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Reports and Policy Documents

2020

  • 19 Mar 2020

    14 - 20 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

    We are open for business
    The COVID-19 pandemic has upended life as we know it. The UN is no exception. But although instituting measures to safeguard staff and prevent the spread of the disease, including telecommuting, the world body is still at work, determined to deliver for the people we serve.

    DPPA, in the field and at UN headquarters, 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 the UN’s Special Political Missions earlier this week, “In the face of COVID19, and while taking adequate precautions, we remain focused on supporting countries in making and building peace and preventing violent conflict.”

    Iraq has, thus far, managed to contain the spread of the virus
    UNAMI issued a statement on COVID-19 on 19 March: “The COVID-19 virus remains a present threat around the world, in this region, and in Iraq. It affects all segments of society and can only be fought with the full cooperation of … every individual, every one of us doing what we can to help contain the outbreak.”

    To date, the measures taken by Iraq have been wide-ranging and squarely aimed at reducing the spread of the pandemic. It has not been easy, but the United Nations in Iraq is encouraged to note that, thanks to these efforts, Iraq has thus far managed to contain the spread of the virus.
    Read the full statement on UNAMI’s website


    UNSMIL joins the call for an immediate humanitarian cessation of hostilities
    On 17 March UNSMIL joined the call by international partners on all parties to the Libyan conflict to declare an immediate humanitarian cessation of hostilities as well as a halt to the continuing transfer of all military equipment and personnel into Libya, in order to allow local authorities to rapidly respond to the unprecedented public health challenge posed by COVID-19.
    Read the full statement on UNSMIL’s website


    Special Representative for Central Africa joins #SafeHands campaign
    François Louncény Fall, Special Representative and Head of UNOCA, joined WHO’s #SafeHands campaign this week to promote good hand hygiene in order to prevent the propagation of COVID-19 in the region.
    Watch the video here

    Response to the virus in Colombia
    In March, the Government of Colombia intensified preventive measures in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including closing land and sea borders, restricting entrance to foreigners and non-residents, and closing schools and universities. On 17 March, President Duque declared a state of emergency and ordered mandatory preventive isolation for persons over 70 years old until 31 May. He further announced that the Government will allocate additional resources for the public health system and for social welfare programs. Also on 17 March, the Presidential Counsellor for Stabilization and Consolidation stated that the Government is taking the necessary measures so that the implementation of peace-related programs may continue despite the challenging circumstances regarding the outbreak. As of 19 March, the Ministry of Health had confirmed 128 cases of COVID-19 across the country, with no deaths reported. Also on 19 March, President Duque announced that from 23 March and for 30 days, all international passenger flights are not allowed to arrive at the country's airports.

    The Working Group on Health of the National Reintegration Council –composed by FARC, ARN, the Ministry of Health and the Mission–is meeting regularly to coordinate prevention measures regarding the COVID-19 outbreak, particularly to monitor the situation in collective reintegration areas and to prepare to respond to eventual cases of infection. On 18 March, the authorities and FARC issued a joint statement to raise awareness about prevention measures, including advising former combatants to remain inside former TATRs and other collective reintegration areas, and to restrict entry to outsiders as much as possible. ARN will continue its follow-up activities with former combatants by telephone from 16 to 31 March. Importantly, ARN has reiterated that this will not affect the monthly allowance for former combatants. For its part, the UN Mission continues its verification work by reducing the number of staff in its offices as much as possible, encouraging telecommuting.
    For more Information, contact us.

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

     

    Security Council

    All meetings cancelled
    All scheduled meetings of the Security Council this week were cancelled due to COVID-19. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says that the Council continues to function even without members being physically present in the council Chamber. Please see the Security Council website for an updated program of work.

     

    Somalia

    Constitutional review consultations in Galmudug
    The electoral process, the question of federalism, power sharing arrangements, justice and security, the rights of women and youth, and the status of Mogadishu as the capital of the country were among the issues discussed during three days of constitutional consultations which concluded on 16 March in Dhusamareb, Galmudug State. The public meeting was attended by over one hundred people representing youth, women, religious leaders, elders, civil society groups, academics and persons with disabilities, aimed at having their views included in a future constitution for Somalia.
    Read more on UNSOM’s website

     

    Afghanistan

    Nowruz celebrations in Afghanistan
    “The United Nations family joins Afghans in the celebrations of Nowruz and shares the hope of all Afghans that the new year will bring peace across the country. Nowruz Mubarak!” - the Special Representative and Head of UNAMA, Tadamichi Yamamoto, posted on Twitter. Nowruz, or Persian New Year, is celebrated on 20 March.
    For more Information, contact us
     

     

