Background

Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon  (UNSCOL)

 

Who We Are

UNSCOL is an acronym for the Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon. The current Special Coordinator is Ms. Sigrid Kaag (The Netherlands), who is also the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General in Lebanon. UNSCOL’s mandate combines a political/good offices role for Lebanon with a coordination role for the UN family in the country.

What We Do

UNSCOL promotes a whole of Lebanon approach that supports:  peace and security in Lebanon, stability of State institutions and international assistance in support of humanitarian and development work.

In discharging its political mandate, UNSCOL follows up on the implementation of Resolution 1701 (2006), the resolution that established a cessation of hostilities at the end of the 33-day war between Lebanon and Israel in the summer of 2006. UNSCOL also works with the Lebanese authorities and different Lebanese parties and sectors to promote long-term stability in the country.

UNSCOL’s mandate also consists of coordinating the work of the 24 different United Nations entities that operate in Lebanon in discharge of their respective mandates in the fields of peacekeeping, development assistance, humanitarian assistance and human rights. UNSCOL offers political guidance to the United Nations system in Lebanon on all these matters. The Special Coordinator for Lebanon is assisted in this coordination task by the Deputy Special Coordinator, who is also the United Nations Resident Coordinator.

Among UNSCOL’s current priorities is to support Lebanese authorities in safeguarding Lebanon’s security and stability in light of the crisis in neighboring Syria, in cooperation with partners in the international community.

History

Even though UNSCOL itself came into being only in February 2007, the United Nations has maintained a political office in Lebanon for much longer. In 2000, the Office of the Personal Representative of the Secretary General for Southern Lebanon was established.  Its mandate was expanded in the year 2005 to become the Office of the Personal Representative of the Secretary General for Lebanon, and then evolved into UNSCOL in 2007.   

UN Political Missions around the World

UNSCOL is one of twelve UN special political missions deployed around the world by the Department of Political Affairs (DPA) of the United Nations Secretariat. DPA plays a central role in United Nations efforts to prevent and resolve conflict around the world. DPA monitors and assesses global political developments with an eye to detecting potential crises before they escalate, and devising effective preventive responses. In addition to the efforts of the political missions on the ground, DPA offers technical support to mediation, elections and other peacebuilding efforts internationally and through the political mission.