Sierra Leone has made strides in securing peace after a prolonged violent conflict which ended in 2002. With the support of the United Nations, as part of a sustained multilateral approach, Sierra Leone is on its way to consolidate this hard-won peace and transition towards regular development.
In light of the significant advances over the past decade, UNIPSIL, the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone, will draw down by 31 March 2014. It will transfer its residual activities to the Government and the international community in Sierra Leone, including the UN presence there. There are 17 agencies, funds and programmes that help advancing the country’s national development agenda, or Agenda for Prosperity.
UNIPSIL, which comprises around 80 staff working under the leadership of ERSG Jens Toyberg-Frandzen, has been supporting the people and the Government of Sierra Leone since 2008. Its core functions include providing political advice to foster peace and political consolidation, supporting the national police and security forces and building the capacity of democratic institutions.
UNIPSIL was preceded by the UN Integrated Office for Sierra Leone (UNIOSIL), which was operational until 2005, helping to consolidate peace and assist the Government in strengthening human rights, working towards the Millennium Development Goals, and paving way for free and fair elections in 2007.
Most importantly, UNIOSIL’s mandate was to cement the gains of its predecessor, UNAMSIL, which was operational from 1999 to 2005. As one of the largest UN peacekeeping missions in history, UNAMSIL helped to implement the Lomé Peace Agreement and disarm and demobilize more than 75,000 ex-fighters. It assisted with restoring Government authority after the conflict, played a major role in reforming the security sector and facilitated the return of more than half a million refugees and internally displaced persons, as well as aiding the establishment of security sector structures.