In accordance with the 2010 mandate of UNOAU, the Peacekeeping Planning and Management Division seeks to provide coordinated and consistent UN advice to the AU on long-term capacity building and short-term operational support matters, as well as contribute to the overarching goal of enhancing the AU-UN partnership in peace and security.
In practice, the Division provides support to the AU Commission in the planning, start-up, management and liquidation of ongoing African Union peace support operations. The main focus of this work, as of mid-2015, is on the management of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), as well as on planning and institutional capacity development for future operations through the development of the African Standby Force.
In both cases, UNOAU provides support in operational areas (military, police and civilian security planning), in the development of rule of law and security institutions (security sector reform; disarmament, demobilization and reintegration; and mine action, among others), and in administrative/support areas (finance and budget, procurement, human resources, training, ICT, logistics).
The objective of this support is two-fold: to buttress and strengthen the capabilities of the AU to plan and manage its own independent peace support operations; and to build a more effective UN-AU partnership in peace operations, for example in transitions from one to the other.
UNOAU peacekeeping planners draw upon UN experience and best practices and help adapt these to the specific needs of the AU. They are backstopped by the United Nations Departments of Peacekeeping Operations and Field Support.
Partners in the African Union
In the peacekeeping area, UNOAU works mainly with the Peace Support Operations Division (PSOD) of the African Union Peace and Security Department. PSOD is responsible for planning and managing AU Peace Support Operations and for operationalising the African Standby Force. UNOAU also partners with the Defence and Security Division on, among others, security sector reform; disarmament, demobilization and reintegration; and mine action.
As many of the issues related to the administration and support of African Union field missions are the responsibility of central administration at the AU (e. g. finance, human resources, procurement and information and communications technology), UNOAU also works with the African Union Departments of Finance and Administration to support the development of appropriate policies and practices for field missions.