    Iraq

    Special Representative visits Kurdistan
    Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Special Representative and Head of UNAMI, visited Kurdistan this week. Together with Deputy Special Representative and Resident Coordinator Marta Ruedas, she met with Kurdistan Minister of Interior Rêber Ahmed in Erbil on 16 March. They discussed the security, health and the humanitarian situation in the region. Ms. Hennis-Plasschaert also met with President Nechirvan Barzani and Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani during her visit to Kurdistan, with whom she discussed, among other things, the COVID-19 outbreak.
    For more Information, contact us

     

    Syria

    Anniversary of the conflict in Syria
    Special Envoy Geir O. Pedersen issued a statement on the anniversary of the conflict in Syria on 14 March: The Syrian conflict is now entering its tenth year. The suffering of the Syrian people during this tragic and terrible decade still defies comprehension and belief. Hundreds of thousands of Syrians, men and women, have lost their lives. Hundreds of thousands have been detained, abducted or are missing. Human rights abuses, crimes, destruction and destitution have taken place on a monumental scale. Half the population has fled their homes. And with close to a million people newly displaced due to heavy violence in the past three months in the Idlib area alone, the tragedy is deepening.
    Read the full statement here

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    Contact DPPA at dppa@un.org

  • 18 Mar 2020

    Women who had been displaced by fighting in South Sudan are sowing seeds of peace, with support from the UN mission in the country, UNMISS. 

  • 18 Mar 2020

    TRIPOLI, 17 March 2020 - UNSMIL expresses deep concerns over the recent increase in abductions and enforced disappearances in towns and cities across Libya conducted by armed groups with...

  • 17 Mar 2020

    TRIPOLI, 17 March 2020 – UNSMIL welcomes and joins the call by international partners on all parties to the Libyan conflict to declare an immediate...

  • 16 Mar 2020

    Dhusamareb, 16 March 2020 – The electoral process, the question of federalism, power sharing arrangements, justice and security, the rights of women and youth, and the status of Mogadishu as the capital of the country...

  • 16 Mar 2020

    A United Nations peacekeeper from Burundi was killed on Sunday while attempting to stop an armed militant attack in the Central African Republic (CAR), according to a statement released by the UN Mission in the country, MINUSCA.

  • 16 Mar 2020

    Training session for women from the Working Group, Women, Youth, Peace and Security in West Africa...

  • 16 Mar 2020

    TIRANA / BRUSSELS / GENEVA. After carefully reviewing circumstances related to the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus, the Co-Chairs of the Geneva International Discussions (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 have today decided to postpone the 51st GID round, which was due to take place on 31 March -1 April 2020.

    The Co-Chairs will take every effort to closely keep contact and engage with all participants using available tools to adequately address pertinent security and humanitarian related issues, among others, on the GID agenda.

    The Co-Chairs will closely follow developments related to COVID-19 and consider next steps in organizing the 51st round in due course. 

     

  • 14 Mar 2020

    Syria marks a grim milestone this weekend as the tenth year of war begins, prompting the UN Special Envoy to take stock of the incomprehensible scale of suffering there, noting that with nearly a million newly displaced in Idlib, “the tragedy is deepening”.

  • 14 Mar 2020

    Following the unveiling of a new unity cabinet in South Sudan on Thursday, the UN Secretary-General has commended the “spirit of compromise and collaboration” shown by President Salva Kiir and rival-turned-top deputy, Riek Machar, on what has been a rocky road towards forging lasting peace. 

  • 13 Mar 2020

    Although a fragile ceasefire agreed in northwest Syria is still holding, UN humanitarians on Friday warned of dire conditions for hundreds of thousands of civilians displaced by conflict, now in its tenth year. 

  • 13 Mar 2020

    7 - 13 March 2020

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

    Security Council

    Women must be at the centre of the response against terrorism and violent extremism in Africa 
    Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo said on 11 March that, “The threat of terrorism is often a consequence of development, humanitarian, human rights and security challenges that terrorist groups seek to exploit. Security and military solutions are thus not sufficient.” Speaking in the Security Council during an open debate on countering terrorism and violent extremism in Africa, Ms. DiCarlo also underscored the importance of applying a gender-perspective: “Just as misogyny is at the heart of so many terrorist groups’ strategies, so must women be at the centre of our responses.” 
    Read her full remarks here
    Read more in UN News 

     

     

    Griffiths: Yemen is at a critical juncture  
    Special Envoy Martin Griffiths told the Security Council on 12 March that Yemen is at a critical juncture. “The parties to the conflict will either move Yemen towards de-escalation and the resumption of the political process, or, I fear, towards greater violence and suffering that will make the path to the negotiating table more arduous.” He urged Council members to maintain the focus on reviving a process that ushers into Yemen an inclusive transition away from conflict. During a transition, he explained, power will need to be shared among different political and social components, including women and civil society, in the spirit of partnership and consensus. Transitional security arrangements will need to be agreed, to provide for the security of Yemen’s people and to lead toward the state’s monopoly over the use of force. And finally, the Yemeni people will need guarantees of humanitarian relief, reconstruction and economic recovery across the country to put “the suffering of this war into history.” 
    Read his full remarks here 
    Read more in UN News 

