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 and support the five governments of Central Asia in building their conflict prevention capacities through enhanced dialogue, confidence-building measures and genuine partnership in order to respond to existing threats and emerging challenges in the region.
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.
Lebanon has been challenged since the end of its civil war in 1990 to chart out a fully peaceful, democratic, and sovereign future. Israeli Defence Forces withdrew from Southern Lebanon in May 2000 and the July 2006 war between Israel and Hizbullah heavily impacted peace and stability in Lebanon. 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 political mission of the Department of Political Affairs headed by UN Special Coordinator, Sigrid Kaag.
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 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 Yemen since its transition in 2011. The UN’s efforts are led by the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General, Ismael Ould Chikh Ahmed.