United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan

United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan

Infobox UN
name = United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan

image size =
caption =
type = Peacebuilding
acronyms = UNAMA
head = Kai Eide [http://www.unama-afg.org/about/SRSG.htm]
status = mandate expires 23 March 2009UN document |docid=S-RES-1806(2008) |type=Resolution |body=Security Council |year=2008 |resolution_number=1806 |accessdate=2008-09-02|date=20 March 2008]
established = 28 March 2002UN document |docid=S-RES-1401(2002) |type=Resolution |body=Security Council |year=2002 |resolution_number=1401 |accessdate=2008-04-09|date=28 March 2008]
website = [http://www.unama-afg.org/ UNAMA website]
parent = United Nations Security Council
subsidiaries =
commons =
footnotes =

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) was established on 28th March, 2002 by UN Security Council resolution 1401.UN document |docid=S-RES-1401(2002) |type=Resolution |body=Security Council |year=2002 |resolution_number=1401 |accessdate=2008-04-09|date=28 March 2008] 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 recently extended until 23rd March 2008 by resolution 1746 [ [http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2007/sc8977.doc.htm] UN Press Release] . UNAMA’s mandate currently has the following elements: providing political and strategic advice for the peace process; providing good offices; helping the government to implement the Afghanistan Compact. The Afghanistan National Development Strategy and the National Drugs Control Strategy; promoting human rights; providing technical assistance; and continuing to manage and coordinate all UN-led humanitarian relief, recovery, reconstruction and development activates in Afghanistan [ [http://www.unama-afg.org/about/overview.htm] UNAMA Website] . These were endorsed by the UN Security Council in resolution 1662 [ [http://pom.peacebuild.ca/UNAfghanistan.shtml Peace Operations Monitor, Civilian Monitoring Of Complex Peace Operations ] ] .


UNAMA has functioned since March 2002 as a highly influential body representing international and Afghan efforts at reconstruction and development.

The United Nations have been involved in the region since 1946 when Afghanistan joined the General Assembly, with the UNDP carrying out aid and development work from the 1950s.

Human rights and development in Afghanistan have long been an issue in one of the least-developed countries of the world. In 1985 there was a Special Rapporteur on human rights in Afghanistan, whose advice led the Security Council to condemn widespread disregard for human rights and large-scale violations in resolution 40/137.UN document |docid=A-RES-40-137 |type=Resolution |body=General Assembly |session=40 |resolution_number=137 |accessdate=2008-04-09|date=13 December 1985]

In the early 1990s Operation Salam was the UN’s emergency relief operation, headed by Baron Sevan the Secretary-General’s Special Representative.

In December 1993 the United Nations Special Mission to Afghanistan was set up as a ‘bridging’ agency between the UN and the Afghan leaders. This made it easier for the UN to help Afghan leaders with national reconciliation and reconstruction.


UNAMA comes under the remit of the UN’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations. With has over 1000 staff, the headquarters are in Kabul, with additional regional offices in Herat, Bamian, Gardez, Kandahar, Lalalabad, Kunduz, Kunar, Asadabad, Qalat, Badghis, Zanjar, Mazar-i-Sharif and Daikundi [ [http://pom.peacebuild.ca/UNAfghanistan.shtml Peace Operations Monitor, Civilian Monitoring Of Complex Peace Operations ] ] . 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 [ [http://www.ukun.org/articles_show.asp?SarticleType=17&Article_ID=1422] Speech by Sir E J Parry] .

UNAMA is headed by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Afghanistan, Kai Eide, who was appointed to the post in March 2008. There are three previous Special Representatives – Lakhdar Brahimi (former Algerian Foreign Minister) who served from October 2001 to January 2004, despite resigning from the post 2 years earlier [http://www.un.org/News/dh/latest/afghan/un-afghan-history.shtml UN History of Afghanistan] ; and 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.

As the head of UNAMA Kai Eide is responsible for all UN activities in the country. There are also two deputy Special Representatives who oversee the main pillars of the mission – developmental issues and political matters. Included under these pillars are departments specialising in human rights, policing, military, drugs and gender issues.

