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This Week in DPPA: 12 - 18 June 2021

This Week in DPPA is a brief roundup of political and peacebuilding events and developments at UNHQ and around the world. 
ASG Fernandez-Taranco speaks on “Efforts for Peace in a New Era”

Assistant Secretary-General Oscar Fernandez-Taranco attended the Republic of Korea-UN 30th Anniversary International Forum: Fostering Peace with the UN, which took place on 17 June. The ASG participated as a panelist and spoke of the value of peacebuilding, the contribution of the Action for Peacekeeping (A4P+) initiative and the impact of peacekeeping on sustaining peace, including through the support of the Peacebuilding Fund. He highlighted the need to support conflict prevention and peacebuilding across the UN system and beyond, and called for broader partnerships and more resource mobilization for collaborative prevention and peacebuilding efforts.

Security Council

Griffiths appeals for “real” leadership that secures the rights and the future of people

Martin Griffiths, Special Envoy for Yemen, gave his final briefing on 15 June in the Security Council. He will succeed Mark Lowcock as Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator next month. Griffiths expressed his fears that armed and political actors have multiplied and fragmented over the course of the conflict, and that an international conversation of process may need to restate realistic goals for a negotiation process. “My worry is not so much about the ceasefire as about the future,” he said. “Yemen needs a pluralistic political future, and the UN-facilitated political process must reflect that in the most robust and inclusive way."

Full briefing to the Security Council here

La Lime: Political consensus remains best way forward for upcoming referendum

Helen La Lime, Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH), told the Security Council on 17 June that the polarization of Haitian politics is ever-growing, while technical preparations for the referendum have been faced with critical operational delays. “A political consensus remains the best possible means to holding a peaceful process that will allow the Haitian people to fully exercise their right to vote”, she said, adding that "all Haitian stakeholders must urgently set aside their differences, eschew their narrow interests, and work together to tackle the protracted political, structural, and social issues that hinder the country’s progress."

Full briefing to the Security Council here

Central Asia

Special Representative speaks on economic empowerment of women in Central Asia and Afghanistan

Natalia Gherman, Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA), delivered an address on 15 June at the International Forum for the Economic Empowerment of Women for Sustainable Development in Central Asia and Afghanistan. The Forum was organized by the Women Leaders’ Caucus, launched in 2020 with the support of UNRCCA and UNDP. Gherman emphasized the link between the economic empowerment of women and the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda. She also underscored the importance of economic co-operation in addressing regional challenges, including climate change and environmental degradation.

Read more here

UNRCCA organizes online seminar on Water and Emergency Coordination

On 15-16 June, UNRCCA organized an online capacity building seminar and a meeting of experts from Central Asia and Afghanistan, dedicated to cooperation in the field of water and energy. Representatives of ministries and state agencies, partner organizations, and international experts attended the event. The seminar focused on addressing the promotion of mutually beneficial cooperation on transboundary water resources management through the application of legal instruments governing the sustainable exploitation of transboundary watercourses.

Read more here


UN supports call for help for Lebanese Armed Forces to meet emergency needs

On 17 June, Joanna Wronecka, Special Coordinator for Lebanon, called on countries taking part in a French-hosted virtual conference in support of the Lebanese Armed Forces to do everything in their power to meet the immediate emergency needs of Lebanon’s military institution, which has been deeply affected by the economic crisis. She noted the pivotal role played by the Lebanese army in safeguarding security and stability and in the implementation of Security Council resolution 1701 (2006). She said that meeting immediate material and human needs was necessary and that the UN will support the Forces in instituting follow-up arrangements.

West Africa and the Sahel

Special Representative concludes his visits to Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, and Nigeria

Mahamat Saleh Annadif, Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), is continuing his regional tour to meet with the authorities in the subregion this week. On 14 June, he concluded a two-day visit to Burkina Faso, where he met with President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, among others, and reiterated his condemnation of the terrorist attacks against the people of Burkina Faso. On 15 June, he was in Côte d'Ivoire, where he discussed with President Alassane Ouattara the actions to be implemented to better support the country in its efforts to consolidate peace, democracy, and development. The SRSG then traveled to Nigeria on 16 June, where he met with President Muhammadu Buhari.

