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This Week in DPPA: 11 - 17 February 2023

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

Security Council

ASG Jenča: "We need sustainable and implementable peace ... in line with the UN Charter and international law" 

On 17 February, Assistant Secretary-General Miroslav Jenča briefed the Council during a meeting on the Minsk agreements. He noted that the meeting fell exactly one week ahead of the one-year mark of the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine, adding that “while we witnessed immense suffering and destruction over the past year, today is also a reminder that the armed conflict in Ukraine has been ongoing since 2014.” On the Minsk framework, he said that the UN has consistently supported its implementation despite its lack of a formal role. 

Read full remarks here


ASG Jenča opens first plenary meeting of the Special Committee on Decolonization 

On 16 February, the Special Committee on Decolonization (C-24) held its first plenary meeting of the session. Addressing the Committee on behalf of the Secretary-General, ASG Jenča said that “accelerating the decolonization agenda is a collective endeavor,” and highlighted that “constructive dialogue is essential.” 

Watch video of the meeting here


UN Verification Mission Colombia supports peace efforts in Policarpa, Nariño

On 13 February, the UN Verification Mission in Colombia provided books, educational and technological materials to improve the Peace Library of the San Francisco de Asís Educational Institution in the village of Madrigal. The Institution is located in Policarpa, Nariño, one of the municipalities most affected by violence in southern Colombia. This initiative took place during a reconciliation and peacebuilding event, in which the UNVMC also participated in a series of meetings with local authorities, leaders and communities working on peacebuilding efforts. The Mission conducts these events as part of its work to verify security guarantees, reintegration process and pedagogy of the Mission's mandates in the remotest areas of Colombia.


Advancing the women, peace and security agenda in Hudaydah 

The Deputy Head of the United Nations Mission to support the Hudaydah Agreement (UNMHA), Vivian van de Perre, visited Aden this week as part of efforts to increase engagement with local community groups and advance the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda in support of the Mission’s mandate in Hudaydah. The Deputy held discussions with Yemeni women leaders, community groups and small businesses, hearing about the impact of the conflict on women and the various challenges faced by women and girls in Yemen. She also discussed ways of enhancing women’s participation in all aspects of peacebuilding in Hudaydah’s landscape. 


UN Special Coordinator stresses need for immediate action on reforms and political resolve 

This week, UN Special Coordinator Joanna Wronecka stressed to Lebanese leaders the need to take immediate action on required reforms and to address the country’s political and socio-economic crises.  Angry demonstrators had attacked banks in Beirut after the Lebanese pound hit a record low against the US dollar, while roads were blocked in different areas to protest rapidly deteriorating economic conditions.  “With the Lebanese currency continuing to lose its purchasing power at an accelerated pace, most people can no longer afford to buy the same amount of goods and services. Implementing comprehensive reforms immediately is more urgent than ever,” the Special Coordinator said. In meetings with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, the Special Coordinator stressed the necessity for political resolve to end the presidential vacuum. She relayed a similar message to the caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati as well as to the caretaker Minister of Finance and she discussed the security situation with the Commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces.


DSRSG Cordone meets with minority group representatives on electoral system concerns 

On 12 February 2023, Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq for Political Affairs and Electoral Assistance, Claudio Cordone, met in Erbil with representatives from minority groups. The DSRSG listened to their concerns with regard to the electoral system in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and noted that the UN in Iraq stands ready to facilitate further dialogue and assist in the overdue elections. 

DSRSG/RC/HC Isaczai visits Ninewa Governorate, meets with local authorities  

During a visit to Mosul and Sinjar from 11-14 February, the Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General/Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, Ghulam Mohammad Isaczai, inaugurated UNDP and UN-Habitat projects, and met with local authorities and interacted with a group of returnees.  He noted that the projects are a solid demonstration of partnership among the Governments of Iraq, Japan, the European Union, and the UN, and strengthens ongoing cooperation towards building inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities, and communities in Iraq. Interacting with returnees in Ninewa, the DSRSG/RC/HC noted that Sinjar is still in desperate need of rehabilitation, reconstruction and also for opportunities for jobs and livelihoods for returnees. 

Watch the video here

UNAMI Human Rights Office meets with women-led groups, organizes human rights briefings

On 15 February, the UNAMI Human Rights Office met with women-led organizations in Duhok to discuss cooperation and way forward to realize the vision developed by Yazidi female survivors in UNAMI-led workshops. UNAMI stands with survivors. On 16 February, the UNAMI Human Rights Office, in coordination with Knowledge University (KNU) in Erbil, organized a briefing session on its human rights work for students and professors. They were briefed on UNAMI’s human rights monitoring and reporting, focusing on priority areas of work in the Kurdistan Region, including civic space, women rights and the administration of justice among other topics. Participants discussed different avenues of advocacy on how to efficiently promote accountability, strengthen the rule of law, and protect human rights in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq.


New UN office to be established in Galmudug 

On 11 February, United Nations support for Somalia is set to step up a notch following an agreement that paves the way for the establishment of a new office in the country’s Federal Member State (FMS) of Galmudug. FMS President Ahmed Abdi Karie ‘Qoorqoor’ and the UN Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Somalia, Anita Kiki Gbeho, signed a lease agreement for land at the Hero Drogo camp site in Dhusamareb, on which the new UN field office will be located.

Read more here


Personal Envoy attends “Silencing the Guns in Africa by 2030” side event 

On 17 February, the Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General for Mozambique, Mirko Manzoni, attended the African Union Summit side event ‘Silencing the Guns in Africa by 2030: Lessons from Mozambique’. Supported by the Office of the Personal Envoy and organized by Chatham House, the African Union, and UNDP, the event featured a keynote speech from President Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique and the participation of several continental leaders. Panelists highlighted how innovative the Mozambican Peace Process has been, underlining the importance of national appropriation, dialogue and women’s participation in creating lasting peace. The event offered a valuable opportunity to share lessons and explore opportunities to further the African Union’s “Silencing the Guns” agenda. 


The Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) Guinea-Bissau Configuration’s visit to Guinea-Bissau 

On 14-16 February, the Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC)'s Guinea-Bissau Configuration, Ronaldo Costa Filho, accompanied by UNOWAS Officer-in-Charge and Head of Mission, Giovanie Biha, and Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support, Elizabeth Spehar, undertook a visit to Guinea-Bissau to exchange views on further advancing the country's peacebuilding priorities and to discuss ways to sustain progress towards the consolidation of democracy, including political dialogue in advance of the June 2023 legislative elections. The delegation met with a wide array of interlocuters including the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Justice, Territorial Administration, and Finance, as well as representatives of political parties, civil society, the diplomatic community, and the UN Country Team.  The Chair will soon convene a PBC meeting to debrief on the visit.  

The Peacebuilding Commission provides written advice to the Security Council on sea-level rise 

On 14 February, the Peacebuilding Commission provided written advice to the Security Council for the open debate “Sea-Level Rise: Implications for International Peace and Security.” The Commission underlined the need for urgent action to tackle the negative implications of sea-level rise to peacebuilding and recommended addressing climate-related risks through measures that contribute to mitigation and adaptation. The Commission underscored the need for effective local, national, and regional institutions to manage adverse effects of sea-level rise, as well as partnerships to advance effective peacebuilding responses. The Commission further called for scaling up all efforts including enhancing access to financial resources for peacebuilding projects.  

Next Week

On 22 February in the morning session, the Council will be briefed on Somalia, and on the morning of 24 February, it will hold an open debate on the maintenance of peace and security in Ukraine. 



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