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This Week in DPPA: 10 - 16 April 2021

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

Security Council

Xia: "Need relentless support" for peace, stability and sustainable development of Africa’s Great Lakes region

The Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region of Africa, Huang Xia, told the Security Council on 12 April that the region appears to be “firmly on the right track” to tackle its security, political and economic challenges, particularly regarding diplomatic relations. In his briefing, Xia commended the region’s “resilience and determination” in the fight against COVID-19 and urged Council members to continue their mobilization “to foster more equitable and affordable access to the vaccine, including in areas affected by armed conflict.”

Read more here

Griffiths: “The urgency of progress towards a peaceful settlement makes the continued violence on the ground all the more concerning”

Martin Griffiths, Special Envoy for Yemen, told the Security Council on 15 April of a continued deterioration of the conflict in the country, with dangerous signs of escalation of the fighting in Marib and Taiz. He expressed appreciation for the Security Council’s consensus on prioritizing Yemen and the urgent need for a political settlement as the only way to end the conflict. “There's a reason for hope: the way to end the war is known and its main elements frequently discussed with the parties,” he said. “All we need now is for the parties to agree to this deal.”

Full briefing to the Council here


Security Council holds annual open debate on conflict-related sexual violence

Pramila Patten, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, briefed the Security Council on 14 April. She presented the findings of her office’s 2020 annual report, which covers 18 country situations and documents over 2,500 UN-verified cases of conflict-related sexual violence. She called for concerted efforts to ensure that survivors of sexual violence are not obscured beneath the long shadow cast by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Council also heard civil society appeals for proactive measures to combat sexual violence in conflict and assistance to victims.

Read more here


UNAMA releases quarterly report on civilian casualties in Afghanistan 

The latest Afghanistan Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict 2021 First Quarterly Report, released on 14 April, documents 1,783 civilian casualties, with 573 people killed and 1,210 people injured in the first three months of the year. This represents a 29 percent increase compared with the same period in 2020. There was a 37 percent increase in the number of women killed and injured, and a 23 percent increase in child casualties. “The number of Afghan civilians killed and maimed, especially women and children, is deeply disturbing,” Deborah Lyons, Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA, wrote in the report. “I implore the parties to urgently find a way to stop this violence.”.

Read more here

Full report here


Special Envoy visits Germany and United Arab Emirates

Special Envoy Martin Griffiths met in Berlin on 12 April with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and senior officials from the permanent members of the Security Council, as well as the European Union, Germany, Kuwait and Sweden. He reiterated his call to the parties to seize this opportunity to negotiate in good faith and without preconditions and stressed this is a moment for decisions and responsible leadership. Griffiths then went on to the United Arab Emirates, where he met in Abu Dhabi on 14 April with the president of Yemen’s Southern Transitional Council, Aidaroos Al-Zubaidi. They discussed the current negotiation efforts to agree on a nationwide ceasefire, urgent humanitarian measures and the resumption of the political process. 


Special Envoy visits United Arab Emirates, Ehiopia and Egypt

Ján Kubiš, Special Envoy for Libya and Head of UNSMIL, concluded on 10 April a three-day visit to Dubai. He met with Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, State Minister of Foreign Affairs Khalifa Shaheen al-Marar, and Diplomatic Advisor to the President Anwar Gargash. They discussed the situation in Libya, including the need to support the newly elected interim authority in Libya to achieve unity, stability, and prosperity.

Kubiš then traveled to Ethiopia, where he concluded on 13 April his first visit to the African Union in Addis Ababa. He held discussions with Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security Bankole Adeoye, and Commissioner for Social Affairs Amira El Fadil on ways to strengthen the UN-AU cooperation in support of Libya and the region under the Berlin process framework.

In Egypt on 14-15 April, Kubiš held discussions with Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shokry and other senior officials. He also met Secretary-General of the League of Arab State Ahmed Aboul Gheit.


Special Representative discusses Baghdad-Erbil relations

Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Special Representative for Iraq and Head of UNAMI, met in Baghdad on 10 April with the President of the Kurdistan Region, Nechirvan Barzani. They discussed the latest political developments in Iraq, in particular the situation in the Kurdistan Region as well as Baghdad-Erbil relations. Later in the week on 15 April, she met with National Security Advisor Qassem Al Arajiv to discuss the current security situation in the country, including the implementation of the Sinjar Agreement.


Iraq’s Electoral Preparations and Processes for April is published

UNAMI issued on 10 April the latest Electoral Preparations and Processes. Through the monthly report, mandated under Security Council Resolution 2522 (2020), the Mission provides electoral assistance and advice to the Government of Iraq and the Independent High Electoral Commission.  

Learn more


Children from communities of conflict receive music lessons

The UN Verification Mission in Colombia delivered on 15 April musical instruments to the children and adolescents from the Tierra Grata community in Manaure, Cesar and San José de Oriente as part of the reincorporation of the youth group “Son de Paz”. The project will allow children and adolescents to access free music classes focused on rights and peacebuilding and reconciliation through art. The instruments were donated as part of the national campaign ‘Let’s sing another story’, led by the UN Mission. 

Next Week

Special Representative Carlos Ruiz Massieu will update the Security Council on Colombia on Wednesday, 21 April, in the afternoon. The Council will hold an open debate on the Middle East on Thursday, 22 April, in the morning. 


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