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Reports and Policy Documents

2019

  • 17 Jul 2019

    In today’s Daily Brief: the DR Congo Ebola outbreak is officially declared a Public Health Emergency; UN Youth Envoy briefs Security Council; an ‘exciting and potentially defining’ moment for Sudan, says UN adviser; more cooperation’s needed to secure arrest of war crimes fugitives; and politicizing the migrant ‘crisis’ in Hungary

  • 17 Jul 2019

    After visiting refugee camps in Jordan, UN-backed schools in Gaza, municipalities in Kosovo and Youth Councils in Denmark, the UN’s Youth Envoy visited the Security Council on Wednesday with a simple message from the field that “young people care about peace”.

  • 17 Jul 2019

    Jowhar – First of all, allow me to thank President Mohamed Abdi Ware and the people of Hirshabelle for their hospitality and the warm welcome we received during this visit. It is a pleasure to...

  • 17 Jul 2019

    Jowhar – In his first visit to the state of Hirshabelle since taking up his position, the new United Nations envoy to Somalia highlighted the importance of positive...

  • 17 Jul 2019

    For immediate release

    PRESS STATEMENT 12/2019

    Jowhar – In his first visit to the state of Hirshabelle since taking up his position, the new United Nations...

  • 16 Jul 2019

    The human cost of the conflict in Ukraine is growing, the UN political chief told the Security Council on Tuesday, during a briefing on the current situation in the country.

  • 16 Jul 2019

    Mr. President,

    I last briefed this Council on Ukraine on 25 April following the election of President Volodymyr Zelenskyi on 21 April.

    Today, the Council is again meeting only days away from another important election, on 21 July, when Ukrainians will go to the polls to elect their representatives in Parliament, the Verhovna Rada. We hope that the elections will be equally peaceful and democratic, and that they will be inclusive, including to reflect the broadest participation of women.

    In his inauguration speech, President Zelenskyi emphasized the need for peace and unity and for rejecting divisive policies. He underlined his readiness to engage in dialogue in order to advance domestic reforms and end the five-year conflict in Eastern Ukraine.

    The United Nations is encouraged by such statements emphasizing dialogue, peace and inclusiveness. We welcome efforts at dialogue at all levels, including bilaterally between Heads of State, and hope they can bring greater momentum for resolving the conflict.

     

    Mr. President,

    Today’s Council meeting coincides with the coming into force of the law “On ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as the State language”.  The law, which regulates the use of Ukrainian as the sole State language in a large sphere of Government functions and services, was adopted by the Verkhovna Rada on 25 April and signed into law on 15 May.

    It was adopted after two readings and consideration of over 2,000 amendments, 800 of which have been included.  While many of the law’s provisions commence today, the law also prescribes a transitional period, from six months to up to ten years, for the implementation of other provisions.  Also, the law requires the Cabinet of Ministers to submit to Parliament a draft law on the realisation of the rights of national minorities of Ukraine by January 2020.

    While the new law has raised concerns both within and outside Ukraine, Ukrainian authorities have described it as consistent with Ukraine’s Constitution, particularly Article 10 dealing with state and minority languages as well as its national legislation, and international commitments.

    As part of its regular reporting, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights followed the legislative process and shared with relevant authorities recommendations based on international standards. While many of the controversial points were addressed in its final version, the law still raises concerns.

    OHCHR recommends that the Ukrainian Government should elaborate, as established by the language law, a law on the realization of the rights of national minorities of Ukraine, to ensure a fair correlation between the protection of the rights of minorities and the preservation of the State language as a tool for integration within society. This should be done without undue delay.

    The Council of Europe’s Venice Commission is also analysing the law. The draft opinion is expected to be discussed by the Commission after the 21 July parliamentary elections.

    In this context, we welcome the previous statement from President Zelenskyi that a thorough analysis of the law will be conducted. We hope that this will pave the way for further measures to safeguard the rights of minorities.   

    The Office of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities has also advised the Ukrainian authorities regarding language questions in the interest of ensuring balanced legislation that unites Ukraine’s diverse society.  I therefore welcome the availability of the OSCE High Commissioner, Mr. Lamberto Zannier, to brief the Council in person on this issue.   

     

    Mr. President,

    It is the fourth time since the beginning of 2019 that the Security Council is meeting on Ukraine. The current political transition in Ukraine takes place against the backdrop of the ongoing conflict in Donbas, many of whose residents continue to face serious daily challenges associated with an active conflict.

    In recent weeks, we have seen signs that with sufficient political will in the Trilateral Contact Group, concrete steps are possible to improve the security and humanitarian situation along the contact line. We welcome the 26 June disengagement of forces and removal of hardware at the “Stanytsya Luhanska” checkpoint, as reported by the OSCE’s Special Monitoring Mission. Such steps should be further built on. We hope to see other confidence-building steps, including the restoration of the “Stanytsya Luhanska” pedestrian crossing bridge and the release of detainees.

    We note with regret, however, the persistent failure to reach agreement on a ceasefire.  We wish to once again echo the call of the OSCE for all concerned to work constructively, including during tomorrow’s Trilateral Contact Group meeting, in order to reach an agreement on this issue without further delay.

    The implementation of a lasting ceasefire should be accompanied by the withdrawal of heavy weapons from populated areas, disengagement of forces and protection of civilians and critical civilian infrastructure.

     

    Mr. President,

    The situation at the contact line remains unpredictable and volatile. Periodic escalations of hostilities bring about various levels of intensity of military engagement. Despite continuing security incidents and limitations on its activities, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, under the leadership of the new Chief Monitor, Amb. Halit Cevik, continues to carry out its crucial mandate.

