United Nations Peacekeeping Operations (UNPKO) and United Nations Country Team (UNCT) : @PKO Now!

Mio Sato(translated by Seiko Toyama)
Program Advisor
March 1, 2013

United Nations Country Team ( UNCT )

In most nations, where UN peacekeeping missions are deployed, the UN agencies that constitute the overall UN system have been operating programs in the fields.[1]These UN agencies include: United Nations Development Programme ( UNDP ), World Food Programme ( WFP ), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees ( UNHCR ), United Nations Children's Fund ( UNICEF ), World Health Organization ( WHO ), World Food Programme ( FAO ) and others.[2]All UN agencies working in a nation consist of a UN Country Team ( UNCT ).[3]In addition to these UN country office representatives, international organization such as the World Bank and the International Organization for Migration ( IOM ) also have operations in the field.

Each UN Country Team ensures the inter- UN agency network and decision making at the national level, and aims for all UN agency to cooperate and achieve concrete results together during the plan and operation process within the scope of development plans of a host country.[4]Each UN agency is independent, but its mission, accountability, and mandate principle remains the same as the ones at headquarters.

The Representative of UNCT 

The UN Resident Coordinator (RC) represents the UNCT as well as the Secretary-General to the host government.[5][6]In the case of deployment of multi-dimensional UNPKO , a new Special Representative of Secretary General ( SRSG ) is appointed and he/she becomes the representative of entire UN agencies, including both UNPKO and UNCT mission in the host nation. In the case, RC, the representative of UNCT , is also appointed as a Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General ( DSRSG )[7]who is in charge of Humanitarian and Development issues in UNPKO , and he/she would connect the missions of UNPKO and UNCT to make the entire UN operation consistent and coherent under the direction of the SRSG .[8]

 UNPKO mission and UNCT 

Recently, the UNPKO - which operates missions in more complex and difficult environments in post conflict nations - has been expected to integrate and work closely with each professional in UNCT to fulfill the various multi-dimensional mandates more effectively.[9]Thus, the contribution of UNPKO , which sometimes deploys various missions on a larger scale, is expected to integrate with the UNCT , which has continued many of its programs from before UNPKO arrivals until even after the completion of the UNPKO mission. As a result, all the UN agencies in one country, both UNPKO and UNCT , would be able to have consistent program strategies and common understanding of program contents and priorities; it also enables the UNPKO to be compatible with the long-term development of the host nation.[10]

[1]See " UN at a Glance" for more information on agencies in the UN system.http://www.un.org/en/aboutun/index.shtml, (Accessed 2013-2-15).

[2]Refer to "The United Nations System" below.http://www.un.org/en/aboutun/structure/pdfs/un-system-chart-color-sm.pdf, (Accessed 2013-2-15).

[3]Currently, the UNCT has offices in 136 nations, and has been covering some 180 nations where UN programs have been operated. See "About UN Country Teams" for more information,http://www.undg.org/index.cfm?P=1257, (Accessed 2013-2-15).

[4]Refer to "Guidance Note on Resident Coordinator and UN Country Team Working Relations" (approved by United Nations Development Group on January 29, 2009),http://rconline.undg.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/ UNCT -Working-Relations-UNDG-Approved.pdf, (Accessed 2013-2-15).


[6]The host nation has the first responsibility for the coordination of humanitarian aid. However, if the nation needs international support, a UN Humanitarian Coordinator ( HC ) is appointed and he/she will coordinate entire humanitarian activities among related agencies including UNCT . The RC is appointed as HC in some cases. To identify the roles of RC and HC , please refer to the "Handbook for RCs and HC s on Emergency Preparedness and Response" created by Inter-Agency Standing Committee ( IASC ) published in 2010.

[7]In recent multi-dimensional UNPKO missions, one officer who is in charge of RC and HC concurrently serves as DSRSG in many cases; this officer is called "triple hatted". Please refer to "Note of Guidance on Integrated Missions (2006)" for more information on RC/ HC / DSRSG .

[8]Refer to "Note of Guidance on Integrated Missions" (2006)

[9]Refer to"No.4 Expansion of UN Peacekeeping"for the historical changes of UNPKO .

[10]Refer to "Note of Guidance on Integrated Missions" (2006).