Senior Liaison Officer at the United Nations

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The United Nations is the one international organization with the reach and vision capable of solving global problems. The United Nations Foundation links the UN’s work with others around the world, mobilizing the energy and expertise of business and non-governmental organizations to help the UN tackle issues including climate change, global health, peace and security, women’s empowerment, poverty eradication, energy access, and U.S.-UN relations.


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We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Senior Liaison Officer, P5

Job Opening Number: 20-Political Affairs-UNOWA-129787-J-Abuja (M)
Location: Abuja
Department / Office: SRSG for West Africa / United Nations Office in West Africa

Org. Setting and Reporting

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

Within delegated authority, the Senior Liaison Officer will act as the ECOWAS Liaison Officer based in Abuja. The main role of the Senior Liaison Officer will be to foster coordination and facilitation of UN efforts to enhance ECOWAS’ capacities for conflict prevention and address cross-border and cross-cutting threats to peace and security. In this capacity, s/he will be responsible for the following duties:

  • Political Analysis and Advice – Identify, analyze and monitor political developments, trends and emerging issues in the West Africa and Sahel regions; Assess implications and make recommendations to the Senior Leadership on the impact of developments in the regions in line with the priorities of UNOWAS and ECOWAS; 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, and based on the joint UNOWAS-ECOWAS Workplan; 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, in collaboration with All ECOWAS Directorates and Senior Leadership; Monitor and report progress on the joint UNOWAS-ECOWAS Annual Workplan; 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 preparations for high level official meetings, events and visits; Prepare briefing notes, talking points and other relevant materials; Participate in and / or lead United Nations missions or meetings on issues related to priorities of UNOWAS and ECOWAS in the West Africa and Sahel regions;
  • Management / Administration – Formulate the programme of work, budget and medium-term plan of the Cell 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.


  • Advanced University Degree (Master’s Degree or equivalent) in Political Science, Social Sciences, International Relations, Law, 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, 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 peace and security issues in West Africa is desirable. Previous experience on UN cooperation with sub regional organizations is an added advantage


  • 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


  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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-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 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.


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

Special Notice

  • This position is temporarily available until 31 December 2020. If the selected candidate is a staff member from the United Nations Secretariat, the selection will be administered as a temporary assignment.
  • While this temporary assignment may provide the successful applicant with an opportunity to gain new work experience, the selection for this position is for a limited period and has no bearing on the future incumbency of the post.
  • Subject to the funding source of the position, the eligibility for this temporary job opening may be limited to candidates based at the duty station.
  • This temporary job opening may be limited to “internal candidates,” who have been recruited through a competitive examination administered according to staff rule 4.16 or staff selection process including the review of a central review body established according to staff rule 4.15.
  • Staff members of the United Nations common system organizations who will reach the mandatory age of separation or retirement within the duration of the current temporary need period are not eligible to apply.Submitting an application or selection for the current temporary job opening does not delay or increase the mandatory age of separation.
  • Retirees above the mandatory age of separation who wish to be considered for the current temporary job opening must indicate the reason for their last separation as “retirement.” Such retirees shall not be employed by the Organization, unless (a) the operational requirements of the Organization cannot be met by staff members who are qualified and available to perform the required functions; and (b) the proposed employment would not adversely affect the career development or redeployment opportunities of other staff members and represents both a cost-effective and operationally sound solution to meet the needs of the service.

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.
  • 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.

Application Closing Date
11:59 p.m. (New York time); 15th January, 2020.

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online


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