Prioritizing and Sequencing Security Council Mandates in 2021: The Case of UNITAMS

In June 2021, the UN Security Council is expected to renew the mandate of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) for the first time. This comes at a pivotal moment in Sudan’s transition, with the Sudanese transitional government facing high expectations from the Sudanese public amid a rapidly changing environment.

In this context, the International Peace Institute (IPI), the Stimson Center, and Security Council Report organized a virtual workshop on April 26, 2021, to discuss UNITAMS’s mandate and political strategy. The workshop offered a forum for member-state representatives, UN officials, and outside experts to develop a shared understanding and common strategic assessment of the situation in Sudan. The session was intended to help the Security Council make informed decisions with respect to the strategic orientation, prioritization, and sequencing of UNITAMS’s mandate and actions on the ground.

While the current mandate broadly covers the substantive areas where the UN can play a constructive role, participants encouraged the Security Council and the mission to begin articulating a clearer focus for UNITAMS’s strategic objectives. They highlighted that UNITAMS’s credibility and capacity to promote more inclusive political processes and governance systems remain its greatest added value. They also emphasized that the Security Council should allow the mission the flexibility to scale up or reduce capacities as needed to address all major issues confronting Sudan—whether the peace processes, inclusive approaches to protecting civilians, or the building of frameworks and environments for sustainable peace and the protection of human rights.