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 19 March 2013, the 15-member UN Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2096 (2013).
The resolution renewed the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and set out the scope and range of activities it must undertake over the coming 12 months, as Afghanistan continues its political and security transition.
Overall, the resolution calls for UNAMA, led by the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Ján Kubiš, to continue leading and coordinating international civilian efforts in assisting the South Asian nation with its transition – within the mandate and guided by the principle of reinforcing Afghan sovereignty, leadership and ownership.
Elsewhere in its resolution, on a broader scale, the Security Council reiterated its support for Afghanistan’s transition process – known locally as Inteqal – which will involve the assumption of full responsibility by Afghanistan’s institutions in the security sector, consistent with the decisions taken in the aforementioned international gatherings held over the past years. In relation to this, the Council recognized that transition is “not only a security process but also entails the full assumption of Afghan leadership and ownership in governance and development.”
The 15-member body stressed the importance of a comprehensive approach to address Afghanistan’s security, economic, governance and development challenges, noting that these are of an interconnected nature, and recognized that there is no “purely military solution” to ensure the country’s stability.
The Council welcomed the consensus between the Afghan Government and the international community on a “renewed and enduring partnership” for the so-called Transformation Decade, which lasts from 2015 to 2025, based on firm mutual commitments.
The Mission is to have a particular focus on supporting – at the request of the Afghan authorities – the organization of future elections, including the 2014 presidential and provincial council elections, as well as to strengthen, in support of the Government’s own efforts, the sustainability, integrity and inclusiveness of the electoral process, as agreed at the London, Kabul, Bonn and Tokyo Conferences and the Chicago Summit, held over the past years, and provide capacity building and technical assistance to the Afghan institutions involved in this process.
UNAMA is also charged with providing outreach as well as good offices to support – again, if requested by the Afghan Government – the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process of peace and reconciliation. This includes through the implementation of the Afghan Peace and Reintegration Programme, and proposing and supporting confidence-building measures within the framework of the Afghan constitution and in line with procedures introduced by previous Council resolutions.
The Council stressed the central and impartial role that the United Nations will play in promoting peace and stability in Afghanistan, by leading the efforts of the international community, including, jointly with the Government of Afghanistan, the coordination and monitoring of efforts in implementing the Kabul Process through the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board, in support of the priorities set up by the Government and affirmed at the Tokyo Conference.
The Council also hailed the adoption of the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework – which sets out the principles of the partnership between the international community and Afghanistan – to support the sustainable economic growth and development of Afghanistan.
The conclusions of the Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan were also welcomed. A one day gathering held in the Japanese capital with donors to Afghanistan, the event brought together representatives of 70 countries and international organizations to chart out future assistance for the country amidst fears that international support to the country may wane after the foreign combat troops leave the country by the end of 2014. Donors ended up pledging US$16 billion for the country’s economic and development needs.
In its resolution, the Council also reaffirmed that UNAMA will increase its efforts to achieve greater coherence, coordination, efficiency among relevant UN agencies, funds and programmes in Afghanistan – there are currently more than 20 operating in the country – in order to maximize their collective effectiveness in full alignment with priority programmes identified by the Afghan Government.
In relation to the presence of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), which is led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and assists the Afghan authorities in the provision of security, the Council called for UNAMA to continue cooperating with ISAF and the NATO Senior Civilian Representative in support of the ongoing transition to full Afghan leadership and ownership.
One of those priority areas is the coordination and facilitation of the delivery of humanitarian assistance. Another is that of human rights. In the latter, the Mission is to continue, with the support of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), to work with and build the capacity of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), as well as cooperate with the Afghan Government and relevant international and local non-governmental organizations.
The Council reaffirmed that sustainable progress on security, governance, human rights, rule of law and development, as well as the cross-cutting issues of counter-narcotics, anti-corruption and accountability, are mutually reinforcing and that governance and development programmes prioritized for implementation in transition should be consistent with the goals set forth in the Tokyo Declaration – stemming from the gathering in the Japanese capital – and the Afghan Government’s National Priority Programmes. It also stressed the importance of advancing regional cooperation as an effective means of promoting security, stability and economic and social development in the country.
In the area of the country’s reconciliation efforts, the Council stressed the importance of a comprehensive and inclusive, Afghan-led and Afghan-owned political process in support of those efforts, for individuals who are prepared to reconcile as laid forth in the 20 July 2010 Kabul Conference Communiqué on dialogue for those who renounce violence, have no links to international terrorist organizations, including Al-Qaida, respect the constitution and are willing to join in building a peaceful Afghanistan.