    Meanwhile, the human cost of the conflict is still growing. Ordinary civilians continue to be targeted and suffer from indiscriminate shelling on a daily basis, as well as from the threat of landmines.  This year alone, as of 30 June, OHCHR recorded 91 conflict-related civilian casualties: 13 killed and 78 injured. 

    Fighting also continues to damage and disrupt civilian infrastructure. In May-June, the Donetsk Filter Station, which supplies clean water to some 380,000 people on both sides of the contact line, came under fire on three separate occasions. So far this year, water facilities have come under attack over 60 times; schools have also come under attack 17 times, already more than in 2018.

    We once again reiterate that parties to the conflict must take all precautions to avoid civilian harm. International humanitarian law must be upheld by all to protect civilians and their access to critical services.

    Humanitarian organizations are providing relief to the most vulnerable communities on both sides of the contact line. But safe, predictable and sustained access to all those in need is still a challenge. Their work must not be politicized or instrumentalized by any party.

     

    Mr. President,

    This Council unanimously endorsed the “Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements” in its resolution 2202 of 17 February 2015.  In its Presidential statement of 6 June 2018, the Council again unanimously reaffirmed the centrality of the Minsk Agreements, and on 12 February 2019, the Council held a special session focusing on the implementation of the Minsk Agreements.

    The United Nations expects any concerns related to the Minsk Agreements to be addressed through constructive dialogue and in the existing negotiation formats with full respect for the spirit and letter of the Agreements, and with a view to implementing the Minsk Agreements as a whole.

    Ukraine today has the opportunity to build further on its reform record, and to revitalize the diplomatic efforts to resolve the five-year conflict in eastern Ukraine.

    This will require, first and foremost, political will by all concerned, in the critical search for peace.

    We hope that following the parliamentary elections and the formation of a new government, the recent encouraging statements would be followed by concrete actions by all actors to bring, at long last, a positive dynamic to implement the Minsk Agreements.

     

    Mr. President,

    In his congratulatory message to President Zelenskyi, the Secretary-General underscored the full support of the United Nations for the crucial efforts of the Normandy Four, the Trilateral Contact Group and the OSCE to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine. He further reaffirmed the United Nations’ commitment to the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine, within its internationally recognized borders, in accordance with relevant General Assembly and Security Council resolutions.

    In a regional and global environment that is increasingly fragile, the opportunity for the resolution of the conflict in eastern Ukraine is also a chance to achieve greater peace and security in Europe.  It should not be missed.   

    Thank you, Mr. President.

  • 16 Jul 2019

    QALA-E-NAW – Women from the rural and conflict-affected districts of the western province of Badghis seek involvement in peace efforts to ensure that their concerns are heard and their rights protected in any agreements.

    ...
  • 15 Jul 2019

    The scale and barbarity of the crimes committed by ISIL have ultimately served not to divide but to unify, Karim Asad Ahmad Khan, head of the UN Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (UNITAD), told the Security Council on Monday. 
     

  • 15 Jul 2019

    New York – The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest possible terms the terrorist attack of 12 July 2019 in Somalia’s port city of Kismayo which killed and injured innocent civilians.

    The members of the Security Council expressed their deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims, as well as to the people and Government of Somalia. The members of the Security Council wished a speedy recovery to those injured.

    The members of...

  • 15 Jul 2019

    Kismayo - I am very pleased to visit Kismayo but have mixed emotions. I share with the people of Jubaland a terrible sense of loss in the aftermath of the terrorist attack of 12 July. On behalf...

  • 15 Jul 2019

    The UN Secretary-General named Ambassador Mirko Manzoni (Switzerland) as his Personal Envoy for Mozambique on 9 July 2019. In this role, Mr. Manzoni will provide good offices support in facilitating the dialogue between the Government of Mozambique and opposition RENAMO and towards the signing and subsequent implementation of a peace agreement between the parties. Mr. Manzoni is expected to assume his role in August 2019.

  • 15 Jul 2019

    PRESS STATEMENT 11/2019 

    Kismayo – The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia, James Swan, today visited the city of Kismayo, the interim capital of...

  • 15 Jul 2019

    The UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, James Swan, and the Jubbaland President, Ahmed Mohamed Islam (Madobe), address a joint press conference at the end of their meeting in Kismayo...

  • 13 Jul 2019

    UN Secretary-General António Guterres has condemned the terrorist attack that took place on July 12 in southern Somalia. 

  • 12 Jul 2019

    In today’s Daily Brief: UN chief António Guterres condemns airstrikes on Syrian hospitals and meets survivors of Cyclones Idai and Kenneth in Mozambique; the UN Human Rights Council votes to investigate the “war on drugs” in the Philippines; and UN weather agency tracks fires…in the Arctic.

  • 12 Jul 2019


     

    28 June - 5 July 2019

    This Week in DPPA aims to keep you abreast of developments and events on the agenda of the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, at UN HQ and in the field, and especially those that sometimes "fly under the radar".

     

    New York 

    Country reps, experts explore the link between peace and security and the SDGs
    The Permanent Missions of the Central African Republic, Iraq and the Republic of Korea and DPPA’s Peacebuilding Support Office hosted a high-level side event in the margins of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development on 9 July. The event served to underline how the UN’s peace and security pillar, including through its peace operations, peacebuilding and conflict-prevention work, supports national governments in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), using the experiences in the Central African Republic and Iraq as concrete examples. “The 2030 agenda and sustaining peace are people-centric processes. We need to include national and local institutions, woman and youth, civil society, community and grassroot organizations and private sector to achieve our common goal”, Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support, said.
    For more information, please contact DPPA

     

    Guinea-Bissau

    Human rights workshop in Bissau
    The Human Rights Section of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau and the Human Rights Defenders Network provided technical support for a validation workshop in Bissau on 9 July. The workshop looked at the civil society report for the third cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Guinea-Bissau, taking place in Geneva in January 2020. The UPR is a unique process which involves a review of the human rights records of all UN Member States.   
    Read the full story on UNIOGBIS website.

