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This Week in DPPA: 11 - 17 January 2020


11 - 17 January 2020

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

West Africa and the Sahel

DPPA chief visits five countries in five days on first West Africa tour
On a five-day visit to West Africa and the Sahel from 13 to 17 January, Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo traveled to Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, Niger, Nigeria and Burkina Faso. In Senegal on 13 January, she met with President Macky Sall and Foreign Minister Amadou Ba and agreed that the international community must step up support to efforts to address security challenges in the Sahel region. DiCarlo also commended them on recent legislation to combat violence against women.


Recent presidential elections were the focus of discussions in Guinea-Bissau on 14 January, where DiCarlo met with President José Mário Vaz and congratulated him for completing his term and for his readiness to peacefully transfer power. She also met separately with the contestants in the second round of the election, Domingos Simões Pereira, from the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC), and Umaro Mokhtar Sissoco Embaló, of the MADEM-G15 party. She encouraged them to work for reconciliation and unity in the country.


In Niger the following day, DiCarlo met with President Mohamadou Issoufou, Ministers Ankouraou, Bazoum and civil society. She expressed her condolences and solidarity with Niger for the loss of life in recent terror attacks. She also urged greater international support for Niger’s efforts against terrorism and to address development challenges.

In Nigeria, the Under-Secretary-General exchanged views with Nigeria's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Zubairu Dada, on the overall security and humanitarian situation in Lake Chad Basin, including the need to continue to improve humanitarian access to affected areas. She also met with Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission President, and discussed specific actions to enhance coordination in the implementation of the United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel and the ECOWAS action plan.

In meetings with President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré and other Burkinabè officials, DiCarlo reiterated UN condolences and solidarity with Burkina Faso following recent terrorist attacks. They agreed that current challenges cannot be addressed only militarily. Social cohesion, development and ensuring the rule of law are key. She also held encounters with civil society and political parties – the ruling party and the opposition. "I encouraged peaceful and inclusive elections in 2020, and greater participation of women in the political process. The unity of the Burkinabè is essential in these challenging times, she tweeted.

Burkina Faso was the last stop on the Under-Secretary-General’s visit to West Africa. From Ouagadougou she is flying to Berlin to take part in the Berlin Conference on Libya on 19 January.
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New York 

Commemoration of tenth anniversary of Haiti earthquake
At a ceremony on 17 January, Secretary-General António Guterres honored the memory of the hundreds of thousands of Haitians and 102 UN colleagues who lost their lives in the earthquake on 12 January 2010.  "Together, we will safeguard Haiti’s future and build lives of peace, prosperity and dignity for all Haitians," the Secretary-General said.  After the ceremony, participants paid their respects to the victims at the new Haiti earthquake memorial installed in the North Lawn of UN HQ, which lists the first names of the UN colleagues who lost their lives. The tragedy in Haiti is the single greatest loss of personnel in the UN’s history.
Read the UN News story


Security Council

Ruiz Massieu: Hard-won gains in Colombia must be protected, preserved and built upon
Special Representative and Head of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia Carlos Ruiz Massieu told the Security Council on 13 January that Colombia had continued to make significant strides in its peace process in 2019 even in the face of serious challenges. “These hard-won gains must be protected, preserved and built upon,” he said, warning that the pervasive violence in conflict-affected areas continues to threaten the consolidation of peace. “Peace will not be fully achieved if the brave voices of social leaders continue to be silenced through violence and if former combatants who laid down their weapons and are committed to their reintegration continue to be killed.” He concluded by recalling that the UN remains convinced that the full implementation of the Peace Agreement, in all its interconnected aspects, provides the best possible hope for Colombia to lay the foundations for a more peaceful and prosperous future.
Read his remarks


UNMHA mandate extended
The Security Council, on 13 January, "[r]eaffirming its commitment to the unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Yemen and its commitment to stand by the people of Yemen," extended the mandate of the United Nations mission to support the Hudaydah ceasefire agreement (UNMHA) until 15 July 2020.
Read Security Council resolution 2505 extending UNMHA’s mandate

Military de-escalation cannot be sustained without political process, says UN envoy
Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths said during his Security Council briefing on 16 January that the movement of forces and military on the ground had reduced, leading to "one of the quietest periods of the conflict.” "Experience however tells us that military de-escalation cannot be sustained without political progress between the parties," he cautioned. Recent developments constituted good news, he said, “not least because it is also a starting point for opening a new page to be dominated and noted and themed by sincere consultations between the Yemeni parties to reach a political solution to end the Yemeni crisis.”
Read his remarks

















