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Special Assistant

Job Overview

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Department/ Office
Office of the Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan

Duty Station


Posting Period

24 February 2014-11 March 2014

Job Opening number


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

Organizational Setting and Reporting

Under the direction of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General (SESG) for Sudan and South Sudan, the incumbent will serve as Special Assistant to the Special Envoy in the front office located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


The Special Assistant will be responsible for providing guidance and support and performing the following functions:

  • Support the SESG in the implementation of the Office’s strategic and operational objectives and work plan; exchange information on behalf of the Special Envoy as required, build and maintain liaison through informal and formal contacts with a wide-range of actors in UN headquarters, agencies and field missions, the African Union and other internal and external partners, as appropriate;
  • Research, compile, draft and consolidate background materials, talking points, procedural papers, code cables and briefing files for the SESG’s official trips, presentations, speeches, meetings and discussions with high-level interlocutors;
  • Provide substantive backstopping to consultative and other meetings, conferences, etc., to include proposing agenda topics, identifying participants, document and presentation preparation; organize and accompany the SESG to internal and external meetings, take notes, share information as necessary, follow-up on subsequent action items;
  • Coordinate arrangements for and accompany the SESG during official travel, and prepare travel programmes;
  • Contribute to fulfilling, in a timely manner, the reporting obligations of the office; read/review all incoming correspondence; ensure proper distribution and follow-up; draft responses and edit correspondence for the SESG’s signature, as well as other documentation provided by the office, as required;
  • Ensure effective and timely office-wide coordination (co-ordinate follow-up functions for the office, ensuring that required actions are taken, deadlines are met and timely responses are given);
  • Monitor substantive issues, major developments in Sudan and South Sudan, as well as Security Council consultations and resolutions relevant to the office;
  • Assist with matters pertaining to human resources in the Office, as required;
  • Undertake ad hoc reporting or administrative assignments for the SESG, as requested.


Professionalism – 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.

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.


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in political science, international relations, social science, economics, law, public administration, or a related field. A first level university degree with a relevant combination of academic qualifications and experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in political affairs, diplomacy, conflict resolution, or related field. 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 organization or non-governmental organization- in a conflict or post-conflict setting is required. At least two years of experience in a United Nations peacekeeping mission in Sudan and/or South Sudan in a civilian capacity is required. Previous experience working in the office of a senior public official and/or as a Special Assistant (or similar) to a senior public official is required.


Fluency in English (both spoken and written) and Arabic (spoken) is required.

Assessment Method

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

United Nations Considerations

The United Nations shall place 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. (Charter of the United Nations – Chapter 3, article 8). The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

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