     

    Training Women Mediators
    UNOGBIS Gender Unit and the Woman Mediators Network of Guinea-Bissau (REMUME) conducted an advance training course from 8 – 9 July. The training brought together community leaders, members of REMUME and other mediation actors, and aimed to strengthen the operational capacity of the network.      
    Read the full story on UNIOGBIS website.


    Somalia

    New head of mission visits Puntland
    James Swan, the new Special Representative for Somalia and Head of UNSOM, made his first trip to a regional center this week. In Garowe, the capital of Puntland, he met with President Said Abdullah Modamed Deni on 8 July. The SRSG reiterated the UN’s support for development programmes and inclusive dialogue between the Federal Government of Somalia and Federal Member states. While in Puntland, he also visited the Food for Asset-project in Laac-dheere, where a solar-powered irrigation system has improved vegetable and fruit production for the local cooperative.
    Read the full story on UNSOMS website.

     

    African Union 

    UN and AU launch call for nominations for commemorative book on UNSCR 1325
    2020 marks the 20th anniversary of the UN Security Council’s landmark resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security. UNOAU, in partnership with the African Union, has launched an open call for nominations for an upcoming joint publication that will feature exceptional African women who have remarkably contributed to advancing UNSCR 1325 and other related resolutions on the continent. This commemorative book also reflects a strengthened partnership between the UN and AU as envisioned in the joint framework in peace and security signed in April 2017. The open call closes on 12 August 2019.
    More information on the nomination process available here.

     

    Kenya

    Secretary-General meets staff in Nairobi
    During his visit to Kenya, Secretary-General António Guterres held a town hall meeting with all UN staff in Nairobi on 10 July. With him were the Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region, Huang Xia, the Executive Director of UN Habitat, Maimunah Mohd Sharif, and the Executive Director of UN Environment, Inger Andersen. 
    For more information, please contact DPPA
     

    Silencing the Guns in Africa
    The Assistant Secretary-General for Africa, Bintou Keita, participated at a side-event at the margins of the Africa Regional Conference on Counter-Terrorism and the Prevention of Violent Extremisms Conducive to Terrorism in Nairobi on 10 July. The event, named the Role of African Youth in Silencing the Guns, gathered more than 50 young activists from across the continent. The Assistant Secretary-General called on participants to “empower every single person in you are contact with”.  
    For more information, please contact DPPA

     

    Libya

    Deputy Special Representative in Libya visits Tobruk and Benghazi
    Stephanie Williams, Deputy Special Representative for Political Affairs, visited Tobruk on 7 July. There, she met with members of the House of Representatives and Municipal Council and reiterated the commitment of UNSMIL’s leadership to engage with all parties in Libya, and work with all to address the country’s political and economic crisis. In Benghazi on 9 July, she met with the Mayor and municipal council members and was briefed on the challenges in providing essential services. In the meeting, Ms. Williams asserted the UN’s commitment to support the people in Benghazi. While in the city, she also visited the Woman’s Police Center, where she hailed the role of woman police officers in the security sector. 
    For more information, please contact DPPA

     

    Syria

    Special Envoy notes progress toward forming constitutional committee
    Geir O. Pedersen, the UN Special Envoy for Syria, held a number of meetings in Damascus this week. He met twice with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Walid Al-Moallem, and on 10 July he told reporters: “I believe we have made a very solid progress and we are very close to have agreement on establishing the constitutional committee”. The Special Envoy also called for a return to stability in Idlib province, and said a truce there agreed last year between Russia and Turkey should come back into force.
    For more information, please contact DPPA

     

    Lebanon

    Special Envoy visits Iran
    Ján Kubiš, the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon, visited the Iranian capital Tehran on 11 July. He met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Javad Zarif, and they had a thorough and substantive exchange on the work of the UN in support of Lebanon, implementation challenges related to Resolution 1701 and regional developments. 
    For more information, please contact DPPA


    Yemen

    Martin Griffiths holds talks with US officials
    Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen Martin Griffiths met with US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo on 10 July to discuss the latest developments on the UN-led political track. Afterwards, Mr. Griffiths called the exchange fruitful and expressed appreciation for the U.S. support and commitment. The Special Envoy and the Secretary of State agreed that parties must continue working toward a political settlement and an end to the conflict in Yemen.
    For more information, please contact DPPA

     

    Iraq

    New internship program in Erbil
    The UNAMI office in Erbil launched its new internship program on 8 July. A group of 14 students, nine females and five males, from Tishk University and University of Kurdistan – Hawler, started on a month-long internship program at the Regional Office of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq in Erbil, Kurdistan Region. The students will learn about UN activities in Iraq, gain communications-related skills and prepare a research paper during their internship.
    Read the full story on UNAMI’s Facebook page.

     

    Afghanistan

    Special Envoy visits Pakistan
    Tadamichi Yamamoto, Special Representative and Head of UNAMA, visited the Pakistani capital Islamabad on 8 July. He met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood, and other officials to discuss regional cooperation and peace. While in Islamabad, the Special Representative also met with representatives from the international diplomatic corps.  
    For more information, please contact DPPA

    UN-backed ‘local peace initiative’ culminates in pact to end longstanding land dispute
    In the eastern province of Kunar, a UN-backed ‘local peace initiative’ has helped two tribes reach agreement on ending a 40-year conflict over land. The conflict has been a source of tension and violence and has affected the lives of hundreds of people by disrupting social, economic and other activities. After several weeks of UNAMA-arranged meetings, the two tribes agreed to a two-day Jirga, a traditional form of conflict resolution used across Afghanistan to resolve disputes.
    Read the full story on UNAMA’s website.

