Mandate and Missions

MANDATE
The United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) was officially launched on 2 March 2011 in Libreville, Gabon. It is mandated to assist Member States and Sub-regional organizations in consolidating peace and preventing potential conflicts. Its establishment fulfills a long-expressed desire on the part of countries in the sub-region for the creation of such an office. This has been done through an exchange of letters completed in August 2010 between the United Nations Secretary-General and the Security Council. The United Nations General Assembly approved its budget in December 2010. The mandate of UNOCA, which was initially for two years (to be reviewed after 18 months), was renewed by the Security Council on 21 August 2012 until 28 February 2014.
 
KEY MISSIONS
The United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa has the following missions:
• On behalf of the United Nations Secretary-General, undertake good offices and other specific tasks in countries of the sub-region, particularly in the areas of conflict prevention and peace building;
• 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 coordi¬nation 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.
 
PRIORITIES
The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Central and Head of UNOCA has identified six main priorities for the Office :
• Provide technical assistance to regional organizations, particularly ECCAS, to help build their capacity in the area of early warning, among others;
• Support mediation efforts in the region to foster the peaceful management of crises and use of good offices for the prevention of conflicts in the sub-region. In the latter case, the Head of UNOCA may be required to assert “his independence, impartiality and integrity to undertake both private and public initiatives to prevent the eruption, aggravation or extension of conflicts” in Central Africa;
•  Coordinate United Nations/regional efforts to fight against the Lord`s Resistance Army (LRA), particularly  through the development of a regional strategy on the issue  in collaboration with the African Union that provides for, inter alia, coordinated international humanitarian assistance and peace building initiatives in the countries affected by the activities of the LRA. The LRA has been declared a “terrorist group” by the African Union;
• Help address youth unemployment, which is considered a threat to stability in the sub-region;
• Promote a regional and integrated strategic approach to resolve border disputes in the sub-region and fight against piracy and maritime insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea;
• Provide support to UNSAC in the execution of its mandate. UNOCA has been serving as the Secretariat of UNSAC since May 2011.