Peace and security architecture

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The peace and security architecture of the Secretariat consists of the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA), the Department of Peace Operations (DPO), a single regional political-operational structure and capacities for coordination and shared services.


The architecture was established on 1 January 2019 as part of the 2017 peace and security reform following the adoption of General Assembly resolution 72/262C.

The architecture replaced the previous Department of Political Affairs (DPA) and Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO).

Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs

DPPA is headed by an Under-Secretary-General and is the lead entity within the Secretariat for political analysis, mediation, electoral assistance, peacebuilding support and political guidance. Its remit currently includes the peace operations categorized as special political missions.

Office of the Under-Secretary-General

Peacebuilding Support Office

PBSO is headed by an Assistant Secretary-General, who also serves as the deputy to the Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs.

  • Peacebuilding Strategy and Partnerships Branch
    Previously the Policy, Planning and Application Branch, this Branch facilitates coherence system-wide action by connecting the peace and security pillar with the development system, humanitarian actors and the human rights pillar.
  • Peacebuilding Commission Support Branch
    This Branch provides strategic, substantive, technical and logistical support to the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC).
  • Financing for Peacebuilding Branch
    This Branch is responsible for the overall strategic management of the Peacebuilding Fund.

Security Council Affairs Division

SCAD is led by a director (D-2) and provides advice and substantive support tot he Security Council, its subsidiary organs and the Military Staff Committee.

  • Security Council Secretariat Branch
  • Security Council Subsidiary Organs Branch
  • Security Council Practices and Charter Research Branch
  • Military Staff Committee Secretariat

Electoral Assistance Division

EAD is led by a director (D-2) and is responsible for providing advice on the organization and conduct of electoral assistance, as requested by Member States or mandated by the General Assembly or Security Council. It also manages the United Nations roster of electoral experts. [1]

Policy and Mediation Division

PMD is led by a director (D-2) and is responsible for the development of policy, guidance and learning tools for conflict prevention and preventative diplomacy as well as for the provision of mediation support and advice. It also provides substantive and administrative support to the High-level Advisory Board on Mediation.

The Division includes a Gender, Peace and Security Team responsible for the development of policy and the provision of substantive and technical support on issues related to gender and to women, peace and security, in coordination with the Gender Unit in DPO.[2]

Division for Palestinian Rights

The Division provides support to the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

Decolonization Unit

The Decolonization Unit provides advice and substantive support to the Special Committee on the Situation regarding the Implementation of the Declaration of the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples (commonly known as the Special Committee on Decolonization, or C-24).

Department of Peace Operations

DPO is led by an Under-Secretary-General and is responsible for providing integrated strategic, operation, political, policy and operational support to peace operations within its purview. It is also the lead entity within the United Nations system in the areas of military, police, rule of law and security sector institutions, DDR and mine action.

Office of the Under-Secretary-General

  • Office for the Peacekeeping Strategic Partnership
    OPSP is headed by a director (D-2) responsible for advising the USG on issues affecting the participation of troop- and police-contributing countries in peacekeeping operations.
  • Gender Unit
    Provides advice to senior departmental leadership on gender equality and women, peace and security, in cooperation with the Gender, Peace and Security Team in DPPA.
  • Integrated Assessment and Planning Unit
    Provides advice and support on mission-specific analysis, assessment and planning processes.

Office of Military Affairs

OMA is headed by the Assistant Secretary-General, Military Adviser, and is responsible for providing technical advice to the Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations and the heads of the military components of peace operations.

  • Military Planning Service
    MPS conducts military planning for emerging and existing operations, produces military guidance documents, monitors the implementation of military plans for ongoing operations and identifies the force or operational requirements for military personnel, military formed units and contingent-owned equipment in potential or ongoing peace operations.
  • Force Generation Service
    FGS is the principal military point of contact with troop-contributing countries on the force generation process, including the generation, rotation and repatriation of military contingents and individuals. It supports the work of the Uniformed Capabilities Support Division in the Department of Operational Support on the contingent-owned equipment and memorandum of understanding negotiation process. The Service also supports the selection process for senior military officials in peace operations.
  • Current Military Operations Service
    CMOS advises heads of military components in peace operations on technical aspects of military operations. It monitors and coordinates with the permanent missions of troop-contributing countries on operational issues involving military personnel, including incidents, accidents, injuries, deaths and conduct and discipline issues in peace operations.

Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions

Police Division

The Police Division is headed by the Police Adviser (D-2), who also serves as deputy to the ASG OROLSI[3]

  • Strategic Policy and Development Section
    This Section develops and reviews technical guidelines, standards, directives and SOPs for police components in peace operations.
  • Mission Management and Support Section
    This Section provides operational and technical advice on law enforcement and policing issues to police components of peace operations. It also coordinates with the permanent missions of police-contributing countries on operational, technical and administrative issues related to deployed police personnel.
  • Selection and Recruitment Section
    This Section coordinates the selection, deployment, rotation and repatriation of United Nations police officers. It also supports the Uniformed Capabilities Support Division in the Department of Operational Support on the contingent-owned equipment and memorandum of understanding negotiation process for formed police units.
  • Standing Police Capacity
    The SPC, located at the United Nations Logistics Base in Brindisi, Italy, provides standby police and law enforcement start-up capability tof new peace operations, supports operational assessments of police components and provides assistance during mission transitions, drawdown and closure.

Justice and Corrections Service

JCS provides support to justice, corrections and rule of law components on mandate delivery, including in the areas of accountability mechanisms to address conflict-related serious crimes, institutional architecture, capacity and legislative reforms related to the rule of law, extension of justice and corrections institutions and prison security and management.

Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Section

The DDR Section provides expertise to peace operations and develops policy, guidance and training for the implementation of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR), community violence reduction (CVR) and other programmes aimed at managing non-state armed groups and preventing the recruitment into such groups.

Security Sector Reform Unit

SSRU provides policy advice and support on security and defense sector reform to relevant units in peace operations and develops relevant policy, guidance, standards and practices.

Mine Action Service

UNMAS, which is led by a director (D-2), is the lead entity within the United Nations on mine action, in line with General Assembly resolution 70/80

  • Strategic Planning and Operations Support Unit
  • Budget, Financial Management and Reporting Section
  • Programme Management and Planning Section
  • Policy, Advocacy and Public Information Section
  • Geneva Office

Division for Policy, Evaluation and Training

DPET is led by a director (D-2).

  • Integrated Training Service
  • Peace Operations Policy and Best Practices Section

Office of the Director for Coordination and Shared Services

The Office, which is led by a director (D-2) who reports to both Under-Secretaries-General, provides a range of common management and administrative services to both departments.

  • Executive Office
    The EO supports both departments in fulfilling their financial, personnel and general administration responsibilities. The general functions of executive offices across the Secretariat is established in section 7 of ST/SGB/2015/3.
  • Peacekeeping Situation Centre
    The SitCen is the DPPA-DPO contribution to the United Nations Operations and Crisis Centre (UNOCC).
  • Leadership Support Section
    The Section monitors leadership requirements in peace operations and supports decision-making on senior leadership appointments, including through the maintenance of a database of qualified individuals, development of post profiles and short lists and supporting newly-appointed senior leaders.
  • Strategic Communications Section
    Provides advice to senior departmental leadership, manages medial relations, publicity, outreach, external relations, corporate messaging, digital and online platforms and campaigns and supports public information units in peace operations.[4]
  • Focal Point for Security
    Provides policy and strategic advice on safety and security measures related to peace operations as well as organizational resilience programmes.
  • Information Management Unit
  • Registry

Single regional political-operational structure

The three offices of the single regional structure report to both Under-Secretaries-General and are central to the implementation of the whole-of-pillar approach to addressing challenges to international peace and security.

Each office consists of divisions responsible for coordination of United Nations work in early warning, prevention, peacebuilding, mediation, sustaining peace and peace operations in their designated geographical areas. The divisions lead the development of integrated regional and country-specific conflict analyses and strategies and provide backstopping support for peace operations within their geographical area. Multidimensional peacekeeping operations are supported by integrated operational teams within the divisions which bring together political, military, rule of law and other relevant capacities.

Office of the Assistant Secretary-General for Africa

  • Northern Africa Division
  • Western Africa Division
  • Eastern Africa Division
  • Central and Southern Africa Division

Office of the Assistant Secretary-General for Middle East, Asia and the Pacific

  • Middle East Division
  • Asia and the Pacific Division

Office of the Assistant Secretary-General for Europe, Central Asia and the Americas

  • Europe and Central Asia Division
  • Americas Division

See also


  • A/72/772 Revised estimates related to the peace and security reform
  • A/74/223 Assessment of the Police Division

Other documents

  • IED-20-001 OIOS report: Evaluation of the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs


  1. A/72/772, paragraph 23
  2. A/72/772, paragraph 22
  3. A/74/223 Assessment of the Police Division
  4. The Section primarily supports DPO, as DPPA retains a strategic communications capacity in the Office of the Under-Secretary-General.