     

    Colombia

    Security Council visits Colombia, expresses full support for the peace process
    A three-day visit of the Security Council to Colombia to assess developments in the peace process and to reiterate support for its implementation began on 11 July. On Friday 12 July, the Council delegation had meetings with President Iván Duque, members of Congress, civil society representatives, the FARC political party, and the Comprehensive System of Truth, Justice, Reparation, and Non-Repetition, among others. "All members of the Council are fully committed to and supportive of the peace process in Colombia," said the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, Carlos Ruiz Massieu. During July, Peru holds the rotating monthly presidency of the Council, and the country is co-leading the visit to Colombia along with the United Kingdom.
    For more information, please contact DPPA

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • 12 Jul 2019

    The Secretary-General condemns the terrorist attack that took place on 12 July in Somalia’s port city of Kismayo. He expresses his condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in the attack and wishes a swift recovery to the injured. The Secretary-General reaffirms the support and solidarity of the United Nations with the people of Somalia in their pursuit of a peaceful future.

    Stephane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General...

  • 12 Jul 2019

    Reports that airstrikes have hit several health facilities in north-west Syria have been strongly condemned by the UN Secretary-General.

  • 11 Jul 2019

    Bogotá, 11 July 2019.  This Thursday, the United Nations Security Council arrives in Colombia to assess developments in the peace...

  • 11 Jul 2019

    As part of its mission to support women's participation in politics and decision-making, the UN Women Program in Guinea-Bissau, in partnership with UNIOGBIS, will promote between 11 and 12...

  • 11 Jul 2019

    The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), in partnership with the Government of Guinea Bissau and the Ana Pereira Foundation, celebrated today in Bissau World Population Day under the motto "25...

  • 11 Jul 2019

    Mr. Tidjani Togola (left)

    Tuwindi, a Malian organization that promotes social and economic development using information and communication...

  • 10 Jul 2019

    Cooperation between the UN Secretariat; Security Council; and countries contributing troops and police to peacekeeping operations; is “a crucial factor” to enhancing those operations, the UN peacekeeping chief told the Security Council on Wednesday.

  • 10 Jul 2019

    This Wednesday’s UN top stories are: latest global terror warnings; political prisoners denied health access in Iran; high-level discussions on Sustainable Development Goals; continued abuse of Rohingya in Myanmar; Odessa killings in Ukraine; and partnering with NASA.

  • 10 Jul 2019

    The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) congratulates the Supreme Judicial Council on the successful election of its members across Libya. These transparent elections are an example of democracy...

  • 10 Jul 2019

    “Trauma from terrorism” hurts families, communities and destabilizes entire regions, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Wednesday, as he expressed solidarity with victims of extremist attacks in Africa.

  • 10 Jul 2019

    On 9 July, the UNIOGBIS Human Rights Section in partnership with the Human Rights Defenders Network provided technical support to civil society organizations for the holding of the Validation Workshop for...

  • 10 Jul 2019

    ASADABAD – A UN-backed ‘local peace initiative’ has helped two tribes reach agreement on ending a 40-year conflict over...

  • 9 Jul 2019

    The less predictable threats represented by small-time criminals who have opportunistically embraced terrorism, are a source of growing concern, the UN Security Council heard on Tuesday. That warning came from Tamara Makarenko, an International Consultant, who works with the UN Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), speaking at an open debate on threats to international peace and security.

  • 9 Jul 2019

    From 08 to 09 July, UNIOGBIS Gender Unit, jointly with the Women Mediators Network (REMUME) of Guinea Bissau, continued the series of training courses on mediation and dialogue for conflict resolutions at the community level....

  • 9 Jul 2019
  • 9 Jul 2019

    Garowe, 9 July 2019 – On his first trip to a regional centre, the new United Nations envoy to Somalia reiterated the world body’s support for development programmes and...

  • 8 Jul 2019

    This Monday, we cover: a record high number of civilian casualties in Kashmir this year; a new UN study showing that more people die due to homicide than war; how neo-Nazis target children online to expand their ranks; and condemnation by the UN human rights chief, Michelle Bachelet, over detention conditions for migrants in the USA.

  • 8 Jul 2019

    I am pleased to have visited Puntland and engaged in a very constructive meeting with President Said Abdullahi Mohamed Deni and his team. After spending my first two weeks in Mogadishu, where I have had...

  • 8 Jul 2019

    Garowe – The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia, James Swan, visited the Puntland capital of Garowe today and met with the Federal Member State’s President Said Abdullahi Deni and members of his...

  • 8 Jul 2019

    Parricipants at the second military strategic support group workshop in Addis Ababa

    UNOAU joined the African Union Peace Support Operations Division (AU PSOD) at the 2nd Military Strategic...

  • 8 Jul 2019

    Some 464,000 people across the world were victims of homicidal violence in 2017, more than five times the number killed in armed conflict over the same period, UN researchers said on Monday.

  • 7 Jul 2019

    According to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), at least seven children were killed in an airstrike against displaced civilians on Saturday on the village of Mhambel, in the outskirts of Idlib, in northwest Syria. News reports state that over 20 civilians were killed in this attack led by Government forces using missiles and barrel bombs.

  • 5 Jul 2019

    Friday’s main news stories include: Guterres welcomes Sudan power-sharing deal; six children are among 53 confirmed dead after Libya detention centre airstrikes; Monsoon rains wreak havoc in Rohingya camps; and Bachelet calls for “time and space” in Venezuela.

  • 5 Jul 2019


     

    28 June - 5 July 2019

    This Week in DPPA aims to keep you abreast of developments and events on the agenda of the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, at UN HQ and in the field, and especially those that sometimes "fly under the radar".

