Special Assistant, Political Affairs, New York, United States

Organization: Department of Peace Operations

Country: United States

City: New York, USA

Office: DPO in New York, USA

Grade: P-5

Closing date: Wednesday, 24 February 2021



Department/Office: Department of Peace Operations

Duty Station: NEW YORK

Posting Period: 11 January 2021 - 24 February 2021

Job Opening Number: 21-Political Affairs-DPO-147611-R-New York (R)

United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity

Organisational Setting and Reporting

Departments of Peace Operations (DPO) provides political and executive direction to UN Peacekeeping operations around the world and maintains contact with the Security Council, troop and financial contributors, and parties to the conflict in the implementation of Security Council mandates. The Department works to integrate the efforts of UN, governmental and non-governmental entities in the context of peacekeeping operations. DPO also provides guidance and support on military, police, mine action and other relevant issues to other UN political and peacebuilding missions.

Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions (OROLSI) was established in 2007 to strengthen the links and coordinate the Department’s activities in the areas of police, justice and corrections, mine action and weapons/ammunition management, the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants and security sector reform. (https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/department-of-peacekeeping-operations).

This post is located in the Office of the Assistant Secretary-General for Rule of Law and Security Institutions (OASG/OROLSI) of the Department of Peace Operations (DPO). The Special Assistant reports directly to the Assistant Secretary General.


The Special Assistant supports the Assistant Secretary-General in monitoring and directing the internal management of the Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions, Department of Peace Operations, on behalf of, and as directed by, the Under-Secretary-General. Reporting to the ASG for Rule of Law and Security Institutions, the primary responsibility of the Special Assistant is to ensure timely implementation of and follow-up to decisions of the ASG. He/she will coordinate executive bodies and committees, review and clear top-level documents and coordinate the completion and timely submission of various materials within the Office of Rule of Law an Security Institutions.

The Special Assistant will support the Assistant-Secretary-General by contributing to the development and oversight of the programme of work of the Office and support the evaluation of its execution, manage internal work coordination and direct communication and information flow. In doing so he \ she advises the ASG and makes recommendations on policy issues and possible courses of action; prepares analytic and other notes as required; prepares directives and guidelines; reviews submissions from the component elements of the Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions and, as necessary prepares comments for the ASG. The Special Assistant reviews correspondence addressed to the ASG, prepares comments as necessary, suggests courses of action and, if appropriate assigns directly to the component elements of the Office.

The Special Assistant assists the ASG on management issues such as the recruitment of staff and preparation and defense of budgetary submissions, and the development of policy and procedural guidelines fore the effective management of the Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions.

On behalf of the ASG RLSI, the Special Assistant will be responsible for coordinating the Office’s presentations to intergovernmental bodies such as the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, the Committee for Programme Coordination, the General Assembly and other policy making organs, as appropriate. On issues under the purview of the Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions, the Special Assistant will be responsible for interacting with managers and staff within DPO, DPPA and DOS, with senior Staff within the UN Secretariat, Mission Heads and other UN offices, funds, programmes and specialized agencies as well as Representatives of Governments and representatives of nongovernmental organizations, chairs and members of intergovernmental bodies.


Professionalism: - Broad knowledge of various aspects of UN peace operations; ability to improve processes and approaches; - Ability to integrate knowledge with broader strategic, policy and operational objectives; - Ability to work under pressure, and to coordinate and deal with complex issues.- Ability to identify issues, formulate opinions, make conclusions, and recommendations. - 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 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

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

Leadership:- Serves as a role model that other people want to follow; - Empowers others to translate vision into results; - Is proactive 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


Advanced university degree (Master’s Degree or equivalent) in political science, international relations, legal affairs, or a related field. A first level university degree in combination with qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in a political, legal affairs, police, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) or other security-related field is required.

Experience in policy development and operational programme management within an international organization or equivalent government service is required.

At least one year experience in a peace operation or other field operation is required.

Experience working in the Front Office of a Senior Official is highly desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the UN Secretariat. For this position, fluency in English (both oral and written) is required. Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage. Fluency in Arabic is desirable.


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

Special Notice

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.

Please note that Political Affairs positions include conflict and post-conflict locations in non-family and/or hardship duty stations. Political Affairs staff may also be housed in camp environments. An updated list of missions and additional information on working in the field can be found at


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.

No Fee