1 October 2008
Press Release

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

United Nations integrated peacebuilding office in Sierra Leone begins mandate

to ensure continued international support FOR LONG-term peace, development

The United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL) was established in Freetown today as the latest in a series of United Nations presences in the country which followed the end of a bloody civil war some 10 years ago.

Authorized by United Nations Security Council resolution 1829 of 4 August 2008, UNIPSIL is to ensure the continued support of the Organization and the international community for the long-term peace, security and development of Sierra Leone.

The Office is responsible for coordinating the work of all United Nations funds, agencies and programmes in the country.  It will also closely coordinate United Nations efforts with all regional and international partners including Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Mano River Union.

UNIPSIL will work in close coordination with the Peacebuilding Commission, which chose Sierra Leone for one of its first post-conflict countries of focus.  UNIPSIL will work to ensure implementation of the Peacebuilding Cooperation Framework and projects supported through the Peacebuilding Fund.

UNIPSIL is mandated to strengthen and promote human rights (including reparations for civil war victims); support the activities of the Peacebuilding Commission and the Peacebuilding Fund; provide political support to efforts aimed at finding solutions to political tensions and potential conflict; consolidate good governance reform (with a special focus on anti-corruption); support the police and the Armed Forces to ensure that they are able to carry out their tasks effectively; support decentralization; and assist in reviewing the Constitution.

The Office has approximately 70 staff and is led by an Executive Representative of the Secretary-General, Michael von der Schulenburg, who also serves as United Nations Resident Coordinator and United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative in Sierra Leone.

UNIPSIL replaces the larger United Nations Integrated Office in Sierra Leone (UNIOSIL) which completed on 30 September its mandate to help the people and authorities of Sierra Leone to achieve a number of important milestones in consolidating a sustainable peace in their country, including holding peaceful and democratic elections.

United Nations peacekeeping began in Sierra Leone in 1998.

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For information media • not an official record