     

    Iraq

    Special Representative meets President of Iraq  
    The Special Representative for Iraq and Head of UNAMI, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, met with the President of Iraq Barham Salih on 9 March to discuss political developments in the country and the wider region, including the formation of a new government.  
    For more Information, contact us 

     

    Yemen

    Special Envoy visits Marib in northern Yemen 
    The UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, visited Marib in northern Yemen on 7 March. Mr. Griffiths met with local government officials, tribal chiefs, civil society, including women and youth groups, and internally displaced Yemenis. Thousands of people have arrived in Marib following recent fighting in neighboring Al Jawf  governorate. “I came here today to listen to the people of Marib and their concerns and make sure that the world hears them with me,” Mr. Griffiths said. “The only way to save Yemen from slipping back into large-scale conflict and another humanitarian tragedy is a return to calm through a comprehensive, inclusive and accountable de-escalation process. The time is now. I will work with the parties to make this a reality. Yemen cannot wait” the Special Envoy stressed. 
    Read more in UN News 

     

    Guinea

    Special Representative calls on Guineans to prioritize dialogue 
    At the end of his three-day visit to Guinea on 12 March, Special Representative and head of the UN Regional Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) Mohamed Ibn  Chambas reaffirmed the UN’s availability and commitment to support efforts to find a sustainable, consensual and peaceful resolution to the current political crisis. During his visit, Mr. Chambas met with President Alpha Condé, the National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC), the political opposition, the coalition of women for peace and the Council of the Guinean Bar Association. He called on all Guineans to respect  and protect human rights and to prioritize dialogue for the consolidations of democratic, economic and rule of law achievements in the country. 
    Read the full press release (in French) 

     


     

     

     


     

    Libya

    UN Secretary-General designates Acting Special Representative for Libya 
    UN Secretary-General António Guterres on 12 March designated Stephanie Turco Williams of the United States as his Acting Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), where she has been serving as Deputy Special Representative since 2018. Ms. Williams will act as Special Representative in Libya until the appointment of a successor to Ghassan Salamé, who resigned recently. 
    For more Information, contact us

     

    Somalia

    Breaking down barriers to youth employment in Baidoa 
    Special Envoy and Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) James Swan spent 8 March – International Women’s Day – in Baidoa, the administrative capital of South West State, Somalia, where he highlighted the need for women’s empowerment  and the provision of essential services to marginalized youth. Accompanied by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Representative, Werner Schultink, Mr. Swan visited an Alternative Basic Education programme that is providing vital learning opportunities to the most vulnerable and marginalized children of Somalia in a camp for internally displaced persons. “Both young women and young men are learning these skills – breaking down gender barriers and underscoring that women are not limited in what they can do and there are no boundaries,” Mr. Swan said.   
    Read the full story on UNSOM’s website 

     
    On visit to Puntland, UN envoy urges unity and consensus  
    Progress and remaining challenges related to Somalia’s national priorities for 2020 – including debt relief, holding ‘one person, one vote’ elections, strengthening security and finalizing the federal constitution – were among the topics covered on 9 March in a meeting of the leadership of Puntland State and the UN Special Representative for Somalia, James Swan. After meeting with Puntland’s President Said Deni, Mr. Swan  voiced the international community’s concern about the risks posed by the current political impasse between the Federal Government and Federal Members States. “It is the view of the United Nations that Somalia’s leaders must urgently come together, in a spirit of national unity, to overcome differences and find consensus on how best to move forward, in the interest of the Somali people,” he said. 
    Read full story on UNSOM’s website 


    Colombia

    First nationwide ‘coffee for peace’ exhibition in Popayán 
    The UN Verification Mission in Colombia organized the first nationwide coffee exhibition featuring the work of former FARC combatants in Popayán city on 7 March. The initiative included coffee samples from the departments of Antioquia, Cauca, Cundinamarca, Huila, Nariño, and Valle. "Today, we demonstrate our commitment to peace. Through coffee, we are representing our communities and our territories,” said Freddy, a former combatant and a member of the National Coffee Board. At the end of the event, international buyers, invited by the Cauca Coffee Growers Committee, learned about the FARC's products and listened to their experiences since they dedicated themselves to coffee growing. 
    For more Information, contact us 

     

    Bringing art and music to communities affected by conflict 
    The UN Verification Mission in Colombia delivered musical instruments to the children of the music school in the reintegration area of Icononzo, Tolima, 130 km south of Bogotá,  on 11 March. In December 2019, the UN Mission together with Cesar López,  a musician and peace activist, and the Colombian radio station Caracol collected 200 musical instruments through the campaign “Let's sing another story”. The  delivery of instruments to Icononzo was the first of its kind. The campaign will reach several remote regions bringing art and music to the communities affected by the conflict. 
    For more Information, contact us 

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • 12 Mar 2020

    Yemen is at a “critical juncture”, the UN Special Envoy for the country told the Security Council on Thursday. Speaking via video-link, Martin Griffiths said that the combatants will either move towards de-escalation or greater violence, which would make “the path to the negotiating table more arduous”. 

