Political Affairs Officer, P3

Multiple locations

Special Notice

The United Nations Secretariat maintains rosters of qualified and available candidates to fill anticipated job openings in peacekeeping operations, special political missions, and other field operations.

The purpose of this job opening is to deepen the roster of qualified P3 Political Affairs candidates who speak both English and Arabic in anticipation of vacancies in Arabic-speaking mission locations. Please note that Political Affairs positions include conflict and post-conflict locations in non-family and/or hardship duty stations. Political Affairs staff may also be housed in camp environments. An updated list of missions and additional information on working in the field can be found at http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/about/dfs/.

Fluency in English and a working knowledge of Arabic is required for these positions. For the purposes of this roster vacancy, working knowledge of Arabic is described as a functional use of spoken Modern Standard Arabic plus a spoken Arabic dialect, enabling candidates to communicate with Arabic speaking interlocutors. It would be an additional asset to be able to read in Arabic and paraphrase into English short general Arabic texts such as simple news items, correspondence, memos, etc.

All applicants will be notified in writing of the outcome of their application (whether successful or unsuccessful) within 14 days of the conclusion of the process. Successful candidates will be placed on the roster and subsequently will be invited to apply for field mission vacancies open only to roster members. Roster membership does not guarantee selection.

Org. Setting and Reporting

These positions are located in the United Nations field Peacekeeping Operations and Special Political missions. Typically Political Affairs Officers are deployed in Mission HQs (typically the capital city) and sub-national levels (outside the capital) in regional field offices and report to a Head of Regional Office and/or Chief/Director of Political Affairs.


Within delegated authority, the Political Affairs Officer will be responsible for the following duties: (These duties are generic and may not be carried out by all Political Affairs Officers).

Political Analysis and Advice - Identify, analyse and monitor political developments, trends and emerging issues in the country or region assigned, according to the assigned portfolio and/or applicable mandate. - Assess implications and make recommendations to senior management on possible policies, strategies and other measures to address issues of concern and to advance mandated objectives.
Reporting and Information Management - Prepare summary and analytical reports including, but not limited to, situation reports, reports, briefing notes, options papers, code cables and input for the reports of the Secretary- General to the Security Council, General Assembly or other bodies. - Prepare contextual information materials, such as background notes, political profiles and databases of relevance to the assigned portfolio; Manage information to ensure its accessibility and utility.

Planning, Coordination and Facilitation - Develop and maintain collaborative relationships with UN Common System colleagues and counterparts, Government representatives, civil society actors, military and law enforcement actors, academic and research institutions, and other national and international partners on information-sharing, policy and coordination matters.- Consult and cooperate with partners to develop strategies and plans of action to address political challenges, in pursuit of shared objectives; Monitor, evaluate and report on implementation. - Support preparations for official meetings, events and visits, including through the provision of Secretariat services and by drafting talking points and speeches for senior UN officials; Participate in fact-finding –and other- missions; Prepare written summaries of meetings/visits and assist with follow-up activities, as appropriate.

Management/Administration - Contribute to the formulation and implementation of the unit's programme of work. - Support planning and budgetary processes for current and future field operations. - Perform other relevant duties 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. 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.


An advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in political science, international relations, social sciences, law, public administration, 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 five years of progressively responsible experience in political affairs, civil affairs, security and disarmament affairs, human rights, rule of law, diplomacy, or a related field. At least one year of experience in political outreach, facilitation, analysis, advice and reporting at the international level is required. Field experience in conflict or post conflict countries is required. Field experience in the Middle-East and/or Arabic-speaking countries in Africa is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in oral and written English is required. Working knowledge of spoken Arabic is required (see special notice).


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise followed by a competency-based interview conducted in English and Arabic.


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


Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.
  • Organization: UN-DFS - United Nations Department of Field Support
  • Location: Multiple locations
  • Grade: P-3, International Professional
  • Occupational Groups:
    • International Relations
    • Security and Safety
    • Security policy
    • Social studies
    • Political Affairs
    • Political Affairs
  • Closing Date: 2016-08-31

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