     

    New York 

    USG DiCarlo highlights indispensable role of Special Political Missions
    Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo briefed the UN General Assembly’s Special Political and Decolonization Committee (4th Committee) on 3 July.  In the Interactive dialogue with Member States on policy matters pertaining to Special Political Missions (SPMs), Ms. DiCarlo highlighted the indispensable role SPMs play around the world. “Providing SPMs with clear, credible and achievable mandates as well as adequate resources will contribute to
    increasing their impact in the ever changing political and security context of their operations,” she said.
    Read her full statement here.


     

    Security Council discusses Central Asia and Libya
    Natalia Gherman, Special Representative and Head of UNRCCA, briefed the Security Council on the situation in Central Asia on 2 July. Following the airstrike at the Tajoura migrant detention center east of Tripoli on 3 July 2019, Under-Secretary-General DiCarlo briefed the Council on the situation in Libya. Both sessions came in the form of “consultations”, meaning they took place behind closed doors.
    For more information, please contact DPPA
     

    New Zealand announces multi-year agreement with DPPA
    New Zealand will contribute NZ$ 1.5 million to DPPA in response to the Department’s appeal for voluntary contributions, the country’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Craig Hawke, announced on 1 July during a meeting with Assistant Secretary-General Mohamed Khaled Khiari.
    For more information, please contact DPPA

     

    Innovation

    AI for Peace Workshop: Leveraging Social Media Analysis
    UN staff and Artificial Intelligence (AI) researchers and designers came together on 4-5 July at the American University of Beirut (AUB), Lebanon, to explore ways of using AI and social media to enhance political analysis.  At the workshop, organized by DPPA and focusing on UN missions in the Middle East and North Africa, participants explored the automatization of social media content analysis by teaching machines to better understand Arabic dialects.
    or more information, please contact DPPA


    Burkina Faso

    Assistant Secretary-General Keita in Burkina Faso
    Assistant Secretary-General Bintou Keita visited Burkina Faso this week to take stock of progress in expanding the United Nations presence in the country outside of the capital, Ouagadougou. Her visit was also an opportunity to engage with national authorities, including the President of Faso, the Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister in charge of Social cohesion and the Minister of Security on the current security and humanitarian crisis in the country and inform them about ongoing UN efforts to revamp support to the country.
    For more information, please contact DPPA

     

    Great Lakes

    President of South Sudan visits UN in Nairobi
    President Salva Kiir of the Republic of South Sudan made an official visit to the UN Office in Nairobi, Kenya, on 1 July. He was welcomed by Huang Xia, Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region, and representatives of other UN entities.
    For more information, please contact DPPA

     

    Somalia

    Special Representative congratulates Somalia on Independence Day 
    The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia, James Swan, congratulated the people and Government of Somalia on the 59th anniversary of the country’s independence on 1 July. “Hambalyo! This is a great day for all Somalis, here and around the world. Despite the many challenges they continue to face, this is a day for Somalis to take pride in the progress that is being made,” said Mr. Swan. “This celebration comes at a moment of opportunity that offers hope for a more peaceful and prosperous future."
    Read the press statement on UNSOM’s website.

     

    Lebanon 

    Special Coordinator meets Grand Mufti
    Ján Kubiš, Special Coordinator for Lebanon, met with Grand Mufti Derian on 1 July. They discussed developments in Lebanon and the region and the activities of the UN. Mr. Kubiš informed the Grand Mufti about the new UN Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech. They agreed to continue working on this subject, which was also an element in combatting violent extremism. 
    Read the full story on UNSCOL’s website.

     

    Special Coordinator stresses importance of improving border control and migration management
    Special Coordinator Kubiš attended the closing ceremony of the project “Support to the Government of Lebanon in Addressing Security/Humanitarian Border Management at the Masnaa Border Crossing Point” on 2 July, which was part of Lebanon’s integrated border management strategy implementation. “Enhancement of migration management operations, solidifying legal movement of people and goods improves Lebanon’s ability to manage and protect its borders and contributes to the country’s good governance, development, and stability,” he said.
    Read his full remarks here.

     

     

    Iraq

    Security Council reaffirms support for UNAMI
    The members of the UN Security Council visited Iraq on 29 June, where they met with the leadership of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and of the UN Country Team. The members reaffirmed their support for UNAMI and Special Representative for Iraq Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert to continue to support and assist the Government of Iraq to, among other objectives, promote inclusive political dialogue, national and community-level reconciliation, regional cooperation, security sector reform, and judicial and legal reforms. This was the first Security Council mission to Iraq.
    Read the full press statement on UN Iraq’s website


    Art exhibition for minority communities
    UNAMI’s Human Rights Office (HRO) in Baghdad hosted on 1 and 2 July an exhibition of artwork by representatives of minority communities from around Iraq Thirty-four artists (including three women) from the minority communities of Shabak, Bahai, Christian (Chaldean, Armenian, Assyrian and Syriac), Yazidi, Kaka’i and Faili Kurds took part. During the exhibition many of the artists, including sculptors, painters and photographers, explained how their art reflects the strength, resilience and vibrancy of their respective communities.
    Read the full story and see photos on UNAMI’s website

     

    Special Representative visits Erbil
    Special Representative Hennis-Plasschaert during her visit to Erbil on 2 July, met with President of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Nechirvan Barzani, Prime Minister-designate Masrur Barzani and Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani. They discussed the political situation in Iraq and in the Region including the formation of the new KRG cabinet, and Erbil-Baghdad relations.
    For more information, please contact DPPA

     

