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)
Formation28 March 2002
TypePolitical mission
Legal statusUN Security Council Resolution 2489 (2019) extended UNAMA until 17 September 2020[1]
HeadquartersKabul, Afghanistan
Deborah Lyons[2]
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.[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 September 2019, by Resolution 2489 (2019).[1]

Resolution 2489 (2019) calls for UNAMA and the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, within their mandate and in a manner consistent with Afghan sovereignty, leadership and ownership, to continue to lead and coordinate international civilian efforts in full cooperation with the Government of Afghanistan.

The Security Council also recognized that the renewed mandate of UNAMA is in support of Afghanistan’s full assumption of leadership and ownership in the security, governance and development areas, consistent with the Transformation Decade (2015–2024) and with the understandings reached between Afghanistan and the international community in the international conferences in Kabul (2010), London (2010 and 2014), Bonn (2011), Tokyo (2012) and Brussels (2016), and the NATO Summits held in Lisbon (2010), Chicago (2012), Wales (2014), Warsaw (2016) and Brussels (2017), Kabul (2018) and Geneva (2018).

The United Nations has been involved in the region since 1946 when Afghanistan joined the General Assembly.


UNAMA's headquarters is in Kabul and maintains a permanent and extensive field presence across Afghanistan, as well as liaison offices in Pakistan and Iran. The Mission has more than 1,211 staff: 833 Afghan nationals, 310 international staff and 68 UNVs. (Figures from December 2018.) The regional offices are in Kabul, Herat, Bamyan, Gardez, Kandahar, Jalalabad, Kunduz, and Mazar-i-Sharif.[4]

UNAMA is headed by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Afghanistan, Deborah Lyons, who was appointed to the post in March 2020, replacing Tadamichi Yamamoto. There are seven 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, Ján Kubiš from 2012 to 2014, Nicholas Haysom from 2014 to 2016 and Tadamichi Yamamoto from 2016 to 2020.

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, peace and reconciliation and political affairs.

The development pillar is led by 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 Ingrid Hayden,[6] 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 Ingrid Hayden.[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, Ashraf Ghani, 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]

Deputy Special Representative who is also the UN Resident Coordinator for Afghanistan leads UNAMA's development pillar, which serves to further integrate the reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan, especially in regard to capacity building and overseeing humanitarian responsive relief effort both from Afghan and international 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 2489". undocs.org. S/RES/2489(2019).
  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.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) UN History of Afghanistan
  6. ^ "Leadership". UNAMA. 2015-03-13. Retrieved 2017-12-12.

External links[edit]