Political Missions and Good Offices Engagements
The Department of Political Affairs (DPA) manages political missions engaged in conflict prevention, peacemaking and post-conflict peacebuilding in Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East.
These DPA-led field operations are headed by senior representatives of the Secretary-General and provide a forward platform for preventive diplomacy and other activities across a range of disciplines, to help prevent and resolve conflict,support complex political transitions, in coordination with national actors and UN development and humanitarian entities on the ground. Field-based missions include country-specific missions and regional offices.
In addition to the field-based missions currently under its supervision, DPA provides guidance and support to traveling envoys and special advisers of the Secretary-General bringing to bear his “good offices” for the resolution of conflicts or the implementation of other UN mandates. These currently include UN envoys or special advisers for Myanmar, Yemen and Syria. The Secretary-General also has a Personal Envoy for the FYROM-Greece name dispute and Western Sahara.
See the Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council website for information on the mandates of current and previous missions.
Investigative Mandates and Fact-Finding Missions
DPA has also assisted in establishing and providing support to various UN investigative and fact-finding bodies. These have included: the Organization of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons - United Nations Joint Investigative Mission (OPCW-UN JIM), the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG); the United Nations Commission of Inquiry into the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, the former Prime Minister of Pakistan; the International Commission of Inquiry on the 28 September 2009 events in Guinea; and the United Nations International Investigation Commission in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
Peace and Development Advisors and Liaison Offices
In an innovative partnership between DPA and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Joint UNDP-DPA Programme on Building National Capacities for Conflict Prevention provides support for national initiatives towards conflict prevention. Much of the support to date has gone toward deploying "Peace and Development Advisers" – or PDAs as they are known – to UN Country Teams in the field to help national authorities address root causes of conflict. The Programme also provides seed funding to prevention initiatives overseen by the PDA.