    Yemen


    Special Envoy visits Russia and the UAE
    Martin Griffiths, Special Envoy for Yemen, visited the Russian capital on 30 June. There, he met with Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. “I am grateful for the continued support from Russia for my efforts and I welcome Russia’s constructive engagement in our endeavors to achieve peace in Yemen”, Mr. Griffiths said. 
    Continuing onwards to the UAE, the Special Envoy met with Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, and Reem Ebrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation in Abu Dhabi on 2 July.  They discussed advancement of the peace process in Yemen and steps needed to implement the Stockholm agreement.
    For more information, please contact DPPA

     

    Syria

    Special Envoy, in Moscow, calls for urgent stabilization of Idlib
    During a visit to Moscow from 4-5 July, Special Envoy for Syria Geir O. Pedersen stressed the need to urgently stabilize Idlib and establish the Constitutional Committee agreed in Sochi, Russia, in January 2019 with a view to creating a new more inclusive system of governance in Syria.. He also called for action on detainees and missing persons and confidence-building measures.
    For more information, please contact DPPA


    Afghanistan

    Crucial role of civil society spotlighted at UN-backed symposium on elections
    Civil society representatives came together recently in Afghanistan’s southeast province of Paktika to strategize on ways to coordinate with local communities and electoral management bodies to enhance participation in the upcoming presidential elections. In the UN-backed event, which drew journalists, women’s rights advocates and provincial officials, participants discussed the recently concluded top-up voter-registration process and exchanged ideas on the most effective ways local communities can participate in Afghanistan’s political life.
    Read the full story on UNAMA’s website.

     

    Effective coordination essential for protecting woman’s rights, say Balkh leaders
    Strong synergy between government officials, civil society members, rights advocates and other community leaders is essential for protecting the human rights of women and girls, said participants at a recent symposium in the northern province of Balkh. The event, organized by UNAMA’s Mazar regional office, drew more than 20 community leaders to discuss ways to improve accountability for crimes of violence against women by coordinating through Balkh’s Commission on the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
    Read the full story on UNAMA’s website.

     

    Deputy Head visits Paktya to discuss elections, peace process and security
    During a two-day visit to Paktya, in eastern Afghanistan, UNAMA's Deputy Special Representative Ingrid Hayden met with Provincial Governor Shamim Khan Katawazai, with civil society and political party representatives, tribal elders, religious leaders and electoral officials to discuss upcoming elections, the peace process and security. 
    For more information, please contact DPPA

     

    Colombia

    Special Representative visits Reintegration Area in Cauca
    Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia Carlos Ruiz Massieu visited the Territorial Area for Training and Reintegration of Santa Rosa, located in the village of Los Monos, Cauca department, on 29 June, to learn first-hand how the reintegration of former combatants and their security guarantees are advancing. Mr. Ruiz Massieu spoke with former FARC combatants and visited an agricultural project and an artisan tailoring project.
    For more information, please contact DPPA

     

    Envoy meets representatives of women’s organizations
    Special Representative Ruiz Massieu met on 4 July with representatives of the Platform of Women’s Organizations to talk about the progress achieved on the gender approach in the implementation of the Peace Agreement. 
    For more information, please contact DPPA

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    Contact DPPA at dppa@un.org 

  • 5 Jul 2019

    UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Friday he was “encouraged” by reports of a newly-inked power-sharing deal between the Forces for Freedom and Change – a coalition of opposition and protest groups – and Sudan’s ruling military council.

  • 5 Jul 2019

    The toll from Tuesday’s reported airstrikes on a detention centre in the suburbs of Tripoli has risen to 53 dead and more than 130 injured among the “severely traumatized” surviving migrants and refugees, UN aid agencies said on Friday, reiterating their appeal to close all such facilities in the embattled country.

  • 5 Jul 2019

    The toll from Tuesday’s reported airstrikes on a detention centre in the suburbs of Tripoli has risen to 53 dead and more than 130 injured among the “severely traumatized” surviving migrants and refugees, UN aid agencies said on Friday, reiterating their appeal to close all such facilities in the embattled country.

  • 3 Jul 2019

    The 48th round of the Geneva International Discussions (GID) took place today.

    The discussions were held in a business-like atmosphere against the backdrop of recent developments on the ground.

    The Co-Chairs welcomed the participants’ commitment to the Discussions and reiterated their call for a result-oriented approach in order to achieve concrete progress on the core issues. However, they regretted the crossing restrictions imposed on 27 June at the Abkhaz administrative boundary line. They called for these restrictions to be lifted without delay. It was noted that these measures have negatively affected freedom of movement, especially of persons in need of medical assistance and students travelling to take exams.
    In Working Group I, the overall security situation was described as relatively calm and stable. The value of Incident Prevention and Response Mechanisms (IPRMs) and hotlines was highlighted. In this context, the need to resume the suspended meetings of the Gali IPRM was once again stressed. The functioning of the Ergneti IPRM was positively mentioned.

    In Working Group II, the participants reviewed the humanitarian situation on the ground, in particular the impact of the crossing restrictions. They also discussed missing persons and agreed on the need to make progress on all cases. The participants furthermore exchanged views on documentation, public health, education and environmental challenges. While the participants agreed on the importance of the issue of internally displaced persons/refugees, it could not be addressed in substance due to a walkout by some participants. In this regard, the Co-Chairs regretted the disruption of the round and call on participants to constructively engage on all agenda items.

    The participants agreed to hold the next GID round on 8-9 October 2019.

  • 3 Jul 2019

    In the news this Wednesday: “Outraged” Guterres demands independent inquiry into fatal Libya migrant centre airstrike deaths; Violence and broken promises in Sudan and South Sudan, while Rohingya violations continue in Myanmar; “xenophobia” and citizenship in India’s Assam state. 

  • 3 Jul 2019

    Mr. Chair,

    Distinguished delegates,

    I am pleased to join you today for this sixth interactive dialogue on overall policy matters pertaining to special political missions. Together with my colleague, Lisa Buttenheim [Assistant Secretary-General for Support Operations], we hope to have a rich discussion.

