Political Affairs Officer

United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, Geneva, Switzerland

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
2nd January, 2021

Job Description

This post is located in the Conference on Disarmament and Conference Support Branch, United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), Geneva. The incumbent reports to the Chief of the Implementation Support Unit (ISU) of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). Along with a Junior Professional Officer and a G6 Programme Assistant, the Political Affairs Officer will work on the implementation of EU Council Decision CFSP/2019/97 in support of the BWC.
The BWC ISU forms the core of the secretariat of BWC meetings; maintains and develops the Convention's website; receives and distributes information submitted annually by States parties under the system of Confidence-Building Measures (CBMs); collates details of national measures to implement all aspects of the BWC; acts as a clearing house for assistance; interacts with relevant international organizations, scientific and academic institutions, and non-governmental organizations; and attends relevant meetings and events.
The ISU also assists the Chairperson of BWC meetings in promoting universalization of the BWC, conducting outreach, maintaining details of progress towards universality and reporting on progress to States parties. 


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

  •  Serves as the lead officer for the implementation of European Union Council Decision 2017/97/CFSP in support of the BWC.
  •  Liaises with, and prepares reports for, the Steering Committee of the EU Council Decision with regard to the implementation of the Decision.
  •  Maintains up-to-date knowledge of events relating to disarmament issues, in general, and in particular as they affect the mandates for which the staff member is responsible.
  •  Plans, directs and participates in workshops, seminars and other activities under the Decision and coordinates regional and in-country activities and assistance visits.
  •  Keeps abreast of latest trends and developments in the area of disarmament and provides inputs on issues to senior officials and colleagues in the Secretariat.
  •  Monitors relevant national and regional level political developments and provides advice to senior officials and colleagues.
  •  Provides technical and substantive back up in the implementation of mandates of the office, branch or unit.
  •  Maintains contacts with other sectors of the UN, other international organizations and governments on coordination and policy matters.
  •  Monitors actions taken by intergovernmental groups, UN organisations, government and non-governmental organizations.
  •  Selects, classifies and stores in computerised databases information relating to the implementation of the EU Council Decision.
  •  Participates in missions to countries within assigned area of responsibility.
  •  Participates in provision of secretariat services to conferences, meetings, and /or special missions.
  •  Prepares meetings of the SG/DSG/USG with officials from countries under the Organization's purview.
  •  Performs other related duties as required.


  • Professionalism: Knowledge of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) and related disarmament, non-proliferation and international security issues. Knowledge of issues relating to treaty implementation. 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.
  • 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.
  • Client Orientation: Considers all those to whom services are provided to be "clients" and seeks to see things from clients' point of view; establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; identifies clients' needs and matches them to appropriate solutions; monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients' environment to keep informed and anticipate problems; keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects; meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.


  • Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent degree) in political science, international relations, international economics, law, public administration or other related field. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.


  • A minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in political science, international relations, law, multilateral disarmament and non-proliferation, security, or related area is required.
  • Experience in implementation support and project management in an international organization context is desirable.
  • Experience in working with the European Union is desirable.


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


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