What is UNSCO?

The Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator (UNSCO) was established in June 1994 following the signing of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements (Oslo Accord). The objective was to enhance the presence and involvement of the United Nations system during the transition process and to strengthen United Nations inter-agency cooperation in order to ensure "an adequate response to the needs of the Palestinian people and to mobilise financial, technical, economic and other assistance” (UN Resolution 48/213).

In 1999, UNSCO's mandate was reconfigured into the Office of the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General to the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority. The Special Coordinator was "charged with making appropriate preparations within the United Nations for enhancing United Nations development assistance in support of the peace process. The Special Coordinator will represent the Secretary-General in discussions with the parties and the international community in all matters related to continuing United Nations support to the peace process” (Letter from the Secretary-General to the Security Council, 10 September 1999).

Structured to respond in a rapid, effective and coordinated manner to requests by the parties, the office is mandated to assist in all issues related to the humanitarian situation facing the Palestinian people. In addition, the office supports negotiations and the implementation of political agreements. UNSCO provides a well-recognized focal point within the United Nations system vis-à-vis the parties to the peace process, regional and international actors, and international and multilateral institutions.

UNSCO is a field office under the auspices of the Department of Political Affairs (DPA) and works in close consultation with its relevant counterparts in DPA.

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