Senior Political Affairs Officer, P5 - Tenders Global

Senior Political Affairs Officer, P5

UN Office for Disarmament Affairs


Position description

Org. Setting and Reporting

This post is located in the Weapons of Mass Destruction Branch in the Office of Disarmament Affairs (ODA), in New York. The Weapons of Mass Destruction Branch is responsible for promoting and supporting multilateral efforts on disarmament and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, in particular nuclear weapons, including through assistance to relevant multilateral disarmament negotiations and deliberation activities. The Branch also supports global efforts against WMD related terrorism through provision of substantive and administrative support for the Committee established pursuant to Security Council (UNSC) resolution 1540 (2004) and its experts. The Senior Political Affairs Officer reports to the Chief of the Branch.


Within delegated authority, the Senior Political Affairs Officer will be responsible for the following duties:

• Formulates strategies to assist Member States in the elimination of weapons of mass destruction; develops a vision or direction for the work of the branch; proposes policy directives and plans of action for immediate and long range solutions to issues related to the disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, in particular nuclear weapons; identifies emerging issues pertaining to the mandates of the team in charge; analyses implications and makes recommendations on possible strategies and measures.

• Plans and implements activities related to the work of the branch and incorporates a gender perspective into the activities of the team in charge.

• Plans, coordinates and manages programmes, projects and activities requiring interdepartmental and/or interagency involvement and participation.

• Prepares briefing notes and talking points for the Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs.

• Coordinates and directs the provision of substantive secretariat services, including for the First Committee of the General Assembly, the United Nations Disarmament Commission, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, and special conferences and summits.

• Provides continuous guidance and advice to the Presidents and Chairs as well as other offices bearers of intergovernmental bodies concerning the organization of work, status of negotiations, conduct of business including interpretation of the rules of procedure.

• Leads and directs a team of political affairs officers and general staff in assisting Member States in the non-use and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, especially nuclear weapons; 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.

• Manages, coordinates, organizes and supervises research and analysis on trends and developments related to the disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, especially nuclear weapons; supervises the preparation of reports of the Secretary-General with respect to follow-up and implementation of resolutions and decisions of the General Assembly, and other legislative bodies, including special reports; as well as the drafting of sections of the Disarmament Yearbook and other relevant UN publications related to weapons of mass destruction.

• Represents the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs at round tables, seminars and conferences.

• Responds to/prepares responses to comments, statements, queries of stakeholders.

• Participates in the overall approval of the programme of work, and administrative matters concerning the branch; coordinates and oversees work of colleagues and team in charge.

• Develops and maintains relations with senior government officials and advises them on issues and policies of mutual concern.

• Performs other related duties as required.


Professionalism: Knowledge of the work of intergovernmental bodies, the work of the United Nations and its related bodies concerned with political, economic, social and related matters. Ability to evaluate international political situations in area of assignment. Ability to manage and coordinate many different levels and participants in operations in both the field and UN common system. 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. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.

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 and 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.

Accountability: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments. Delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards. Operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules. Supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments. Takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.

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.


An advanced university degree (Master’s or Doctorate degree, or equivalent) in political science, international relations, international economics, law, public administration or related fields is required. A first-level degree (Bachelor’s degree or equivalent) in the specified fields of studies with two additional years of relevant work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.


Work Experience

A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in disarmament is required.

At least five years of experience in the disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is required.

Experience in the area of disarmament and non-proliferation multilateral negotiations is required.

Experience in providing substantive support in servicing multilateral disarmament and non-proliferation conferences is desirable.


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


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.

Pursuant to section 7.11 of ST/AI/2012/2/Rev.1, candidates recruited through the young professionals programme who have not served for a minimum of two years in the position of their initial assignment are not eligible to apply to this position.

For this position, applicants from the following Member States, which are unrepresented or underrepresented in the UN Secretariat as of 30 April 2023, are strongly encouraged to apply: Afghanistan, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Belize, Brunei Darussalam, Cabo Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Comoros, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malta, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Oman, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Qatar, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Sudan, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Vanuatu.

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.

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