Senior Political Affairs Officer, P5

Senior Political Affairs Officer, P5

SRSG for West Africa/United Nations Office in West Africa

Dakar, Senegal

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is within the Political Affairs Section of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS). The incumbent will report to the Chief of Section Political Affairs.


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

  • Political Analysis and Advice- Identify, analyze and monitor political developments, trends and emerging issues in the transition countries in West Africa and Sahel regions; Assess implications and make recommendations to the Senior Leadership on the impact of developments in the transition countries in line with the priorities of UNOWAS; Develop policy guidance documents and facilitate the mainstreaming of cross cutting issues for women, youth and civil society organizations in line with the priorities of UNOWAS and ECOWAS; Provide strategic advice to Senior Leadership on issues of concern;
  • Reporting and Information Management- Supervise the preparation of summary and analytical reports for the attention of Senior Leadership, including, but not limited to, situation reports, briefing notes, options papers and code cables; Lead efforts to coordinate and consolidate inputs for the preparation of reports of the Secretary-General to the Security Council, General Assembly or other bodies; Prepare contextual information materials, such as background notes, political profiles and databases of relevance to the West Africa and Sahel regions; Monitor and report progress in the implementation of activities undertaken in partnership with ECOWAS and the RCOs in the transition countries; Manage information to ensure its accessibility and utility;
  • Planning, Coordination and Facilitation- Develop and maintain collaborative relationships with UN Common System colleagues and counterparts in the region and at Headquarters, Government representatives, military and law enforcement actors, academic and research institutions, and other national and regional partners; Supervise Political Affairs section interaction with PBSO, PBF and other partners and donors as relevant; Participate in and/or lead United Nations missions or meetings on issues related to priorities of UNOWAS in the transition countries in the West Africa and Sahel regions;
  • Management/Administration- Supervise the programme of work, budget and medium-term plan of the Political Affairs section and participate in the overall approval of the programme of work, and administrative matters concerning the Cell; Supervise, mentor, and evaluate staff; Assist with the selection of new staff; Perform other relevant duties as required.


  • PROFESSIONALISM: Has in-depth knowledge and understanding of political issues in the region and an ability to evaluate regional political situations; Knowledge and understanding of issues related to ECOWAS and UNOWAS priorities in West Africa and the Sahel and ability to analyze these issues and identify areas for joint initiatives; Experience on post-conflict countries and on UN transitions; Experience in coordinating UN relations with regional or sub regional entities; Thorough knowledge of the practices and procedures of the United Nations in conflict prevention and resolution. 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; Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work;
  • COMMUNICATIONS: 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;
  • TEAMWORK: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings;
  • VISION: Identifies strategic issues, opportunities and risks; clearly communicates links between the Organization’s strategy and the work unit’s goals; generates and communicates broad and compelling organizational direction, inspiring others to pursue that same direction; conveys enthusiasm about future possibilities;
  • JUDGEMENT/DECISION-MAKIN: 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 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 political science, social sciences, international relations, law, public administration, international economics or 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 political affairs, diplomacy, conflict resolution, international relations, or related field is required;
  • Extensive experience in political outreach, facilitation, analysis, advice and reporting is required;
  • Experience working in a United Nations common system field operation (inclusive of peacekeeping, political missions and UN agencies, funds, and programmes) -or similar international or non-governmental organization- in a conflict or post-conflict setting is required;
  • Work experience related to interaction with PBSO/PBF is desirable. Previous experience on UN cooperation with sub regional organizations is desirable.


  • English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in both French and English (both oral and written) is required. Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.

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© EuroJobsites 2021

EuroJobsites is a registered company number: 4694396 VAT number: GB 880 9055 04

Registered address: EuroJobsites Ltd, Unit 8, Kingsmill Business Park, Kingston Upon Thames, London, KT1 3GZ, United Kingdom

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