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Reports and Policy Documents

2020

  • 4 Apr 2020

    TRIPOLI, 04 APRIL 2020 - Today marks one year since the forces of “Libyan National Army” Commander General Khalifa Haftar launched their offensive to seize...

  • 4 Apr 2020

    Even as UN peacekeepers adapt to the challenges posed by the coronavirus, they continue to perform their vital peace and security tasks while helping to stem the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • 4 Apr 2020

    Mogadishu –  The United Nations in Somalia confirms today that an international employee of a private company operating under contract to the UN has been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus disease (...

  • 4 Apr 2020

    PRESS STATEMENT 05/2020

    Mogadishu  –  On the occasion of the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, the United Nations envoy to Somalia...

  • 4 Apr 2020

    PRESS STATEMENT 06/2020

    Mogadishu – The United Nations in Somalia confirms today that an international employee of a private...

  • 3 Apr 2020

    The Secretary-General remains deeply concerned that the coronavirus continues to spread at an alarming rate, including into countries where millions of people cannot easily access clean water, food, healthcare and shelter.  Given the potentially devastating impact on some of the world’s most vulnerable countries, the Secretary-General stresses the need for a concerted, coordinated global response that encompasses communities such as refugees, migrants, stateless people, those...

  • 3 Apr 2020

    The unfolding COVID-19 pandemic is so far having little impact on the global food supply chain, but that could change for the worse – and soon – if anxiety-driven panic by major food importers takes hold, the World Food Programme (WFP) warned on Friday.

  • 3 Apr 2020

    There should be only one fight in our world today, the United Nations Secretary-General said on Friday, issuing a loud clarion call to join “our shared battle against COVID-19”.

  • 3 Apr 2020

    There should be only one fight in our world today, the United Nations Secretary-General said on Friday, issuing a loud clarion call to join “our shared battle against COVID-19”.

  • 3 Apr 2020

     

    28 March - 3 April 2020

    This Week in DPPA is a brief roundup of political and peacebuilding events and developments at UNHQ and around the world.

    COVID-19  

    Colombia: Let’s focus on the true fight of our lives 
    The Special Representative and Head of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, Carlos Ruiz Massieu, issues a statement on COVID-19 in the country on 28 March. “It is time to deepen dialogue and reconciliation at all levels and to lend a helping hand to the most vulnerable communities,” the Special Representative stated. He also echoed Secretary-General António Guterres’ call to "put armed conflict in lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives."  
    Colombia's ELN guerrillas have declared "an active unilateral ceasefire for a month, from 1 to 30 April in a humanitarian gesture of the ELN with the Colombian people, who are suffering from devastation because of the coronavirus."  
    As of 2 April, the Colombian Ministry of Health had confirmed 1.161 cases of COVID-19 across the country, 19 deaths and 55 recovered. 
    Read the full statement here 
     

    Somalia: We must all unite to prevent the spread of the virus   
    The UN system in Somalia issued a joint statement on COVID-19 on 31 March. The UN family in Somalia stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the people of Somalia during this testing time. We will continue to support all efforts to address the immediate health and long-term socio-economic impact of COVID-19,” said James Swan, the Special Representative for Somalia and Head of UNSOM. “We must all unite to prevent the spread of the virus. We need to pay particular attention to the most vulnerable in our communities, including internally displaced people, the infirm and the elderly.” 
    Read the full statement here 
    Read more in UN News 

     
    Great Lakes: United and determined, we will defeat COVID-19   
    Huang Xia, Special Envoy for the Great Lakes, issued a statement on the corona virus this week, where he encouraged the Governments of the region to continue to coordinate their efforts as much as possible to meet the challenges posed by the pandemic, building on the vast experience accumulated in the continent, notably in the fight against diseases such as Ebola. “United and determined, we will defeat the COVID-19,” the Special Envoy said.  
    Read the full statement here 

     
    Geneva International Discussions: Protect vulnerable conflict-affected populations 
    The Co-Chairs of the Geneva International Discussions (GID) issued a statement on 31 March saying that they are fully engaged to help address the challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic. The Geneva process brings together representatives of the participants of the conflict between Georgia and Russia, and Georgia’s breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The Co-chairs urge GID participants to do their utmost to protect vulnerable conflict-affected populations, especially women, men and children in areas especially isolated. 
    Read the full statement here 
     
    Yemen: Joint efforts need to counter the threat of COVID-19 
    The Office of the Special Envoy for Yemen is engaging with the parties of the conflict to reach an agreement for a nationwide ceasefire, with the goal to foster joint efforts to counter the threat of COVID-19. Special Envoy Martin Griffiths remains is conducting bilateral consultations with parties and hopes to convey virtual meetings between them as soon as possible. “‘I hope that these consultations can be soon completed and deliver what Yemenis expect, demand and deserve,” the Special Envoy stressed in a statement on 2 April.   
    Read the full statement here 



