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Department of Political Affairs

Caribbean Region


In the Caribbean, DPA works primarily at the regional level in support of the efforts of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to address issues of concern to governments and peoples of the region. Bi-annual high-level meetings between the two organizations have focused most recently on issues such as the impact of the global economic crisis, climate change and the capacity of Caribbean islands to adequately respond to natural disasters and environmental crises, and violent crime linked to the transnational trade in drugs and small arms.

Central America

Guatemala children

In July 2014, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited Nicaragua and Costa Rica, and in January 2015, he visited El Salvador and Honduras. The United Nations has been deeply involved in the search for peace in Central America, whose armed conflicts were brought to an end in the 1990s. UN observers monitored the 1990 elections in Nicaragua. UN envoys helped forge landmark peace agreements in El Salvador and Guatemala, and in both countries UN field missions managed by the Department of Political Affairs verified the implementation of the accords.

CICIG (International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala)


DPA spearheaded efforts by the United Nations to establish the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) in response to a request for assistance from the Government of Guatemala. Acting as an independent international body, CICIG aims to investigate illegal security groups and clandestine security organizations in Guatemala – criminal groups believed to have infiltrated state institutions, undermining democratic gains in Guatemala since the end of the country's armed conflict in the 1990s.



DPA has worked with UNDP and other UN partners in support of political stability and social cohesion in Guyana since 2003. Guyana has made significant strides in recent years in consolidating democratic governance, social peace and development. Key steps included reaching an agreement among all stakeholders to promote greater dialogue and inclusion among the country’s different groups in order to advance the socio-economic development of Guyana.


The United Nations has been working at the request of the Governments of Guyana and Venezuela to assist the parties in resolving their dispute over the Essequibo region.


South America


The Department of Political Affairs follows closely developments in South America.  In Colombia, where one of the longest running conflicts in history continues between the Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a Peace and Development Advisor jointly deployed by DPA and UNDP brings together the UN’s political branch with the UN’s development role. The importance of South America in international relations is further highlighted by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s visits to the region, the most recently in February and March 2015.