Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs
Formation1992; 32 years ago (1992)
TypeDepartment of the Secretariat
Legal statusActive
Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding AffairsRosemary DiCarlo
Parent organization
United Nations Secretariat
The Department of Political Affairs is headquartered at the Secretariat in New York City

The United Nations Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) is a department of the Secretariat of the United Nations (UN) with responsibility for monitoring and assessing global political developments and advising and assisting the UN Secretary General and his envoys in the peaceful prevention and resolution of conflict around the world. The department manages field-based political missions in Africa, Central Asia, and the Middle East, and has been increasing its professional capacities in conflict mediation and preventive diplomacy. DPPA also oversees UN electoral assistance to Member States of the organization. Established in 1992, the department's responsibilities also include providing secretariat support to the UN Security Council and two standing committees created by the General Assembly concerning the Rights of the Palestinian People and Decolonization. DPPA is based at the UN Headquarters in New York City.


On 28 March 2018, UN Secretary-General António Guterres announced the appointment of Rosemary DiCarlo of the United States, President of the National Committee on American Foreign Policy and Senior Fellow at the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, Yale University, as Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs. DiCarlo succeeded Jeffrey D. Feltman of the United States, who completed his assignment on 31 March 2018.[citation needed]

Former Under-Secretaries-General

This table lists the former Under-Secretaries-General (USGs) who served:

Former heads of DPPA and DPPA predecessors[1][2]
Under-Secretary-General Country of nationality Years served UN Secretary-General
Konstantin Zinchenko  Soviet Union 1952 Trygve Lie
Ilya S. Tchernychev 1953–1954 Dag Hammarskjöld
Dragoslav Protitch 1955–1957
Anatoly F. Dobrynin 1958-1959
Georgy Arkadev 1960–1961
E.D. Kiselyv 1962 U Thant
V.P. Suslov 1963–1964
Alexei E. Nesterenko 1965–1967
Leonid N. Kutakov 1968–1972
Arkady N. Shevchenko 1973–1977 Kurt Waldheim
Mikhail D. Sytenko 1978–1980
Viacheslav A. Ustinov 1981–1986 Javier Pérez de Cuéllar
Vasily S. Safronchuk 1987–1991
1 March 1992: The Department of Political Affairs (DPA) is formed. DPA absorbs the Department of Political and Security Council Affairs, the Office for Political and General Assembly Affairs and Secretariat Services (OPGS), and the Office for Special Political Questions, Regional Cooperation, Decolonization and Trusteeship (SPQRCDT).[3]
Vladimir F. Petrovsky  Russia 1992–1993[a] Boutros Boutros-Ghali
James O.C. Jonah  Sierra Leone 1992–1994[b]
Marrack Goulding  United Kingdom 1993–1997
Kieran Prendergast 1997–2005 Kofi Annan
Ibrahim Gambari  Nigeria 2005–2007
B. Lynn Pascoe  United States 2007–2012 Ban Ki-moon
Jeffrey D. Feltman 2012–2018 Ban Ki-moon

António Guterres

Rosemary A. DiCarlo 2018–present António Guterres

Field missions

As of December 2016, the DPA manages the following political missions and peace-building support offices engaged in conflict prevention, peacemaking and post-conflict peacebuilding in Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East:

In Africa:

In Asia:

In the Middle East:

In South America:

These DPA-led field operations are headed by senior representatives of the Secretary-General and provide a forward platform for preventive diplomacy and other activities across a range of disciplines, to help prevent and resolve conflict or to build lasting peace in nations emerging from civil wars. The peace-building offices, currently active in Burundi, Guinea-Bissau, the Central African Republic and Sierra Leone aim to help nations consolidate peace through comprehensive peace-building strategies developed and carried out in coordination with national actors and U.N. development and humanitarian entities on the ground. Political missions are part of a continuum of UN peace operations working in different stages of the conflict cycle. In some instances, following the signing of peace agreements, political missions overseen by the Department of Political Affairs during the stage of peace negotiations have been replaced by peacekeeping missions. In other instances, U.N. peacekeeping operations have given way to special political missions overseeing longer-term peace-building activities.

Good Offices missions

In addition to the field-based missions currently under its supervision, DPA provides guidance and support to traveling envoys and special advisers of the Secretary-General bringing to bear his “good offices” for the resolution of conflicts or the implementation of other UN mandates. These currently include UN envoys or special advisers for Cyprus, Yemen, Syria, Western Sahara, and the Macedonian-Greek naming dispute.

Investigative Mandates and Fact-Finding Missions

DPA has also assisted in establishing and providing support to various UN investigative and fact-finding bodies. These have included: the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG); the United Nations Commission of Inquiry into the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, the former Prime Minister of Pakistan; the International Commission of Inquiry on the 28 September 2009 events in Guinea; and the United Nations International Investigation Commission in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

See also


  1. ^ USG Vladimir F. Petrovsky jointly headed the newly-created DPA with USG James O.C Jonah, whose Office for Special Political Questions, Regional Cooperation, Decolonization and Trusteeship merged into DPA.[4]
  2. ^ 1992-1993: USG James O.C. Jonah jointly headed the newly-created DPA with USG Vladimir F. Petrovsky. From 1993-1994, he co-headed DPA with USG Marrack Goulding.[5]
  1. ^ "A/66/380 - E - A/66/380". p. 42. Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  2. ^ "DEPARTMENT OF POLITICAL AFFAIRS (DPA) AND ITS PREDECESSORS : CHART". UN-I-QUE (UN Info Quest) - United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld Library. 1992. Archived from the original on 13 May 2019. Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  3. ^ "Restructuring of the Secretariat of the Organization. Note by the Secretary-General". 21 February 1992. A/46/882. Retrieved 2019-05-14.
  4. ^ "Summary of AG-021 United Nations Department of Political Affairs (1992-present)"
  5. ^ "Summary of AG-021 United Nations Department of Political Affairs (1992-present)"