Org. Setting and Reporting
This position is located within the United Nations Investigative Team for Accountability of Da’esh / ISIL (UNITAD) and will be based in New York. The Senior Political Affairs Officer will lead the UNITAD Backstopping Office and reports to the Special Adviser.
UNITAD was established by the Secretary-General pursuant to Security Council resolution 2379 (2017), according to which it is mandated to support domestic efforts to hold ISIL (Da’esh) accountable by collecting, preserving and storing evidence in Iraq of acts that may amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed by the terrorist group ISIL (Da’esh) in Iraq.
Within delegated authority, the Senior Political Affairs Officer/Special Assistant will be responsible for the following duties:
• Provides strategic advice and support to the Special Adviser and Head of the Iraq Investigative Team established pursuant to Security Council resolution 2379 (2017).
• Address all political, legal, and security issues relevant to the work of the Investigative Team.
• Serve as the main liaison with a wide range of Iraqi Government officials, Member States representatives in Iraq, civil society organizations and other relevant stakeholders.
• Serve as the main liaison with Representations of Member States of the United Nations in New York, with US-based Non-Governmental-Organisations and representatives of civil society.
• Prepares the biannual Security Council report and the Security Council Briefing for the Special Adviser.
• Coordinate the cooperation of the Team with all entities of the United Nations and stays in regular contact with all counterparts of UNITAD within the United Nations.
• Coordinate the work of the Team with all relevant components of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), including the Office of the SRSG of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (both as head of mission and as Designated Official), as well as security, administration, political and human rights sections.
• Identify and achieve synergies and coherence across all aspects of the Team’s work.
• Prepares briefing notes and talking points for the Special Adviser and senior staff in the Investigative Team.
• Leads and directs a work team; plans and allocates work assignments; coaches, mentors, and evaluates staff; participates in recruitment and selection of new staff and in the development of training programs.
• Represents the Investigative Team when appropriate at meetings, round tables, seminars and conferences.
• Responds to/prepares responses to comments, statements, queries of parties and manages operations involving the Investigative Team.
• Responds to/prepares responses to comments, statements, queries of parties and manages operations involving different components, including civilian, military and humanitarian operations.
• Formulates the programme of work, budget and medium-term plan of the unit and participates in the overall approval of the programme of work, and administrative matters concerning the newly established office; coordinates and, when appropriate, oversees work of colleagues and units.
• Prepares drafts on OIOS matters for the consideration and decision of the Special Adviser or on advice of OIOS and manages all the respective matters.
• Develops and maintains relations with senior government officials and advises them on issues and policies of mutual concern.
• Performs other related duties as required.
Sound political analysis, knowledge of and ability to support/engage in conflict prevention, peacemaking and peace building at the international level; knowledge and understanding of political issues in Iraq and an ability to evaluate international and regional political situations; ability to handle confidential matters; understanding of bilateral and multilateral negotiations and mediation; ability to convey complex issues to senior officials and representatives of Member States; understanding of the Team’s strategic direction and ability to transform it into a results-oriented work programme; thorough knowledge of the practices and procedures of the United Nations in conflict prevention and resolution, familiarity with negotiating skills; 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.
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 the 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.
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 confidence in colleagues, staff members and clients; gives proper credit to others; follows through on agreed upon actions; treats sensitive or confidential information appropriately.
Judgment/ Decision making:
Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly; gathers relevant information before making a decision; considers positive and negative impacts of decisions prior to making them; takes decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the Organization; proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information; checks assumptions against facts; determines that the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision; makes tough decisions when necessary.
Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) degree in law, political science, international relations, international economics, 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.
A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in political science, international relations, law, conflict resolution or related area is required.
At least three years of legal experience in in political analysis, as well as advising senior officials at the international level is required..
Experience working with a solid legal background and advanced knowledge in International Criminal Law and International Humanitarian Law with an international organization or a jurisdiction on the national level is required.
At least three years of experience working for a United Nations field operation or other international organizations is required.
At least one year of legal experience as a lawyer with terrorism-related issues is required.
At least two years of experience dealing with international criminal law, transitional justice and/or accountability issues in the field is required, preferably as a judge or a prosecutor/attorney.
Experience working in middle east is desirable.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in English is required. Fluency in Arabic is desirable. Fluency in French is desirable.
NOTE: ”Fluency” equals a rating of ”fluent” in all four areas (read, write, speak, understand)
and ”Knowledge of” equals a rating of ”confident” in two of the four areas.
Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by a competency-based interview.
• Fully vaccinated status for COVID-19 or willingness to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 is required for this position.
The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance and geographical diversity in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.
• 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.
• At the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the recruitment and employment of staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, with due regard to geographic diversity. All employment decisions are made on the basis of qualifications and organizational needs. The United Nations is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. The United Nations recruits and employs staff regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds or disabilities. Reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities may be provided to support participation in the recruitment process when requested and indicated in the application.
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.
The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.
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.
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.