Political Affairs Officer - Political Affairs Division - Africa Section
The Political Affairs Division (PAD) is the lead in the Secretariat’s high-profile programme for the promotion of democracy and good governance in the Commonwealth. The division works closely with the Secretary-General, providing him with advice and support on all political issues, and particularly in his Good Offices role. Its work ranges from monitoring and analysis of political developments and the preparation of briefings, to the organisation of election observation and the provision of technical assistance. The work is often of great sensitivity and to demanding timetables.
PAD is also responsible for organising and servicing the biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings (CHOGM) and other meetings, including meetings of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group on the Harare Declaration (CMAG).
The Political Affairs Officer contributes to the development of the Secretariat’s policy on political affairs by way of advice and recommendations, and monitors international developments in the Africa region of the Commonwealth.
Within the designated geographical area(s) the post holder is responsible for production of information to enhance the wider knowledge and understanding of the political issues by:
- Carrying out short term research projects
- Undertaking longer term in-depth research studies on a range of international issues
- Producing advice and recommendations based on research findings
- Preparing briefing materials, background papers and speeches for senior management
- Coordinating and editing material prepared by other Secretariat divisions for briefing the Secretary-General, other senior Secretariat officers, or for distribution to Commonwealth member governments;
- Undertakes duty travel with the Secretary-General and other senior officers when required.
- Supports and assists the preparation and coordination of intergovernmental meetings arranged by the Political Affairs Division to ensure their professional implementation by:
- Preparing, editing and co-ordinating all documentation for such meetings and ensuring its dissemination
- Liaising with Heads of Delegation and other delegates, including Ministers and senior officials, as well as other high-level groups
- Producing records of the outcomes and discussions of the meetings
- Works as a collaborative member of the Africa Section to provide a first class level of professional service to the Political Affairs Division as a whole by:
- Working with the Democracy and Good Offices Sections to support and ensure the smooth running of election observer missions as well as good offices operations.
- Performing any other duties as may be required from time to time
- A degree in a relevant subject such as political science or international relations.
- Desirable: A post-graduate qualification in a relevant subject.
- Three years’ experience in international affairs, preferably in an international organisation or government department with expertise in developing countries, including research and drafting.
- Desirable: Practical experience of working in Africa or with regional issues.
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