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This Week in DPPA: 12 - 18 August 2023

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

Security Council

SRSG Grundberg tells Security Council of need for the “resumption of an inclusive, Yemeni-owned political process under UN auspices”

On 16 August, Special Envoy of Secretary-General for Yemen Hans Grundberg briefed Security Council members on recent developments in the country. He also spoke about his mediation efforts with the Government of Yemen and Ansar Allah, and his ongoing engagements with regional States, including Oman. The Special Envoy said the sides continued to display general willingness to seek solutions, but this still needed to be translated into concrete steps.

Read more here

West Africa and the Sahel

UNOWAS SRSG continues regional engagement 

On 18 August, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the
UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) Leonardo Santos Simão traveled
to Niger to meet with the CNSP (the National Committee for the Salvation of the People) leadership and other stakeholders. Also this week, the SRSG visited 
Liberia and Mauritania as part of his regional familiarization tour. In Monrovia, he met with President Georges Weah, among others, where they discussed youth and women organizations, members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the diplomatic corps, and the United Nations country team. He also participated in the stakeholder forum that took place on 15 August in preparation of the presidential elections to be held in October 2023. In Nouakchott, he met with President Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania and President of the Conference of Heads of State of the G5 Sahel, among others. During his discussions with the President, the Special Representative addressed national and regional humanitarian and security challenges, including the political and institutional crisis in Niger.  

West and Central Africa

Evaluation of the Yaoundé Code of Conduct for maritime security

From 14 to 16 August, the UN Office for Central Africa (UNOCA), the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) supported the organization of a Core Group meeting in Dakar, Senegal to develop Action Plans to evaluate the Yaoundé Code of Conduct and Architecture for maritime security in West and Central Africa. This meeting brought together a small group of representatives involved in the fight against maritime insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea. Participants developed action plans for a review of the Yaoundé Code of Conduct and the resulting regional architecture. The results of the work will be presented at the Annual Meeting of Senior Officials (RAHAR) of the Inter-Regional Coordination Centre, to be held in September 2023 in Abuja.

Read more here


Peace Clubs celebrate fourth anniversary of Maputo Accord

This week, Peace Clubs across Mozambique commemorated the fourth anniversary of the Maputo Accord for Peace and National Reconciliation. In Chibabava district, the celebration included the painting of a peace-inspired mural and a community gathering of school children, community members and Disarmament, Demobilization and Rehabilitation (DDR) beneficiaries. Supported by the Office of the Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General for Mozambique, Mirko Manzoni, Peace Clubs promote non-violence and reconciliation using existing community structures. Through a network of interfaith religious and social leaders, their engagement with DDR beneficiaries, family members and broader communities supports work on reintegration and reconciliation across the country.

Central Asia

SRSG Imnadze meets with Turkmenistan leadership 

On 14 August, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) met with the President of Turkmenistan, Serdar Berdimuhamedov. They discussed the UNRCCA priority areas of engagement and the role of the United Nations at the global and regional levels. The President of Turkmenistan expressed full support to the efforts of UNRCCA in building trust and promoting preventive diplomacy in Central Asia.

Read more here


George Conway appointed as Deputy Special Representative for Somalia

George Conway of Canada has been appointed by the Secretary-General on 18 August as the new Deputy Special Representative for Somalia with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) and Resident Coordinator in Somalia. He succeeds Adam Abdelmoula of Sudan. Conway brings over 20 years of experience in crisis prevention and peacebuilding.

Read more here


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SRSG Hennis-Plasschaert meets with Iraqi civil society to discuss gender equality

On 13 August, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and the Head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, accompanied by her Deputy for Political Affairs and Electoral Assistance Claudio Cordone, met with Iraqi civil society representatives to discuss the ongoing debate surrounding the use of the terms ‘gender’, ‘equality’ and ‘women’s empowerment’. “Disinformation or attempts to ban universally accepted terms are not helping Iraq to achieve stability and prosperity,” the SRSG said, adding that the rights and freedoms enshrined in the Iraqi Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, for which Iraq voted in the UN General Assembly 75 years ago, apply to all Iraqis. 

DSRSG Cordone meets with Iraqi official to discuss search for missing Kuwaitis

On 16 August, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General (DSRSG) for Political Affairs and Electoral Assistance Claudio Cordone met in Baghdad with the Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Multilateral and Legal Affairs Omar Al-Barzanji. They discussed issues relating to the search for the remains of missing Kuwaitis, and missing Kuwaiti property, including the national archives, and UNAMI’s facilitating role. The DSRSG welcomed the continuing cooperation between the Iraq Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defence with Kuwait on this important humanitarian file.

DSRSG Isaczai discusses Iraq’s work to achieve Sustainable Development Goals

On 13 August, the DSRSG/RC/HC for Iraq, Ghulam Mohammad Isaczai, met in Baghdad with the Minister of Planning, Muhammad Ali Tamim. They discussed the close cooperation between the United Nations and the Government of Iraq on numerous development and humanitarian issues, including Iraq’s efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. 

UNAMI holds roundtable with Karbala Police on due process rights of defendants

On 15 August, UNAMI’s Human Rights Office, in coordination with the Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights (IHCHR) and Iraq Human Rights Watch Society (IHRWS), held a roundtable with Karbala Police Command on the due process rights of defendants under Iraqi and international law. Discussions focused on the Iraqi and international human rights law framework protecting the right to legal counsel, the right to remain silent and the right to prepare an adequate defence. The roundtable also covered the legal framework governing legitimate arrests and investigations as well as the prohibition of torture. UNAMI Human Rights Officers discussed the Iraqi Criminal Procedure Code, the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights, the Convention against Torture and the International Convention for Protection from Enforced Disappearance.


Verification Mission supports photography course for students in Tierra Grata

This week marked the beginning of a photography workshop for the children of the former TATR of Tierra Grata in Manaure, in the department of Cesar. The initiative was supported by the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, and was designed by La Rotativa, a Communication Group formed by youth in the TATR of Tierra Grata. The course teaches storytelling through photography, and was guided by five instructors, including one of the Mission’s public information officers.

Government of Colombia and ELN start fourth round of peace talks

On 14 August, a fourth round of peace talks between the government of Colombia and the Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN) started in Caracas, Venezuela. Attending the talks, Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and Head of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia Carlos Ruiz Massieu expressed confidence that the negotiations would lead to further agreements to aid the well-being of the communities affected by the conflict. The SRSG also reiterated the commitment of the United Nations to the process and its willingness to continue contributing to the peacebuilding efforts in Colombia.

Western Balkans

Youth creativity and activism celebrated on International Youth Day

On 12 August, International Youth Day, as part of the Secretary-General’s Peacebuilding Fund’s-supported initiative “Youth 4 Inclusion, Equality & Trust,” youth in Mitrovica celebrated diversity through live music, discussions among young men and women, musicians, and artists. Exchanges centered around the role of music and artistic expression in the Western Balkans and to build connections and promote trust among people. In Skopje, an event was held in the city’s park, featuring the annual Youth Civic Engagement Awards that honored youth activism and creativity in addressing social challenges. In another location, near Prizren at a lakeside, approximately 20 young men and women attended a youth camp, where they gained knowledge on how to channel their creativity and design unique eco-art installations using waste materials.