Job Opening

Department/Office: United Nations Office to the African Union
Duty Station: ADDIS ABABA
Posting Period: 31 July 2017 - 30 August 2017
Job Opening Number: 17-Political Affairs-UNOAU-83057-D-Addis Ababa (M)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU). The Director of Political Affairs will report to the Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) and Head of UNOAU.


Under the Supervision of the SRSG, and within delegated Authority, the Director of Political Affairs will be responsible for the following duties:
Political, Institutional and Operational Advice:
•In coordination with the respective Unit heads, provide advice and recommend priorities on strategic, policy, political and operational issues, covering the substantive responsibilities of the Office, including peacekeeping and capacity-building, with respect to UNOAU support to the African Union;
•Working closely with the respective Unit heads and relevant headquarters Offices, identify and respond to political and operational developments, problems and incidents in collusion with relevant AU African Union bodies; initiate negotiations with relevant parties at a senior level to resolve problems and conflicts.
•Advise the SRSG on matters related to the implementation of the Office's mandated tasks;
•Support the SRSG to articulate objectives for the Office that all members of the team can understand and communicate to their respective staff and components;
•Ensure that high quality political analysis and advice on strategic and planning matters related to the Office's support to and collaboration with the African Union is provided to the Head of Office.
Planning, Coordination and Liaison:
•Coordinate with the Departments of Political Affairs, Peacekeeping Operations, and Field Support, as well as other UN departments, Agencies, Funds and Programmes, Member States, regional and sub-regional organizations, donor and relevant stakeholders, to advance the implementation of the mandate;
•Develop and maintain collaborative relationships with UN Special Political Missions and Peacekeeping Operations in Africa towards a harmonized approach between the UN and AU;
•Consult and cooperate with partners to develop strategies to address political and operational challenges, in pursuit of the strategic partnership between the UN and AU;
•Provide advice and recommend priorities on strategic, policy, political and operational issues.
Communications and information management:
•Ensure effective functioning of coherent communications structures and systems;
•Oversee the implementation of knowledge management approaches throughout the mission, such as handover notes, after-action reviews and end-of-assignment reports;
•Oversee the preparation of the Office’s inputs for the reports of the Secretary-General to the Security Council, General Assembly and other policy-making organs;
•Establish and ensure an effective system of information management designed to guarantee accessibility and utility of information.
Leadership and Management:
•Coordinate the work of the UNOAU Political Affairs Unit, and the Institutional and Operational Partnership Service;
•Provide strategic leadership and direct, guide, supervise and coordinate the work of the Political Affairs Unit and the Institutional and Operational Partnership Service;
•Ensure overall quality and timeliness of the products of the sections;
•Formulate and manage the implementation of the sections’ programme of work, determining priorities and activities that are in accordance with the mandate;
•Oversee coordination with and support to the African Union by the substantive units, ensuring the implementation of a well-articulated policy for the reporting and management of substantive staff within these units;
•In coordination with the Chief of Staff, ensure an integrated approach to the results-based budget process, including alignment with strategic and operational plans and adequate provisions to meet resource requirements. Oversee the process, as it relates to substantive Office components.
•Participate in recruitment processes, and supervise, manage, guide, develop, mentor, train and evaluate staff;
•Act as Officer-in-Charge for UNOAU in the absence of the Head of Office.
•Perform other duties as assigned by the Head of Office.


Professionalism - Demonstrates political awareness, analytical capabilities and in-depth knowledge of peace and security issues, particularly as they relate to the management of multi-dimensional peace operations in Africa; 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.

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 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.

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; 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.

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 degree or equivalent) in management studies, social sciences, public administration, military studies or a related area. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of 15 years of progressively responsible 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 liaising with intergovernmental regional organisations such as the African Union is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this position, fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of French language is desirable.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include a written assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview. Core values and competencies will be assessed throughout the evaluation process.

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, including but not limited to, respect for international human rights and humanitarian law. Candidates may be subject to screening against these standards, including but not limited to, whether they have committed or are alleged to have committed criminal offences or violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.

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.

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

The screening and 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, including but not limited to, their education, work experience, and language skills, according to the instructions provided on inspira. Applicants will be disqualified from consideration if they do not demonstrate in their application that they meet the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations. Applicants are solely responsible for providing complete and accurate information at the time of application: 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 a reference-checking process to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at midnight (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee


Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.
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