The United Nations is currently involved in the resolution of conflict situations in the Afghanistan, Nepal and Burma/Myanmar and also plays a supportive role in Iraq. It has also been successful in the past in the resolution of the Cambodia, East Timor and Bougainville issues. Yet the Secretary-General’s good offices are viewed with a measure of suspicion by Asian governments. The UN has been successfully prevented from playing a role in the Kashmir dispute, has been by-passed in the cases of Sri Lanka and Aceh, and been an absent player in North-East Asia, including in the Korean Peninsula.
The task force will examine the reasons that UN involvement was possible and successful in some Asian countries and not in others. In the context of that experience, it will then focus on the role currently played by the UN Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA), and the reasons for the difficulties it has faced in playing the central role assigned to it in that country by the Security Council. The task force report will be in the form of recommendations to the Secretary General on how the UN’s role in that country should be strengthened.