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Diplomatic Advisor – UN Geneva


DP/POL - Resident Position - (100%) - Geneva

Purpose of the post

The ICRC's Policy and Humanitarian Diplomacy Division

The ICRC's HQ Policy and Humanitarian Diplomacy Division is part of the Department of International Law and Policy, and plays a central role in developing and delivering the main institutional policy and diplomacy objectives of the ICRC as well as overseeing the ICRC's delegation in New York. The Division works closely with the ICRC's Presidency, the Department of Operations and across the institution to shape strategic policy objectives, design and deliver diplomatic strategies, and influence key ICRC stakeholders. The Division also works closely with the International Federation and National Societies on areas of mutual policy interest.

Policy and diplomacy have a dual role at the ICRC: to guide the ICRC internally and to influence others. Humanitarian diplomacy supports the feasibility, acceptance and integrity of operations/field action, as well as the organization's legal and policy initiatives, particularly with States and international organizations. The Division is also responsible for the oversight of internal policy that guides the action of the ICRC and for the development of fundamental doctrines that define how the ICRC's Mission should be carried out. The ICRC relies on the Policy and Humanitarian Diplomacy Division to develop and deliver intellectually sound, principled and compelling policy positions that resonate with the ICRC's Mission and are easy for others to understand and communicate. Members of the team therefore need to be in close interaction with the ICRC's operations, intellectually strong, diplomatically skilled and engaging communicators with good political instincts

Role of the Diplomatic Advisor for UN Geneva

The main purpose of the UN Advisor is to know and understand key people and processes across the United Nations in Geneva. The Advisor will ensure that the ICRC is well aware of critical policy developments in the United Nations and is able to influence this in a timely and effective way.

Geneva is a highly strategic humanitarian policy hub for the ICRC because of the presence of the United Nations, many Permanent Missions to the UN, the Human Rights Council, ECOSOC's Humanitarian Segment, headquarters of UNHCR, IOM and WHO, offices of UNOCHA, UNDP, UNICEF, WFP and the World Bank, and inter-agency platforms like the IASC and the SCHR. UN Geneva is also a key policy development forum on Agenda 2030 and the humanitarian-development nexus.

Main duties and responsibilities

The Diplomatic Advisor is based in Geneva and reports to the Head of Humanitarian Diplomacy. S/he will also liaise closely with the Delegation in New York – the other main centre of UN policy and diplomacy – and with other Advisers in the Division. The Advisor is expected to achieve policy impact across key actors of influence in UN Geneva.

The main duties of the Diplomatic Advisor are as follows:

  • Cultivate and maintain an effective network of counterparts in UN Geneva.
  • Cultivate and maintain an effective internal network of ICRC people focused on UN policy.
  • Listen to and understand the main views, policy discussions and diplomatic efforts of key UN actors in Geneva, building a shared analysis with the ICRC in New York.
  • Coordinate the ICRC's engagement with the Human Rights Council
  • Keep the ICRC informed of policy developments across UN Geneva
  • Design and deliver effective diplomatic strategies, tactics, plans and products to influence key UN actors of influence in Geneva.
  • Represent the ICRC in bilateral, multilateral and public meetings as agreed
  • Play an active role in the thinking and teamwork of the Division

Education and experience required

The Diplomatic Advisor needs to have the proven ability to analyze, strategize, network, represent, and influence at a high level. S/he should have at least five years senior experience in the diplomatic sector. In particular, s/he needs the following experience and expertise:

  • Operational field experience of humanitarian action
  • Strong track record in tracking, formulating, negotiating and communicating global policy
  • A high-level level network of key people across the UN
  • A Masters level qualification that gives clear evidence of strong intellectual skills

Desired profile and skills

  • A sophisticated understanding of international relations and global trends
  • Proven experience of high-level bilateral, multilateral and multi-stakeholder diplomacy
  • Knowledge of all key UN actors, structures, power relations and decision-making
  • Particular knowledge and experience of humanitarian policy and practice
  • Analytical capacity that is critical, strategic, descriptive, predictive, qualitative/quantitative
  • A doer with a desire to change things and the ability to deliver results
  • An enabler with excellent people skills and collaborative teamwork skills
  • The ability to communicate complicated issues in a simple and compelling way
  • High level written and oral communication skills in English and French
  • Proven skills in public speaking and negotiation
  • A capacity to work respectfully and successfully with a wide range of different cultures and with external and internal stakeholders
  • The ability to work well independently and in a team.
  • The ability to think and work fast and slow
  • Evident curiosity, creativity and agility
  • The tenacity to pursue policy change even when it seems unlikely
  • The ability to understand and empathize with the experience of people affected by armed conflict and OSV and the ICRC's staff engaged in protecting and assisting them

Length of Assignment: minimum commitment of two years.
Application documents required: Motivation letter and CV

Interested persons fulfilling the above criteria should send their applications by Sunday, 8th January 2017 (letter of motivation and CV/resume) to the following address: In the subject line of your email, please put: 'DP/POL – Diplomatic Advisor UN Geneva – Application'.

Only applications sent to this email address will be considered. If you do not receive a reply within one month, then please assume that your application has not been shortlisted.

Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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  • Organization: ICRC - International Committee of the Red Cross
  • Location: Geneva
  • Grade: NO-A, National Professional Officer - Junior level
  • Occupational Groups:
  • Closing Date: 2017-01-08

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