Former adversaries and local community build bridge together
At the request of the Colombian Armed Forces, the UN Verification Mission in Colombia transported materials for the construction of a bridge in southern Tolima department on 11 January. Tolima is where the FARC guerrilla organization was born 56 years ago.  The bridge will be built by former combatants, the Armed Forces and members of the community working together. It will benefit the surrounding communities, including schoolchildren. "I cannot think of a more encouraging example to begin the new year than the image of former adversaries working with a local community to build a bridge together," Special Representative Carlos Ruiz Massieu said in his briefing to the Security Council on 13 January.
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Peacebuilding Commission visits Colombia
At the initiative of the President of Colombia, Iván Duque Márquez, a meeting of the Peacebuilding Commission on “Good Practices in Financing for Peacebuilding and Partnerships” took place in Cartagena, Colombia, on 14-15 January. An exhibition displaying the products made by former-combatants, survivors and communities was also held. The President, Foreign Affairs Minister Claudia Blum, Mr. Ruiz Massieu, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Oscar Fernández-Taranco, and representatives of the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), the World Bank, the private sector and civil society addressed the meeting. 
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Commemoration of 10th anniversary of the Haiti earthquake
Assistant Secretary-General Miroslav Jenča was in Port-au-Prince on 12 January to honor those lost in the earthquake in Haiti 10 years ago. During his visit, he also discussed with President Jovenel Moïse the political dialogue process in the country and cooperation between the UN Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) and the Government.
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“Without women in the peace process, there is no peace.”
The ‘Women as pioneers for peace’ meeting on the role of women in peace in Herat, the capital of the western province, on 13 January,  brought together around 100 women activists, government leaders and civil society from across the region, including Badghis, Ghor, Farah and Herat. Herat Governor Abdul Quayom Rahimi and his Deputy Monesa Hassanzadeh, reaffirmed a call for women to take centre stage and ensure that their role and rights are adequately reflected and safeguarded in peace efforts, as well as any subsequent agreement. "Without women in the peace process, there is no peace,” Rahimi told the participants. In closing the event, participants unanimously adopted a final declaration comprising thirteen articles and calls for the meaningful participation of women in all decision-making processes related to peace, reconciliation, reintegration and security; the establishment of a consultation mechanism to accompany the peace process; and for the peace process to be Afghan-led and Afghan-owned building on democratic, civil and human rights values.
Read the story on UNAMA’s website



Special Envoy meets President of Yemen and US Secretary of Defense
In a meeting with the President of Yemen, Abdrabuh Mansour Hadi on 13 January,  Special Envoy Martin Griffiths praised recent steps taken for the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement between the Government and the Southern Transitional Council and discussed next steps to reach a comprehensive peace in the country. President Hadi renewed his commitment to the UN-led peace process in Yemen.
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African Union Peace and Security Council and African Council members discuss peace and security in Africa
Assistant Secretary-General for Africa Bintou Keita participated in the 7th high-level meeting on peace and security in Africa between the members of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union and the African members of the UN Security Council. The meeting was held in Libreville, Gabon, from 13 to 14 January. On the margins of the event, Keita, together with UN Special Representative for Central Africa François Louncény Fall, met with the Secretary-General of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), Ahmad Allam-Mi, on 13 January, and on 14 January participated in a working session with Gabonese Defence Minister Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda focusing on the security situation in Central Africa and the role of Gabon in conflict prevention and peacekeeping. On 15 January, she also met with Gabonese Minister of Foreign Affairs Alain Claude Bilie-By-Nze, accompanied by Mr. Fall and UN Resident Coordinator Stephen Jackson, to discuss various peace, security, development and regional issues in Central Africa. 
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Ceasefire and Berlin conference discussed during visit to Tripoli
Special Representative for Libya Ghassan Salamé and Deputy Special Representative Stephanie Williams met the head of the Government of National Accord (GNA) Fayez Serraj in Tripoli on 15 January. The meeting focused on the latest developments, including the ceasefire and ongoing preparations for the conference in Berlin on 19 January. At a temporary shelter at Al-Ghunaimi School, Bin Ashour District, they listened to the concerns and needs of internally displaced persons (IDPs) who had fled the fighting in Tripoli. They stressed the readiness of the UN humanitarian agencies to intensify efforts to provide necessary support to IDPs. Salamé said he hoped that the Berlin conference would lead to a lasting ceasefire, allowing a safe retun of all IDPs to their homes. 
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Horn of Africa envoy visits Somalia
On his visit to Mogadishu from 13 to 14 January, the UN Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, met a range of Somali government and electoral officials, civil society representatives and international partners and discussed regional security, elections, development, humanitarian and other issues. “It gives me hope that, as the country will be engaging in a quite significant electoral process, everything will be done in a way that the country can build on its gains so far, to strengthen the rule of law and governance structures,” he said. During his meeting with the Chairperson of Somalia’s National Independent Electoral Commissions, Halima Ibrahim, Onanga-Anyanga discussed the challenges and opportunities regarding the country’s upcoming “one-person, one vote” elections. He stressed the importance of inclusive political participation and the meaningful role that women and youth can play.
Read the full story on UNSOM’s website

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