United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan
|Formation||28 March 2002|
|Legal status||Mandate (Resolution 2145) expires 17 March 2015|
|Parent organization||United Nations Security Council|
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) is a political UN mission established at the request of the Government of Afghanistan to assist it and the people of Afghanistan in laying the foundations for sustainable peace and development. UNAMA was established on 28 March 2002 by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1401. Its original mandate was to support the Bonn Agreement (December 2001). Reviewed annually, this mandate has been altered over time to reflect the needs of the country and was extended for another year until 19 March, 2014, by Resolution 2096.
UNAMA’s mandate calls for the organization to continue leading and coordinating international civilian efforts too assist Afghanistan with its transition, guided by the principle of reinforcing sovereignty, leadership and ownership. The Mission has a particular focus on supporting—at the request of Afghan authorities—the organization of future elections, including the 2014 presidential and provincial council elections.
Elsewhere in its resolution, on a broader scale, the Security Council reiterated its support for Afghanistan’s transition process which will involve the assumption of full responsibility by Afghanistan’s institutions in the security sector, consistent with the decisions taken at international gatherings held over the past years. In relation to this, the Council recognized that transition is “not only a security process but also entails the full assumption of Afghan leadership and ownership in governance and development.”
Other elements of the mandate call for the organization to support the Government in its efforts to improve critical areas, including security, governance and economic development, and regional cooperation, as well as to support the full implementation of mutual commitments made on these issues at the London Conference in January 2010 and the subsequent Kabul Conference in July 2010 agreed in the Afghanistan National Development Strategy and the National Drugs Control Strategy. Key areas of UNAMA's work are promoting human rights; providing technical assistance; and continuing to manage and coordinate all UN-led humanitarian relief, recovery, reconstruction and development activities in Afghanistan. These were endorsed by the UN Security Council in Resolution 1662.
The United Nations have been involved in the region since 1946 when Afghanistan joined the General Assembly. The UNDP has been carrying out aid and development work from the 1950s.
UNAMA's headquarters is in Kabul. In addition UNAMA has regional and provincial offices across Afghanistan and liaison offices in Islamabad and Teheran. The regional offices are in Kabul, Herat, Bamyan, Gardez, Kandahar, Jalalabad, Kunduz, and Mazar-i-Sharif. Around 80% of UNAMA’s staff are Afghan nationals, who work in various positions and levels within the political mission. Both the widespread presence and inclusive nature of the staff of UNAMA are considered a valuable asset, especially with attempts to coordinate relief and recovery programmes with the various interested parties around the country.
UNAMA is headed by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Afghanistan, Ján Kubiš, who was appointed to the post in January 2012, replacing Staffan di Mistura. There are four earlier Special Representatives – Lakhdar Brahimi (former Algerian Foreign Minister) who served from October 2001 to January 2004, despite resigning from the post 2 years earlier;, Jean Arnault who held the post from February 2004 to February 2006, followed by Tom Koenigs who held the post from March 2006 to December 2007 and Kai Eide who held the post from 2008 to 2010.
The head of UNAMA is responsible for all UN activities in the country. There are also two deputy Special Representatives (DSRSG) who oversee the main pillars of the mission – developmental issues and political matters. Included under these pillars are departments specializing in issues such as human rights and governance.
The developmental pillar of UNAMA focuses on relief efforts, delivery aid to where it is needed most, and the reconstruction of the infrastructure and other important components of society. This pillar is headed by Mark Bowden, the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Relief, Recovery and Reconstruction.
The political affairs pillar is led by Nicholas Haysom, a Deputy Special Representative responsible for supporting political outreach, conflict resolution, disarmament and regional cooperation. The political affairs pillar also includes an Election Support Unit, a Military Advisory Unit, and a Police Advisory Unit, which are responsible for coordinating international support for institution-building in each of those sectors.
Political pillar of UNAMA
The Political Affairs part of UNAMA is currently headed by Nicholas Haysom
In 2004 democratic presidential elections were held, with Karzai winning 55.4% of the vote (21 out of 34 provinces) and in 2005 Parliamentary elections were held across the country. In 2005 parliamentary elections were held. Presidential elections were held again in August, 2009, and voter turnout then was about 33%. The next parliamentary elections were held in September, 2010. More than 2,600 candidates, including more than 400 women, ran for office. The next presidential elections are scheduled to be held in April, 2014.
Development and Humanitarian Assistance
Mark Bowden leads the RRR section of UNAMA, which serves to further integrate the reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan, especially in regard to women’s rights, capacity building and overseeing a responsive relief effort both from international and Afghan bodies.
UN agencies in Afghanistan/UN Country Team
- UNDP (United Nations Development Program)
- OCHA (UN Office Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs)
- UNCC (United Nations Compensation Commission)
- UNCCD (United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification)
- UN-HABITAT (United Nations Centre for Human Settlements)
- UNCSD (United Nations Common Supplier Database)
- UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development)
- UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme)
- UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization)
- UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change)
- UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund for Afghanistan)
- UNHCR (United Nations High Commission for Refugees)
- OHCHR (Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights)
- UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund)
- UN ICT TF (United Nations Information and Communication Technologies Taskorce)
- UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization)
- UN WOMEN (United Nations Development Fund for Women)
- UNJLC (United Nations Joint Logistics Center)
- UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime)
- UNOPS (UN Office for Project Services)
- WHO (World Health Organization)
- WFP (World Food Programme)
- ILO (International Labour Organization)
- IOM (International Organization for Migration)
- FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization)
- MACCA (Mine Action Coordination Centre of Afghanistan)
- United Nations Security Council Resolution 1267 - the Sanctions Regime against Taliban and al Qaeda.
- International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)
- War in Afghanistan (2001-present)
- List of UN Security Council Resolutions
- Bonn Agreement
- United Nations
- Department of Peacekeeping Operations
- United Nations Development Programme
- UN High Commissioner for Refugees
- Hamid Karzai
- Kofi Annan
- Human Rights
- United Nations Security Council Resolution 1401. S/RES/1401(2002) 28 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-09.
- Peace Operations Monitor, Civilian Monitoring Of Complex Peace Operations
- http://www.un.org/News/dh/latest/afghan/un-afghan-history.shtml UN History of Afghanistan