    Allow me to thank the Bureau and Secretariat of the Fourth Committee for their support and collaboration in organizing this meeting. I express my appreciation to Finland and Mexico, the co-facilitators of this agenda item, for their leadership. 

    At the outset, I wish to pay tribute to the United Nations personnel serving in special political missions, who work under challenging conditions to advance the promise of the Charter. We greatly value and appreciate their commitment and dedication.

     

    Mr. Chair,

    Special political missions vary considerably in their mandates, scope, structure, and approaches. Many of them operate in increasingly complex and unstable security situations that are characterized by conflicts with intercommunal, national and regional dimensions, large numbers of refugees and displaced persons, and cross-border threats, such as transnational organized crime, arms proliferation, and terrorism.  

    Today, I would like to focus on four political and security dynamics with a direct impact on how special political missions carry out their mandates.  I will also share with you four of several approaches used by the missions, with support from Headquarters, to adapt to these changes.

    First, conflicts are becoming more intractable, despite every effort by our and other mediators. According to the recent UN-World Bank study Pathways for Peace, violent conflicts involving state forces previously lasted on average 14.5 years, while contemporary conflicts are lasting 27 years on average.  We know that the longer a conflict lasts, the more difficult it becomes to resolve, as it evolves and acquires more complex dimensions.

    Second, many of today’s conflicts are marked by a multiplicity and fragmentation of actors.  In Libya, Syria and Yemen, as elsewhere, non-state armed groups are numerous, often operating in decentralized structures with loose and fluid chains of command; a variety of external actors are also involved. This presents challenges for the UN in assessing and encouraging the commitment of parties to political settlements.

    Third, civilians continue to pay the highest price. In Afghanistan, for instance, the annual report on the protection of civilians prepared by UNAMA and OHCHR documented close to 11,000 civilian casualties in 2018. This includes over 3,800 deaths and over 7,100 injured, the highest numbers since 2009. Of these, over 1,100 were women, representing 10 per cent of all casualties.

    More broadly, statistics show the differentiated and disproportionate impact of conflict on women. The targeted sexual violence perpetrated against Yazidi women and girls in Iraq and the use of rape in Myanmar are two examples of many. Meanwhile, in some contexts, the UN itself is a target. According to the Department of Safety and Security, nine UN civilian personnel, including two women, lost their lives as a result of acts of violence in 2018.

    Fourth, major global trends, such as those related to climate change and new technologies, are shaping the environments in which our missions operate.While climate change does not cause violent conflict in and of itself, it can act as a threat multiplier that exacerbates drivers of conflict, particularly in fragile contexts. New technologies, meanwhile, offer immense opportunities but also present unprecedented challenges.

    They are being used to manipulate information, undermine trust, influence internal political processes and disrupt or sabotage critical infrastructure.

     

    Mr. Chair,

    Distinguished delegates,

    In this evolving peace and security context, special political missions are adopting approaches that allow them to better implement their mandates despite the challenges they face. Allow me to briefly touch on four of them:

    First, special political missions are prioritizing engagement, political dialogue and mediation with all parties to build confidence and find durable political solutions. The settlement of the “name issue” in south-eastern Europe between Athens and Skopje after 27 years of quiet diplomacy demonstrates that even seemingly intractable long-standing disputes can be resolved through patiently tended dialogue and political will.

    On the ground, to deepen and sustain our engagement, our missions continue to adjust their posture by increasing, strengthening or simply adapting their presence to the needs of the context in which they operate. This also enables more continuous and adequate support to national and local institutions in fragile settings.

    The demand for mediation support services is at an all-time high.  In 2018, the Standby Team of senior mediation advisers deployed over 130 times, providing support to special political missions including on issues such as transitional security arrangements and process design. In the first quarter of 2019 alone, Team members undertook 48 assignments in about 20 different contexts, including to support our missions working on Iraq, Syria and Yemen. Meanwhile, the Secretary-General’s High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation has provided counsel to the Secretary-General on various political processes.

    In cases of protracted conflicts, we are working to strengthen the ability of SPMs to effectively engage with local processes, both as a means to help resolve local level conflict and to help create an enabling environment for national level processes.

    In Somalia, for example, the Mediation Support Unit provided technical and strategic advice to the Mission on its approach to the implementation of local transitional security arrangements, including subnational ceasefires.

    In Afghanistan, UNAMA’s field offices supported local mediators and promote local peace initiatives.

    In Yemen, the diplomatic efforts led by the Special Envoy and his team resulted in the signing of the Stockholm Agreement in December 2018 between the Government of Yemen and the Houthi opposition to demilitarize the Red Sea port city of Hudaydah. We deployed a new special political mission in its support. The UN Mission to support the Hudaydah Agreement works in operationally challenging circumstances, while the Special Envoy and his team are intensifying their engagement with the parties in Yemen and in the region to sustain the agreement and work towards a wider political process.

    In West Africa, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel, together with ECOWAS, engaged with national stakeholders, advocating for transparent, credible and peaceful elections in Benin, Mauritania, Nigeria and Senegal.  The joint high-level missions conducted by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, the Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission and the Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support, to Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire and the Gambia in October last year was another initiative to sustain our political engagement in these countries and support national peace and reconciliation efforts.

    Second, special political missions are collaborating more closely than ever with regional and other organizations. This is in recognition of the fact that unity of international partners is essential to the sustained success of political solutions, especially in a context of global polarization and the questioning of the rule-based global order.

    In West and Central Africa, the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) and the United Nations Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) undertake regular joint missions with the heads of their respective subregional partners, ECCAS and ECOWAS, to engage with national stakeholders in support of political and peace processes.

