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This Week in DPPA: 11 - 17 September 2021

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

Security Council

Sudan continues its transition towards democracy

Volker Perthes, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), told the Security Council on 14 September that the country was making headway in its transition to democracy, with growing momentum towards drafting a new Constitution and organizing elections. Reporting on several positive developments, including steps taken by the Transitional Government in Khartoum to address violence in Darfur and eastern Sudan, he noted that long‑term success required sustained international support. “Sudan’s challenges are immense, and the United Nations remains fully committed to supporting the authorities in addressing them and realizing the aspirations of the Sudanese people for a peaceful, stable and democratic Sudan,” he said, adding that UNITAMS counted on the Council’s robust support as it navigated the path forward.

Full briefing to the Security Council here

Read more here

UNAMA mandate extended for another six months

The Security Council unanimously voted on 17 September to extend the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) until 17 March 2022. The Council requested the mission to continue coordinating humanitarian assistance and asked the authorities to ensure access and security to UN staff to allow for the delivery of the much-needed assistance. 

Read more here

Council adopts technical rollover of UNSMIL mandate

The Security Council unanimously adopted on 15 September resolution 2595 (2021) extending the mandate of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) until 30 September. Council members continue to be engaged in consultations on the extension of the mandate of UNSMIL beyond that date.

Read more here

Central Asia

Special Representative Gherman attends 21st Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization

Natalia Gherman, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) participated on 17 September in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, in the 21st Summit of the Council of the Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization on the occasion of its 20th anniversary on behalf of the Secretary-General. Through a pre-recorded video message, the Secretary-General stressed the United Nations commitment to deliver for the Afghan people. Earlier on 16 September, Special Representative Gherman met with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic Ruslan Kazakbayev as part of the Collective Security Treaty Organization Ministerial Council meeting.

Full remarks by the Secretary-General


Special Envoy travels to Saudi Arabia

Hans Grundberg, Special Envoy for Yemen, arrived in Riyadh on 15 September to meet with senior Yemeni and Saudi officials, among others. This is his first visit to Riyadh since taking office as UN Special Envoy on 5 September. He said he was keen to engage with Yemenis and other key interlocutors on how to find a durable solution to the conflict and reach an inclusive political settlement that ends the war and meets the aspirations of all Yemeni people.

Read more here


UNAMI continues to support upcoming elections preparations

The United Nations has been helping Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) on various areas for the upcoming elections, including the organization of a ceremony on 15 September in Baghdad to promote the Electoral Code of Conduct. All signatories to the charter pledged to refrain from intolerance, violence and hate speech during the campaign and the polls. On 11 September, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert addressed the 13th Islamic Day for Opposing Violence against Women, focusing on the threats and challenges faced by women exercising their political and electoral rights. “If the voices of half of Iraqis are muffled, the entire representative basis of democracy will be undermined," she said.

Full remarks by the Special Representative

UNAMI hosts Digital Dialogue with Iraqi Voters

Special Representative Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert held on 13 September a live “Digital Dialogue” with voters across Iraq. “During this period, we’ve been listening closely to Iraqi voters – so that we can help address their concerns and make them feel included. Innovative approaches such as digital dialogues are a welcome addition to our toolbox,” she said. Supported by DPPA’s Innovation Cell, the Digital Dialogue used cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence technology to provide a safe and secure space for Iraqis to anonymously share their thoughts with the United Nations leadership in the country.

Read more here

Learn more about the DPPA Innovation Cell

Middle East and North Africa

Impact of COVID-19 on women in the Middle East and North Africa discussed

The Middle East and North Africa divisions of DPPA and the Department of Peace Operations (DPO) organized a workshop on 14 September on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women in the Middle East and North Africa, featuring around 60 participants including UN representatives from the Departments, UN Women and Peace and Development Advisers in the region. Experts from the Arab Barometer and the World Bank highlighted the continued marginalization of women in political and peace processes, as well as in civic and economic spheres – with the pandemic further pushing women out of the labor force. Looking ahead, recommendations included the importance of advocating for women’s quotas in elections; the need to sustain UN engagement with civil society and Women Human Rights Defenders and to engage with the governments in the region on the removal of structural barriers that hinder women’s economic and political participation. Gender segregated data and gender sensitive analysis were also highlighted as critical tools for all UN stakeholders. 


Special Representative travels to Baidoa to discuss elections and security

James Swan, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), visited on 16 September the South West State to meet with its president, electoral authority and civil society on the country’s upcoming elections for the House of the People. Speaking on behalf of the visiting international partners that accompanied him, Special Representative Swan said South West State has made commendable progress with electoral preparations, with it being one of only two Federal Member States to have successfully completed elections for the Upper House within the agreed timeline. “This is very encouraging, and we hope to see similar advances with preparations for the House of the People elections,” Special Representative Swan said.

Read more about his visit

Full remarks by the Special Representative

West Africa and the Sahel

Special Representative visits Guinea and Ghana

Mahamat Saleh Annadif, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), travelled to Accra, Ghana this week to participate in the second extraordinary summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to address the situation in Guinea. He told the summit that the Secretary-General was very concerned about the repeated attempts and unconstitutional changes that are taking place in the West African sub-region and stressed that the UN would support any initiative by ECOWAS to help Guinea regain a peaceful political and social framework. On 13 September, he was in Conakry, Guinea where he met with the head of the National Committee of Reconciliation and Development (Comité national du rassemblement et du développement, CNRD) Lieutenant Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, and other political and diplomatic actors to discuss the situation following the military takeover of 5 September.

Read more about his mission to Guinea here


‘She Stands for Peace’: Call for nomination extended

As a follow-on to their publication “She Stands for Peace; 20 Years, 20 Journeys”, for the 20th Anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000), UNOAU is planning to publish “She Stands for Peace - eBook” to recognize the contributions made by women and women’s organizations to peacebuilding efforts across Africa. UNOAU is calling for nominations of individuals or women’s organizations, female citizens of African Union Member States, who have made impactful contributions to peace and security on the continent. The call will be open until Thursday, 30 September 2021.

Click here for more details on nomination eligibility and criteria


In Their Hands: Women Taking Ownership of Peace 

Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed will open the multimedia exhibition “In Their Hands: Women Taking Ownership of Peace” on Saturday, 18 September at 7pm at the Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 1, New York City. The exhibition was created by DPPA, in partnership with UN Women, the Department of Peace Operations (DPO) and New York’s Photoville festival. This initiative offers an excellent opportunity to amplify women’s voices and advocate for women’s participation in peace and political processes, a central focus of the Women, Peace and Security agenda. The launch event is open to the public and will also feature food, drinks and music at the scenic waterfront location. The exhibition is on view until 1 December 2021.

Read more here

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Next Week

The Security Council will hold an open debate on Climate Security on Thursday, 23 September.