  • 12 Mar 2020

    The UN mission in Iraq has called for ‘maximum restraint’ following a deadly attack on foreign forces serving under the United States-led coalition against the militant group ISIL. 

  • 12 Mar 2020

    @UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

    Thank you very much indeed, Mr. President for giving me the opportunity to brief this Council.

    ...
  • 12 Mar 2020

    UN agencies have underscored their commitment to continue supporting civilians affected by the war in Syria, which this month enters its tenth year. The Secretary-General issued a statement on Thursday, declaring that "we cannot allow the tenth year to result in the same carnage, the same flouting of human rights and international humanitarian law."

  • 12 Mar 2020
  • 12 Mar 2020

    NEW YORK, 11 March 2020 - United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced today the designation of Stephanie Turco Williams of the United States as his Acting Special...

  • 11 Mar 2020

    The UN Security Council on Wednesday called for greater international support to African countries in their continued fight against terrorism and violent extremism, particularly in parts of the Sahel, the Lake Chad Basin region and the Horn of Africa. 

  • 11 Mar 2020

    Daily fighting in Myanmar, widespread internet blackouts and reporting restrictions, indicate that the shift to more democratic rule is “sliding away”, a senior UN-appointed independent rights investigator said on Wednesday.

  • 11 Mar 2020

    Thank you, Mr. President,

    I commend the Peoples’ Republic of China for organizing this important meeting.

    Today, Africa is moving forward with its own agenda of progress, peace and prosperity. Across the continent, countries are growing and addressing complex structural challenges, in line with the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

    Civil society, communities and governments are working together as never before.

    The United Nations is fully committed to supporting these efforts, and important progress has already been made in implementing the Joint UN-AU Framework for Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security, and the AU-UN Framework on Implementation of Agenda 2063 and Agenda 2030.

    However, the continent continues to face vulnerabilities that threaten its peace and security, hinder its economic development and undermine human rights and the rule of law.

     

    Mr. President,

    Among those threats is that of terrorism and violent extremism, which continues to grow in various parts of the continent, despite our efforts to prevent and counter it at the national, regional and international levels.

    Al-Shabaab continues to pose the most persistent threat to security in Somalia and East Africa despite the intensified military operations against it in recent years.

    ISIL and Al-Qaida affiliates are collaborating with each other to undertake increasingly sophisticated attacks in West Africa, especially in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.

    ISIL also continues to operate in Libya despite recent setbacks, and it is restructuring and empowering its affiliates in Eastern, Southern and Central Africa.
    In the Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin, the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara, Boko Haram and its splinter faction the Islamic State’s West Africa Province, continue to terrorize local populations and attack security forces.

    I would like to take this opportunity to remember the tens of thousands of African victims of terrorism, and to express my solidarity with the affected governments and people.  Terrorism causes deep, lasting scars, and victims and survivors need not only protection but a chance to heal through justice and support for rebuilding their lives.

    We know that women bear a disproportionate burden of this violence, including through sexual slavery.  Just as misogyny is at the heart of so many terrorist groups’ strategies, so must women be at the centre of our responses.

     

    Mr. President,

    The High-Level regional conference on preventing and countering violent extremism, which the United Nations co-organized with the Government of Kenya in Nairobi last July has reinvigorated our common efforts to understand and address terrorism in Africa. 

    As the Secretary-General has stated, we cannot address terrorism without addressing underlying factors.  The threat of terrorism is often a consequence of development, humanitarian, human rights and security challenges that terrorist groups seek to exploit. Security and military solutions are thus not sufficient.

    We must address poverty, weak governance, intercommunal tensions, gender inequality, youth unemployment, illicit activities such as trafficking in weapons and people, and the use of new technologies and social media to recruit, inflame and incite.

    We also need to better understand the specific threat and priority needs of each country and sub-region.  There is no “one-size-fits-all” solution; comprehensive and inclusive “all-of-government” and “all-of-society” approaches are essential. 

    As terrorism has no borders, preventing and combatting it requires strong multilateral cooperation. The United Nations remains committed to bringing Member States together to share counter-terrorism best practices, expertise and resources.

    The United Nations is working closely with African organizations and Member States to promote a comprehensive and balanced implementation of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.