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 Ameerah Haq, the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Relief, Recovery and Reconstruction.

The political affairs pillar is led by Christopher Alexander [ [http://www.unama-afg.org/about/DSRSG(PA).htm UNAMA - Overview - Briography of Christopher Alexander, DSRSG(PA) ] ] responsible for election monitoring, human rights issues and overseeing the implementation of the Bonn Agreement and the Afghanistan Compact.

Political pillar of UNAMA

The Political Affairs part of UNAMA is headed by career-diplomat Christopher Alexander. Responsible for overseeing elections in Afghanistan the Political Affairs department has been successful in seeing through a number of elections since 2002. Hamid Karzai was elected as President of the Afghanistan Transitional Authority on June 19th 2002, after holding the post of Chairman of the Emergency Loya Jirga required by the Bonn Agreement.

In 2004 democratic presidential elections were held, with Karzai winning 55.4% of the vote (21 out of 34 provinces) [ [http://www.unama-afg.org/about/_pa/political_affairs.htm UNAMA - Political Affairs ] ] , and in 2005 Parliamentary elections were held across the country.

In human rights areas less information is available but the treatment of women has greatly improved, with schooling and employment rates increasing steadily since the extremist Taliban were toppled from power.

Relief, Recovery and reconstruction pillar of UNAMA

Ameerah Haq, who is soon leaving Afghanistan, 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.

The 2002 Tokyo Conference was a success for the RRR section with Secretary-General Kofi Annan calling for $10billion in aid over a 10 year period from the international community to help rebuild Afghanistan. Although not achieving this high aim, Annan did receive pledges of $5billion over a 6 year period. Such fundraising work has continued, with $8.2 billion being raised at the 2004 Berlin International Conference on Afghanistan [ [http://www.unama-afg.org/about/_rrr/3r.htm UNAMA - Relief, Recovery and Reconstruction ] ] .

Nationwide immunization campaigns have been launched, the number of children in education has dramatically increased and the RRR team formulated a National Development Framework with the Transitional Authority.

Actions and involvement

Under Brahimi’s leadership, and that of subsequent Special Representatives, UNAMA has taken a minimal involvement policy, especially in regard to political processes in Afghanistan. This commitment to a “light, expatriate footprint” ["Rebuilding Afghanistan: The United NAtions Assistance Mission in Afghanistan(UNAMA), "The Henry L. Stimson Center", [http://www.stimson.org] ] upholds the UN Security Council’s statement in resolution 1401 that sort to reaffirm the UN’s “strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Afghanistan” [ [http://daccessdds.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N02/309/14/PDF/N0230914.pdf?OpenElement Ods Home Page ] ] .

The mission has provided extensive support for political processes to take place though. Transport, communications, voter registration and information campaigns and election monitoring were all provided by UNAMA in efforts to allow a fair, representative and successful transition in government. UNAMA’s efforts have continued from the initial Emergency Loya Jirga in June 2002 to presidential elections and national assembly elections in 2004 and 2005 respectively.

The position of UNAMA and the Special Representative as co-chair of the Joint Co-ordination and Monitoring Board (JEMB), which aligns international and Afghan efforts to succeed with the aims of the Afghanistan Compact, also gives the mission great access, responsibility and influence in the country.

UNAMA and the JEMB helped to conduct the 2004 elections in which 10.5 million Afghans voted (41% of which were women [ [http://www.unama-afg.org/about/info.htm UNAMA - Historical Perspective ] ] .

UNAMA’s success is shown in other walks of life with over 4.2 million children now in education and around 3 million refugees repatriated to Afghanistan since 2002.

UN agencies under UNAMA

As UNAMA oversees the entire UN response to the needs of the Afghan people a number of UN agencies fall under their auspices. Some of these have been working in the country for a number of years, with UN involvement stemming from Afghanistan’s membership of the United Nations General Assembly in 1946.

These include the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, the World Food Programme, and the UNHCR. Other agencies coordinate and provide aid, medical care, education and human rights advice.

