Mandate Review

Latest Updates

For the GA President's webpages on Mandate Review, click here. These webpages contain correspondence and the recommendations from the co-chairs.

Late 2008: It seems that the issue of mandate review will fade away, though it might be revived in the Fifth Committee. Among the reasons are probably the difficulty of costing mandates; fears from the South that it is an attempt to reduce the budget of the UN and the belief that this exercise belongs in the Fifth (budget) Committee; and narrow self-interest from some Member States who do not wish certain mandates to be reviewed.

On 8 August 2008, the Co-Chairs of the process, Ambassadors Rosemary Banks of New Zealand and Kaire Mbuende of Namibia released their status report on the results achieved during the 62nd GA session. They note that it would only be justified to continue the review if certain obstacles could be removed. The obstacles cited by the co-chairs are the "disconnect between the mandate and budget cycle" and the lack of clarity about which agencies are responsbile for implementing certain mandates. Member States are expected to meet before the end of the GA session to consider the report.

On 20 June 2008, "informal informals" were held on the Development of Africa cluster of mandates. The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for 7 July to make provisional decisions on the Development of Africa cluster. By that time, the operational or resource implications on the humanitarian cluster should be available. The next cluster will be on the the Promotion of Justice and International Law.

On 15 May 2008, an informal meeting took place which indicated that Member States agree with the Co-Chairs' recommendations on the Humanitarian Cluster and proposed process: The Co-Chairs will send the recommendations to the GA President who will forward them to the Secretary-General to determine financial and political implications.

Overcoming Roadblocks in the Mandate Review
By Lydia Swart and Faye Leone, 2 May 2008
In this interview, Ambassador Rosemary Banks from New Zealand expressed confidence in the mandate review methodology that she and her Co-Chair Ambassador Kaire Mbuende from Namibia recently developed; indicated what we might expect from the process in the next few months; and shed new light on some of our impressions of the political dynamics in the General Assembly.

Mandate Review Moves to Humanitarian Cluster with New Methodology
by, 27 February 2008
The Co-Chairs presented a promising methodology to review mandates which they applied to the humanitarian cluster. With a new color-coded methodology devised by the Co-Chairs on Mandate Review, the General Assembly’s Ad Hoc Working Group on the issue voiced tentative agreement to move “from format to substance” in assessing humanitarian assistance mandates. Please see's analysis via above link.

Update on Mandate Review: New “Way Forward” Discussed in General Assembly,
by, 18 October 2007
The new President of the General Assembly, Srgjan Kerim, has yesterday announced the two co-chairs of the Mandate Review process and circulated a set of proposed parameters to take the Mandate Review process forward in the 62nd GA Session.

Member States Move Item to 62nd Session
17 September 2007
As Member States were unable to reach a compromise on the issue of Mandate Review, the agenda item was moved to the 62nd session of the General Assembly, which begins on 18 September 2007.

Mandate Review to be Resumed after Fifth Committee Session
by, 20 June 2007
The General Assembly’s task of reviewing its mandates formally was re-initiated recently, but concrete progress has been postponed while the Assembly’s Fifth Committee is in session.

Mandate Review re-launched in General Assembly
by, 20 April 2007
The General Assembly’s informal working group on Mandate Review met today to formally re-launch its work. This was its first meeting in 2007. The process resumed when the President of the General Assembly appointed a second co-chair to lead the process – Ambassador Kaire Mbuende, Namibia’s Permanent Representative to the UN. The other co-chair is Ambassador David Cooney of Ireland.

Letter of the GA President on the appointment on a new Co-Chair for Mandate Review
9 April 2007
Ambassador Kaire Munionganda Mbuende of Namibia was appointed as Co-Chair for the consultation process on Mandate Review. Letter from President of the GA available via above link.

Letter of the GA President on the continuation of the Mandate Review exercise
15 March 2007
GA President asks Ambassador Cooney to take process forward pending the appointment of Co-Chairs. Letter available via above link.

UN Webcast
UN Webcast, 20 February 2007
Ambassador Munir Akram of Pakistan, Chair of G77, on the group's agenda, UN Reform and Mandate Review.

Mandate Review Status Report and Informal Working Group to begin Phase II of the Review
29 November 2006
Member States agreed this week to begin Phase II of the mandate review with the thematic cluster on ‘Drug Control, Crime Prevention and Combating International Terrorism,’ following the preference expressed by the Group of 77 (G77).

Negotiations on Mandate Review stalled
11 October 2006
Consensus has not yet been reached on whether the Mandate Review process at the U.N. should move on to Phase II, namely beyond mandates older than five years and not renewed.

Co-Chairs Release Non-Paper
8 September 2006
Co-Chairs, Ambassadors M. Akram of Pakistan and D. Cooney of Ireland, released today a non-paper on guidelines and working methods on the way forward. Paper available via above link.

"Sluggish Progress on U.N. Mandate Review" UN REFORM WATCH NO. 18
by Irene Martinetti, 16 August 2006
Within the framework of the World Summit of September 2005, United Nations’ Member States decided that in order to strengthen the U.N. and update its program of work, the General Assembly (GA) and other relevant organs should initiate a review process of all U.N. mandates older than five years.

A process to review all UN mandates older than five years started in June of 2006. It has the scope to update and strengthen the program work of the United Nations, ensuring that it corresponds to the requirements of the Member States. A mandate is defined as: “a request or direction for action by the United Nations Secretariat or other implementing entities in the system, which originates in a resolution of the General Assembly or one of the other organs.” To facilitate the process, at the request of Member States, the Secretariat has compiled an electronic inventory of all the mandates, originating from resolutions of the GA, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the Security Council. The Secretary-General also issued a report entitled “Mandating and delivering: analysis and recommendations to facilitate the review of mandates.” The report provides a series of guidelines to be considered when reviewing the mandates, such as burdensome reporting requirements, overlap between and within organs, unwieldy and duplicative architecture for implementation and gaps between mandates and available resources.