    We supported the development of regional counter-terrorism strategies in the Sahel, Central and Southern Africa, and we are supporting the implementation of the strategy adopted by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development for the Horn of Africa and Tanzania.

    Further to requests from  Member States, we are supporting African-led and African-owned initiatives in priority thematic areas, including protecting vulnerable targets; countering terrorists’ travel; developing coordination mechanisms for law enforcement; enhancing the capacity of Member States to investigate and prevent cyber-attacks; engaging with parliamentarians to implement relevant counter-terrorism obligations; and promoting south-south cooperation and respect for human rights and the rule of law.

     

    Mr. President,

    We cannot overemphasize the importance of support to the G-5 Sahel Force, which can play a critical role in combating terrorism, especially in the three border areas of Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso.  The Pau Summit of January, convened by President Emmanuel Macron, put forward an enhanced and focused strategy that could significantly reduce the terrorist threat.  I reiterate the Secretary-General’s call for the international community to provide strong support for the efforts of the G5 Sahel.    

     

    Mr. President

    Terrorism is an evolving and pervasive multi-dimensional threat.

    I encourage Member States and other partners to take advantage of the upcoming review of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and the United Nations Counter-Terrorism week, to strengthen our efforts and partnerships.

    Thank you, Mr. President.

  • 10 Mar 2020

    The UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution on Tuesday afternoon welcoming recent steps towards ending the conflict in Afghanistan. All 15 members supported the resolution, tabled by the United States, which endorses a joint US-Afghan declaration on peace and an agreement signed between Washington and the Taliban.

  • 10 Mar 2020

    There can be no sustainable peace in Afghanistan if women are not at the negotiating table, former United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told ambassadors and activists at UN Headquarters on Tuesday. 

  • 10 Mar 2020

    Over the past two years, more than 100,000 people in Nicaragua have sought asylum abroad, reportedly fleeing persecution and human rights abuses, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said on Tuesday.

  • 10 Mar 2020

    Photo: IOM

    Mohamed, Issouf, Moussa, and Aghali are members of communities that are affected by migration flows in Niger. A community stabilization project recently launched by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is giving...

  • 9 Mar 2020

    Iran’s nuclear capabilities moved back into the international spotlight on Monday as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said that it had concerns about possible “undeclared nuclear material and nuclear-related activities” in unregistered locations there.

  • 9 Mar 2020

    Garowe – Progress and remaining challenges related to Somalia’s national priorities for 2020 – including debt relief, holding ‘one person, one vote’ elections, strengthening...

  • 9 Mar 2020

    Sudan’s Prime Minister survived a reported assassination attempt in the capital Khartoum on Monday, tweeting after the incident that he was “safe and in good shape”.

  • 9 Mar 2020

    Despite constraints imposed by the new coronavirus disease, activists for gender equality gathered at UN Headquarters on Monday for the latest session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), to reinforce the message that women’s rights are human rights. 

  • 9 Mar 2020

    KABUL - The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) congratulates President Ashraf Ghani on the occasion of his inauguration today.

    The United Nations welcomes President Ghani’s...

  • 8 Mar 2020

    Baidoa, 8 March 2020 – Efforts to provide essential services for internally displaced children and youth and breaking down...

  • 8 Mar 2020

    Mogadishu – Somalia’s international partners* express grave concern at the build-up of security forces in the Gedo region of Jubaland, Somalia, and clashes in the vicinity of Belet Hawo on 2 March that have resulted in the...

  • 8 Mar 2020

    Thank you, Mr. President and greetings to you and to the people of Baidoa and of South West State. This is my fourth visit to Baidoa since arriving in Somalia last June. I have had a full day programme here, and as always, am grateful for the very warm reception by President Abdiaziz Hassan Mohamed and by the people of South West State.

    My visit today focused on children and youth, as well as women’s empowerment.

    Accompanied by the UNICEF Representative in Somalia...

  • 8 Mar 2020

    @OSESGY

    Wars exacerbate gender inequalities. Women become more vulnerable to gender-based violence, including sexual violence, loss of economic rights and...

  • 8 Mar 2020

    TRIPOLI, 08 March 2020 - Today, the world celebrates International Women’s Day, which is marked globally under the theme of “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights”. ...

  • 8 Mar 2020

    KABUL - The United Nations in Afghanistan marks International Women’s Day under the global theme of “I Am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights” to leverage individual and...

  • 7 Mar 2020

    Mogadishu – On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the United Nations in Somalia applauded the role of Somali women in their country’s progress...

  • 7 Mar 2020

    The global number of confirmed cases of the new coronavirus disease, COVID-19, has surpassed 100,000, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported on Saturday.

  • 7 Mar 2020

    The United Nations has underscored its solidarity with Afghanistan following a deadly attack in the capital, Kabul, on Friday.