    For up-to-date information on COVID-19 and its impact, please visit: 
    WHO website  
    UN coronavirus website 

     

    Security Council

    Council adopts four resolutions amidst pandemic
    Taking innovative steps in the face of unprecedented circumstances, the Security Council this week considered, through its new video teleconferencing (VTC) platform, the situations in Syria and the Middle East (including Palestine), and Afghanistan. The Council also tackled the daunting challenge of voting during the COVID-19 pandemic, implementing a temporary written procedure and adopting four draft resolutions, thus ensuring the continuity of operations of UNSOM, UNAMID and the Panel of Experts on the DPRK.  Also adopted was a resolution on safety and security of peacekeeping operations.  Seeking to increase the transparency of the Council’s novel work arrangements, the informal plan of VTCs for the Dominican Republic’s Presidency in April was posted on the Council`s website. Records of the discussions will be issued as official documents, and live broadcasts of portions of these meetings are set to begin next week.

     

     

     

     

    Pedersen: COVID-19 “an enormous threat to Syrians” 
    Special Envoy Geir O. Pedersen on 30 updated the Security Council via video link on the situation in Syria.  “For many Syrians, now in their tenth year of a conflict that still defies comprehension in the scale of suffering, brutality, and devastation, it may seem hard, even slightly abstract, to focus on a global virus pandemic. But make no mistake: COVID-19 is an enormous threat to Syrians, and it demands a complete shift in mind-set from all, now. This common threat must now focus all with new consciousness and new determination on a common agenda to save the Syrian people from a new calamity,” Mr. Pedersen said.     
    Read the full statement here 
    Read more in UN News  

     

    Mladenov: “The situation on the ground remains fragile” 
    Special Coordinator Nickolay Mladenov on 30 March briefed the Council via video link on the implementation of Resolution 2334 (2016), concerning Israeli settlements in "Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem. “As the region continues to confront the enormity of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the broader geopolitical tensions, the situation on the ground remains fragile. Credible negotiations have yet to be launched that will end the occupation and realize a negotiated two-State solution. In the absence of a renewed commitment of the parties to pursue concrete measures that will lead to genuine political progress, the situation I’m afraid will continue to deteriorate,” the Special Coordinator said.  
    Read the full statement here 

     
    Hayden: “Afghanistan appears to be reaching a defining moment” 
    Ingrid Hayden, Deputy Special Representative and Officer-in-charge at UNAMA, updated the Council on the situation in Afghanistan on 31 March.  “Afghanistan appears to be reaching a defining moment. Almost two decades after the start of the coalition intervention, the question for the Islamic Republic now is: can its leaders rally together to engage in meaningful talks with the Taliban to achieve a sustainable peace? The choice is made stark by the all-encompassing threat of COVID-19, which poses grave dangers to the health of Afghanistan’s population and, potentially, to the stability of its institutions,” Ms. Hayden said to the Council on video link from Kabul.  
    Read the full statement here 
    Read more in UN News  


     
    Please see the Security Council website for an updated program of work.  


     
    Yemen 

    Meeting with Yemeni women’s Technical Advisory Group  
    Special Envoy Martin Griffiths had a video conference with the Yemeni women’s Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on 31 March. The TAG members and Mr. Griffiths discussed a number of economic and humanitarian measures that would alleviate the suffering of Yemeni people, build confidence between the parties, and enhance Yemen’s capacity to respond to the threat of a COVID-19 outbreak, including the release of all conflict-related prisoners and detainees. Mr. Griffiths thanked the TAG members and all Yemeni women’s groups and networks for their support to the peace process and their vital advocacy to end the war. 
    Read more here 
     


    Colombia 

    UN Mission participates in Senate virtual session on killings of ex-combatants and social leaders’ 
    In the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, the Colombian Senate called for a virtual session on 2 April to discuss the worrying security situation of social leaders and former FARC combatants. Special Representative Carlos Ruiz-Massieu was called to participate and share the Mission's main concerns on this issue. "It is very important to strengthen the mechanisms established in the Peace Agreement that guarantee the protection and security of leaders, communities, and ex-combatants and that can fulfill their mandates to see an impact on the reduction of violence," said Ruiz-Massieu. Participants also included Interior Minister Alicia Arango, Justice Minister Margarita Cabello, Defense Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo, Presidential Adviser on Stabilisation and Consolidation Emilio Archila, and Peace Commissioner Miguel Ceballos. 
    For more Information, contact us 

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    Contact DPPA at dppa@un.org

  • 3 Apr 2020

    Full Transcript of UN Secretary-General's Press Briefing about Appeal for Global Ceasefire Following Outbreak of COVID-19

     

    Ten days ago, I issued an appeal for an immediate ceasefire in all corners of the globe to reinforce diplomatic action, help create conditions for the delivery of lifesaving aid, and bring hope to places that are among the most vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic.This call was rooted in a fundamental...

