Job Opening

Posting Title: Principal Political Affairs Officer (Team Leader, West Africa and Sahel IOT), D1
Department/Office: Department of Peacekeeping Operations
Duty Station: NEW YORK
Posting Period: 04 April 2018 - 18 May 2018
Job Opening Number: 18-Political Affairs-DPKO-94051-R-New York (R)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Org. Setting and Reporting

The Principal Political Affairs Officer (Team Leader, West Africa and Sahel Integrated Operational Team) is located in the Africa II Division, West Africa and Sahel Integrated Operational Team (WASIOT), Office of Operations (OO), Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO). The incumbent will lead and manage this multidisciplinary IOT and its staff, and assist DPKO and the Department of Field Support (DFS) senior management in the integrated planning and management of MINUSMA and the G5 Sahel.

The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) was established by Security Council resolution 2100 of 25 April 2013 to support political processes in that country and carry out a number of security-related tasks. The Mission was asked to support the transitional authorities of Mali in the stabilization of the country and implementation of the transitional roadmap.

By unanimously adopting resolution 2164 of 25 June 2014, the Council further decided that the Mission should focus on duties, such as ensuring security, stabilization and protection of civilians; supporting national political dialogue and reconciliation; and assisting the reestablishment of State authority, the rebuilding of the security sector, and the promotion and protection of human rights in that country. MINUSMA has also begun developing a support plan for the G5 Sahel Joint Force in line with resolution 2391 (2017).

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The Principal Political Affairs Officer (Team Leader, West Africa and Sahel IOT) will have the following main responsibilities:

• Responsible for executive direction of peacekeeping operations and field missions, monitoring the development and progress of the most difficult and highly active operations, involving a diversity of interests and numerous parties in situations requiring innovative approaches. Identifies and responds to political and operational challenges, problems, and incidents. Provides direction and advice to officials in Headquarters and the field on actions, policy, political and operational issues.

• Represents the Secretary-General, Under-Secretary-General (USG) and Assistant Secretary-General (ASG) to resolve issues, problems, and questions, during any phase of the operations, and establishes operational commitments of the Secretariat.

• Monitors and oversees the implementation of operations, ensuring coordination of activities, directing colleagues, confronting and resolving obstacles to meet objectives established by the Security Council.

• Advises on and participates in planning peacekeeping operations, including the design, difficulties and implications of proposed operational models, in consideration of the numerous dimensions to the circumstances. Drafts planning documents, ensuring the integration of all relevant inputs of all and ensuring due consideration of the issues/ concerns of multiple and sometimes divergent constituencies.

• Formulates policies and courses of action for the Secretariat to be followed in the design and management of peacekeeping operations; implements systems and methods for the effective and timely coordination and delivery of operations.

• Serves as the original source of information, at the request for the Spokesman, for media contact, clearance of articles, speeches at seminars and lectures by senior UN officials on areas of assignment.

• Coordinates and oversees the work of colleagues assigned to assist with complex operations. Oversees preparation of strategic political and planning documents for the Security Council, identifying statements of principles, conditions of the parties and responses to such conditions, and ensuring the input of relevant parties. Leads fact-finding assignments in the field.

• Develops guidelines and terms of reference, operational plans and timeframes for new operations, ensuring the input of and coordination with all relevant parties; and resolving issues with the parties, contributors, members of the Security Council, etc. Assists with and advises on the formulation of policies and courses of action to be followed in deploying and managing peacekeeping operations to advance mandate implementation.

• Coordinates and oversees the work of colleagues assigned to assist with complex operations. Replaces colleagues in absences.


Professionalism: Knowledge of the work of the United Nations, in particular its peacekeeping activities; demonstrates political acumen, in-depth knowledge of peacekeeping or other relevant operational activities; Knowledge of planning and managing multicomponent operations; ability to work effectively under pressure meeting strict deadlines; Ability to identify and analyze key issues and conduct independent research and analysis, to formulate options, draw conclusions and make effective recommendations; Ability to direct the expeditious preparation of substantive and effective proposals, policy papers and reports and to review and edit the work of others; ability to apply UN rules, regulations, policies and guidelines in work situations. 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.

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.

Planning& Organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.

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 improvements; 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.

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 (Masters degree or equivalent) in political or social sciences, international relations, law, history, economics, public administration or business administration or related field. 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 fifteen years of progressively responsible experience in political science, international relations, law, disarmament, security, development management, conflict resolution or related area is required. A minimum of 10 years of international experience is required. Two years of experience in United Nations peacekeeping in the field or other field experience is required. Experience working on political issues relating to Africa is highly desirable. Experience in the integrated planning of multi-dimensional operations is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of French is required.


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

Special Notice

Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.

An impeccable record for integrity and professional ethical standards is required. All staff at the D1 level and above are required to submit a financial disclosure statement upon appointment and annually thereafter.

This post is financed by the Support Account for Peacekeeping Operations. Extension of appointment will be subject to budgetary approval. This vacancy is subject to availability of post.
The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

Applicants from troop- and police-contributing countries who are found most suitable and recommended for selection will be given due consideration for positions in a peacekeeping operation or Headquarters support account funded positions in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Field Support, taking into account their contribution to United Nations peacekeeping, in accordance with General Assembly resolutions 66/265 and 67/287.

The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

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 or sexual abuse, or crimes other than minor traffic offences, 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.

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 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


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