United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan

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United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan
Emblem of the United Nations.svg
UNAMA Logo.jpg
Official logo of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA)
Abbreviation UNAMA
Formation 28 March 2002
Type Political mission
Legal status UN Security Council Resolution 2344 (2017), extended until 17 March 2018[1]
Tadamichi Yamamoto[2]
Parent organization
United Nations Security Council
Website http://unama.unmissions.org/

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.[3] 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 on 17 March 2017, by Resolution 2344 (2017).[1]

The Security Council welcomed the completion at the end of 2014 of the Transition (Inteqal) Process and the initiation of the Transformation Decade (2015-2024). Furthermore, the Council recognised that transition not only is a security process but also entails the full assumption of Afghan leadership and ownership in governance and development, and affirmed that the United Nations support in Afghanistan takes full account of the completion of the transition process in the country.

The Security Council also welcomed the inauguration on 29 September 2014 of the new President of Afghanistan, marking the first democratic transition of power in the country’s history, as well as the establishment of a Government of National Unity, and reaffirmed its support for the Government and people of Afghanistan as they rebuild their country and strengthen the foundations of sustainable peace and development and constitutional democracy.

The 15-member body also welcomed the government reform programme entitled “Realizing Self-Reliance: Commitments to Reforms and Renewed Partnership,” which identifies strategic policy priorities for Afghanistan for the Transformation Decade, with the goal of improving security and political stability, stabilizing the economy, advancing good governance, and promoting the rule of law and respect for human rights, particularly in relation to women and girls.

The Council stressed the crucial importance of advancing regional cooperation as an effective means of promoting security, stability and economic and social development in Afghanistan, and called attention to the important role that the United Nations is expected to play in supporting Afghanistan’s initiatives in this regard.

Within the context of the overall role of the United Nations, the Security Council expressed its appreciation for the organisation’s long-term commitment, including throughout the Transformation Decade, to support the Government and the people of Afghanistan. Moreover, the Council reiterated its support for the work of UNAMA and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, and stressed the need to ensure continued adequate resourcing for UNAMA to fulfil its mandate.

The resolution calls for UNAMA and the Special Representative to continue leading and coordinating international civilian efforts in assisting the South Asian nation, guided by the principle of reinforcing Afghan sovereignty, leadership and ownership. In doing so, the resolution calls upon UNAMA and the Special Representative to promote more coherent support by the international community to the Afghan Government’s development and governance priorities.

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.[4] 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, Tadamichi Yamamoto, who was appointed to the post in June 2016, replacing Nicholas Haysom. There are six 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;[5] 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, Kai Eide who held the post from 2008 to 2010, Staffan di Mistura from 2010 to 2011 and Ján Kubiš from 2012 to 2014.

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 development pillar is led by Toby Lanzer,[6] a Deputy Special Representative focusing on relief efforts and the reconstruction of infrastructure and other important components of society.

The political affairs pillar is led by Pernille Dahler Kardel,[7] a Deputy Special Representative responsible for supporting political outreach, conflict resolution, and regional cooperation.

Political affairs pillar of UNAMA[edit]

The Political Affairs part of UNAMA is currently headed by Pernille Dahler Kardel.[2]

In 2004, democratic presidential elections were held in Afghanistan, with Hamid Karzai winning 55.4% of the vote (21 out of 34 provinces) and in 2005, parliamentary elections were held across the country. Presidential elections were held again in August 2009 and voter turnout 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 Provincial Council elections were held on 5 April 2014. After no candidate obtained the 50 per cent plus one of the vote required to win the Presidential poll outright, the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan (IEC) held a second round run-off on 14 June 2014 between the two candidates with the most votes from the first round, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai. On 29 September 2014, following a vote-audit process, the new President of Afghanistan was inaugurated, marking the first democratic transition of power in the country’s history, as well as the establishment of a Government of National Unity, with Abdullah Abdullah named the Chief Executive Officer of Afghanistan.

Development and Humanitarian Assistance[edit]

As of 1 March 2017, Toby Lanzer replaced Mark Bowden to lead UNAMA's development pillar, 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[edit]

  • 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)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "United Nations Security Council Resolution 2344". undocs.org. S/RES/2344(2017). 
  2. ^ a b "Leadership - UNAMA". United Nations. 
  3. ^ United Nations Security Council Resolution 1401. S/RES/1401(2002) 28 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-09.
  4. ^ Peace Operations Monitor, Civilian Monitoring Of Complex Peace Operations
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 31, 2013. Retrieved February 7, 2012.  UN History of Afghanistan
  6. ^ "Leadership". UNAMA. 2015-03-13. Retrieved 2017-12-12. 
  7. ^ "Leadership". UNAMA. 2015-03-13. Retrieved 2017-12-12. 

External links[edit]