on new and unusual ideas; thinks "outside the box." Takes an interest in new ideas and new ways of doing things. Is not bound by current thinking or traditional approaches.
  • Technological awareness: Keeps abreast of available technology. Understands applicability and limitations of technology to the work of the office. Actively seeks to apply technology to appropriate tasks. Shows willingness to learn new technology.
  • 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.
  • Judgement/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) in political science, law, international relations,
  • public administration, social sciences, anthropology, economics or related field. 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 ten (10) years of progressively responsible work experience in social sciences, governance, international relations or other related area with advanced degree (Master’s or higher degree), or 12 years with first-level degree (Bachelor’s degree) is required.
  • Experience in leading and managing a team is required.
  • Experience working in or in support of a field operation of the United Nations Common System or a comparable international organization is desirable.
  • Experience working in an integrated civilian military-police environment is desirable.


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

Application instructions

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