  • 3 Apr 2020

    KABUL - As the United Nations ramps up its support to Afghanistan’s government and people in the fight against COVID-19, the Organization today confirms that a national staff member...

  • 2 Apr 2020

    Only by coming together will the world be able to face down the COVID-19 pandemic and its shattering consequences. At an emergency virtual meeting last Thursday, G20 leaders took steps in the right direction...

  • 2 Apr 2020

    The risk of the COVID-19 pandemic having a devastating impact on war-torn Syria is intensifying, where six million are displaced, living in conditions that make them particularly vulnerable to the deadly virus, the Senior Humanitarian Advisor to the UN Special Envoy to Syria warned on Thursday.

  • 2 Apr 2020

    Amman, 2 April 2020 - The Office of the UN Special Envoy for Yemen is engaging the parties on reaching agreements on a nationwide ceasefire, humanitarian and economic measures to...

  • 1 Apr 2020

    Two United Nations agencies came together Tuesday to urge the international community not to overlook the on-going plight of millions of refugees and migrants from Venezuela, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread around the world. 

  • 1 Apr 2020

    Deaths from COVID-19 have more than doubled in the past week and will soon reach 50,000 worldwide, while the global caseload is heading towards one million, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) told journalists on Wednesday.

  • 1 Apr 2020

    The UN system in Nigeria and its partners are working to reduce the spread of the new coronavirus disease in some of the most vulnerable areas in the country: communities and camps housing millions of internally displaced people (IDPs) uprooted by the Boko Haram insurgency in the northeast.

  • 1 Apr 2020

    Armands Pupols, Gender Adviser at the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA). Photo: UNRCCA

    Interview with Armands Pupols of the UN Regional...

  • 31 Mar 2020

    With the COVID-19 pandemic as a backdrop, political parties in Afghanistan are being urged to prioritize national interests and come together for peace talks with the Taliban, the UN Deputy Special Representative for the country told a videoconference meeting with Security Council members on Tuesday.

  • 31 Mar 2020

    Guinea-Bissau has so far recorded eight cases of Covid-19. On March 26, the authorities decreed a state of emergency that gives legal framework to the measures that had already been taken...

  • 31 Mar 2020

    @OSESGY

    Amman, 31 March 2020 - The UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, met with the Yemeni women’s Technical Advisory Group (TAG) today in a video conference over the...

  • 31 Mar 2020

    KABUL/NEW YORK -  The following is a transcript of a briefing by videoconference to the United Nations Security Council by the Secretary-General’s Deputy...

  • 31 Mar 2020

    KABUL/NEW YORK -  The following is a transcript of a briefing by video-conference to the United Nations Security Council by the Secretary-General’s...

  • 31 Mar 2020

    KABUL/NEW YORK -  The following is a transcript of a briefing by video-conference to the United Nations Security Council by the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for...

  • 31 Mar 2020

    As we mark the date when the 51st round of the Geneva International Discussions (GID) was supposed to take place (31 March - 1 April 2020), we, the Co-Chairs of the GID (UN Representative Cihan Sultanoglu, Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office for the South Caucasus Rudolf Michalka and EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the Crisis in Georgia Toivo Klaar), remain fully engaged to help address the challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic.

    While we commend the efforts of health professionals and others who are working hard to stop the spread of COVID-19, we appeal to all GID participants to respond to the call by UN Secretary General António Guterres to put aside mistrust and animosity, avoid antagonistic rhetoric, and work together to reach out to the most vulnerable.

    In particular, we urge all GID participants to do their utmost to protect vulnerable conflict-affected populations, especially women, men and children in areas facing particular isolation. These populations need assistance and must not be allowed to suffer even more. We are encouraged by some collaborative approaches that have already taken place, but more needs to be done to ensure that all people, regardless of where they happen to live or what language they may speak, have equal access to health care. While co-operation across dividing lines, under other circumstances, may be challenging, we appeal to all participants of the GID to set aside differences and ensure that all individuals have the best possible access to testing and treatment.

    On behalf of our organizations, we reiterate our readiness to assist and are at the disposal of participants as we, together, address this global threat.

