Sunday, 7 October 2018

Political Affairs Officer (Special Assistant)

The United Nations Office of Counter Terrorism (OCT) was established by the Secretary-General in 2017 to implement the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. 

The Strategy, adopted by consensus in 2006, mandates the United Nations to provide capacity building assistance to Member States to support their efforts in countering and preventing terrorism. 

The functions and mandate of the UNOCT were established by the General Assembly in its resolution A/RES/71/291. This post is located in the United Nations Office on Counter-Terrorism (OCT) and reports to the OCT’s Under-Secretary-General (USG), Director and Deputy Director.

Primary Responsibilities

Within delegated authority, the Political Affairs Officer (Special Assistant) will be responsible for the following duties: 

  • Provides direct assistance to the USG as required in terms of prioritization and planning of daily work, as well as in drafting correspondence, briefings, reports, and speeches on relevant issues;
  • Coordinates the logistical and substantive preparations of bilateral meetings, roundtables and other key events of the USG and the OCT, in close consultation with the OCT’s senior management and appropriate counterparts;
  • Supports the USG and the senior management of the OCT in establishing and managing effective mechanisms for strategic planning and timely reporting in the OCT.

  • Gathers, selects and analyses information contained in communications and publications received from different sources, including the press.
  • Maintains up-to-date knowledge of events relating to political issues, in general, and in particular as they affect the countries and thematic mandates for which the staff member is responsible.

  • Keeps abreast of latest trends and developments in the area of assignment and provides inputs on issues to senior officials and colleagues in missions and elsewhere in the Secretariat.
  • Provides technical and substantive back up in the implementation of mandates of the office, branch or unit.
  • Monitors actions taken by intergovernmental groups, UN organisations, government and non-governmental organizations as may be required.
  • Participates in fact-finding and other missions to countries within assigned area of responsibility.

  • Participates in provision of secretariat services to Security Council, General Assembly, subsidiary organizations, negotiating bodies, conferences, meetings, and/or special missions.
  • Prepares meetings of the USG with officials from countries under the Organization's purview.
  • Performs other related duties as required.


Professionalism: Ability to identify and analyze political, ethnic, racial, social and economic problems that cause civil unrest in a country or geographic area. 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.

Academic Requirments

Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent degree) in political science, international relations, international economics, law, public administration or other related. 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 science, international relations, law, disarmament, security, development management, conflict resolution or related area is required. Experience in programme management within the context of counter-terrorism is desirable. Experience in drafting analytical papers on politically sensitive and high profile matters is desirable. Experience in delivering briefings is desirable. Experience in providing advice and substantive support to senior officials is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this position, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.


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

Special Notice

For this position, applicants from the following Member States, which are unrepresented or underrepresented in the UN Secretariat as of 31 August 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, Samoa, 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.

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.

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.

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 legislation of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuance 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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