The mandate of UNOWA was established in 2002 for a three year period and renewed in 2005 S/2005/16, in 2007 S/2007/753 and in 2010 through Security Council Letter S/2010/660 .
UNOWA is entrusted with the overall mandate of enhancing the contributions of the UN towards the achievement of peace and security in West Africa. This includes governance, mainstreaming security sector reform into development strategies, defining an integrated sub regional approach to humanitarian, human rights and gender issues, curbing corruption, poverty alleviation, addressing youth unemployment as well as cross-border illicit trafficking and organized crime. These emerging destabilizing issues can be considered as new threats to security.
UNOWA’s core functions consist of:
Monitoring political developments in West Africa, carry out good offices roles and
special assignment on behalf of the Secretary-General and enhance subregional
capacities for conflict prevention and mediation in countries of the subregion.
Enhancing subregional capacities to address cross-border and cross-cutting
threats to peace and security, in particular, election-related instability and
challenges related to security sector reform, transnational organized crime,
illicit trafficking and terrorism.
Promoting good governance and respect for the rule of law, human rights and the
mainstreaming of gender in conflict prevention and conflict management
initiatives in West Africa.
Facilitating the implementation of the International Court of Justice ruling of
10 October 2002 on the land and maritime boundary dispute between Cameroon and
The Secretary-General reports every six months the Security Council on the fulfillment of the mandate of the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA).
Said Djinnit Special Representative for West Africa (SRSG)