  • 31 Mar 2020

    Mogadishu – Somalia, like many other countries in the world, is facing the unprecedented challenge of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

    “The UN family in Somalia stands...

  • 31 Mar 2020

    Mogadishu  – Somalia, like many other countries in the world, is facing the unprecedented challenge of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

    “The UN family in Somalia stands shoulder-to-...

  • 30 Mar 2020

    Syria is at “high risk” of being unable to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN Special Envoy for the country said on Monday, reiterating calls for a “complete, immediate nationwide ceasefire” to enable an all-out-effort to counter the march of the new coronavirus.

  • 30 Mar 2020

    Mr President (Amb. Zhang Jun China), 
     
    1. We have arrived at another critical point in the Syrian conflict. After terrible violence, an uneasy calm prevails on the ground – and now, Syrians face a new potentially devastating threat in COVID-19.  
     
    2. The Secretary-General appealed to warring parties throughout the world for an immediate ceasefire to enable the human family to tackle COVID-19. Further to this, I have made a specific appeal for a complete, immediate nationwide ceasefire throughout Syria to enable an all-out-effort to counter COVID-19, which is a grave danger to all Syrians. This is both a humanitarian and a political imperative.  
     
    3. Syria is at high risk of being unable to contain the pandemic, given large scale population movements, dangerously cramped conditions in multiple IDP camps, settlements, and places of detention. Governance is weak or even absent in some areas. Years of conflict have left the healthcare system degraded or destroyed. Health professionals, medical equipment and supplies are desperately lacking. I am also acutely conscious of the risk of exposure and impact on Syrian women, who are at the forefront of health and community support systems. This virus does not care if you live in governmentcontrolled areas or outside. It does not discriminate. It endangers all Syrians.  
     
    4. We need the kind of sustained period of calm that a nationwide ceasefire would ensure because we need cooperation to take place across the front-lines that riddle Syria’s territory – and this is needed not tomorrow, but now.  
     
    5. Let me remind you that, when it comes to the northwest, on 5 March, Presidents Erdogan and Putin agreed an Additional Protocol to the Memorandum on Stabilization of the Situation in the Idlib De-Escalation Area. They agreed that all military actions along the contact lines would cease. Since then, there has been a significant decrease in violence, especially in aerial attacks and ground operations. Sporadic incidents continue, involving all sides.  
     
    6. The two Presidents also agreed to establish a “security corridor” along the M4 highway, with joint Turkish-Russian patrolling. The first patrols took place on 15 and 23 March – however, not on the entire stretch envisioned in the agreement. There have obviously been challenges to creating this corridor. But I appeal to all involved to not make the cessation of military activities in the northwest contingent on this aspect of the agreement. I appreciate the welcome change brought about by the Russia-Turkey agreement and actions.  
      
    7. I also appreciate the fact that arrangements between key stakeholders in the northeast, including Russia, Turkey and the United States, as well as Syrian parties, also continue to broadly hold.  
     
    8. But in both the northeast and northwest, there is a real risk of hostilities resuming. If that happened, the pre-existing dangers to civilians would be multiplied by the pandemic and the virus would spread like wildfire, with devastating effects for the Syrian people – humanitarian, societal and economic. It could rebound across international borders. All of us have a responsibility to avoid this scenario, through cementing existing arrangements into a comprehensive nationwide ceasefire.  
     
    9. And I believe it is possible and necessary in that context to discuss a more effective cooperative targeted counter-terrorism effort too, one that respects international humanitarian law and saves civilians from further all-out assaults. I note in this regard that the recent de-escalation agreement for Idlib includes specific language that “the targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure cannot be justified under any pretext. 
     
    Mr President, 
     
    10. A nationwide ceasefire is what this Council mandated in resolution 2254, and an effective nationwide response to COVID-19 demands it. But it will not be sufficient. Much more is needed.  
     
    11. The Syrian Government has taken increasingly significant steps to counter COVID-19. Large parts of the country are now under varying degrees of curfew, with public spaces closed and healthcare systems preparing to the extent possible. Meanwhile, the Syrian Opposition Coalition and other de facto authorities in areas outside government control have also taken steps. Syrian civil society, including women-led organisations, are also mobilizing against this threat. I note these efforts and urge the Syrian government and all de facto authorities to be transparent in their reporting on how COVID-19 is affecting all Syrians. 
     
    12. Under-Secretary-General Lowcock just briefed you on the UN’s humanitarian response. And, as I stressed in my appeal, I hope that international donors will do whatever must be done so that Syrians in all parts of the country have access to the equipment and resources needed to combat the virus and treat patients. Nothing should impede this. You will have seen the Secretary-General’s global appeal last Friday, that Mark also referred to, and I quote: “for the waiving of sanctions that can undermine countries’ capacity to respond to the pandemic.”  
     
