The United Nations has been engaged with Somalia since 1991 to support its Government and people to advance peace and security. After two decades of lawlessness and conflict, the peace process has made significant progress, creating new hope for Somalia’s future. In 2012, following an extended transitional period, the Provisional Federal Constitution of Somalia was agreed through a broad-based consultation process, and a new Federal Parliament and Government were selected, with a pledge to deliver the political transformation of the country and realize the vision of a peaceful, federal Somalia. The international community has pledged to support Somalia in its efforts, including through the Security Pact and New Partnership adopted in London in 2017, which sets out agreed goals for peacebuilding and state-building.
The Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) coordinates the efforts of the UN system in Somalia, including to facilitate the good offices of the Secretary-General and support political reconciliation and peacebuilding through engagement with the Federal Government of Somalia, its federal member states and civil society, as well as regional organizations and international partners.
These efforts to achieve peace, reconciliation and stability are led and coordinated by the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), a DPPA field operation established in the Somali capital of Mogadishu in June 2013. The UN mission, with offices across the country, is mandated by the Security Council to work with the Federal Government of Somalia and federal member states to support national reconciliation, provide strategic and policy advice on various aspects of peacebuilding and state-building, to monitor the human rights situation, and help coordinate the efforts of the international community.
Since 2013, UNSOM has helped sustain Somalia's emerging federalism process. Key challenges remain however, especially in the realms of security, governance, and economic recovery. UNSOM is currently supporting efforts by the Federal Government of Somalia and federal member states to further improve the security situation, including the implementation of the transition plan from the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) to Somali security forces, as well as reform of the security and justice sectors. UNSOM also aims to further support efforts by Somalia's federal and regional leaders to conduct one-person, one-vote elections planned for 2020/1, complete the federalism process, finalize a federal constitution, and galvanize economic recovery, particularly opportunities for youth, which is critical to Somalia's long-term stability.
UNSOM is headed by James Swan, a national of the United States serving as Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia. He is supported by two Deputy Special Representatives: Raisedon Zenenga and Peter de Clercq who is also the UN Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia.