The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) is a political mission established by the Security Council in 2002 at the request of the Government to assist it and the people of Afghanistan in laying the foundations for sustainable peace and development in the country.
On 16 March 2015, the 15-member UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2210 (2015), which renewed the mandate of UNAMA and set out the scope and range of activities it is expected to undertake during the coming 12 months.
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.
In addition, the Security Council charged UNAMA and the Special Representative with supporting, at the request of the Afghan authorities, the organization of future Afghan elections, including the upcoming parliamentary elections, as well as to strengthen, in support of the Government of Afghanistan’s efforts, the sustainability, integrity and inclusiveness of the electoral process, as agreed at the London, Kabul, Bonn and Tokyo Conferences and the Chicago Summit, and to provide capacity-building and technical assistance to the Afghan institutions involved in this process.
The 15-member body charged the mission with providing outreach as well as good offices to support, if requested by and in close consultation with the Government of Afghanistan, the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process of peace and reconciliation, including through the implementation of the Afghan Peace and Reintegration Programme and through proposing and supporting confidence-building measures, also in close consultation with the Government of Afghanistan.
In the area of the human rights, the Council charged UNAMA to continue, with the support of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, to cooperate with and strengthen the capacity of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), to cooperate also with the Afghan Government and relevant international and local non-governmental organizations to monitor the situation of civilians, to coordinate efforts to ensure their protection, to promote accountability, and to assist in the full implementation of the fundamental freedoms and human rights provisions of the Afghan Constitution and international treaties to which Afghanistan is a State party, in particular those regarding the full enjoyment by women of their human rights.
The Council also specifically highlighted concerns with regard to the impact of conflict-related violence on women and children, as identified in UNAMA’s reporting.
The 15-member body stressed the need for all United Nations agencies, funds and programmes, through the country team mechanism and a “One-UN” approach under the guidance of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, to achieve greater coherence, coordination, efficiency and full alignment with the Government of Afghanistan’s National Priority Programmes.
On the delivery of humanitarian assistance, in particular, the resolution called for enhanced coordination among the United Nations agencies, funds and programmes, under the authority of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and in support of the Afghan Government, with a view to reinforcing the Government’s capacity and in accordance with humanitarian principles. This assistance includes providing effective support to national and local authorities in assisting and protecting internally displaced persons and creating conditions conducive to the voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable return of refugees from neighbouring and other countries and internally displaced persons.
The Security Council called upon the Secretary-General to initiate a process to conduct, within six months of the renewal of the mandate, a full examination of the role, structure and activities of all United Nations entities in Afghanistan, in full consultation and engagement with the Government of Afghanistan and key stakeholders, in light of the completion of transition and the beginning of the Transformation Decade and in accordance with the principles of Afghan national sovereignty, national leadership and national ownership. The Special Representative of the Secretary General welcomed this development in his recent briefing to the Security Council.