The United Nations has been involved in Central Asia since 1946 when Afghanistan joined the UN General Assembly as one of the first Member States. UN political activities in the country, led by DPA through its political mission, UNAMA, now focus on assisting the Afghan Government and its people in laying the foundations for sustainable peace and development.
The United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) was established in December 2007 in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, to assist the governments of Central Asia in peacefully and co-operatively managing common challenges and threats including organized crime, drug trafficking, terrorism and environmental degradation.
The political tumult sweeping North Africa and the Middle East since early 2011 has challenged the United Nations to respond effectively to fast-moving and unpredictable developments at a moment of historic opportunity to support popular aspirations for democratic change in the Arab World. The Department of Political Affairs has worked at the center of the UN’s response .
The United Nations continues to work under challenging conditions in Iraq to provide valuable assistance to the country’s post-war political transition, and to meeting its humanitarian, reconstruction and development needs. Leading and coordinating UN on the ground is the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), a DPA-led field mission based in Baghdad and other locations, currently headed by Nickolay Mladenov, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq.
Lebanon's civil war came to an end in 1990, but the country has been challenged since to chart out a fully peaceful, democratic, and sovereign future. The United Nations is working on multiple fronts to help Lebanon fulfill these vital aspirations. Providing leadership and coordination to UN efforts on the ground is the Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon (UNSCOL), a Beirut-based field operation of the Department of Political Affairs headed currently by UN Special Coordinator, Derek Plumbly.
The United Nations cooperates with regional and international partners in efforts to defuse tensions, encourage improvements on the ground, and advance political negotiations toward a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as well as a comprehensive peace in the Middle East.
The Department of Political Affairs provides staff support and guidance to the Special Envoy for Assistance to Pakistan, Rauf Engin Soysal, who was appointed by the Secretary-General in September 2010. DPA also assisted the Secretary-General in establishing the Commission of Inquiry into the Benazir Bhutto assassination.
The United Nations is exploring a peaceful, political solution to the conflict in Syria through the office of the UN Special Envoy for Syria.
The UN has been facilitating Yemen’s transition since 2011, when the country was on the brink of civil war. The United Nations has been playing a good offices role in support of the only negotiated transition with a clear roadmap in the Middle East.