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This Week in DPPA: 10 - 16 December 2022

Security Council

Secretary-General emphasizes the power of multilateralism in Council briefing 

Speaking to the Security Council on 14 December, Secretary-General António Guterres underscored that strengthening multilateralism to address global challenges has been his highest priority since assuming office. He said he will present a “New Agenda for Peace” in 2023 that will address the full range of new and old security challenges — local, national, regional and international. He added that the Black Sea Grain Initiative shows that the United Nations still has a unique and important role in brokering solutions to global challenges. 

Read his full remarks here

Special Representative Bathily briefs the Council on his efforts in Libya 

In his briefing to the Security Council on 16 December, Abdoulaye Bathily, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), said that work on the security track has resulted in some notable achievements, and the economic track is building some momentum, which can be built on. The political track, however, is showing little sign of progress. He told the Council members that we need to apply pressure on the country’s political leaders on the urgency of finalizing the constitutional basis. He said that we need to think creatively about ways to ensure free, fair, transparent and simultaneous presidential and parliamentary elections are organized.  

Read his full remarks here


Verification Mission attends inauguration of mural commemorating victims of the armed conflict 

On 10 December, the UN Verification Mission in Colombia participated in the inauguration of a mural as part of the commemoration of International Human Rights Day in Roncesvalles, Tolima, located in the center-west of the country. The mural represents the memory of the victims and the families of the more than 80,000 people who disappeared during the armed conflict. The Mission supported this activity, along with the Missing Persons Search Unit created by the Final Peace Agreement, and the Mayor's Office. Victims, former combatants, and the local community also participated. 

Peace and reconciliation dialogue in Nariño 

The UN Verification Mission in Colombia facilitated a dialogue from 10-11 December for peace and reconciliation between the indigenous people of the Awá community and former combatants during a sports championship and mural painting event. The participants highlighted the importance of UN’s support in their reconciliation processes, which represents a crucial step towards achieving peace in the territory. 

Central Asia

UNRCCA convenes fifth Central Asian Expert Forum  

On 10 December, the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) organized the Fifth Central Asian Expert Forum (CAEF) in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. The Expert Forum serves as a platform for leading Central Asian think-tanks to discuss regional issues and deepen regional cooperation. Participants addressed issues such as climate change and transboundary water resources management, food security, and security in information and communication technologies. A set of concrete recommendations and ideas were proposed and will be submitted to Central Asian states for further consideration. 

SRSG Gherman co-hosts women leaders’ caucus annual meeting, UNRCCA convenes annual meeting with deputy foreign ministers of Central Asian states 

On 10 December, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Central Asia and Head of the UNRCCA, Natalia Gherman, co-hosted the annual meeting of the Central Asia Women Leaders’ Caucus (CAWLC). SRSG Gherman said that the Caucus “spearheads the regional dialogue and collaborative approach to promotion of implementation of the Women Peace and Security Agenda and symbolizes the Central Asian States’ commitment to jointly address challenges in the field of gender equality in the region.” On 11 December, the 12th annual meeting of Deputy Foreign Ministers of Central Asian states took place in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. The Deputy Foreign Ministers expressed support for the activities of the Regional Centre, including preventing extremism and countering terrorism, climate change and water diplomacy. 


Special Coordinator for Lebanon launches Debate on Rebuilding Trust 

This week, Special Coordinator of the Secretary-General for Lebanon Joanna Wronecka launched a series of roundtable discussions with Lebanese stakeholders on the theme of rebuilding trust. Wronecka advocated for a Lebanese-led process of dialogue on a new social contract to reinforce national unity. She also noted the importance of restoring confidence through inclusion and the empowerment of different segments of society, including women, youth, persons with disabilities. Other participants highlighted the importance of combating corruption and ensuring the independence of the judiciary as a necessary starting point. In a separate discussion involving eight media editors-in-chief, the Special Coordinator underlined the need to restore a system of values and respect for those values, including through education. 


