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This Week in DPPA: 11 - 17 December 2021

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

Security Council

DiCarlo: No viable alternative to the full and effective implementation of the JCPOA 

Under-Secretary-General (USG) Rosemary DiCarlo briefed the Security Council on 14 December on Iran and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). She reiterated the Secretary-General’s message that there is simply no viable alternative to the full and effective implementation of the JCPOA. In this regard, together with the Secretary-General, USG DiCarlo appealed to the United States to lift or waive its sanctions as outlined in the Plan and extend the waivers regarding the oil trade with Iran. She also called on Iran to reverse the steps it has taken that are not consistent with its nuclear-related commitments under the Plan.

Read more here

Full remarks at the Security Council here

Yemen envoy Grundberg: “Restraint, de-escalation and dialogue are urgently needed now”

Briefing the Security Council on 14 December, Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg reported on the “considerable” escalation of the conflict following the evacuation of the Joint Forces from large parts of Hudaydah governorate. The Special Envoy said he remains concerned about the possibility of urban warfare in Ma’rib and stressed that military options will not result in sustainable solutions. He reiterated that a comprehensive inclusive political approach was needed and called on the parties to grant him unconditional and regular access.

Full remarks at the Security Council here

‘An opportune moment’ to intensify cooperation to defeat violent extremism in Central Africa

François Louncény Fall, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA), briefed the Security Council on 15 December on the situation in the subregion and the activities of UNOCA. On the Boko Haram and Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) threats in the Lake Chad Basin, he said it is the right moment to increase international support to national and regional efforts to defeat these groups as their activities seem to have been weakened by military operations. On climate change, he noted that UNOCA will continue to dedicate attention to this global priority and its potential linkages to peace and security, in partnership with other actors in the subregion.

Watch the briefing highlights here


Special Representative meets former President Karzai

Deborah Lyons, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) met on 13 December the former President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai in Kabul. They exchanged views on the humanitarian and economic situation. The Special Representative reaffirmed the UN's continued on-the-ground support to the Afghan people.


Special Representative discusses political situation post-elections

This week, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert continued discussions on Iraq’s stability. In Amman, she met with Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi. The following day on 13 December, she met with Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein in Baghdad. On 14 December, she met with the leader of the Azm Alliance, Khamis al-Khanjar, and discussed the political situation including the result of the recently held parliamentary elections. In Baghdad on 15 December, she met with the leader of the Taqadoum Alliance, Mohammed al-Halbousi. 

Capacity building workshop for youth on strengthening political engagement 

On 11 December, a closing session of the capacity building workshops on youth political engagement took place in Baghdad. UNAMI, in coordination with the Committee for Dialogue and Societal Peace (CDSP) in the Prime Minister’s Office, had organized ten thematic participatory workshops between August and December 2021 to build the capacities of 50 youth from across Iraq on political participation. In his opening remarks, Director of the UNAMI Office of Political Affairs Mohammed Al-Najjar affirmed the important role of Iraqi youth as catalysts for change. “UNAMI will continue to support the Iraqi people for real reform and sustainable development,” said the Director.

Read more here

Human rights training for law enforcement

The UN Office of Counter-Terrorism and the UNAMI Human Rights Office held a human rights training for Iraqi law enforcement officials from 12-13 December. The event focused on the promotion and protection of human rights standards during investigative interviewing, procedural safeguards to prevent torture and ill-treatment as well as best practices regarding the treatment of women and children.

Read more here

UNAMI discusses rights of persons with disabilities

The UNAMI Kirkuk office met on 15 December with the representatives of People with Disabilities. The representatives shared the challenges experienced in the sectors of employment, education, health and access to social services and made recommendations to address them. They further asked UNAMI to advocate for the full implementation of Law 38 (2013) on the Care of Persons with Disabilities and Special Needs, and the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) for the protection of their rights. 

Central Asia

Central Asian Parliamentarians discusses action plans for addressing terrorism 

On 14-15 December, UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) convened the roundtable, “The Role of Parliamentarians in the Implementation of National Action Plans for Addressing Terrorism and Violent Extremism Conducive to Terrorism”, in partnership with the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) and its Programme Office in Doha. The hybrid meeting, participated by more than 60 officials, aimed to empower the Central Asian parliamentarians in elaborating and implementing national strategies and plans for addressing violent extremism through knowledge-sharing and establishing regional contacts. Opening the meeting, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNRCCA Natalia Gherman underlined that prevention of violent extremism and countering terrorism are among top priority areas of UNRCCA engagement in the region.

Read more here


Special Adviser Stephanie Williams arrives in Tripoli

Stephanie Williams, Special Adviser for Libya, arrived in Tripoli on 12 December to lead the good offices and mediation efforts in close coordination with the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL). Over the past few days, she has met a broad range of Libyan interlocutors – including political, security and civil society representatives - throughout the country. She will work to help Libyans sustain the momentum created for national elections in support of the holding of presidential and parliamentary elections.

Read more here

West Africa and the Sahel

Regional seminar on peacebuilding and conflict resolution

The UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) organized a regional seminar on the "Contribution of religious and traditional actors to peacebuilding, conflict prevention and resolution in West Africa and the Sahel" from 16 to 17 December. The regional seminar aimed to promote the involvement of religious and traditional leaders in peacebuilding efforts. A network between religious actors, civil society and decision-makers is to be launched after the meeting.