    13. Within the framework of the Humanitarian Task Force, we are directly engaging concerned states so that all necessary humanitarian exemptions are available and fully utilized and that all hurdles are put to one side to urgently move the most critical items into Syria to combat COVID-19. I welcome the initial engagement by the United States with us in this regard, and stress the need for utmost urgency. We will engage all others as required.  
     
    Mr. President, 
     
    14. In addition to traditional donor countries, we are also engaging countries such as China and Cuba to see what they can do to render direct assistance in Syria. And we are urging all donors and partners, as well as Syrian stakeholders, to ensure that no obstacles prevent assistance reaching Syrians across all parts of the country.  
     
    15. Let me equally stress that full, sustained and unimpeded humanitarian access to all parts of the country will be key. And that all modalities, including cross-border, as Mark just mentioned, will be needed to deliver humanitarian assistance and scale up prevention and protection. 
     
    Mr President, 
     
    16. I have made a special appeal for the large-scale release of detainees and abductees. This is not a new call from me. But given the risk of COVID-19 racing through detainee populations, action is urgent. Other governments have already carried out releases on an exceptional basis due to this risk. Surely this can and should happen in Syria. I am engaging the Syrian government specifically on this matter, including in light of President Assad’s 22 March decree outlining amnesties and sentence reductions for certain types of detainees, as well as specific exemptions.  
     
    17. Beyond releases, there must also be immediate access for relevant humanitarian organizations to all detention facilities. Adequate medical care and protective measures must also be ensured in all places of detention.  
     
    Mr President, 
     
    18. Plainly, COVID-19 makes it impossible to convene Syrians in Geneva at present. But this has not deterred us when it comes to the political track. Today, I am able to inform the Security Council that, after prolonged consultations with my active facilitation, the CoChair nominated by the Syrian Government and the Co-Chair nominated by the Syrian Negotiations Commission have agreed that the next session of the Constitutional Committee shall have the following agenda: “In line with the mandate, the Terms of Reference and Core Rules of Procedure of the Constitutional Committee, discussing the national foundations and principles.”  
     
    Mr. President, 
     
    19. It is a good step, particularly at this time, that agreement on an agenda for a next session has been reached. We will consult with the parties to see if useful preparations can begin for future sessions while we wait to see when a new meeting will be possible.  
     
    20. Let me note here that, as has been clear with both co-chairs throughout, agreement during a next session of the Constitutional Committee on national foundations and principles is not a precondition to moving to other items. All three components can during the next session suggest national foundations and principles. And the discussion will move in subsequent sessions to other items of the constitution, consistent with the mandate and the Terms of Reference and Core Rules of Procedure. I have also reminded both co-chairs to use agreed language when referring to the delegations, and to observe the agreed code of conduct when it comes to public statements, some of which have not been helpful, recently.    
     
    21. Meanwhile, we are continuing to engage, often virtually, with a wide range of Syrians, men and women, including the Women’s Advisory Board and a broad spectrum of Syrian civil society inside and outside Syria.   
     
    Mr. President, 
     
    22. I have long spoken of the need to build trust and confidence, of the Constitutional Committee as a door opener, and of the need for a wider process with a dialogue on mutually reciprocal and mutually reinforcing actions by the Syrian parties and by international partners. Now we face a new element to an already grave crisis: COVID-19.  
     
    Mr. President, 
     
    For many Syrians, now in their tenth year of a conflict that still defies comprehension in the scale of suffering, brutality, and devastation, it may seem hard, even slightly abstract, to focus on a global virus pandemic. But make no mistake: COVID-19 is an enormous threat to Syrians, and it demands a complete shift in mind-set from all, now. This common threat must now focus all with new consciousness and new determination on a common agenda to save the Syrian people from a new calamity.   
     
    23. To implement a nationwide ceasefire and help Syrians respond to COVID-19, I am ready to work with the Government of Syria and the opposition and all relevant players on the ground, as well as key countries with weight and influence who can support a scaling-up of action and ensure that the ceasefire holds. I have appreciated the initial engagement from the Syrian parties and key international players. It will not be easy, and there are no guarantees. But the Syrian people desperately need everyone to focus on their welfare now. If key players come in and can engage with the Secretary-General’s and my appeals, I think we can work urgently in a common effort. And this, in turn, would definitely help in the effort on the political track to implement Security Council resolution 2254. I am convinced this is the only way forward.  
     
