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This Week in DPPA: 1 - 7 June 2024

A brief roundup of United Nations-related political and peacebuilding events and developments globally.

Inaugural PBC meeting on Guatemala highlights UN engagement and government priorities

On 4 June, the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) held its inaugural Ambassadorial-level meeting on Guatemala. The president of Guatemala, Bernardo Arévalo, presented his administration's peacebuilding priorities and transformative reform agenda. Guatemala represents a success story as a post-conflict country that has transitioned to stabilization and democratic governance. This year, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support Elizabeth Spehar and Assistant Secretary-General for Europe, Central Asia and the Americas Miroslav Jenča made visits to the country. 

UN investigative team hands over key ISIL crime data to Iraq

On 5 June, Acting Special Adviser and Head of the UN Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/ISIL (UNITAD) Ana Peyró Llopis updated Security Council members on the Team’s twelfth and final report. The Acting Special Adviser said that the team has initiated its liquidation for withdrawal from Iraq, adding that all the evidence and material the team collected has been consolidated into one, centralized digital archive and will remain beyond the closure of the Team. Member States, including Iraq, could consider them in the future to hold ISIL perpetrators accountable for crimes committed in Iraq, she said, lamenting ten years since Da’esh declared itself a caliphate in 2014, we are still calling for accountability to hold those responsible for the crimes they committed in Iraq.

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2024 Peacebuilding Fund Thematic Review reveals best practices in ensuring synergies between human rights and peacebuilding

The 2024 Thematic Review on Synergies between Human Rights and Peacebuilding in PBF-supported Programming was released this week. It outlines best practices and lessons learned from 92 projects spanning 45 countries and territories between 2017-2022, financed by the Secretary-General's Peacebuilding Fund. The review provides practical recommendations for future programming relevant to all peacebuilding and human rights practitioners. The report's launch event took place virtually on 4 June with a presentation on key findings, recommendations by the research team and a panel discussion with UN and civil society organization practitioners on best practices.

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SRSG Onanga-Anyanga participates in virtual event for Africa Day 

On 4 June, in commemoration of Africa Day 2024, a virtual event titled "Educating Africans for the 21st Century" was jointly organized by the African Union Permanent Observer Mission to the United Nations in New York, the United Nations Anti-Racism Office, and the United Nations Senior Officials of African Descent Group. Participating in a panel, Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) Parfait Onanga-Anyanga stressed that education is a vehicle to build more inclusive societies and promote a culture of peace. “Education for all must be intentional, qualitative and provide equal opportunities to both the boy and the girl child,” he said, adding “We must embrace innovative methods that go beyond traditional classroom settings.”

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UNOAU participates in 4th workshop on ASF-FPU pre-deployment 

From 27 May to 3 June, the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU) participated in the 4th Workshop on the Development of the African Standby Force (ASF) - Formed Police Unit (FPU) Pre-Deployment Training Package in Addis Ababa. The workshop focused on advancing the development of the Pre-deployment package, comprising three essential documents: the Reader, Facilitators’ Guide, and toolkit, along with the Participants’ Journal. Participants assessed progress, edited modules, and structured the Facilitators’ Guide framework. Tasks were assigned for finalization by August 2024, with the next workshop planned for September 2024. 

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Newly appointed Special Coordinator for Lebanon holds first round of consultations in the country

Newly appointed Special Coordinator for Lebanon Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert held her first round of consultations with the country’s top political and security leaders, including Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati (pictured) and caretaker Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib. Discussions focused on priorities under the Special Coordinator’s mandate, particularly concerning exchanges of fire across the Blue Line and the urgency for the cessation of hostilities, reaffirming commitment to the implementation of Resolution 1701. Discussions also addressed the prolonged presidential vacuum, the need for economic and financial reforms and the Syrian refugee crisis.

SRSG Simão stresses importance of peaceful and inclusive presidential elections in Mauritania

Leonardo Santos Simão, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), undertook a five-day visit to the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. As part of the good office activities, he met with the Mauritanian authorities and other key players to further strengthen the partnership with the United Nations, ahead of the presidential election scheduled for June 29. 

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UN Iraq convenes second Joint Steering Committee meeting with Iraqi Government

The UN Country Team and the Government of Iraq convened on 6 June the annual meeting of the Joint Steering Committee of the UN Cooperation Framework (2020-2024) in Baghdad. The meeting was co-chaired by the UN Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq (DSRSG/RC/HC), Ghulam Mohammed Isaczai, and the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Planning, Mohammed Tamim. The Joint Steering Committee provides strategic oversight and direction for the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF).The RC/HC for Iraq highlighted the importance of partnerships with government institutions as well as international development partners which have generously funded implementation of the Cooperation Framework responding to national development priorities and achievement of the SDGs.  

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DSRSG/RC/HC Isaczai: "Drought and desertification are major challenges buffeting Iraq today"

The UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) marked World Environment Day on 5 June. DSRSG/RC/HC for Iraq Ghulam Mohammed Isaczai emphasized the significant challenges of drought and desertification facing Iraq. “Drought and desertification are major challenges buffeting Iraq today. Only by determined planning and sustainable action we can combat this threat and restore green space,” he said, emphasizing the shared responsibility and the impact of every small step. He also reiterated the UN's commitment to supporting Iraqi efforts for a greener future.

UNAMI Human Rights Office holds roundtable discussion on “Promoting Freedom of Expression in Iraq”

On 5 June, the UNAMI Human Rights Office organized a roundtable discussion in Basra titled “Promoting Freedom of Expression in Iraq”. The event, the third in a series planned in different governorates, brought together 23 participants including journalists, writers, bloggers, social media users, defense lawyers, civil society representatives and human rights defenders. Participants discussed the obstacles to the full enjoyment of freedom of expression and freedom of the media in Iraq, both in the online and offline environment, and proposed solutions to address the concerns identified. Key findings and suggestions from these discussions will form the basis for a forthcoming direct dialogue between non-governmental stakeholders and relevant government, judicial and regulatory authorities planned for mid-June 2024 in Baghdad.

Ulaanbaatar Dialogue discusses Youth, Peace and Security  

The Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs co-organized a session on Youth, Peace and Security at the 9th Ulaanbaatar Dialogue in Mongolia on 6 June, as part of the joint efforts to support regional youth engagement on security issues. This year, on the margins of the Dialogue, a group of young peacebuilders from Northeast Asia met to launch a new platform for youth to contribute to environmental policies in the region. “We must intensify our tireless efforts to promote stability and cultivate an environment conducive to dialogue,” Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo noted in her video message. 

Former combatants market their products at local coffee fair

In the south of Tolima, where the former FARC-EP guerrilla was born, today stands out for its coffee production, including several projects led by former combatants. On 1 June, five brands participated, among other community initiatives, in the local coffee fair – Planting Coffee, Harvesting Peace- organized by the mayor of Rioblanco. Former combatants and farmers shared their experiences and had the opportunity to market and network their products. Regional authorities, the National Reintegration Agency and other local actors participated, as well as the UN Verification Mission in Colombia.

Next Week

The Security Council will discuss the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) and Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) on 10 June, and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea on 12 June. A briefing on Yemen will take place on 13 June.