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This Week in DPPA: 11 - 17 March 2023

This Week in DPPA is a brief roundup of political and peacebuilding events and developments at UNHQ and around the world. 
Under-Secretary-General DiCarlo meets with Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders

Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo began her visit to Cyprus on 15 March, meeting with Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Christodoulides and Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar to discuss the way forward on the Cyprus issue. She reiterated the UN's commitment to peace on the island. DiCarlo also met with members of civil society, including women and youth groups. On 16 March, she visited the historic city of Famagusta to learn about the preservation of cultural heritage and met with youth representatives, stressing the importance of the inclusion of their views in achieving a durable peace solution. She also met Turkish Cypriot Special Representative Ergün Olgun and Greek Cypriot Negotiator Menelaos Menelaou. 

Security Council

UN Envoy on Myanmar updates Security Council on resolution implementation

Special Envoy of the Secretary-General on Myanmar Noeleen Heyzer briefed the Security Council in a closed-door meeting on 13 March. The session was held to provide an update on UN support for the implementation of the ASEAN Five Point Consensus. The Special Envoy provided an overview of the situation and provided updates on efforts to support the implementation of Resolution 2669 (2022). She also detailed her initiatives to support an inclusive humanitarian access, Rohingya education, women, peace, and security, among other issues. In a separate briefing to the General Assembly on 16 March, the Special Envoy spoke of the devastating impact of the military takeover in Myanmar three years ago. The Special Envoy said violence continues at an alarming rate, but despite brutal repression, widespread popular resistance to the military continues through both non-violent and violent means across much of the country.

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Special Envoy Grundberg: “We urgently need to build on what was achieved by the truce” in Yemen

Hans Grundberg, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, briefed the Security Council on 15 March. He welcomed the recent agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran to resume diplomatic ties and urged parties in Yemen to take decisive steps towards a more peaceful future. “We urgently need to build on what was achieved by the truce and work towards a nationwide ceasefire and an inclusive political settlement to end the conflict in Yemen,” he said. He underscored that he continues to engage with the Yemeni parties, as well as regional and international stakeholders, to ensure that any agreement on the way forward charts a pathway toward a comprehensive political settlement. Major General Beary also briefed the Security Council in a closed session, stressing the importance of working together with the parties to revive joint mechanisms, facilitate mandate implementation of both sides of Hudaydah’s frontline, and advance critical issues in the governorate, such as mine action.

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Special Coordinator for Lebanon briefs on implementation of Resolution 1701

On 16 March, Special Coordinator of the Secretary-General Joanna Wronecka briefed the Security Council on the implementation of Resolution 1701 (2006) in a closed meeting. She welcomed the Council's unanimity on Labanon's peace, security and stability and the readiness to offer needed support.

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Council extends UNAMA mandate for one year

On 16 March, the Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2678 (2023), extending the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) until 17 March 2024. The Council also adopted a separate resolution, Resolution 2679 (2023), requesting an independent assessment with forward-looking recommendations from the Secretary-General by 17 November for an “integrated and coherent approach” to address challenges in Afghanistan. 


Peacebuilding Commission

Ambassadorial-level meeting with World Bank

On 14 March, the Peacebuilding Commission convened an Ambassadorial-level meeting to hear a briefing by the Managing Director of Operations of the World Bank Group, Axel van Trotsenburg, on the activities of the World Bank. He highlighted work under the World Bank’s “Fragility, Conflict and Violence Strategy” and related instruments, while noting the widening gap between needs and resources. Member States called for further collaboration between the World Bank and the United Nations, with more concerted and complementary efforts, especially through joint analysis. Going forward, they called for more regular country-specific exchanges through PBC meetings. 

Ambassadorial-level Meeting on Guinea-Bissau

On 13 March, the Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission’s Guinea-Bissau Configuration convened an Ambassadorial-Level meeting to debrief on his visit to Guinea-Bissau from 14-16 February. The Commission underscored the importance of peaceful and credible legislative elections scheduled for 4 June to consolidate democracy and sustain peace and stability in the country and highlighted the need for inclusive political dialogue and trust-building in the pre- and post-electoral periods. The Commission further stressed the empowerment and participation of women, youth, and civil society in dialogue and political life. In line with the Chair’s recommendations following the trip, the Commission underscored the need for strengthened support for the country’s peacebuilding priorities to accompany Guinea-Bissau beyond the elections, including in combating drug trafficking and transnational organized crime. 


UN and Libyan military leaders agree on free elections, reconciliation measures 

The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMILhosted a meeting in Tunisia on 15 March, bringing together the 5+5 Joint Military Committee and commanders of military and security units in the West and East of Libya. They agreed to work towards organizing free and fair elections in Libya this year and to continue communication among leaders of security and military units for joint security work to ensure the security of the electoral process. Special Representative of the Secretary-General Abdoulaye Bathily called on all security and military leaders to support this initiative. On 16 March, the Security Working Group (SWG) for Libya met to discuss the way forward. The Special Representative urged all SWG members to collectively support the implementation of national elections to restore legitimacy to Libyan institutions. 