  • 7 Mar 2020

    Marib, 7 March 2020 – The UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, concluded today a one-day visit to Marib, northern Yemen.

    Mr. Griffiths met during his visit with local government officials, tribal chiefs, civil society including women and youth groups and internally displaced Yemenis. 

    “I came here today to listen to the people of Marib and their concerns and make sure that...

  • 7 Mar 2020

    In a visit to northern Yemen on Saturday, UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths repeated his call for an immediate freeze on military activities and for warring parties to work towards a de-escalation in fighting.

  • 7 Mar 2020

    @OSESGY

    I am going to speak in English, and I want to make sure, with your help, that I speak very accurately and carefully because this is a very...

  • 7 Mar 2020

    Tadamichi Yamamoto, the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Afghanistan, talks with journalists on the set of Zan TV in Kabul....

  • 6 Mar 2020

    29 February - 6 March 2020

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

    Security Council

    Hennis-Plasschaert: ‘Critical’ window of opportunity closing fast in Iraq 
    Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Special Representative for Iraq and Head of UNAMI, briefed the Security Council on the situation in the country on 3 March. She updated the Council on the ongoing demonstrations, political situation, and the threat of ISIL and other non-state armed groups. “Times of crisis also present opportunities. And I sincerely hope that Iraqi political leaders will recognize in this moment, the crossroads where they either stand idle, or where they place themselves in the service of their countrymen and women. But I have to say: the critical window of opportunity is closing fast,” Ms. Hennis-Plasschaert said. 
    Read her full remarks here 
    Read more in UN News

     

    Security Council discusses DPRK missile launch 
    At the request of France, Germany and the UK, the Security Council held a closed session on 5 March on the most recent launch of ballistic missiles by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding, briefed the Council. 
    For more Information, contact us

     

    New York

    Longstanding conflict between Equatorial Guinea and Gabon formally ends 
    Secretary-General António Guterres and Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo witnessed the last step in the resolution of the longstanding border dispute between Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. At a ceremony on 3 March, the Permanent Representatives of the two countries exchanged notifications that formally put an end to a conflict that dated back to the early 1970’s. The UN mediated in the conflict for more than two decades.    
    For more Information, contact us

     

    DPPA and East Africa Community signs agreement to enhance cooperation  
    DPPA and the East Africa Community (EAC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 5 March. Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo signed the MoU on behalf of DPPA. From now on, the two actors will cooperate on conflict prevention, electoral assistance, women, peace and security and gender equality, youth, peacebuilding, countering terrorism and preventing violent extremism. “In a time of persisting multifaceted challenges across the globe, the strengthening of partnerships between DPPA and regional and sub-regional organizations is essential,” Ms. DiCarlo said in her remarks.  
    For more Information, contact us

     

    Peacebuilding Commission meets on Burkina Faso  
    The Chair of the Peacebuilding Commision (PBC), Canadian Permanent Representative Marc-Andre Blanchard, convened a meeting on “Peacebuilding and sustaining peace in Burkina Faso” on 5 March. Burkinabe Minister of Economy Lassané Kaboré, Under-Secretary-General DiCarlo, senior representatives of the European Union, the African Development Bank and the World Bank, the Mayor of the city of Dori, and a representative of a women’s civil society organization in Burkina Faso briefed the Commission. Member States deplored the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in the country but welcomed the rallying of international support for the governments’ priorities for immediate action. Member States also agreed on the need to ensure immediate mobilization of resources to close the financing gap; and reiterated their commitment to help accelerate development and sustain peace in Burkina Faso through the government’s forthcoming National Development Plan (2021-2025). They also recognized UN system-wide support across humanitarian, development and peacebuilding areas of work, including through strengthened UN presence in the five regions of the Sahel Emergency Program, and acknowledged in particular the role of the Peacebuilding Fund. They encouraged the UN to continue to do its utmost to ensure system-wide coherence, including by regularly mapping its interventions and funding gaps.     
    For more Information, contact us

     

    Great Lakes

    Special Envoy visits the United Arab Emirates 
    Huang Xia, UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region, visited the United Arab Emirates from 29 March to 1 February. The objective of the visit was to promote the upcoming Great Lakes Investment and Trade Conference (GLITC), scheduled to take place in Kigali, Rwanda, on 18-20 March. The Special Envoy met with H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and they exchanged views on the immense potential for investment and trade in the Great Lakes region, which remains largely untapped.  
    Read more here

     

    Political Coordination meeting in Nairobi  
    The Office of the UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region organized its 7th Political Coordination meeting in Nairobi on 5-6 March to review the political and security situation and arrive at a shared analysis of recent dynamics and trends in the Great Lakes region. Huang Xia, UN Special Envoy, chaired the meeting, that brought together UN representatives from regional entities. In a bid to reinforce their collaboration considering the recent positive momentum observed, participants discussed ways to enhance concerted UN support through a clarification of roles and responsibilities of the different UN entities within the region. 
    Read more here


