Special Assistant, Political Affairs Officer (Recruit from Roster)

  • Added Date: Sunday, 10 February 2019
  • Deadline Date: Sunday, 24 February 2019

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Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the Office of the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, Kabul. Kabul is classified as an “E” hardship duty station and a non-family duty station. The incumbent reports to the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan Development Pillar / UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator.

UNAMA is a political mission that provides political good offices in Afghanistan; works with and supports the government; supports the process of peace and reconciliation; monitors and promotes human rights and the protection of civilians in armed conflict; promotes good governance; and encourages regional cooperation. Learn more about the mandate of the mission at https://unama.unmissions.org/


Within delegated authority, the incumbent will be responsible for the following:

•Supports the DSRSG/Development in the implementation of the Mission's mandate as given by the Security Council and pertaining to the policy and strategy development in the areas of: Rule of Law; Governance; Police Advisory; Donor Coordination; and areas related to the DSRSGs RC/HC functions.
•Brings to the attention of the DSRSG all matters requiring the DSRSG's personal attention, assists in formulating options as to how those matters might be handled, and ensures appropriate follow-up, as directed.
•As requested, handles incoming and outgoing correspondence of the DSRSG. •Drafts correspondence for the DSRSG's signature, as well as other documentation including code cables and reports to the Security Council, ensuring reference and linkages between political, humanitarian and development areas.
•Prepares talking points, take notes in meetings; prepare briefing papers and give inputs to speeches.
• Liaises and maintains close working relationships with officials of state institutions, political parties, civil society organizations, religious actors and the UNCT.
•Organizes and manages conferences, meetings, seminars and workshops, and field visits to UNAMA field offices as directed by the DSRSG.
•Acts as Focal point for all administrative/ budget issues pertaining to the DSRSG Front Office with Mission Support; provides inputs to the missions' strategic plans and coordinate the Pillar Units inputs;
•Oversee all recruitment and staff selection issues for the Pillar, including restructuring of the Units if relevant;
•Coordinates, as required, actions related to the transition towards the United Nations agency-led commitment, depending on the mission's mandate and the situation in the country concerned. This includes liaising with bilateral donors and other international organizations, with a view to realizing greater synergy and coordination, specifically regarding post-mission activities in the country;
•Performs other duties, as may be assigned.


Professionalism: Shows ability to complete in-depth studies and reach conclusions on possible causes and solutions to political, humanitarian and development problems in specific areas and Afghanistan. Shows ability to relate to various issues and perspectives of political, social, economic and humanitarian programmes in Afghanistan. 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

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.

Building Trust: Provides an environment in which others can talk and act without fear of repercussion; Manages in a deliberate and predictable way; Operates with transparency; Has no hidden agenda; Places confidences in colleagues, staff members and clients; Gives proper credit to others; Follows through on agreed upon actions; Treats sensitive or confidential information appropriately.


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent degree) in Political Science, International Relations, Development, Public Administration, Peace and Security, Social Science 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 seven years of progressively responsible experience in political affairs, diplomacy, conflict resolution or related area is required. Experience in political outreach, facilitation, analysis, advice and reporting is required. Experience providing substantive and operational support for complex multi-stakeholder processes is required. A minimum of two years’ experience working in an international organization or non-governmental organization in a conflict or post-conflict setting is required. Experience working in the office of a senior public official and/or as a Special Assistant (or similar) to senior public official is required. Experience working in or on Afghanistan and the region is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations. For this position, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of Dari or Pashto is desirable.


Previously rostered candidates are not subject to any further assessment and as such, will not be invited for such an assessment.

Special Notice

This "Recruit from Roster" job opening is only open to roster applicants who are already placed on pre-approved rosters, following a review by a United Nations Central Review Body. Only roster applicants who were placed on rosters with similar functions at the same level are considered to be eligible candidates. Eligible applicants receive an email inviting them to apply. Rostered applicants are encouraged to apply only if they are interested and available to take up the position at the duty station/s specified in the Job Opening. Applying to this job opening carries an expectation to accept the offer, if selected.

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


This vacancy is archived.

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