Read more here


Special Representative discusses ongoing electoral process

James Swan, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) met on 16 December with Somali civil society representatives to hear their views on the ongoing electoral process. They discussed points to improve to ensure credible, free and fair elections, including better access for independent observers throughout the process. On 14 December, the Special Representative held a meeting with international donors as well as federal and state electoral implementations teams where they underscored the need for ensuring credible and widely accepted elections process. 

Great Lakes region

Special Envoy Xia takes part in discussion on non-military measures against negative forces in DRC

Huang Xia, Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region, took part of the multi-stakeholder expert discussion in Goma on 14 December. The meeting marked the start of the Operational Cell of the Contact and Coordination Group where the experts met to define a ‘modus operandi’ of the Group to coordinate non-military activities against negative forces in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. 


Former combatants participate in reconciliation fair in Icononzo

On 15 December, in Icononzo, Tolima, the UN Verification Mission supported the municipality's first "Reconciliation Fair." The second collection of the "Avanza" brand, a clothing workshop made up of former combatants, was launched at the event, with several companies from the municipality also present. Currently, more than 200 former combatants of the FARC-EP carry out their reintegration process in Icononzo. It is the closest to the Colombian capital, Bogotá, after a three-hour journey on a narrow road. The UN Development Programme as well as the Mayor's Office, Colombian Government Agency for Reintegration, and the National Council for Reintegration also participated in the event.

DPPA Donor Group Meeting 

DPPA met with its member State donors on 15 December to discuss the latest Multi-Year Appeal. During a virtual session hosted by the Permanent Mission of Norway, our colleagues presented a year-end update on its activities and funding. Donors also heard an overview of the UN’s mediation support in 2021, including the deployments of the Standby Team of mediation experts.


ECOSOC-PBC meeting on COVID-19 pandemic, peacebuilding and sustainable development

Addressing the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) Ambassadors on 15 December, Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed stressed that the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, rising poverty and hunger, and persistent conflicts are threatening our ability to deliver on the promise of a better life for people and a healthy planet as set out in Agenda 2030. This year’s annual ECOSOC-PBC meeting heard from IMF Deputy Managing Director Antoinette Sayeh; World Bank Managing Director of Operations Axel van Trotsenburg; and private sector representatives from Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Mali. The ECOSOC and PBC members affirmed their commitment to working together in promoting coherence among UN development, humanitarian, human rights, and political actors, with women and girls at the center. They called for more action to promote vaccine equity and stressed the role of South-South cooperation (SSC) and advance long-term goals of economic recovery and peacebuilding. Recognizing the need to ensure adequate funding, especially for the Peacebuilding Fund, the Joint Sustainable Development Goals Fund, and UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), they also echoed the DSG’s call for a shift to a funding architecture that incentivizes collaboration and impact at scale. They welcomed ongoing United Nations efforts to enhance partnerships with civil society organizations, particularly women peacebuilders, and encouraged continuation of efforts for shared risk analysis.


Watch full remarks by the DSG here

Gender and Youth Promotion Initiative: Record number projects and sum approved  

The annual PBF Gender and Youth Promotion Initiative (GYPI), launched in May, calls for proposals promoting the positive engagement of women and youth in peacebuilding. The GYPI focuses on promoting meaningful participation of women and youth in local peacebuilding, prioritizing the promotion and protection of civic spaces (notably regarding land, indigenous peoples and environmental issues) and promotion and strengthening of mental health and psychosocial well-being for women and youth as part of local peacebuilding processes. The PBF received a total of 275 applications, totaling USD 309 million, from UN agencies and CSOs in the 25 eligible countries. A record number of 38 projects, totaling $51.5 million, in 23 countries were approved this year; 19 of which focused on gender ($25.7 mil) and 19 on youth ($25.7 mil).  

Group of Friends meeting

The fourth quarter PBF Group of Friends meeting was held on 16 December, hosted by the United Kingdom (Group co-chair) with over thirty Member States in attendance. Brian Williams, Chief of Peacebuilding Support Office’s Financing for Peacebuilding Branch, briefed on the Fund’s status, noting how PBF was close to reaching its $200 million approval target for 2021, including a record $51.5 million for this year’s Gender and Youth Promotion Initiatives. Recent new donor commitments have enabled the Fund to reach over $590 million in contributions and pledges for its five-year Strategy; over a third of the $1.5 billion target two years into the Strategy. PBSO further briefed on UN-World Bank partnership and key insights from the recently published PBF Thematic Review on Gender-Responsive Peacebuilding. Member States commended the Fund’s thematic review practice. Switzerland and Canada shared how their recent contribution increases and shifts to multi-year commitments were achieved and encouraged sharing of financing practices among donors in the run-up to the General Assembly High-Level event on financing for peacebuilding in 2022. The Group will reconvene in the next quarter at the Ambassador-level Group of Friends meeting.

Next Week

Special Envoy Geir O. Pedersen will brief the Security Council on Syria on Monday, 20 December. Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland will brief on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question, on Tuesday, 21 December.


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