     

     

     


     

    Libya

    Special Representative steps down  
    Ghassan Salamé, Special Representative and Head of UNSMIL, said on 2 March he was stepping down.  “My health no longer allows this rate of stress,” Mr. Salamé tweeted. “So I asked the Secretary-General to relieve me from my mission, wishing Libya peace and stability.” Mr. Salamé served as Special Representative for Libya for more than two years, and recently convened talks between representatives of the warring sides in Geneva.  
    Read more in UN News 
     

    Somalia

    Consultation meeting on Somalia’s new constitution in Hirshabelle  
    A three-day public consultation ended in Jowhar on 3 March, at which representatives from all walks of life in Somalia’s federal state of Hirshabelle discussed and shared views on key elements of a future constitution for their country. Topics discussed included power-sharing, federalism, the financial system, the justice system, national security, and the status of the capital city, Mogadishu. Those in attendance included a range of community representatives, including civil society groups, academics, clan elders, youth, women, farmers, persons with disabilities, and religious leaders. The meeting was organized by the Federal Ministry of Constitutional Affairs (MoCA), with support of the UN Assistanec Mission in Somalia (UNSOM). 
    Read more on UNSOM’s website


    Colombia

    Ex-combatants and Indigenous people reconcile
    The Embera indigenous community and former FARC combatants in Dabeiba, Antioquia department, held a reconciliation ritual on 1 March. Representatives of the Government, political parties and the UN Verification Mission in Colombia attended the ceremony, which consisted of four acts symbolizing the protection of the land, truth and commitment to non-repetition, the vision of a future without violence, and a chant of healing. According to Embera leader Leonardo Domicó, the ceremony allowed FARC to recognize that the indigenous communities were victims of the conflict. "We want FARC's party to join in building well-being and opportunities for the communities, as a testimony and symbol of the commitment for peace to last in Dabeiba and Colombian territory." Francesc Claret, Head of the Mission's regional office in Medellín, said the event "is very symbolic because it is the first time that FARC made an act of forgiveness to these communities. The ceremony has been prepared for a long time, following the traditions and culture of the Embera community."  
    For more Information, contact us

     

    Ruiz Massieu: Peace Agreement offers mechanisms that help to end the cycles of violence in Colombia 
    Special Representative and Head of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, Carlos Ruiz Massieu, participated in the roundtable for the Protection of Life in Puerto Asís, Putumayo, on 3 March. The event, organized by the Prosecutor's office, the Truth Commission, the Ombudsman's office, and USAID, aimed to promote the protection of social leaders and human rights defenders in the region. In his statement, the Special Representative highlighted that "the Peace Agreement offers mechanisms that help to end the cycles of violence that impact communities affected by the conflict and facilitates the integral presence of the State, local development and reintegration sustainability." At the end of the meeting, the attendees signed the "Road Map for the Protection of Social Leaders," an initiative of civil society, governors, and the Attorney General's Office. 
    For more Information, contact us

     

    Iraq

    Event to combat hate speech with Under-Secretary-General Adama Dieng 
    UNAMI’s Human Rights Office brought together representatives of Iraqi human rights organizations, media monitoring bodies and legal associations, and representatives of diverse communities, to take stock of the dangers that hate speech represents to Iraqi society. The event took place in Baghdad on 3 March. Under-Secretary-General Adama Dieng, Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide and the UN global focal point on hate speech, attended the event, and launched an appeal for all Iraqis to band together against hatred, discrimination and violent extremism. “We are mainstreaming measures to counter hate speech, in line with international human rights norms and standards, into our programmes and activities, working with local stakeholders and interlocutors,” Deputy Special Representative Alice Walpole said in her remarks.  
    Read more on UNAMI’s website

     

    Syria

    Special Envoy visits Egypt  
    Syria Envoy Geir O. Pedersen addressed the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the League of Arab States in Cairo, Egypt on 4 March. He briefed the Ministers on the latest developments in Syria and his efforts to facilitate the political solution to the conflict. “Syria is beset by deep political divisions, massive humanitarian needs, and economic challenges growing in severity,” he said. He also focused on the situation in Idlib, the Constitutional Committee, and the role of the international community. “Let us work for the day when Syria’s sovereignty, unity, independence and territorial integrity are fully restored, and the Syrian people are able to determine their own future, as called for in Security Council resolution 2254,” Mr. Pedersen concluded.   
    Read his full remarks here 

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • 5 Mar 2020

    Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for the timely organization of this important meeting. I would like to extend a warm welcome to Minister  Kabore of Burkina Faso. Thank you, Mr. Minister, for  traveling from Ouagadougou to be with us today and for the comprehensive briefing on your country’s commendable efforts to respond to a very challenging and fast evolving situation. I am pleased that our Prevention and Peacebuilding Assessment (PPBA) partners, namely the World Bank, the African Development Bank and the European Union, together with members of the Peacebuilding Commission and other Member States and organisations have joined us today in support of your efforts.

