Source description last updated: 14 April 2020
In brief: The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) is a political mission established by the UN Security Council to support Afghanistan in achieving peace and stability.
Coverage on ecoi.net:
Covered monthly on ecoi.net, for Afghanistan.
“The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) is a political mission established by the UN Security Council in March 2002 at the request of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan” (UNAMA website: Frequently Asked Questions, undated). “Its mandate is reviewed annually“ (UNAMA website: Mandate, undated).
“UNAMA’s mission is to support the people and institutions of Afghanistan in achieving peace and stability, in line with the rights and obligations enshrined in the Afghan constitution.” (UNAMA website: Mission Statement, undated)
“As an ‘integrated’ Mission, UNAMA has two main areas of activities: political affairs, and development and humanitarian issues.” (UNAMA website: Frequently Asked Questions, undated)
UNAMA provides high-level political mediation (“good offices”) within Afghanistan, “works with and supports the government; supports the process of peace and reconciliation; monitors and promotes human rights and the protection of civilians in armed conflict; promotes good governance; and encourages regional cooperation. […] UNAMA maintains a field presence across Afghanistan and liaison offices in Islamabad (Pakistan) and Tehran (Iran).” (UNAMA website: Frequently Asked Questions, undated)
“UNAMA prepares regular reports in accordance with its UN Security Council mandate.” (UNAMA website: Reports on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, undated)
The budged appropriated for UNAMA’s activities in 2019 amounted to 140,694,800 USD (UN General Assembly: Proposed programme budget for 2020, 4 October 2019, p. 3).
Scope of reporting:
Geographic focus: Afghanistan
Thematic focus: civilians in armed conflict, situation of women and children, peace and reconciliation, treatment of detainees (UNAMA website: Human Rights, undated)
UNAMA regularly monitors the situations of groups of concern (see, for example, UNAMA: Treatment of Conflict-Related Detainees in Afghanistan: Preventing Torture and Ill-treatment under the Anti-Torture Law, April 2019, p. 3) and largely relies on information obtained from interviews, which may be conducted in person (see, for example, UNAMA: Treatment of Conflict-Related Detainees in Afghanistan: Preventing Torture and Ill-treatment under the Anti-Torture Law, April 2019, p. 3 and UNAMA/OHCHR: Afghanistan Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, Special Report: Airstrikes on alleged Drug-Processing Facilities; Farah, 5 May 2019, October 2019, p. 3) or over the phone (see, for example, UNAMA/OHCHR: Afghanistan Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, Special Report: Airstrikes on alleged Drug-Processing Facilities; Farah, 5 May 2019, October 2019, p. 3).
„For the purposes of its reports on the protection of civilians, UNAMA only includes verified civilian casualties. Civilian casualties are recorded as ‘verified’ where, based on the totality of the information reviewed by UNAMA, it has determined that there is ‘clear and convincing’ evidence that civilians have been killed or injured. In order to meet this standard, UNAMA requires at least three different and independent types of sources, i.e. victim, witness, medical practitioner, local authorities, confirmation by a party to the conflict, community leader or other sources. Wherever possible, information is obtained from the primary accounts of victims and/or witnesses of the incident and through on-site fact-finding. These forms of fact-finding are not always possible, primarily due to security-related constraints affecting access. In such instances, UNAMA relies on a range of techniques to gain information through reliable networks using as wide a range of sources and information as possible, all of which are evaluated for credibility and reliability. These techniques include examination of digital evidence gathered at the scene of incidents such as still and video images as well as audio recordings; visits to hospitals and medical facilities; reports of the United Nations Department of Safety and Security and other United Nations entities; accounts by secondary sources; information gathered by non-governmental organizations and other third parties; and the parties to the conflict themselves. […] Where UNAMA is not satisfied with the quantity or quality of information concerning civilian casualties, it will not consider it as verified. […]
When documenting incidents of civilian casualties, UNAMA takes care to protect vulnerable sources from any possible repercussions of providing information, including by meeting in safe locations, conducting interviews with women in accordance with prevailing social norms, and adjusting or halting fact-finding where it may endanger sources.” (UNAMA: Afghanistan; Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict; Annual Report 2019, February 2020, pp. 1-2)
Languages of publication:
English, Dari and Pashto
All links accessed 14 April 2020.