UNOWA, OSES and CNMC offices in Dakar, Senegal. UN Photo

UNOWA is headed by the Special Representative for West Africa (SRSG) who is appointed by the Secretary-General.

The SRSG Ibn Chambas also serves as chair of the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission, established in November 2002 to oversee the peaceful implementation of the ruling of the International Court of Justice in the Land and Maritime boundary dispute between Cameroon and Nigeria.

UNOWA’s team includes officers with responsibility for political, military, humanitarian, human rights and public information affairs.




Mohamed Ibn Chambas

Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Regional Office for West Africa

Mr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas was appointed Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for West Africa and Head of the UN Office for West Africa on 12 September 2014. His duties include those of Chairman of the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission, and High Representative of the UN Secretary-General on the security situation to Nigeria. Mr. Chambas was previously the Joint Special representative (JSR) of the African Union – United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) and Joint Chief Mediator (JCM) in charge of the Darfur peace negotiations, since April 2013.

Prior to that, Mr. Chambas was the Secretary General of the African Caribbean and Pacific Group (ACP) from March 2010 to March 2013. A prominent African public figure, Mr. Chambas took the office during a critical time for the ACP Group, marked by an uneven recovery across member states from the global financial crisis and an intensified focus on the Group’s future in light of the approaching conclusion of its partnership agreement with the European Union in 2020. He made it a priority to forge closer relations between ACP regions and as a result the ACP was admitted as observer at the Pacific Islands Forum during its 42nd Session of Heads of State and Government in Auckland, New Zealand, in September 2011.

Before his leadership of the ACP, Mr. Chambas served as President of the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) from 2007 to 2010. He also served as the Executive Secretary of ECOWAS starting in February 2002, when ECOWAS was a Secretariat.

Earlier to heading the ECOWAS Secretariat, Mr. Chambas was a Member of Parliament in Ghana, where he served at various periods as First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Chairman of the Appointments Committee, Chairman of the Privileges Committee, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee and Ranking Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Member of the Select Committee on Education and the Committee on subsidiary Legislation.

Between April 1997 and December 2000, Mr. Chambas was the Deputy Minister of Education in charge of Tertiary Education, overseeing the country's five universities, ten polytechnics and agencies/institutions charged with the formulation of policies and accreditation for higher education institutions.