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Junior Professional Officer in Political Affairs
United Nations – UN-Secretariat
Junior Professional Officer Program (JPO) – TERMS OF REFERENCE
I. General Information
Title: Junior Professional Officer in Political Affairs
Sector of Assignment: Political Affairs
Organization/Office: United Nations Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA), Asia and Pacific Division
Country and Duty Station: New York, USA
Duration of assignment: 2 years with possibility of extension for another year. Extension of appointment is subject to yearly review concerning priorities,
availability of funds, and satisfactory performance
Please note that for participants of the JPO-Programme two years work experience are mandatory! Internships/scholarships can be counted at 50% if they were full time and are regarded as relevant professional experience. Remuneration is not the determining factor. We only count internships after the Bachelor's degree.
Direct supervision by: Afghanistan Team Leader
Title of the supervisor: Afghanistan Team Leader, Asia and Pacific Division, DPPA
Content and methodology of the supervision: Direct day-to-day supervision and direction of the Junior Professional Officer will be by the Team Leader of the Afghanistan Team. Weekly meetings with supervisor and the team and periodic verbal and written performance appraisal.
III. Duties, Responsibilities and Output Expectations
Under direct supervision by the Afghanistan Team Leader and working within the DPPA Afghanistan Team, the Junior Professional Officer would be responsible for the following duties:
Monitor and analyze operational, political and other relevant developments related to the mandate and activities of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), as well as general issues affecting the area of operation of UNAMA; review and analyze available information from various sources, including situation reports, cables, correspondence, and media, etc.; identify matters for follow-up and action; and prepare timely responses to issues and questions raised by the field.
Maintain up-to-date knowledge of events relating to international and regional political and economic developments in general and in particular as they affect Afghanistan, the region or the operational aspects of UNAMA and/or subject matter for which the Junior Professional Officer is responsible; and provide early warning of potential problems.
Assist in the drafting of various documents, e.g., reports of the Secretary-General, briefing notes to the Security Council, cables, talking points and briefing notes for meetings of senior officials with parties, military and police contributing countries, Member States, etc.; draft notes to the file on meetings; and prepare press releases.
Respond to requests for information (verbal and written) from a range of sources with respect to operational issues; collect advice and inputs from units in the Department of Political Affairs as well as various Secretariat offices and United Nations agencies.
Participate in fact-finding and other missions to Afghanistan or operations within the assigned area of responsibility and draft or contribute to drafting of reports thereon.
Assist the establishment of effective working relations with a variety of relevant counterparts, including other departments of offices of the United Nations Secretariat, United Nations Agencies Funds and Programmes, Member States, Regional Organizations, Non-governmental organizations, and other relevant interlocutors and counterparts.
The responsibilities of the Junior Professional Officer would be determined by the demands of the Division at the time of arrival and during the tenure with the Division.
IV. Qualifications and Experience
Education: Master’s degree in political or social sciences, international relations, law, public policy, or a related field.
Work experience: At least two years of experience in international relations, political analysis, research or a similar area.
Languages: English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this position, fluency in oral and written English is required.
Other skills: Previous experience in a special political mission in a civilian capacity, or relevant field experience – particularly in Afghanistan, is desirable.Excellent political analysis skills, with an ability to identify problems (political social, economic) affecting a country or geographic area. Excellent drafting ability and communication skills, both oral and written.
Professionalism – Demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; and remains calm in stressful situations. Excellent political analysis skills, with an ability to identify problems (political, economic and social) affecting a country or geographic area.
Communication – Ability to clearly and concisely tailor and communicate complex issues, key decisions and positions to a variety of audiences, orally and in writing; and ability to develop contacts and foster collaboration and coordination with other persons and entities on current initiatives and studies pertinent to the assigned area.
Teamwork – Excellent interpersonal skills; demonstrated ability to work effectively within a team; values other peoples’ ideas and expertise; and willing to learn from others.
Planning and organizing – Ability to work under tight deadlines and to plan, coordinate and manage own work plan.
The United Nations believes that an inclusive culture attracts the best talent and encourages all qualified applicants, regardless of gender, disability, sexual orientation, cultural or religious backgrounds, to apply.
V. Learning Elements
On completion of the assignment, the Junior Professional Officer will be able to:
- Develop general understanding of the workings of the United Nations system, particularly the Secretariat and the Security Council, as they relate to special political missions.
- Gain sound knowledge on managing operational aspects of United Nations special political missions from headquarters.
- Assess available information from different sources for possible impact on special political missions and, on this basis, prepare analytical papers, including possible recommendations to senior management on possible course of action.
- Draft coordinated and high-quality reports, cables, talking points, notes, press statements and other documents in a timely fashion.
- Establish effective and sustainable working relations with Security Council members and other Member States, civil society organizations, UN partners and other relevant interlocutors.
- Coordinate within the Department of Political Affairs and with other Secretariat offices and United Nations agencies, funds and programmes, in the drafting and preparation of a variety of documents.
- Understand and contribute to the preparation of budget documents for field missions.
VI. Background Information
The Department of Political Affairs plays a central role in United Nations efforts to prevent and resolve deadly conflict around the world. DPPA monitors and assesses global political developments with an eye to detecting potential crises before they escalate, and devising effective responses. The Department provides close support to the Secretary-General and his envoys, as well as to UN political missions deployed to areas of tension around the world with mandates to help defuse crises or promote lasting solutions to conflict.
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