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Chief Political Affairs Officer, D-1
DATE OF ISSUANCE:   21 Nov 2012
ORGANIZATIONAL UNIT:   United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq

Depending on professional background, experience and family situation, a competitive compensation and benefits package is offered.
More Info

United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
The Office of Political Affairs (OPA) promotes key aspects of UNAMI’s mandate through direct engagement with national and international partners in Iraq and the region. OPA also provides political analysis and advice to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG), the Deputy SRSG for Political Affairs and United Nations Headquarters. Within delegated authority, and under the direct supervision of the DSRSG, the Chief Political Affairs Officer will be responsible for performing the following duties: Political Analysis and Advice - Identify, analyze and monitor political developments and emerging issues with respect to the implementation of UNAMI’s mandate; Assess implications and make recommendations to the Mission leadership on possible strategies, policies and other measures to address issues of concern and to advance mandated objectives. Reporting and Information Management - Ensure regular, timely and high quality reporting to the Mission leadership on developments and issues pertaining to the mandate; Manage the preparation of summary and analytical reports, including situation reports, briefing notes, notes to file and code cables; Prepare/review OPA input for the reports of the Secretary-General to the Security Council and reports to the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budget Questions (ACABQ), the General Assembly and other policy-making organs, as appropriate; Oversee the preparation of contextual information materials, such as background notes and political profiles; Ensure an effective system of information management designed to guarantee accessibility and utility of information. Planning, Coordination and Facilitation – Develop and maintain collaborative relationships with the authorities, political and community leaders, civil society actors, the UN family and other national and international partners on coordination and policy matters; Consult and cooperate with partners to develop strategies and plans of action to address political challenges, in pursuit of mandated objectives; Monitor, evaluate and report on implementation; Provide good offices on behalf of the SRSG, as appropriate. Management - Formulate and manage the implementation of OPA’s programme of work, determining priorities and activities that are in accordance with the mandate and which maintain an emphasis on fostering an inclusive, national dialogue on critical issues; Manage related administrative tasks, including preparation of budgets, assignment and monitoring of performance parameters and critical indicators, reporting on budget/programme performance, preparation of inputs for the results-based budgeting process (RBB); Supervise, mentor, and evaluate political affairs staff throughout the mission; Participate in the selection of new staff. Perform other relevant duties requested by the SRSG and/or DSRSG.

Professionalism – Has ability to identify and analyze the underlying causes of instability (e.g. political, ethnic, sectarian, social, economic) in Iraq and to provide strategic advice and recommendations to senior officials; Demonstrates sound knowledge of the UN system and understands the roles of substantive components within the Mission; 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. 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 staff when they make mistakes; 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 pro-active 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. 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 confidence in colleagues, staff members and clients; Gives proper credit to others; Follows through on agreed upon actions; Treats sensitive or confidential information appropriately. Judgement/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 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) in political science, international relations, social science, economics, law, public administration, or a related field. A first level university degree with a relevant combination of academic qualifications and experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience
A minimum of fifteen years of progressively responsible experience in political affairs, diplomacy, conflict resolution, or related field is required. Extensive experience in political outreach, facilitation, analysis, advice and reporting is required. Experience managing a team or office is required. Experience working in the Middle East in a relevant capacity is required. Previous experience working in a UN Special Political Mission, Peacekeeping Operation, or other UN field operation in a conflict or post-conflict setting is desirable.

Fluency in spoken and written English is required; fluency in spoken Arabic is required.

Other Skills

The United Nations shall place 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. (Charter of the United Nations - Chapter 3, article 8).   English and French are the two working languages of the United Nations Secretariat.  The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.



How to apply

All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply online as soon as possible after the vacancy has been posted and well before the deadline stated in the vacancy announcement. Because applications submitted by United Nations (UN) staff members are considered first, provided the eligibility requirements set out in ST/AI/2006/3 are met and the application is submitted in a timely fashion, staff members should apply within 15-day or 30-day mark.

Online applications will be acknowledged where an email address has been provided. If you do not receive an e-mail acknowledgement within 24 hours of submission, your application may not have been received. In such cases, please go to “My UN” page and check the status of your application by clicking on “View Application History”, and resubmit the application, if necessary.
  1. To start the application process, applicants are required to register by opening a "My UN" account. Go to Login, and Register as a User. Fill in the form and choose a User Name and Password.

  2. After opening the account, applicants may apply for vacancies using the Personal History Profile (PHP) provided. Once the PHP has been completed for a particular vacancy, it can be saved and used for future applications. The PHP may be up-dated, when necessary, for future applications.

  3. In completing the PHP, please note that all fields marked with an asterisk must be completed.

  4. UN staff members must submit scanned copies of their two latest Performance Appraisal System (PAS) reports at the time of application to the appropriate Human Resources Office (HRO)/Personnel Office (PO) to the email address below, clearly indicating the vacancy announcement number. In case you have no access to the digitizing equipment, please submit hard copies of the two latest PAS reports to the relevant HRO/PO via fax.


Please see the Frequently Asked Questions, if you encounter problems when applying.