SPECIAL ASSISTANT, POLITICAL AFFAIRS

  • Added Date: Wednesday, 05 February 2020
  • Deadline Date: Friday, 20 March 2020

Org. Setting and Reporting

Established in 2005, the Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO) helps to sustain peace by fostering international support for nationally owned and led peacebuilding efforts. The Office assists and supports the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC), manages the Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) on behalf of the Secretary-General, and works to enhance system-wide coherence and partnerships with UN and non-UN actors in support of building and sustaining peace in relevant countries.

The Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) focuses primarily on five action areas in international peace and security, ensuring sound analysis and early warning, preventing conflict and engaging in peacemaking, managing political crises and violent conflicts, sustaining peace, and enhancing partnerships. The Department's mandate is to prevent and resolve conflict through inclusive political solutions.

This post is in the Office of the Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support in the Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO) in the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA). The Special Assistant will report to the Assistant Secretary-General who reports to the Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs.

Responsibilities

Within delegated authority, the Special Assistant will be responsible for the following duties:

• Coordinates and supervises work of the Office of the Assistant Secretary-General (ASG) to ensure management of Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO).
• Formulates strategy and advises the ASG in dealing with Member States and promote relationships with external partners.
• Provides support and advice to the ASG on PBSO workplans, including preparation, monitoring and ensuring their compliance.
• Advises and supports the ASG on its staffing, administrative and budgetary matters.
• Liaises with the Office of the Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and other counterparts and offices in the peace and security pillar, the UN development system, the human rights pillar, and humanitarian actors.
• Develops and maintains contacts with Permanent Representatives, United Nations intergovernmental bodies, other Departments of the Secretariat, United Nations Programmes, Funds and Specialized Agencies, representatives of Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs), media and academic institutions.
• Prepares or clears drafts of statements and speeches for the ASG, monitors progress of preparation and submit for final clearance.
• Drafts correspondence for and on behalf of the ASG, including confidential correspondence to Governments and Permanent Missions.
• Receives and reviews confidential communications from governments and other external partners on behalf of the ASG, and draft replies as appropriate.
• Ensures assignment of work to appropriate Branches of PBSO.
• Receives official communications addressed to the ASG, review and action as appropriate.
• Receives all communications prepared for the signature of the ASG, review them for substance as well as style and clear them for the ASG's signature.
• Manages the ASG's front office, serving as point of referral on requests for appointments with the ASG and on problems which require the ASG's attention.
• Ensures prompt and efficient communication and coordination with other units within the PBSO, and with other Departments within the Secretariat and beyond.
• Actively contributes to the development of solutions.
• Coordinates interdepartmental meetings, including the weekly/monthly meeting chaired by the ASG, preparing the agenda and coordinates follow-up action as appropriate.

Competencies

PROFESSIONALISM
• Knowledge of the UN system's policies and procedures.
• Analytical skills and ability to identify problems and propose solutions.
• Strong drafting skills for all genres (letters, speeches, talking points, notes for the file, etc); conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results.
• Shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges.
• Demonstrated ability to provide leadership and take responsibility for incorporating gender and diversity perspectives into substantive work.
• Commitment to the goal of achieving gender balance in staffing.

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.

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.

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.
• Demonstrated ability to provide leadership and take responsibility for incorporating gender and diversity perspectives into substantive work.
• Commitment to the goal of achieving gender balance in staffing.

Education

Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent) degree in political science, international relations, international economics, law, public administration, or related field. A first-level university degree in combination with qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in programme management, political science, international relations, law, development management, conflict resolution or related area is required.
Experience as a Special Assistant or Executive Assistant to a Senior Official is required.
Experience in humanitarian, post conflict situations and/or in peacebuilding operations within the United Nations system including UN funds, programmes and agencies, other international or regional organizations or NGOs, is desirable.
Experience in liaising with Permanent Missions to the UN or local actors in a field office is desirable.

Languages

English and French are the two working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this post, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of a second official UN language is highly desirable.

Assessment

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.

Staff members of the United Nations Secretariat must fulfil the lateral move requirements to be eligible to apply for this vacancy. Staff members are requested to indicate all qualifying lateral moves in their Personal History Profile (PHP) and cover letter.

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.

The post is financed by the Regular Budget of the United Nations. For this position, applicants from the following Member States, which are unrepresented or underrepresented in the UN Secretariat as of 31 October 2018, are strongly encouraged to apply: Afghanistan, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Belarus, Belize, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Central African Republic, China, Comoros, Cyprus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Mozambique, Nauru, Norway, Oman, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Suriname, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Vanuatu, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

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.

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

THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, OR TRAINING). THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS’ BANK ACCOUNTS.

This vacancy is archived.

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