    Thank you, Mr. President.    
     

  • 28 Mar 2020

    Bogotá, 28 March 2020. COVID-19 is the greatest challenge humanity has faced in its recent history, and it is clear that the only way to address this challenge is...

  • 28 Mar 2020

    Nairobi, 26 March 2020 - The United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Great Lakes, Huang Xia, is closely following the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic in the region with concern at the alarming rate at which the Corona virus is spreading. The Special Envoy wishes to express his profound solidarity with the people and the Governments of the region, during these trying times for the Great Lakes and the world.

    While encouraging the authorities and the...

  • 27 Mar 2020

    In Chocó, sixty women, including social leaders and former FARC combatants, participated in a workshop to exchange knowledge and learn practical tools to identify situations of gender...

  • 27 Mar 2020

    21 - 27 March 2020

    This Week in DPPA is a brief roundup of political and peacebuilding events and developments at UNHQ and around the world.

    COVID-19

    Call for global ceasefire 
    Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo echoed  Secretary-General António Guterres' call for an immediate  global ceasefire on 24 March. “Conflict can have many roots, but once declared it not only kills and maims, it often destroys a society's capacity to cope with fundamental issues. Today, it's COVID-19 and the cataclysmic threat it poses, in Yemen, Syria, the Sahel ... End the violence. Silence the guns now,” Ms. DiCarlo said.  
     
    Syrians are acutely vulnerable to COVID-19 
    Special Envoy Geir O. Pedersen appealed for a complete, immediate nationwide ceasefire throughout Syria to enable an all-out-effort to suppress COVID-19 in a statement on 24 March. “Syrians are acutely vulnerable to COVID-19,” Mr. Pedersen stated. “Let’s end the violence, work together to combat COVID-19 in Syria, and work to move ahead on a political way out of the crisis in Syria.” 
    Read the full statement here 
     

    Special Representative asks Iraqi politicians to unite in the fight against COVID-19  
    Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Special Representative and Head of UNAMI, issued a message on 26 March where she called on political leaders in the country to confront the COVID-19 pandemic and unite. “The people of Iraq have overcome such hardship in the past that I am confident they can weather this storm with solidarity and resolve. It is my sincere hope that political leaders will at long last recognize the urgency of the situation and come together in a spirit of national unity”, the Special Representative said. 
    Read the full message here 
    Read more in UN News 

    On 23 March, Ms. Hennis-Plasschaert met with President Barham Salih, with whom she discussed the efforts being made to contain the spread of COVID-19 and the support the UN, led by WHO, is providing to Iraq in combating the virus. The same day, she also met with Foreign Minister Mohammed Al-Hakim to discuss the general situation in Iraq and the work of the UN.  

    The Special Representative and representatives from WHO visited the Iraq Ministry of Health on 22 March, to show support for their efforts to combat COVID-19. Ms. Hennis-Plasschaert joined their call to Iraqis across the country to follow the instructions and advice from health, religious, civilian and security authorities to practice social distancing and strict hygiene in order to protect their families and communities from the spread of the virus.  
    Watch the video here  

     
    Condemnation of grave violations of humanitarian pause in Libya 
    The Acting Special Representative and Head of UNSMIL, Stephanie Williams strongly condemned the grave violations of the humanitarian pause in Libya in a statement on 24 March. “Despite the calls by many UN Member States, UNSMIL and the Secretary-General for an immediate cessation of hostilities to enable joint approaches to the COVID-19 pandemic, armed clashes, shelling, and mobilization of forces in Libya continue, with unacceptable disregard for the safety and wellbeing of the civilian population,” Ms. Williams said.  
    Read the press release on UNSMIL’s website 
     
    Call to silence the guns in Central Africa 
    François Louncény Fall, Special Representative for Central Africa and Head of UNOCA, issued a statement on 26 March, where he called for immediate ceasefires in Central Africa in order to provide an effective response to COVID-19. “Together we must now fight this plague, which does not spare any combatants, civilians or political leaders,” Mr. Louncény Fall stated.  
    Read the full statement on UNOCA’s website  

     
    A message to our partners  
    Our Donor Relations Team issued a message to DPPA’s partners this week regarding the impact of the coronavirus outbreak: “The COVID-19 crisis will have a significant impact on DPPA’s operations, but the need for our political analysis and technical expertise on conflict prevention, mediation, peacebuilding and sustaining peace will remain unchanged, if not become even more critical. Request for our services will undoubtedly be high in the coming weeks and months, as we witness the full scale of COVID-19’s impact on the global economy and its social and political implications.” 
    Read more on our website 

    For up-to-date information on COVID-19 and its impact, please visit the following websites:   

    WHO website  
    UN coronavirus website 

     

    Security Council

    Council worried about significant escalation of hostilities in Libya   
    The Security Council held a video conference on the work of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) on 26 March. Stephanie Williams, Acting Special Representative, briefed Council members, who expressed their concern at the significant escalation of hostilities on the ground in Libya and at the possible impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. They called on the parties to de-escalate the fighting urgently, immediately cease hostilities and ensure unhindered access of humanitarian aid throughout the country. 

