The United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) was formally inaugurated in Libreville, Gabon, on 2 March 2011, two months after its creation on 1 January 2011. It covers the eleven Member States of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS): Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Rwanda and Sao Tome and Principe.
UNOCA is the third regional office to be established under the purview of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs (DPA). The others are the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) and the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy in Central Asia (UNRCCA). The establishment of these offices underscores the need for preventive diplomacy in the peaceful resolution of conflicts.
In a letter to the Security Council on 11 December 2009 (S/2009/697), the Secretary-General gives details on the mandate of the Office, stressing its crucial importance in strengthening the role of the United Nations in the promotion of peace and security in Central Africa.
Its missions can be summarized in five main points:
• Carrying out good offices and special assignments in countries of the sub-region, on behalf of the Secretary-General, including in the areas of conflict prevention and peacebuilding efforts;
• Cooperating with Economic community of Central Africa States (ECCAS) and other regional organizations or key partners and assisting them, as appropriate, in their promotion of peace and stability in the broader Central African sub-region;
• Strengthening the Department of Political Affairs’ capacity to advise the UN Secretary-General on matters relating to peace and security in the region;
• Enhancing linkages in the work of the United Nations and other partners in the sub-region, with a view to promoting an integrated subregional approach and facilitating coordination and information exchange, with due regard to spe¬cific mandates of United Nations organizations as well as peacekeeping operations and peacebuilding support offices;
• Reporting to Headquarters on developments of subregional significance.
The mandate of UNOCA has been extended several times for 18 months. On 31 August 2015, the Security Council renewed it for a period of three years (until 31 August 2018) to allow the Office to help addressing new challenges such as prevention of electoral violence, terrorist attacks (including those of Boko Haram), etc.
Where is United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA)