The United Nations in Iraq

Photo: © UNAMI Public Information Office

The United Nations in Iraq comprises two field missions (UNAMI and UNITAD), UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes, working at the community, governorate and national levels across the Republic of Iraq.



UNAMI: United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) is a Special Political Mission established in 2003 by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1500, at the request of the Government of the Republic of Iraq. UNAMI’s mandate is to advise and assist the Government and people of Iraq on a number of issues. This includes advancing inclusive political dialogue and national reconciliation, assisting in the electoral process and in the planning for a national census, facilitating regional dialogue between Iraq and its neighbours, and promoting the protection of human rights and judicial and legal reforms. The Mission is also mandated to work with government partners and civil society to coordinate the humanitarian and development efforts of the United Nations Agencies, Funds and specialised Programmes. While UNAMI itself does not deliver humanitarian and development programmes, it raises the profile of development and humanitarian issues in Iraq and connects Iraqi partners – both the Government and civil society organisations – with the technical expertise available within the United Nations Country Team in Iraq. UNAMI is led by a Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq, a deputy for Political Affairs and Electoral Assistance, and a deputy who also is Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator. (More on UNAMI leadership).


UNITAD: United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da'esh/ISIL (UNITAD) is an independent and impartial accountability mechanism mandated by the United Nations Security Council to support domestic efforts to hold ISIL accountable by collecting, preserving and storing evidence in Iraq of acts that might amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed in Iraq. UNITAD was established as a unanimous response from the international community to a request for assistance from the Government of Iraq. Effective cooperation with the Government of Iraq is central to the mandate and activities of UNITAD. Led by a Special Adviser, UNITAD works closely with domestic counterparts to conduct its work in a manner complementing investigations carried out by the national authorities, and in full respect for national sovereignty.



The United Nations Country Team (UNCT) in Iraq comprises 24 UN Agencies, Funds and specialized Programmes including 19 resident and five non-resident agencies, and coordinates their work through joint work plans. Led by the Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq/Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, the UNCT works to improve the lives and livelihoods of all Iraqis by supporting the country in achieving the Sustainable Development Agenda and its related Sustainable Development Goals with the latest specialized expertise and evidence-based actions. The spirit of the Sustainable Development Goals is captured in a single phrase: ‘to leave no one behind’. This is the principle that guides everything the United Nations does in Iraq. The overall framework under which the United Nations Country Team delivers is the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) 2020-2024 (formerly UNDAF), which presents the key shared development objectives of the United Nations in the country. The United Nations in Iraq has been working together in a new, coherent way to support the government to achieve its national development priorities and international development commitments, including the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Sustainable Development Goals in Iraq

The Sustainable Development Goals are a global call to action to end poverty, protect the earth’s environment and climate, and ensure that people everywhere can enjoy peace and prosperity. These are the goals the UN is working on in Iraq: