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This Week in DPPA: 11 - 17 May 2024

A brief roundup of United Nations-related political and peacebuilding events and developments globally.

Despite persistent and serious challenges, "Iraq is on the rise," SRSG Hennis-Plasschaert tells Council

On 16 May, Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Iraq Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, in her last briefing to the Security Council before the end of her tenure, said the country today looked very different from the one to which the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) was first deployed some 20 years ago. “We are, so to speak, witnessing an Iraq on the rise," she said. However, she continued, corruption, factionalism, impunity, undue interference in State functions and armed actors operating outside State control remained. "There are persistent and serious challenges, but Iraq’s horizon is replete with opportunities,” she said. “And yes, the country is also teeming with people who are ready and willing to seize them.”

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Instability in Middle East hampering progress in Yemen, Special Envoy Grundberg says

On 13 May, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen Hans Grundberg told the Council that the “precarious environment in the wider region” continued to hamper progress towards a peaceful solution for Yemen. The international community must not lose sight of the intrinsic value of long-term peace, he said, and called for support from both the region and the Council, “The Yemeni people expect nothing less.” 

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Peacebuilding Commission visits São Tomé and Príncipe

At the invitation of Patrice Trovoada, Prime Minister of São Tomé and Príncipe, the Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission, Sérgio França Danese, visited São Tomé and Príncipe from 13-15 May, accompanied by the SRSG for Central Africa and Head of the UN Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA), Abdou Abarry; Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support, Elizabeth Spehar; and Mangaral Bante, Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) Commission. The delegation met with stakeholders to encourage coordination among partners in support of justice and security sector reforms and to mobilize additional support to implement recommendations of the UN-ECCAS assessment of April 2023. During the visit, the ASG and the Prime Minister jointly signed the document for the first Peacebuilding Fund project in São Tomé and Príncipe, which aims to strengthen the justice and security sectors.

UN Special Coordinator discusses importance of State institutional stability in Lebanon

This week, the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Joanna Wronecka held a round of meetings to discuss state institutional stability during a period of crisis. She discussed with the Commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces Gen. Joseph Aoun the critical role of the army in safeguarding security. She also met with caretaker Finance Minister Youssef Khalil to discuss the economic situation. With the caretaker Minister of Information Ziad Makary, Wronecka discussed how best to communicate on the Syrian refugee crisis. She also raised the need to address Lebanon’s economic challenges with Mohammad Choucair, the head of the Beirut Chamber of Commerce and Industry. She also met the President of the National Council for Lebanese Women, Claudine Aoun, on the challenges and opportunities in implementing Security Council resolution 1325 and the Jaafari Mufti Sheikh Ahmad Kabalan (pictured) on the role of religious leaders in encouraging social cohesion. 

UN Special Coordinator meets with members of diplomatic community in Lebanon

In a round of meetings with members of the diplomatic community in Lebanon, Special Coordinator Wronecka discussed the international efforts to support the country. She met with the ambassadors of Saudi Arabia and France, who are members of the Quintet committee for Lebanon, to discuss their efforts in trying to help end the presidential vacuum, as well as with the ambassador of Jordan on his country's work with regard to Lebanon. She also discussed international assistance with the ambassador of the European Union.

SRSG Hennis-Plasschaert meets with Iraqi leaders

On 13 May, SRSG Hennis-Plasschaert met separately in Baghdad with the Head of the Taqaddum Party, Muhammad Al-Halbousi, and Engineer Muthana al-Samaraiee, Azim Alliance leader. In her meetings, the SRSG discussed the current political developments in Iraq and the region. On 9 May, the SRSG met in Erbil with Qubad Talabani, Deputy Prime Minister, Kurdistan Region (pictured). They discussed the current political developments in Iraq, including the Kurdistan Region. 

UNAMI Human Rights Office organizes a training to combat harassment of women in the workplace

On 12 May, the UNAMI Human Rights Office organized a training titled, “Violence and harassment against women in the world of work” for staff members of the Women Affairs Department in Salah al-Din governorate. Participants received a brief on Iraqi and international legislation on workplace violence and harassment of women and discussed how to identify cases and their impact. They were encouraged to reflect on their role in addressing this issue and develop measures to make the workplace a safe space for women.

UNAMI Human Rights office holds roundtable in Basra

On 13 May, the UNAMI Human Rights Office held a roundtable discussion in Basra with the Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights, local officials, and civil society representatives including human rights defenders, journalists, lawyers, and academics. They discussed the role of civic space in the promotion and protection of human rights.

SRSG Parfait Onanga-Anyanga participates in AU Exhibition Day

On 13 May, the UN Office to the African Union (UNOAU) participated in the Peace and Security Council of the African Union's Exhibition Day on Humanitarian, Peace, and Security in Addis Ababa. The event showcased the efforts to address humanitarian situations across the continent over the last 20 years. In his remarks, SRSG Parfait Onanga-Anyanga reiterated the UN's commitment to its partnership with the AU and emphasized the critical links between climate change and security, urging renewed efforts in conflict prevention and climate action.

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UNRCCA co-organizes inaugural meeting of Regional Expert Council on Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Returnees

On 14 May, in Tashkent, The UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA), in close partnership with the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan, and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, among other entities, organized the first meeting of the Regional Expert Council on Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Returnees. The main objective of the high-level event was to strengthen regional and country specific efforts regarding the repatriation, rehabilitation and reintegration of people coming from conflict zones, by institutionalizing the exchange of information and capacity building activities.

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Preventive Diplomacy Academy participants learn about the Women, Peace and Security Agenda

On 16 May, UNRCCA's Political Adviser Andrey Khanzhin briefed participants on the ongoing UNRCCA activities under UN Security Council resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security (WPS). Participants discussed progress and challenges in WPS implementation in Central Asia and Afghanistan and on the global level.

UNOWAS-ECOWAS plan joint activities

This week, the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) met in Dakar to develop a joint workplan as part of their continued engagement to enhance regional and sub-regional partnerships to address cross-border and cross-cutting threats to peace and security in West Africa. SRSG for West Africa and the Sahel Leonardo Simão said that the meeting provided a richer understanding of the challenges facing West Africa, as well as the work of the two institutions towards finding lasting solutions.

SRSG Simão participates in meeting of special envoys for the Sahel


In Brussels, SRSG Simão participated this week in the 14th meeting of the special envoys for the Sahel. In his opening remarks, he underlined the need to jointly overcome challenges that no one country or small group of countries will be able to sustainably address alone.

A commitment to justice and reparation in Nariño

This week, the UN Verification Mission in Colombia accompanied the visit of three magistrates from the Amnesty or Pardon Chamber of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (SJP) to the former Territorial Area for Training and Reintegration (TATR) La Variante, located in the rural area of Tumaco, Nariño. The Mission and magistrates held an event, where they presented amnesty certificates to 89 peace signatories. The SJP also held a day of educational events and dialogue to learn about and resolve former combatants' doubts and concerns about restorative justice and projects with restorative content.

Next Week

On 21 May, there will be an open debate in the Council on the protection of civilians in armed conflict. On 23 May, there will be an open debate on strengthening the role of the African state in addressing global security and development challenges.