Job Opening

Posting Title: CHIEF OF STAFF, D1 (Temporary Job Opening)
Job Code Title: CHIEF OF STAFF
Department/Office: United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara
Duty Station: LAAYOUNE
Posting Period: 08 September 2021 - 14 September 2021
Job Opening Number: 21-Political Affairs-MINURSO-163570-J-Laayoune (M)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the United Nations Mission for the referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) . The Chief of Staff (CoS) will be based in Laayoune and will report to the Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG).


Within delegated authority the Chief of Staff is responsible for the following duties:

Planning and Budgeting
•Supports the SRSG in the development of a vision for the Mission and the development of political and strategic plans and analysis.
•Oversees Mission planning processes, ensuring coherence is maintained between mandated tasks, component plans/concepts of operations and, where appropriate, United Nations-system-wide integrated planning processes (such as Integrated Strategic Frameworks), as required by policies, guidelines and best practices on planning, in particular the Integrated Assessment and Planning ( IAP) risk management, and incorporates mandated cross-cutting issues, such as gender mainstreaming across all planning and process, including the implementation of the Mission´s Gender Parity Strategy; and, supervises and provides managerial guidance to mission planning staff to this effect.
•Ensures the proper conduct of processes critical to the delivery of mandate implementation, particularly strategic planning, policy coordination and senior level decision-making.
•The Chief of Staff also ensures a clear understanding between substantive priorities and support capacities; and liaises with all components to advise and ensure the use of best methods for achieving the objectives and priorities of the operation/mission. Facilitates the translation of policy intent and high-level direction by leadership of the operation/mission into viable work plans and works with components to ensure the implementation of those work plans.
•Assist the SRSG on matters having to do with Delegation of Authority.
•In coordination with the Chief of Mission Support, ensures an integrated approach to the budget process, including alignment with strategic and operational plans and adequate provisions to meet resource requirements, and oversees the process as it relates to substantive mission components.
•Periodically reviews, with the Mission leadership team, the delivery of component work plans, identifying necessary adjustments to Mission plans and/or revised assumptions, as appropriate.
•Proactively seeks advice from Mission advisers in areas such as gender or conduct and discipline to adequately review or implement Mission´s policies and planning.
•May introduce new approaches in operational planning, including proposals for reshaping mission teams, to ensure the smooth delivery of Mission mandate.

•Ensures the effective direction and integrated management of all the Mission's activities in line with the strategic vision and guidance of the SRSG.
•Oversees management issues on behalf of the SRSG, including the development of advice on delegation of authority, the promotion of policies on management issues, including risk management.
•Facilitates the translation of policy intent and high-level direction of mission leadership into viable tasks and works with components and joint thematic teams to ensure their effective implementation.
•Directs and oversees core integrated processes and mechanisms that enable the integrated delivery of the mission's mandate, including programme management reform/change management, information management and crisis management.
•Oversees the activities of all entities located in the Office of the Chief of Staff or the Office of the SRSG, as appropriate.
•Serves as the focal point in the Office of the SRSG for all sensitive personnel and management issues, as well as for contacts with the Office of Internal Oversight Services and the Resident Auditor.
•Serves as interface between the Office of the SRSG and the Division of Mission Support on all personnel matters and oversees the recruitment of senior mission management appointments.

•Provides guidance on United Nations policies and procedures.
•Coordinates the development and implementation of cross-cutting and management policies among the various components of the Mission and liaises with the United Nations Country Team on the same, when required and in coordination with the SRSG as appropriate.
•Ensures that advice and information on cross-cutting issues is coordinated with all relevant components of the Mission prior to submission to the SRSG.
•Co-leads jointly with the Gender Advisor the working group on the implementation of the Mission´s Gender Parity Strategy.

Reporting, communications and information management
•Ensures effective functioning of coherent communications structures and systems and serves as the focal point for communication with the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
•Oversees mission-wide, integrated procedures and systems for information analysis and management, including Intra-mission information sharing, reporting requirements, security classification, records management and publication of Intranet content.
•Provides oversight to units under the SRSG’s purview and the Joint Operations Center of the Mission.
•Oversees the implementation of knowledge management approaches throughout the mission such as handover notes, after-action reviews and end-of-assignment reports.

•In close consultation with the SRSG and Chief of Mission Support, facilitates discussions between the mission and national government on issues related to mission's functions.
•Advises the SRSG on protocol matters and supervises and provides guidance on the preparation and coordination of official visits.


Professionalism: Ability to identify problems and propose policy options. Drafting ability and negotiation skills. Ability to use diplomacy and judgment in dealing with others. 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, despite their sexual orientation, religion or ethnicity.

Communication: Excellent communication skills, both oral and written, ability to defend and explain difficult issues with respect to key decisions and positions to staff, senior official and members of inter-governmental bodies; ability to communicate complex management decisions; ability to prepare written reports that are clear, concise and meaningful. 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.

Accountability: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honors commitments; Delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards, operates in compliance with organizational rules and regulations, supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of work unit, where applicable.

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.

Managing Performance: Delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision-making authority; Makes sure that roles, responsibilities and reporting lines are clear to each staff member; Accurately judges the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a task and matches task to skills; Monitors progress against milestones and deadlines; Regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff; Encourages risk-taking and supports creativity and initiative; Actively supports the development and career aspirations of staff; Appraises performance fairly.


Advanced university degree (Master’s or Equivalent) in one of the following disciplines: international relations, political science, business administration, public administration, management, law or military studies. A first level university degree with a combination of two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of fifteen (15) years of progressively responsible professional experience in such areas as: political, social, civil, military or legal affairs; public or business administration: or management is required.
A proven track record of leadership and management in multicultural settings, including coordination of interdisciplinary teams is required.
Experience in both inter-agency/departmental and/ or operational planning and analysis is highly desirable.
Experience serving in a senior advisory or managerial capacity at United Nations Headquarters or in a United Nations field operation is required.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. Fluency in English (both oral and written) is required. Knowledge of French is desirable.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.

Special Notice

• This position is temporarily available until 30 June 2022, subject to extension. If the selected candidate is a staff member from the United Nations Secretariat, the selection will be administered as a temporary assignment.

• This temporary job opening may be limited to “internal candidates,” who have been recruited through a competitive examination administered according to staff rule 4.16 or staff selection process including the review of a central review body established according to staff rule 4.15.

• Staff members of the United Nations common system organizations who will reach the mandatory age of separation or retirement within the duration of the current temporary need period are not eligible to apply. Submitting an application or selection for the current temporary job opening does not delay or increase the mandatory age of separation.

• Retirees above the mandatory age of separation who wish to be considered for the current temporary job opening must indicate the reason for their last separation as "retirement." Such retirees shall not be employed by the Organization, unless (a) the operational requirements of the Organization cannot be met by staff members who are qualified and available to perform the required functions; and (b) the proposed employment would not adversely affect the career development or redeployment opportunities of other staff members and represents both a cost-effective and operationally sound solution to meet the needs of the service.

United Nations Considerations

According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee


Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.
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