    The UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia supports regional dialogue on transboundary water management and promotes water diplomacy, in close cooperation with national governments and the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea.

    These efforts with our regional and subregional partners contribute to foster what the Secretary-General has called ‘networked multilateralism’.

    Third, special political missions are adopting more inclusive and integrated approaches in fulfilling their mandates. We can only achieve and sustain peace if all segments of society are involved, including women. We must also focus on integrating youth into our peacemaking and peacebuilding efforts more consistently.

    To strengthen implementation of the women, peace and security agenda – which has faced setbacks in some areas, including related to the participation of women in peace and political processes – in June I issued a new department-wide Policy. This tasks missions and staff to systematically include gender sensitive analysis in their work; to promote inclusion and women’s meaningful participation in all our peacemaking and peacebuilding efforts and in political and electoral processes; to step-up efforts to prevent and address conflict-related sexual violence; and to ensure we integrate a gender lens and women’s participation in our projects on the ground, including through allocation of resources.

    Our missions are already doing a lot to advance the Women Peace and Security agenda. As an example, in Colombia, the UN Verification Mission developed a “Practical Guide on Gender-Sensitive Verification of Female Former Combatants”. This provides local verification teams with the tools needed to conduct gender-sensitive analysis on the social, economic and political reintegration of female former combatants, as well as gender-sensitive analysis of security guarantees. The Mission, in partnership with UNDP, also funded ten initiatives led by female former combatants to strengthen their income generation and enhance their reintegration into society.

    In Iraq, UNAMI, as part of its efforts to promote the effective participation of women in electoral, political and decision-making processes, launched the nationwide #WhyNot (#Shakobeha) campaign. This campaign provides an opportunity to mobilize religious leaders, provincial councils and civil society groups in support of effective participation of women in political and decision-making processes in Iraq.

    In May 2019, UNOWAS and ECOWAS organized a training of trainers for over 30 women peacebuilders from eleven countries in the region, in Accra, Ghana. The objective was to reinforce their skills in conflict analysis and prevention for stronger advocacy on peacebuilding and sustaining peace in their respective countries.

    SPMs are also advancing the youth, peace and security agenda throughout their work. With the Prevention Academy project, the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia is building the capacities of youth and supporting their initiatives for preventive diplomacy in border areas throughout Central Asia.

    Fourth, and finally, we are investing in understanding and addressing emerging issues related to climate change and new technologies. For instance, UNOWAS is working with ECOWAS on studying climate-related security risks and developing regional prevention strategies. Through our small inter-agency Climate Security Mechanism in New York, established jointly with UNDP and UN Environment, we are exploring how to support these efforts and how to assist in strengthening critical capacities in the field. 

    We are also maximizing the potential of technological innovation in our operations. To this end, I have asked my staff to establish a small but dedicated capacity in New York, in line with the Secretary-General’s vision on System-wide innovation. This team will support the use of new technologies and new methods to make our work more effective and efficient across our core mandate areas at Headquarters and in the field.

    This builds on initial work that saw DPPA, in cooperation with the Center for Humanitarian Dialogue, launch in April a “Toolkit on Digital Technologies and Mediation in Armed Conflict”. This resource provides concrete advice to mediators on opportunities and risks that digital technologies offer to the field of mediation in conflict analysis, engagement with parties, inclusivity and strategic communications.

    Another recent initiative, this time in Iraq, has seen UNAMI test a pilot project on Virtual Reality (VR), which allows the use of the 360-video and integrated data visualization to provide an immersive briefing on the activities of the Mission and Country Team. 

     

    Mr. Chair,

    Allow me to briefly touch on the ongoing UN reform process. Despite the usual challenges that arise from any change process, we are seeing positive results especially in system-wide coherence and integration. That the Peacebuilding Support Office is now part of DPPA allows us to better advise missions on how to leverage the Peacebuilding Fund and to work more closely with the Peacebuilding Commission. The new configuration has also helped strengthen the alignment of our work with the development and human rights pillars.

    The UN reform efforts are enhancing our work on conflict prevention, including in the context of UN transition processes. The upcoming UN transitions in Guinea Bissau and Haiti present opportunities to work together to ensure smooth and successful transitions. We are supporting our missions to better plan and manage their transitions through the deployment of planning capacities, conducting in-country trainings, and collecting and sharing good practices and lessons learned. Such institutional efforts have as their ultimate goal the prevention of relapse into instability or conflict.

     

    Mr. Chair,

    Distinguished delegates,

    In conclusion, I would like again to underscore the critical role played by special political missions in the maintenance of international peace and security.

    The individual and collective cooperation and support of Member States and regional partners remain essential to the success of our SPMs. I am grateful to this Committee and the broader Membership for the continued support in this regard.

    Providing SPMs with clear, credible and achievable mandates as well as adequate resources will contribute to increasing their impact in the ever changing political and security context of their operations.

    I look forward to hearing your views and responding to your questions.

    I thank you.

     

     

  • 3 Jul 2019

    Marginalized communities in Myanmar still face “grievous human rights violations” at the hands of security forces, a UN-appointed independent expert said this week, while repeating her call for an international and independent probe into the 2017 exodus from Rakhine state. 

  • 3 Jul 2019

    After nationwide protests across Sudan on Sunday, UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet on Wednesday called on Sudanese authorities to lift restrictions on the internet and launch independent investigations into all acts of violence against demonstrators, and allegations of excessive force, including attacks on hospitals.

  • 3 Jul 2019

    An airstrike on a detention centre in Tripoli that killed scores of migrants and refugees “deserves more than condemnation”, UN agencies said on Wednesday, as both the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the head of the UN mission in Libya (UNSMIL), insisted that it may amount to a war crime.