Huang Xia: Encouraging progress in the Great Lakes region despite persisting challenges
Special Envoy Huang Xia on 13 October briefed the Security Council on recent developments in the Great Lakes region. The Special Envoy noted the region's leaders continued efforts to improve political, security and economic cooperation, in line with the implementation of the 2013 Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the region. “The situation in the region in recent months has indeed remained broadly stable, with encouraging progress despite persistent challenges,” he said. Paramount among the positive developments are the peaceful transfer of power in Burundi following general elections in May; a quadripartite summit held on 7 October to discuss security and economic cooperation issues between the DRC, Angola, Uganda and Rwanda; and the diplomatic and peaceful resolution of the border issue between the DRC and Zambia in August. As for the remaining challenges, the Special Envoy singled out cross‑border incidents and persisting illegal activities by armed groups in eastern DRC.
Watch the briefing here
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Ruiz Massieu: Finding ways to curb violence is imperative to deliver on the promise of the Peace Agreement
Carlos Ruiz Massieu, Special Representative and Head of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, on 14 October briefed the Security Council on the Secretary-General’s latest report on the work of the Mission. He recalled the central objective of the Final Peace Agreement signed almost four years ago: ending more than five decades of confrontation between the Colombian State and the FARC-EP, as well as the opening of a long and complex phase of building lasting peace. In addition, he mentioned the historic achievements that have been made, such as the laying down of weapons by the FARC-EP, as well as their transition to a political party. Despite the advances in the reintegration process of former combatants and the Integral System for Truth, Justice, Reparation, and Non-Repetition, Ruiz Massieu expressed his concern about the continuing violence in some areas of the country. “Unfortunately, some of the areas that suffered immensely during the conflict continue to be besieged by violence from other actors who continue attacking social leaders, human rights defenders, former combatants, and entire communities. Recent massacres in various departments have served as a painful reminder of how innocent civilians, including young people, are falling victim to the actions of these groups. Finding ways to curb this violence is imperative to deliver on the promise of the Peace Agreement.” To conclude, Ruiz Massieu paid tribute to the strength and courage of Colombia’s countless women peacebuilders.
Read his full remarks here
Griffiths: Release of prisoners an “airlift of hope”
Special Envoy Martin Griffiths on 15 October briefed the Security Council on the situation in Yemen. He
called the release of prisoners and detainees, following the agreement reached on 27 September, an "airlift of hope". “We hope that the implementation of the prisoners’ agreement will build confidence and momentum by demonstrating that peaceful dialogue can deliver”, he said. The Special Envoy also paid tribute to Yemeni women, saying that they “have worked tirelessly, mostly behind the scenes, always below the radar to stop the war, reduce violence, release detainees and build back peace. They do this against all odds with a courage we can only imagine and often under circumstances which threaten their lives, their livelihoods and their families”.
Read his full remarks here
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Meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs
Natalia Gherman, Special Representative and Head of UNRCCA, on 16 October met with Ruslan Kazakbaev, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic, to discuss the political and socio-economic situation in the country. Minister Kazakbaev informed the Special Representative about the latest developments in the country, noting the efforts to bring the political situation back into the legal framework. Speaking on behalf of the UN, Ms. Gherman strongly encouraged Kyrgyz authorities to ensure that decisions made on the way forward for the country are being reached in an inclusive and transparent manner, in line with the Kyrgyz Constitution and legal framework.
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Visit to family of late Yezidi spiritual leader
Irena Vojáčková-Sollorano, Deputy Special Representative and Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, on 14 October, visited the family of the late Yezidi spiritual leader Baba Sheikh, Prince Tahsin Beg, at Lalish Temple. She expressed her condolences on the passing of his holiness Baba Sheikh and discussed challenges faced by the Yezidi community, especially women and children. She reaffirmed the UN’s long-term commitment to support the Government of Iraq as it continues working for stabilization, recovery, reconciliation and durable solutions; and to ensure that all IDPs have the right to a safe home and a self-sufficient and dignified life through voluntary return to their places of origin or settling down in new communities in safety and dignity.
Launch of maritime border negotiations
Lebanon and Israel began this week landmark negotiations for the delineation of their common maritime boundary, after it took them ten years to agree on a framework for holding those talks. UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Ján Kubiš is hosting the border negotiations that are being facilitated and mediated by the United States. “During this initial meeting (on 14 October), the representatives held productive talks and reaffirmed their commitment to continue negotiations later this month,” a joint statement issued by the Government of the United States and UNSCOL said. A second round of negotiations is scheduled for the end of October.