UNAMI delegation visits Karbala  

Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert visited Karbala, a city in central Iraq, on 11 December with Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General (DSRSG) for Political Affairs and Electoral Assistance Claudio Cordone. The delegation met with Governor Nassif Al-Khattabi to discuss the general situation and ways to further UN collaboration with the governorate.  The delegation also visited the Imam Hussain Holy Shrine, where they met with Sheikh Abdul Mahdi Al-Karbalai, representative of the Supreme Religious Authority His Eminence Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani; as well as the Warth International Foundation for Cancerous Tumors, which is run by the Imam Hussain Holy Shrine, where they met with patients and staff. 

UNAMI conference on youth engagement highlights the youth’s important role in Iraq’s future 

On 13 December, UNAMI organized a conference in Baghdad, which showcased the ideas and creativity of Iraqi youth and how they can contribute to their country’s future. The conference involved more than 220 youths from various governorates, half of them women. DSRSG Claudio Cordone stressed in his address the importance for the Iraqi youth to express themselves and participate fully in the country’s social, cultural and political life. With youth comprising 60 percent of the Iraqi population, the DSRSG added that the ideas and energy of the youth should not be underestimated. “We need you as partners and future leaders. We need you to play your role in full to build a peaceful and sustainable future for Iraq, which will meet the aspirations of all its people.”

DSRSG/RC/HC for Iraq Ghulam Isaczai attends Dream Organization for Humanitarian Aid event 

On 10 December, DSRSG/Regional Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq Ghulam Isaczai participated in the Dream Organization for Humanitarian Aid event, under the auspices of the Iraqi Parliament Speaker, Mohammed Al-Halbousi, to mark the 16 Days of Activism campaign to End Violence Against Women. In his speech, DSRSG Isaczai noted that "Violence against women is seen as a fundamental obstacle hindering women’s development and society at large"; and that "in Iraq, early and child Marriage remains a widespread phenomenon with estimates as high as 25 per cent".   

UNAMI conducts media training for IHEC media unit 

On 13 December, UNAMI conducted a training for staff of the Public Outreach department (communications and media office) and media support unit of the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) on the technical aspects of photography and videography. Experts from the UNAMI Public Information Office (PIO) shared new and up-to-date techniques with 15 staff from the IHEC. Sessions included insights into photo and video story telling as well as an overview of the social media space and best practices. The training, organized by the UNAMI Office of Electoral Assistance, is part of UN capacity-building support for the IHEC.   

UNAMI Human Rights Office activities in Iraq 

On 10 December, the UNAMI Human Rights Office, in collaboration with the Iraqi Bar Association, held a three-day specialized training course in Basra for 18 lawyers from various southern governorates in Iraq on “Raising the capacities of lawyers towards broader protection of freedom of opinion and expression in Iraq”. Also on 10 December, the Office held a two-day workshop in Dohuk for civil society organizations. Participants discussed the role of civil society on human rights protections. On 12 December, the Human Rights Office, alongside the Kurdistan Region's Office of the Coordinator for International Advocacy, organized a roundtable discussion in Dohuk with representatives from security services, including Asayish and police departments. It held a similar event in Erbil on 14 December, with participation from the Counter-Terrorism Directorate and the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs, in addition to police and Asayish. On 13 December, the Office held a workshop in Mosul on "Mechanisms for the Protection of Minority Rights in the Ninewa Plains.”  The discussions centered on ethnic and religious societal components in the Ninewa Plains and the policies and programmes needed to protect their rights. On 14 December, the Office and the Iraqi Women Journalists Forum brought together a group of women media workers to discuss the exercise of the right to freedom of expression.  


Advancing Arabic Natural Language Processing (NLP) for Peace  

On 14 December and ahead of UN Arabic Language Day on 18 December, DPPA’s Innovation Cell and the American University of Beirut (AUB) held a panel discussion on “Natural Language Processing (NLP) for Peace.” The event marked the release of groundbreaking computer-readable dictionaries and resources for Iraqi, Libyan, Sudanese, and Yemeni Arabic dialects that are now publicly available to peacebuilding practitioners and researchers to advance machine-assisted political analysis (e.g., for social media mining, radio and TV mining). Participants discussed the application of Arabic NLP for media monitoring, hate speech analysis and efforts to counter mis and disinformation in the Arab region and beyond. 