    I would also like to extend greetings to UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Makhetha, Mayor Dialogue of Dori, and Ms. Compaoré from Coordination Regionale des Organisations Feminines du Sahel , – as well as a number of locally based Ambassadors and partners who are joining us from Ouagadougou.  And I am pleased that UNDP Resident Coordinator Mr. Ciowa has joined us in New York today.

    This meeting is a clear demonstration of the fact that we have built a new and strong partnership for prevention and peacebuilding in Burkina Faso. It marks the conclusion of Phase I of PPBA - an important milestone - as we now have clear priorities for immediate action. This is also an opportune time to reiterate our commitment to help accelerate development and sustain peace in Burkina Faso through the government’s forthcoming National Development Plan (2021-2025).

    In my recent visit to Burkina Faso, I discussed with the President and several ministers the worsening security situation, which has multiplied the humanitarian challenges facing the country. I share the government’s grave concern over the increasing attacks on the population by extremist and other armed groups, intercommunal violence, and human rights violations in many regions of the country.

     

    The number of internally displaced people has rapidly risen, going from 87,000 in January last year to over 765,000 in February this year. Similarly, the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance has increased from 1.5 million in December 2019 to 2.2 million in January 2020. The Humanitarian Response Plan, launched on 27 February by the UN and the Government, is appealing for US$ 321 million, to provide direct lifesaving assistance to more than 1.2 million people. The complex security and humanitarian situation is threatening social cohesion and the culture of solidarity that the people of Burkina Faso have long enjoyed and taken pride in. Protracted insecurity has detrimental and long-term effects on a country’s development trajectory, its macro-economic stability and the resilience of the population, especially women and youth.

    The Government of Burkina Faso has been working to respond to these emerging threats, including through dedicated measures such as the Emergency Program for the Sahel, which has been expanded to take into account threats beyond the North and the Sahel regions. Following the PPBA exercise in July 2019, the government and its international partners worked for months to ensure that preventive and peacebuilding support is fully aligned with the needs and priorities of the Government and the people of Burkina Faso. This led to the identification of priority actions that focus on Security and Rule of Law; Social Services; Local Governance; and Resilience and Social Cohesion, a clear sign of leadership and national ownership. A detailed description of these actions has been shared with all of you in advance of the meeting. 

    We must work to strengthen the resilience of the people in Burkina Faso. As the Minister just stated, security and rule of law remain key priorities. The Government recently finalised its first ever national security policy. Coordinated and coherent support for its implementation is now urgently needed.  

    n implementing the action plans, priority should be given to the meaningful participation of women and youth in prevention and peace processes, including through direct support to women-led and youth-lead initiatives that aim to promote social cohesion, counter violent extremism and radicalization and offer livelihood opportunities.

     

    It is encouraging that the government has taken steps towards the strengthening of its infrastructure for peace by investing in mechanisms for conflict prevention, management, resolution and peacebuilding at all levels of society.

    The Government’s openness towards broad and inclusive dialogue as a means for consensus building on issues of national interest, including on tackling the security crisis facing the country, is equally important.

    The UN remains committed to providing fully integrated and system-wide support across humanitarian, development and peacebuilding areas of work, including through our strengthened presence in the five regions of the Sahel Emergency Program. In addition, the Secretary-General’s Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) continues to support prevention and peacebuilding activities, in line with the government’s priorities.

    I am happy to report new PBF commitments to (i) strengthen UN interventions in the Sahel, North and Center North regions; (ii) help broaden geographic support to the east within the context of the government’s Emergency Program for the Sahel; and (iii) improve cross-border cooperation in the Liptako-Gourma region (focusing on transhumance and farmers-herders conflicts), and in the border areas of Burkina Faso, Benin and Togo to prevent violent extremism and further expansion of the crisis to Western coastal states.

    All PBF programmes in Burkina Faso promote the meaningful engagement of women and youth in peacebuilding processes, including by strengthening their participation in local decision-making processes.

    In view of the increasing insecurity, attacks by armed groups, and threats to social cohesion values, UN support is also critical in helping to ensure the holding of credible elections in November 2020.

    The United Nations remains committed to accompanying the people of Burkina Faso on their peacebuilding and sustainable development journey, together with all the partners present here today.

    In conclusion, I wish to thank the Commission for helping to ensure that Burkina Faso receives the attention it deserves. I strongly encourage immediate support for the priorities articulated in the action plans. Once again, I thank you Minister Kaboré for your clear explanation of the need for urgent action to help the people of Burkina Faso.

    I thank you Mr. Chairman.

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