Central Africa

UN officials discuss peace and security in Central Africa

This week, the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa organized a meeting of heads of UN presences in Central Africa – an opportunity to discuss challenges and strengthen the coordination of UN efforts to consolidate the achievements of peace and security in the region. Special Representative Abdou Abarry opened the meeting, welcoming the presence of the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Gabon, Ginette Arondo Edzang, and the President of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) Commission Gilberto da Piedade Veríssimo. The Special Representative reiterated UNOCA’s commitment to strengthen the coordination of UN activities in Central Africa and partnership with regional partners, in accordance with its mandate.


Special Envoy for Mozambique discusses national reconciliation and reintegration of combatants

On 13 March, Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General for Mozambique Mirko Manzoni brought together representatives from the public and private sectors in the capital, Maputo. Discussions focused on advancing national reconciliation and reintegration of former RENAMO combatants. Representatives attending the event shared ideas on how to support education and socioeconomic opportunities for Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) beneficiaries, family members and communities. In Mozambique, over 1,300 DDR beneficiaries and family members have been connected with reintegration opportunities in 50 out of 154 districts of the country.


Special Representative Hennis-Plasschaert visits Samarra

Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert visited Samarra, northern Baghdad, on 16 March, where she met with the Governor Ismail Al-Haloub as well as with Member of the Council of Representatives Muthanna al-Samarrai. They discussed political, security and economic situation in the city and the Governorate. The Special Representative also visited the Al-Askari Holy Shrine and the Malwiya Minaret during her trip.

UN officials discuss climate change in Iraq and the Middle East

Special Representative Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert delivered a keynote address at the seventh annual Sulaimani Forum on 15 March, which is a platform for dialogue on policy challenges facing Iraq and the Middle East. She also spoke at the Iraq Climate Conference in Basra Governorate on 12-13 March, emphasizing the need for an inclusive planning process to address climate change. Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General/Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator (DSRSG/RC/HC) for Iraq Ghulam Mohammad Isaczai participated in a high-level panel discussion on climate change priorities at the conference and visited a UNESCO project in Basra Governorate on 11 March. UN Resident Coordinators from across the Arab region gathered in Beirut on 14 March with Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed to help shape just transition pathways for achieving the 2030 Agenda for SDGs in the region. They aim to accelerate momentum for SDG implementation through policy transformations, partnerships, and coalition building. 


Special Envoy for Yemen meets with Iranian officials on conflict resolution

On 14 March, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen Hans Grundberg met with Iranian officials, including Foreign Minister Amir Abdollahian, to discuss recent developments in Yemen. The discussions focused on the need for regional support for a Yemeni-led political process under UN auspices to end the conflict sustainably. The Special Envoy emphasized that ending the conflict is crucial for enhancing regional security.

Central Asia

UN agencies and OSCE discuss technical assistance for Kyrgyzstan's counter-terrorism program

On 16 March, the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) co-organized a meeting in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan with various UN agencies and the OSCE to discuss possible technical assistance in implementing the Kyrgyz Republic's national program on countering extremism and terrorism for 2023-2027. The meeting focused on capacity building for law enforcement, media, religious and civil society leaders, and other groups, as well as the involvement of academia and local and international experts in analyzing the situation and preparing preventive measures. UNRCCA emphasized the importance of regional cooperation based on the Joint Plan of Action for the Implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism in Central Asia.

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UNRCCA co-organized a training course on firearms investigation and prosecution for Turkmen officials 

From 13-17 March, UNRCCA co-organized a training course on firearms investigation and prosecution for Turkmen officials in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. The course, titled “Countering Firearms Trafficking, Terrorism and Other Crimes: Tools for effective investigation and prosecution,” was conducted in partnership with the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The training aimed to address challenges in detecting, investigating, and prosecuting illicit arms trafficking and to strengthen the capacity of law enforcement to recognize and address links between terrorism, organized crime, and trafficking in arms.

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PBSO partners’ visit

To highlight the impact of the UN Peacebuilding Fund’s support to Honduras, the Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO) organized a donor visit from 13-17 March. Participants included representatives from Germany, Japan, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The participants met with the Foreign Minister, Minister of Human Rights and other senior officials from justice and environment ministries, as well as the UN Country Team and other counterparts. Meetings reviewed the peacebuilding context in Honduras and the Fund’s contributions to the prevention of violence and land conflict, human rights, women's empowerment, the fight against corruption, the protection of vulnerable populations especially youth and mobile populations and the rule of law. During the visit, the partners interacted with local authorities and communities in Tegucigalpa, La Ceiba and San Pedro Sula and visited PBF-funded investments implemented by other UN agencies. 

Western Balkans

Youth speak out for gender equality

More than fifty young people engaged in a virtual dialogue to address gender inequalities, in the first regional consultation organized by UN Women Albania as part of the UN’s “Youth 4 Inclusion, Equality & Trust” project, funded by the UN Peacebuilding Fund. Participants called on youth to play a greater role in policymaking, advocacy, media literacy, and education. The ideas and perspectives gained from the consultation will contribute to regional research advancing the project’s overall goal to empower, engage and encourage youth to drive gender equality, mutual understanding, constructive narratives, and respect for diversity. 

Next Week

The Security Council will discuss Sudan on 20 March, followed by the Middle East on 22 March, and Syria on 23 March. Secretary-General's Peacebuilding Fund's Ambassadorial-level Group of Friends meeting will take place on 21 March. 



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