Podcast: "Behind the Numbers"

New episode offers insights on gender and inclusion

The latest episode of “Behind the Numbers,” DPPA’s podcast on women peacemakers, features Sanam Naraghi Anderlini, founder and CEO of the International Civil Society Action Network, and Director of the Center for Women, Peace and Security at the London School of Economics and Political Science. As a gender and inclusion expert, Sanam helped draft Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security and has worked on peace processes around the world. 

Multi-Year Appeal 

This week, DPPA received voluntary contribution from Cyprus, Germany and Spain to DPPA's Multi-Year Appeal, which will support our conflict prevention, mediation and sustainable peace work around the world.  


Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support visits Canada 

From 14-15 December, Assistant Secretary-General (ASG) for Peacebuilding Support Elizabeth Spehar visited Canada. In Ottawa, the ASG met with government officials in Global Affairs Canada, including the Deputy Minister of International Development, Assistant Deputy Ministers of Global Issues and Development and of International Security as well as the Director General of the Peace and Stabilization Operations Program. The discussions focused on the value of deepening conflict prevention efforts to ensure that the multilateral system is fit for purpose. In a roundtable hosted by the Minister of International Development, topics discussed included conflict prevention in an age of compound risks for sustainable development and peace. Meeting with the Canadian Peacebuilding Partners Network, ASG Spehar underscored the central role of civil society in conflict prevention and peacebuilding and encouraged them to participate in the global call to civil society for contributions to the New Agenda for Peace. 

Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) meeting on WPS 

On 12 December, the Peacebuilding Commission convened its annual meeting on Women, Peace and Security (WPS). The meeting explored challenges and opportunities to collaborate, including among conflict affected countries, to advance women’s voices and meaningful contributions to sustainable peace. Briefers recognized the essential roles of women in peacebuilding and peacekeeping while noting institutional, practical, situational obstacles impacting the effectiveness of their contributions. Member States recognized the critical roles played by women peacekeepers and peacebuilders and called for more support for their effort. They called for investing in local women peacebuilders, their networks and organizations and welcomed the Peacebuilding Fund’s ongoing investments in this regard. 

PBSO approves 27 gender and youth projects in 21 countries for 2023  

PBSO this year received 444 concept notes from UN agencies and CSO totaling $ 610 million after issuing the annual call for proposals.  After two competitive rounds, 27 projects for $46.7 million in 21 countries were approved. This includes 13 Gender Promotion Initiative projects ($23.6 m) focusing on supporting women’s civil society organizations, groups and networks in strengthening their institutional capacity for sustainable contribution to peacebuilding. For the Youth Promotion Initiative, 14 projects ($23.1 m) focusing on promotion of youth political participation and youth safety, security and protection, or a combination of both themes were approved. 17 projects were submitted by CSOs ($26.8 m), 4 are UN-CSO proposals ($7.9 m) and 6 are UN projects ($12 m). All projects are required to allocate at least 40 per cent to national and local civil society partners.  The Fund also commenced a pilot to decentralize the Gender Promotion Initiate in four countries: Guatemala, Haiti, Niger and the Gambia, with $2.5 million investment into each country. This pilot aims to enhance national ownership, integrate WPS commitments into longer-term peacebuilding strategies, and expand funding access to national CSOs. These pilot projects have been approved in Haiti and Niger and are under development in Guatemala and the Gambia. 

Group of Friends of Peacebuilding Fund meets to discuss youth empowerment in Sudan and South Sudan 

The quarterly Group of Friends meeting of the Peacebuilding Fund took place this week, co-chaired by Sweden and the United Kingdom. Participants heard how the Government of South Sudan, IOM, UNESCO and the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization jointly implemented a three-year project funded by the PBF worth $2.78 million in Wau. Working directly with members of youth gangs to reduce violence, the initiative empowered young men and women to become agents of peace in their communities. Peacebuilding Fund colleagues provided an update on the recent donor visit to Sudan, highlighting programmes supporting youth peace ambassadors in Darfur. 

Next Week


On Monday, the Security Council will discuss the Middle East Peace Process. On Tuesday, Special Representative of the Secretary-General Roza Otunbayeva will brief the Council on the situation in Afghanistan. On Wednesday, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General Geir O. Pedersen will brief on Syria in the morning, and the Council will discuss Haiti in the afternoon.

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