Mandate

The United Nations Office for West Africa was the first regional conflict prevention and peacebuilding office of the United Nations. It was created in 2002, with the overall mandate to enhance the contributions of the UN towards the achievement of peace and security in West Africa and promotes an integrated regional approach in addressing issues that impact stability in West Africa.

The office also hosts the Cameroun-Nigeria Mixed Commission (CNMC).

The UN Security Council established the first mandate of UNOWA in 2002 for a three year period and renewed in 2005, in 2007, in 2010, and in 2013.

UNOWA's core functions consist of

  • Monitoring political developments in West Africa, engaging in preventive diplomacy, good offices and political mediation and facilitation, and assisting regional institutions and States to enhance their respective capacity in those fields;
  • Providing advice to and assist regional institutions and States to enhance their respective capacity to address cross-border and cross-cutting threats to peace and security, in particular election-related instability and challenges relating 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;
  • Providing political support and advice to the United Nations presences in West Africa, as requested.
  • Facilitating the implementation of the International Court of Justice ruling of 10 October 2002 on the land and maritime boundary dispute between Cameroon and Nigeria.

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). 

See UN Secretary-General's reports

 

Mandate of the United Nations Office for West Africa for 2014-2016

The following objectives are to be implemented in close collaboration with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Mano River Union and other regional and subregional partners:
Objective 1
Monitor political developments in West Africa, carry out good offices roles and special assignments on behalf of the Secretary-General and enhance subregional capacities for conflict prevention and mediation in countries of the subregion.
Function 1.1
Monitor and analyse the situation in West Africa, in particular emerging threats to peace, and provide the Secretary-General, the Security Council, regional and subregional organizations and national Governments with early warning and recommendations for preventive action.
Function 1.2
Perform good offices roles in countries of the subregion to prevent conflict and to consolidate peacebuilding efforts and political stability.
Function 1.3
Enhance subregional capacities for conflict prevention, conflict management, mediation and good offices, including providing support to existing subregional mechanisms, in particular the ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Framework and the ECOWAS Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution, Peacekeeping and Regional Security.
Function 1.4
Facilitate the implementation of the International Court of Justice ruling of
10 October 2002 on the land and maritime boundary dispute between Cameroon and Nigeria.
Objective 2
Enhance 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.
Function 2.1
Raise awareness and promote integrated subregional and cross-border responses to potential problems and emerging threats to peace, human security and stability in the subregion.
Function 2.2
Support the development of networks of practitioners and subregional frameworks and mechanisms to address challenges related to security sector reform, transnational organized crime, illicit trafficking and terrorism.
Function 2.3
Facilitate systematic and regular linkages in the work of the United Nations within the subregion to promote a coherent and synergetic United Nations approach to addressing the causes of instability and conflict in West Africa.
Objective 3
Promote 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.
Function 3.1
Facilitate the exchange of information and the sharing of best practices among national Governments, regional organizations, civil society and other entities for the promotion of good governance, respect for the rule of law and the improvement of electoral processes.
Function 3.2
Provide support for the enactment of resolutions and frameworks of action pertaining to the respect for human rights and the mainstreaming of gender in conflict prevention and conflict management initiatives in West Africa.