“Afghanistan is a shattered society. The participants in the Bonn Conference have set for the leaders and people of their country the formidable challenge of consolidating the peace process in less than three years. But it will take much more than 36 months to heal the wounds left by 23 years of war. The process of healing has started, however, and the members of the international community must be careful not to allow that process to reverse itself. This requires from all, a continued commitment and determination to stay the course. It also requires that realistic and achievable objectives be set.”
– Kofi Annan, Report of the Secretary-General, 18 March 2002
UNAMA was established on March 28, 2002 through United Nations Security Council resolution 1401. UNAMA’s mandate includes promoting national reconciliation; fulfilling the tasks and responsibilities entrusted to the United Nations in the Bonn Agreement, including those related to human rights, the rule of law and gender issues, and managing all UN humanitarian, relief, recovery and reconstruction activities in Afghanistan in coordination with the Afghan Administration.There are 19 UN agencies in the country working together with their Afghan government counterparts and with national and international NGO partners. All UN programs lend support to the Afghan transition process and recognize the lead role played by the Afghan Administration.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan (SRSG) leads UNAMA and has overall responsibility for all UN activities in the country.On February 11, 2004 Jean Arnault was appointed by the Secretary-General as his Special Representative for Afghanistan (SRSG). Before Jean Arnault, the Secretary-General had reappointed Lakhdar Brahimi as his SRSG on October 3, 2001.The SRSG has two Deputies. One is responsible for Relief, Recovery and Reconstruction (RRR). The other is responsible for the electoral process, Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) as well as the verification of the exercise of political rights related to elections as well as human rights, respectively.The SRSG also has Special Advisors on Human Rights, Gender, Drugs, Rule of Law, Police, Military and Demobilization, Legal Issues, and a Spokesman, who runs the Office of Communications and Public Information.UNAMA also has an Administration Division. As of October 2005, there are 211 international staff members posted in Afghanistan plus more than 600 national staff.In addition to its Kabul Headquarters, and the new Herat Multi-Agency Compound, the Mission has regional offices in Bamyan, Gardez, Herat, Jalalabad, Kandahar, Kunduz, and Mazar-i-Sharif. There are two liaison offices in Islamabad and Pakistan.
HOW IT WORKS
There are a number of guidelines that characterize the work of UNAMA: all activities of the UN system are coordinated and the programme of work is determined by Afghan needs and priorities; in time the Mission aims at having as many nationals as possible in posts that traditionally have been occupied by expatriates; capacity-building is a cardinal principle and UNAMA works towards the establishment of strong and sustainable Afghan institutions – in that context its ultimate goal is to work itself out of a job.UNAMA’s priorities include strengthening Afghan institutions and building the capacity of the Afghan Administration at all levels, including the development of institutions of good governance, of law and order, and of security. Emphasis is also given to increasing employment and cash for work schemes, which provide income to families.:: Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan,
:: Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Ameera Haq
:: Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Christopher