    Please see the Security Council website for an updated program of work. 

     

    Afghanistan

    Special Representative Yamamoto leaves Kabul  
    Tadamichi Yamamoto left his position as Special Representative and Head of UNAMA this week. In a message, Mr. Yamamoto said that: I depart Kabul with one wish, a wish that I share with millions of Afghans: for peace to return to Afghanistan. May 2020 be the year that the war ends and Afghans can look forward with hope to a peaceful and flourishing society that they so richly deserve. It has been a rare privilege and honour to head the UN family in Afghanistan in the service of all Afghan people. After completing my assignment of more than five years I extend profound thanks to my colleagues and so many Afghan and international partners and friends. The challenges remain daunting; but I have every confidence that they can be overcome because of the Afghan people’s capabilities, for which I have a great admiration. The United Nations will be there, shoulder-to-shoulder, with the Afghan people in the time ahead. 
    For more Information, contact us 

     

    New Special Representative appointed 
    Secretary-General António Guterres announced the appointment of Deborah Lyons of Canada as his new Special Representative and Head UNAMA on 24 March. Ms. Lyons is a diplomat with 21 years of professional experience in political affairs, international cooperation and economic development. Most recently she served as Ambassador of Canada to Israel and from 2013 until 2016 as Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.  
    Read more here 

     

    Somalia

    UN congratulates Somalia on reaching ‘decision point’ for debt relief 
    The UN congratulates Somalia for reaching the Highly Indebted Poor Countries Initiative’s (HIPC) ‘Decision Point’ for debt relief – an historic milestone on the country’s path to peace and prosperity. “Achievement of the HIPC ‘Decision Point’ is a major step forward for Somalia’s economic progress, allowing the country to advance towards its long-term objective of inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction. All Somalis can be proud of this achievement,” said the Special Representative and Head of UNSOM, James Swan. 
    Read more on UNSOM’s website 

     

    New York

    Launch of the Peacebuilding Fund’s strategy for 2020-2024 
    The Secretary-General’s Peacebuilding Fund Strategy 2020-2024 was launched on 26 March via videoconference, hosted by the German Foreign Office. It is the most ambitious strategy for the Fund yet, with a target of $1.5 billion over five years. The strategy is a plan to make possible the quantum leap the Secretary-General has urged for the Fund. It also aims to counter the continuing trend of aid volatility in conflict-affected countries. 

    The Fund’s partners agreed that conflict prevention is more critical than ever, and pointed to added risks posed by COVID-19. “The Peacebuilding Fund is working within its mandate and strategy and through the UN system and partners to assess the impact of the pandemic on conflict and peacebuilding, and do what it is designed to do: provide timely, catalytic and risk-tolerant support to help prevent and mitigate conflict risks,” said Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Oscar Fernandez-Taranco.  
    Read the new strategy here

     

     

     

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  • 27 Mar 2020

    Mogadishu  – The United Nations in Somalia confirms that an employee of a commercial contractor engaged by the United Nations has been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus...

  • 27 Mar 2020

    NEW YORK - The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the heinous and cowardly terrorist attack that took place at the Dharamshala Sikh Temple in Kabul, Afghanistan, on 25 March...

  • 26 Mar 2020

    Faced with the spread of the Coronavirus, the Head of UNOCA invites all the conflicting parties in Central Africa to silence the guns to allow for the prompt and effective implementation of national...

  • 26 Mar 2020

    World leaders at the G-20 virtual summit held on Thursday committed to inject over $5 trillion into the global economy to counteract the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • 26 Mar 2020

    While the COVID-19 pandemic has compounded the political, security, social and economic crises roiling Iraq, the top UN official in the country hopes it will spur leaders to put aside their differences and unite for the common good.

  • 26 Mar 2020

    The Secretary-General condemned Wednesday’s attack on a Sikh-Hindu temple in the heart of Kabul, Afghanistan, that left dozens of civilians killed and injured. 

  • 26 Mar 2020

    The Secretary-General condemned Wednesday’s attack on a Sikh-Hindu temple in the heart of Kabul, Afghanistan, that left dozens of civilians killed and injured. 