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Consultative meeting with Libyan Mayors as part of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum process
As part of Libyan Political Dialogue Forum process, based on the principles of social and political inclusivity, Stephanie Williams, Acting Special Representative and Head of UNSMIL, has been holding a series of meetings with mayors from the South, West and the Eastern part of Libya this week. The mayors discussed concerns and recommendations regarding the political process, focusing on the phase preceding the national elections. They urged the UN to advocate for an improvement of economic conditions and better provision of services to the Libyan citizens at municipal level.
Special Representative visits Baidoa
On a visit to Baidoa, South West State, on 14 October, representatives of some of the country’s key international partners highlighted the importance of the Federal Government and Federal Member States working together for the good of all Somalis. “We are encouraged by the revitalization of the dialogue between the Federal Government and all of the Federal Member States. This has included the series of meetings in Dhusamareb in recent months and consultative meetings in Mogadishu in September during which the agreement on the elections model was reached,” James Swan, Special Representative and Head of UNSOM, said.
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Federal Government of Somalia and the UN sign new cooperation framework
The Federal Government of Somalia and the UN on 15 October signed a new cooperation agreement which sets out how the country and the world body will work together over the next five years to achieve peace, stability and prosperity for all Somalis. “Since signing of the UN Strategic Framework in December 2017, Somalia has made remarkable progress in its journey towards consolidating peace and sustainable and inclusive development, with steadfast UN support,” Special Representative James Swan, said at the signing ceremony.
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Women, Peace and Security
Panel discussion on inclusive mediation
Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo on 15 October gave the opening remarks at the panel discussion on "Imagining the Future of Inclusive Mediation: Learning from pioneering and young women leaders." “Power politics entrenched patriarchal attitudes and unequal social structures continue to impede women’s participation in peace processes as has shrinking civic and political space and inadequate financial support to women’s groups,” Ms. DiCarlo said. Hanna Tetteh, Special Representative and Head of UNOAU, and Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, member of the UN Standby Team of Senior Mediation Advisors, also participated in the event.
Read her remarks here
Watch the event here
Interview with the Deputy Special Representative in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
In “Building Peace during the Pandemic” this week, David McLachlan-Karr, Deputy Special Representative, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in MONUSCO, spoke with Marc-André Franche, Chief, Financing for Peacebuilding, Peacebuilding Support Office, about the threats posed by the pandemic on fragile institutional systems and social safety nets in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, emphasizing that the pandemic could worsen inequalities and exacerbate community grievances. To address this, the UN Country Team has adopted a nexus approach by linking peacebuilding needs with humanitarian assistance and grassroots development and has focused on supporting the most vulnerable, including women and youth. Mr. McLachlan-Karr also highlighted the UN’s support to the Government in strengthening social safety nets, particularly in health and education, leveraging the private sector and creating opportunities for youth employment. He noted, in particular that “[the UN] has had a particular theme of looking at the most vulnerable sectors of society, and ensuring that they are given support and are also specifically targeted in the COVID-19 response and through the Peacebuilding Fund’s programming so that they can receive the necessary support.”
Watch the video here: https://youtu.be/KySc6otysH
Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) meeting on Sahel and UNISS
The PBC on 14 October discussed the latest developments in the Sahel region and the status of the UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel (UNISS) implementation. Member States noted UN system-wide efforts to implement UNISS, including the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) political guidance, strengthened capacity within the Dakar-based UNISS Implementation Support Unit, and an increasingly supportive role of the UN Development Coordination Office. Recognizing that the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates development, humanitarian and security challenges and reverses progress in gender equality, they stressed that an immense effort is required to prevent millions of Sahelians from plunging into a deeper crisis, and that women and youth should be at the center of recovery and peacebuilding efforts. They acknowledged that financing for the COVID-19 socio-economic recovery in the Sahel countries offers an opportunity to promote coherent international action on the humanitarian-development-peace nexus. The PBC Chair, Ambassador Bob Rae, Permanent Representative of Canada to the UN in New York, proposed that all PBC members reinforce this message with their respective Capitals. The G5 Sahel representatives called for even stronger focus in support of their Priority Investment Program. The need to strengthen peoples’ confidence to military and security forces was highlighted as a necessary precondition for fighting terrorism effectively and strengthening resilience of local communities.
Watch the recording here
The Work of Peace
Remember to check out our virtual exhibit – The Work of Peace. It highlights the work of the UN in preventive diplomacy, good offices, mediation and elections over the past 75 years, and looks ahead at what the future may hold for this work.