The United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) was established on 3 June 2013 by UN Security Council Resolution 2102, following a comprehensive assessment of the United Nations in support of the establishment of the Federal Government of Somalia. The mandate of UNSOM was subsequently renewed by Security Council resolutions 2158 (2014), 2221 (2015), 2232 (2015), 2275 (2016), 2358 (2017), 2408 (2018), 2461 (2019), 2516 (2020), 2527 (2020), and 2540 (2020). The current mandate is valid until 31 August 2021.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2102 (2013), the Council decided that the mandate of UNSOM would include the provision of policy advice to the Federal Government and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) on peacebuilding and state-building in the areas of governance, security sector reform and rule of law (including the disengagement of combatants), development of a federal system (including state formation), constitutional review, democratisation (including preparations for the 2016 political transition) and coordination of international donor support.
Among its other mandated functions, UNSOM is helping build the Federal Government’s capacity to promote respect for human rights and women’s empowerment, promote child protection, prevent conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence, and strengthen justice institutions. Further, it is monitoring, helping investigate and reporting to the Council on any abuses or violations of human rights or of international humanitarian law committed in Somalia, or any abuses committed against children or women. The Mission is also supporting the implementation of the National Security Architecture that was endorsed by the Federal Government and Federal Member States in April 2017 and the Comprehensive Approach to Security framework.
In such work, the Council underlined the importance of Somali ownership, with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, James Swan, aligning closely United Nations country team activities with the priorities of UNSOM and the Federal Government, as well as AMISOM, the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD), the European Union and other regional, bilateral and multilateral partners.
In line with the Security Council decision, UNSOM is based in Mogadishu with presence in capitals of existing and emerging federal member states including Puntland, the Interim Jubba Administration, Interim South-West Administration, and the Interim HirShabelle Administration. Planning is underway to establish an UNSOM presence in the Galmudug Interim Administration during 2018.
The Secretary-General keeps the Security Council regularly informed of the implementation of UNSOM’s mandate through quarterly reports.