UNAMA also works closely with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) that was put into place by the United Nations Security Council in December 2001.

UNAMA as a target

UNAMA and the UN as an entity has become a target in Afghanistan. In November 2003 a bomb was exploded outside UN offices in Kandahar, a staff member of the UNHCR was murdered and bombs were targeted at a UNAMA guesthouse in Kabul.

On 28th October 2004, 3 UN electoral employees were kidnapped, and not released until 23rd November. Other electoral personnel around the country were also attacked, including people working for the UNHCR and other Non-Governmental Organisations.

Bonn Agreement

The Bonn Agreement was signed in Germany on 5 December 2001 by Afghan political groups opposing the Taliban. It was ratified by the Security Council the following day under resolution 1383; resolution 1386 confirmed the UN’s commitment to the agreement by authorising an International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to help maintain security in Kabul and the surrounding areas.

UN agencies in Afghanistan

* UNDP (United Nations Development Program)
* UNAMA (United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan)
* 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)
* UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund)
* UN ICT TF (United Nations Information and Communication Technologies Taskorce)
* UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization)
* UNIFEM (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)

UN Security Council Resolutions

* Resolution 8 (1946) of 29 August - admission as Member of United Nations.
* Resolution 622 (1988) of 31 October - authorizes UNGOMAP deployment.
* Resolution 647 (1990) of 11 January - extends UNGOMAP for a final two months.
* Resolution 1076 (1996) of 22 October UN document |docid=S-RES-1076(1996) |type=Resolution |body=Security Council |year=1996 |accessdate=2007-09-05] - calls for an end to hostilities, outside interference and supply of arms to the parties to the conflict; denounces discrimination against women and girls in Afghanistan.
* Resolution 1193 (1998) of 28 August UN document |docid=S-RES-1193(1998) |type=Resolution |body=Security Council |year=1998 |accessdate=2007-09-05] - demands an end to hostilities and an investigation into the killing of two UN staff members and the military adviser to the UN Special Mission to Afghanistan.
* Resolution 1214 (1998) of 8 December UN document |docid=S-RES-1214(1998) |type=Resolution |body=Security Council |year=1998 |accessdate=2007-09-05] - repeats demands of resolution 1193 and reaffirms support for the United Nations Special Mission to Afghanistan.
* Resolution 1267 (1999) of 15 October UN document |docid=S-RES-1267(1999) |type=Resolution |body=Security Council |year=1999 |accessdate=2007-09-05] - demands the Taliban turn over Usama bin Laden, forbids aircraft to take-of or land in Taliban-controlled territory without approval and freezes assets of the Taliban.
* Resolution 1333 (2000) of 19 December UN document |docid=S-RES-1333(2000) |type=Resolution |body=Security Council |year=2000 |accessdate=2007-09-05] - repeats demand that the Taliban turn over bin Laden and imposes further measures on their territory pending concurrence with the demand.
* Resolution 1363 (2001) of 30 July UN document |docid=S-RES-1363(2001) |type=Resolution |body=Security Council |year=2001 |accessdate=2007-09-05] - establishes a monitoring mechanism for the measures imposed under the previous two resolutions.
* Resolution 1386 (2001) of 20 December UN document |docid=S-RES-1386(2001) |type=Resolution |body=Security Council |year=2001 |accessdate=2007-09-05] - authorizes the deployment for six months of an International Security Force For Afghanistan.

ee also

*United Nations Security Council Resolution 1267 - the Sanctions Regime against Taliban and al Qaeda.
*List of UN Security Council Resolutions
*Bonn Agreement
*United Nations
*United Nations Development Programme
*UN High Commissioner for Refugees
*Hamid Karzai
*Kofi Annan
*Human Rights

External links

* [http://www.unama-afg.org/ UNAMA]
* [http://www.un.org/ United Nations] Banki Moon is currently UN General Secretary.
* [http://www.amazon.com/dp/0275999998 A Democracy Is Born: An Insider's Account of the Battle Against Terrorism in Afghanistan]


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