UNOWA is headed by the Special Representative for West Africa (SRSG) who is appointed by the Secretary-General.
The SRSG Ibn Chambas also serves as chair of the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission, established in November 2002 to oversee the peaceful implementation of the ruling of the International Court of Justice in the Land and Maritime boundary dispute between Cameroon and Nigeria.
UNOWA’s team includes officers with responsibility for political, military, humanitarian, human rights and public information affairs.
The United Nations Office for West Africa was the first regional conflict prevention and peacebuilding office of the United Nations. It was created in 2002, with the overall mandate to enhance the contributions of the UN towards the achievement of peace and security in West Africa and promotes an integrated regional approach in addressing issues that impact stability in West Africa.
The office also hosts the Cameroun-Nigeria Mixed Commission (CNMC).
The UN Security Council established the first mandate of UNOWA in 2002
for a three year period and renewed in 2005
, in 2007
, in 2010
, and in 2013.
UNOWA's core functions consist of
Monitoring political developments in West Africa, engaging in preventive diplomacy, good offices and political mediation and facilitation, and assisting regional institutions and States to enhance their respective capacity in those fields;
Providing advice to and assist regional institutions and States to enhance their respective capacity to address cross-border and cross-cutting threats to peace and security, in particular election-related instability and challenges relating to security sector reform, transnational organized crime, illicit trafficking and terrorism;
Promoting good governance and respect for the rule of law, human rights and the mainstreaming of gender in conflict prevention and conflict management initiatives in West Africa;
Providing political support and advice to the United Nations presences in West Africa, as requested.
Facilitating the implementation of the International Court of Justice ruling of 10 October 2002 on the land and maritime boundary dispute between Cameroon and Nigeria.
The Secretary-General reports every six months the Security Council on the fulfillment of the mandate of the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA).
Please be informed that the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA) and the Office of the Special Envoy for the Sahel (OSES) have merged into a single entity, UNOWAS: United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel.