Special Political Missions and Good Offices Engagements
The Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) manages Special Political Missions (SPMs) engaged in conflict prevention, peacemaking and post-conflict peacebuilding around the world.
These field operations include country-specific missions and regional offices. They 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, helping prevent and resolve conflict and supporting complex political transitions, in coordination with national actors and UN development and humanitarian entities on the ground.
DPPA also provides guidance and support to traveling envoys and special advisers of the Secretary-General who bring his “good offices” to bear in the service of conflict resolution 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 Personal Envoys for Mozambique and Western Sahara.
The term ‘Special Political Mission’ encompasses entities that are not managed or directed by DPPA such as the Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide. These SPMs also include panels established by the Security Council, such as the Monitoring Group on Somalia; the Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo; the Panels of Experts on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, on Libya, on the Central African Republic, on Yemen, on South Sudan and on Mali; the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team established pursuant to Security Council resolution 1526 (2004) concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban and associated individuals and entities; the Office of the Ombudsperson established pursuant to resolution 1904 (2009); the Implementation of Security Council Resolution 2231 (2015); the Support for the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) on the non-proliferation of all weapons of mass destruction; the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) and the United Nations Investigative Team for Accountability of Da’esh (ISIL).
PDF map of current Special Political Missions.
See the Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council website for information on the mandates of current and previous missions.
See a list of past political missions.
Investigative Mandates and Fact-Finding Missions
DPPA 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 DPPA and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Joint UNDP-DPPA 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.