Read more on his latest familiarization tour here




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Somali youths discuss role in political participation

Adam Abdelmoula, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia (DSRSG/RC/HC), opened a conference on the future of the political participation of youth on 16-17 June in Mogadishu. The meeting brought together young politicians and representatives of women’s groups, people with disabilities, youth-led/focused civil society organizations, the Government and international partners to discuss ways in which young Somalis can overcome challenges and seek ways to strengthen political participation. “The opportunity of Somalia as a country depends greatly on the opportunities awarded to its youth”, said DSRSG. “Truly transformative change will happen only when young Somalis are invested in, included and partnered with in a meaningful way”.

Read more here

Central Africa

Tenth edition of the UNOCA annual review

The United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) issued on 15 June the tenth edition of UNOCA MAGAZINE, its annual review. The 24-page document showcases the Office’s main activities during a year marked by the COVID-19 pandemic. It covers work on good offices, preventive diplomacy and mediation, cooperation with sub-regional, regional, intergovernmental organizations and civil society, responding to COVID and more.

Read more here


Former combatants guide birdwatchers in Tolima

On 14 June, the UN Verification Mission in Colombia participated in a visit to Planadas, Tolima, in south-central Colombia, where the former FARC-EP guerrillas were founded. Delegates from the Canadian and United Kingdom embassies, donors to the UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund for the Post-Conflict in Colombia, officials from the Colombian Foreign Ministry, and Colombia in Peace Fund learned about the projects carried out by former combatants in this area of the country. In addition, a bird watching activity was led by a former combatant who is now a specialized photographer and "bird watcher", together with a biologist who,15 years ago, was kidnapped by the FARC for three months while participating in a scientific expedition. Both shared their stories as an example of reconciliation. The community and former combatants now cultivate one of the best coffees in Colombia and generate reconciliation through a school of bird watching for children.


Call for participants: Virtual dialogue series with Northeast Asian youth

The United Nations Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), invites young people aged 18 to 35 to “Futuring Peace”, a Futures Dialogue Series starting in July 2021. It is a series of virtual dialogues dedicated to the role of youth in the future of Northeast Asia in 2060. Designed and led by young champions from the region, the dialogues will enable young people to share their visions for Northeast Asia in several decades. The call for participants is now open through 8 July.

For more information

“United Nations and Decolonization” video is now available in all official UN languages

DPPA’s Decolonization Unit has launched translations of its animated video “United Nations and Decolonization: Past to Present” in Arabic, Chinese, French, Spanish and Russian. The seven-minute film walks the viewer through the Organization’s work on decolonization since 1945..

Watch the videos here

A new episode of “She Stands for Peace” is out

This week’s episode, released on 18 June, features Pramila Patten, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict. SRSG Patten discusses sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) against women in conflict and post-conflict settings. She also speaks about the plight of refugees in conflict areas and offers her insights on how the international community can better address the issue.

For more information on the podcast series, click here

Next Week

Special Representative Deborah Lyons will brief the Security Council on the latest Secretary-General’s report on the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) on Tuesday, 22 June. Special Coordinator Tor Wennesland will update the Council on the Middle East Peace Process on Thursday, 24 June in the morning, while Special Envoy Geir Pedersen will deliver a briefing on Syria on Friday, 25 June. 

PBSO to host the first virtual country visit in Madagascar

On 22 June, DPPA’s Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO) will host a two-hour virtual country visit in Madagascar, inviting donor partners to see the ongoing engagement in the Southern part of the country. PBSO has been organizing country visits to engage with authorities at all levels, partners and beneficiaries. PBSO organized nine country visits between 2017 and 2019, though this has been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.