  • 26 Mar 2020

    LAUNCH OF GLOBAL HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE PLAN FOR COVID-19

    United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres was joined – virtually – by Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization; Ms. Henrietta Fore, UNICEF’s Executive Director, and Mr. Mark Lowcock, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs. The press conference was moderated by Ms. Melissa Fleming, Under-Secretary-General for Global...

  • 25 Mar 2020

    NEW YORK - The Secretary-General condemns the attack today in Kabul on a Sikh-Hindu temple in which dozens of civilians were killed and injured. He expresses his deepest sympathies to the families of the victims and wishes a...

  • 25 Mar 2020

    Echoing his 23 March appeal to warring parties across the globe for an immediate ceasefire, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called on those fighting in Yemen to end hostilities and ramp up efforts to counter a potential outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

  • 25 Mar 2020

    Dear partners,

    We hope you and your families are in good health and slowly adjusting to the new reality of working remotely and limited movement. The United Nations has put measures in place to safeguard staff and prevent the spread of COVID-19, including telecommuting, but the Organization is still at work, determined to deliver on its mandate.

    DPPA, at UN headquarters and in the field, has adapted its operations in order to continue providing support to member States and partners. As Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo tweeted following a video conference with the heads of our special political missions earlier this week, “In the face of COVID-19, and while taking adequate precautions, we remain focused on supporting countries in making and building peace and preventing violent conflict.” 

    We are closely watching the impact of COVID-19 and government responses within individual countries, especially those in which we have SPMs deployed. As DPPA, we must approach this crisis with a prevention lens, and we are paying close attention to the impact of Covid-19 on fragile political transitions, such as Sudan, countries already facing a rapid deterioration of security, such as Burkina Faso and Niger, and of course those countries where we have been deployed and work in support of conflict resolution and sustaining peace, such as Afghanistan, Haiti, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, and others.

    The COVID-19 crisis will have a significant impact on DPPA’s operations, but the need for our political analysis and technical expertise on conflict prevention, mediation, peacebuilding and sustaining peace will remain unchanged, if not become even more critical. Request for our services will undoubtedly be high in the coming weeks and months, as we witness the full scale of COVID-19’s impact on the global economy and its social and political implications.

    While the priorities and commitments outlined in DPPA’s Strategic Plan and in the Multi-Year Appeal (MYA) remain unchanged, a portion of our activities will need to be adjusted in the near future. The Donor Relations team is in close contact with colleagues at headquarters and in the field to assess the extent to which this crisis will impact the delivery of our MYA portfolio. A Quarterly Review of our MYA portfolio is about to be conducted and will track progress in the delivery of MYA projects and undertake the necessary adjustments. In addition, we will review how the principles of Enterprise Risk Management can help us to potentially mitigate the risks to our staff and to our delivery. COVID-19 will also create new opportunities for projects, and we are already exploring innovative ideas to continue delivering our activities under the MYA, albeit in different ways.

    We will keep you regularly informed, and please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns. In these difficult times, we hope to be able to count on your support.

    Stay safe and best regards,

    The Donor Relations Team

     

    DPPA is pleased to present a report on the impact of Covid-19 on DPPA and on the MYA to showcase its role and activities since the pandemic. MYA funding helps support initiatives by SRSGs and Special Envoys in answering the Secretary-General’s call for a global ceasefire. The MYA, with its Rapid Response window is designed to support new opportunities and crisis-related needs in record time. DPPA continues to deploy its tools - mediation, electoral assistance, inclusive political analysis - to provide political, technical and operational support to its partners. MYA funding helps support initiatives by SRSGs and Special Envoys in answering the Secretary-General’s call for a global ceasefire. With competition for resources intensifying, the MYA is more important than ever for our work.

     

  • 25 Mar 2020

    Mogadishu – The United Nations congratulates Somalia for reaching the ...

  • 25 Mar 2020

    KABUL - Given the mounting number of incidents this month in which civilians have been killed and injured in the Afghan conflict, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) urges all parties to...

  • 25 Mar 2020

    Conakry. Photo: DR

    ...
  • 25 Mar 2020

    @UN Photo/Evan Schneide

    Echoing his appeal to all warring parties across the globe for a ceasefire, the Secretary-General calls today on those fighting in Yemen to immediately cease hostilities, ...

  • 25 Mar 2020

    NEW YORK - United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today announced the appointment of Deborah Lyons of Canada as his new Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). 

    Ms. Lyons succeeds Tadamichi Yamamoto of Japan, who has served in this critical role since 2016.  The Secretary-General is grateful for Mr. Yamamoto’s important contribution and service to UNAMA since taking up his role as Deputy Special...