Afghanistan - Essential role of young women and men spotlighted in Kabul symposium
Young women and men in Afghanistan have the power to build a culture of peace while preventing and resolving local disputes, even in the context of the COVID-19 crisis, said panelists in a UN-backed virtual symposium in the central province of Kabul. Participants in the online event included three panelists and more than 60 other young Afghans representing different communities across Kabul. During the event, they expressed their views about the importance of youth being part of decision-making processes in the country’s social, economic and political life. The interactive discussion also focused on the role of young women and men in promoting social cohesion, solidarity and community mobilization for peace efforts in the context of the fight against COVID-19.
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Peacebuilding – New video series on "Building Peace in the Pandemic"
The unprecedented crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic requires sustained investment in peacebuilding now more than ever. Countries already affected by violent conflict or the risk thereof need support to adjust to the shock that the pandemic may cause on existing situations. The UN Peacebuilding Support Office has launched a new video series "Building Peace in the Pandemic" in which we hold conversations with United Nations Resident Coordinators around the globe on how the pandemic has affected peacebuilding efforts. The series is hosted by Marc-André Franche, Chief, Financing for Peacebuilding Branch, PBSO, DPPA. In this week’s launch episode, he speaks with Ozonnia Ojielo, UN Resident Coordinator in the Kyrgyz Republic on the dynamics of peacebuilding as without peace and security, access to health and humanitarian services remains severely undermined.
Watch the video here
For up-to-date information on COVID-19 and its impact, please visit:
UN coronavirus website
Ruiz Massieu: Violence against former combatants, social leaders and human rights defenders remains the most damaging threat to peacebuilding in Colombia
Carlos Ruiz Massieu, Special Representative and Head of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, on 14 July briefed the Security Council on the latest developments in the country. “The Secretary-General’s report recognizes the perseverance of both the Government and FARC, as well as multiple other actors, in carrying on with peacebuilding efforts despite the difficulties posed by the pandemic,” Mr. Ruiz Massieu said. He emphasized the security situation faced by those who laid down their arms. “Despite the commitment and measures implemented by Government and State authorities, the number of former combatants killed since the signing of the Peace Agreement surpassed 200, to 210. Violence against those who laid down their arms in the context of the Peace Agreement, and against those who advocate for human rights and the rights of conflict-ravaged communities, remains the most damaging threat to peacebuilding in Colombia.”
Read his full statement here
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Arria-Formula meeting on the “Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources in the Great Lakes Region”
Security Council members on 15 July held a virtual meeting to discuss illegal trade in natural resources in the Great Lakes region and map strategies of improving transparency to help consolidate peace and security. Under the theme "The Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources in the Great Lakes Region: How to Translate the Ongoing Positive Regional Momentum into New Options for Conflict Prevention, Management and Reform", participants discussed new options for peacebuilding and economic development with respect to the exploitation of natural resources in the Great Lakes region. The meeting was co-hosted by Council members Belgium, South Africa and the United States, along with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Huang Xia, the UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region and one of the meeting’s briefers, said the Security Council, under resolution 2502 (2019), called on his Office and MONUSCO to work with all stakeholders and reach a political solution to end the cross-border flows of armed combatants and the illicit exploitation and trade of minerals. "I am convinced that a holistic approach across the entire value chain, upstream and downstream, should be favored in order to overcome the illicit trade in minerals from the region which has persisted for decades," Mr. Xia said. The meeting was organized under the Arria-formula, an informal arrangement that allows the Council members greater flexibility to be briefed about international peace and security issues.
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Interview with Special Envoy Griffiths
In an interview with UN News this week, Special Envoy Martin Griffiths addressed the protracted peace process in Yemen, and the enormous challenges that still need to be overcome. “It is not too late to reverse course and get back on a track of peaceful politics and negotiations instead of the quest to resolve the conflict through military force,” the Special Envoy said.
Read the full interview here
Middle East Peace Process
Listening to civil society voices, Palestinian and Israeli
Special Coordinator Nickolay Mladenov and the UNSCO team on 13 July hosted an online discussion with representatives of 14 Israeli and Palestinian civil society organizations engaged in peacebuilding work. The event focused on the impact of potential Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank on the organizations’ work, their strategies for the near future and ways in which the UN can support their efforts. It was the first in a series of workshops UNSCO is organizing to deepen the Mission’s engagement with civil society organizations and recognize their crucial role in overcoming the political impasse. “Thank you, Israeli and Palestinian civil society, your peacebuilding work is an inspiration! Excellent discussion today about need for dialogue, keeping the prospect of peace alive and the grave risks of potential annexation. The UN will continue to support peacebuilding efforts,” Special Coordinator Mladenov tweeted after the meeting.
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“Talking Prevention” event on the situation in Sudan and new special political mission
Member state partners were briefed on the situation in Sudan and the process related to the new special political mission in the country, UNITAMS, at a “Talking Prevention” event on 15 July. UNITAMS will work closely with the Sudanese Transitional Government and people of Sudan in support of the ongoing transition.
For more information on our Talking Prevention series, contact us.
Read more about UNITAMS here