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This Week in DPPA: 12 - 18 September 2020


12 - 18 September 2020

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


Afghanistan - Reducing violence is crucial in coping with the humanitarian crisis
Continued violence during the COVID-19 pandemic is exasperating Afghanistan’s humanitarian crisis, observed participants in a series of radio discussions in Afghanistan’s northeast, west and Kabul provinces. Participants, who included clerics, community elders, civil society, youth and women’s rights activists, said that the deadly mix of COVID-19 and violence had added to the devastation and suffering in Afghanistan. The discussants made repeated calls to halt the violence to facilitate the delivery of health and essential services to vulnerable communities, particularly in remote and rural areas. Supported by UNAMA field offices in Central Region, Kunduz and Herat, the radio series reached hundreds of thousands of residents in several provinces including Baghlan, Herat, Kapisa, Logar, Maidan Wardak, Pansjhir and Parwan.
Read more here

Libya - Healthcare professionals come together to combat COVID-19
A group of Libyan healthcare professionals from across the country met in Tripoli, Benghazi and Sebha to participate via a video teleconference in the first of a series of UN-supported technical exchanges to combat COVID-19. The aim of the initiative by Libyan healthcare professionals, supported by UNSMIL and UNDP, and undertaken in cooperation with WHO, is to strengthen the response to COVID-19 and discuss, at the technical-level, ways to address gaps in service delivery. These discussions will help increase awareness around needs and response planning on COVID-19 issues seeking to build longer-term mechanisms for public health cooperation across the country. 
Read more here

Women, Peace and Security – DiCarlo addresses symposium
Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo on 16 September addressed the Women, Peace, and Leadership Symposium. Implementing Transformative Action: Prioritizing the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in a Time of Pandemic. “The pandemic has disrupted the status quo and, by the same token, highlighted disparities and exclusion tied to gender, race etc. As we recover, let's ensure conflict prevention, peacemaking and governance structures are more inclusive,” Ms. DiCarlo tweeted after the symposium.
Read her full remarks here

Côte d’Ivoire - Interview with Resident Coordinator
In the “Building Peace during the Pandemic” video series this week, Philippe Poinsot, the UN Resident Coordinator in Côte d’Ivoire spoke with Marc-André Franche, Chief, Financing for Peacebuilding, Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO). Mr. Poinsot explained how the lockdown measures due to the pandemic had severely impacted the economy followed by a health crisis and affected the lives and livelihoods of millions of people. He highlighted how the emergency response sparked by the pandemic necessarily led to shift in focus as the UN Country Team in Côte d’Ivoire reprogrammed resources to mitigate the risks emanating from the crisis and assisted the government in its health, socio-economic and humanitarian response. The UN also mobilized resources to increase social cohesion among communities and empowered youth to help their communities in preventing the spread of the virus.
Watch the interview here

For up-to-date information on COVID-19 and its impact, please visit:   
WHO website  
UN coronavirus website 


Security Council

Griffiths highlights vital role of civil society in Yemen 
Yemen Envoy Martin Griffiths on 15 September briefed the UN Security Council on the latest political developments in the country. “I want to emphasize here the vital role of Yemeni civil society in demanding an end to the conflict. They truly are champions of peace. Civil society has also vocally advocated for measures to bring relief to the population, including and very recently, in very marked way, including the release of prisoners and detainees. Civil society’s role is central in maintaining the pressure needed in every conflict, but included in Yemen, the pressure for a peaceful resolution,” Mr. Griffiths said. He also told the Council that he expects to see the Parties of the conflict in Switzerland this week. They will continue discussions on the implementation of prisoner exchanges.
Read his full remarks here
Read more in UN News


Pedersen: A political settlement is the only way to meet the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people
Special Envoy Geir Pedersen briefed the Council on 18 September. “The realities on the ground remind us that only by focusing on a political settlement can we meet the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people and restore Syria’s sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity. A political process is also plainly vital if Syria’s socio-economic challenges are to be addressed, and if conditions are to emerge in which millions of refugees would be able to return in a voluntary, safe and dignified manner,” Mr. Pedersen said. He also underscored that he continues to appeal “for large-scale and unilateral releases of detainees and abductees – especially of women, children, the elderly and the sick – and for more meaningful actions on missing persons”.
Read his full remarks here



Group of Friends meeting
The third quarterly meeting of the Group of Friends of the Secretary-General’s Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) took place on Thursday, 17 September, convened by the Group co-chairs the Permanent Missions of Sweden and the United Kingdom. The Head of the PBF, Marc-André Franche, briefed on how the Fund is addressing the peacebuilding dimensions of the COVID-19 pandemic as part of the UN’s Comprehensive Response to the pandemic, and on the status of contributions and approvals. While the Fund is still expecting to receive at least similar contribution levels to those reached in 2019 if donor states follow through on pledges made so far, it will not be able to reach the contribution target for 2020. The Fund therefore had to reduce its approval target down from $210 million to $180 million in 2020. Nearly half of ongoing PBF projects have made COVID-19 related adjustments. The PBF had reacted quickly, working with UN Resident Coordinators and partners to identify emerging risks and opportunities, enabling ongoing programmes to adapt and encouraging new proposals to mitigate conflict risks emanating from the pandemic.



















DiCarlo: Killings and threats against social leaders, former combatants, women, and young people are a threat to peace
On 16 September, in an event convened by Colombian President Ivan Duque Marquez to take stock of the implementation of the Peace Agreement two years into his government, Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo acknowledged the progress made four years after the signing of the Peace Agreement. However, she stressed that "we remain deeply concerned about the insecurity affecting the lives of too many Colombians in conflict-affected areas of the country, notwithstanding the overall reduction in violence brought about by the peace process. The killings and threats against social leaders, former combatants, women, and young people are a threat to peace." The Special Representative for Colombia, Carlos Ruiz Massieu, also a participant, emphasized that the Agreement is the result of a consensus built between the conflicting parties on the transformations the country needs, and expressed that this common vision "has been translated into a willingness and commitment to work towards the consolidation of peace." Also participating in the event were the former President of the Spanish Government Felipe González and former Uruguayan President José Mujica; Eamon Gilmore, European Union Special Representative for Human Rights and European Union Special Envoy for the Peace Process in Colombia; Luis Almagro, Secretary-General of the Organization of American States, and government officials responsible for implementing the Peace Agreement.
Read DiCarlo´s remarks here
Read Ruiz Massieu´s remarks here

UN Mission promotes Peace and Reconciliation Dialogues in Colombian Peace Week
The UN Verification Mission in Colombia participated on 14 September in Colombian Peace Week, with the first Peace and Reconciliation Dialogue held in Santa Cecilia, a community of Risaralda, in the western central region of the country. The community hosts a fish farming project by former combatants. Victims of Colombia’s armed conflict, former FARC-EP combatants, social organizations, and Government entities exchanged ideas to promote the value of culture and ancestral knowledge and achieve healthy coexistence in the local community. The Peace and Reconciliation Dialogues will be replicated in other municipalities nearby, with the coordination of the UN Mission, the Agency for Reintegration and Normalization (ARN) and the Government of Risaralda.


Special Representative visits Kurdistan
Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Special Representative and Head of UNAMI, visited Kurdistan on 15 September, where she met separately with Nechirvan Barzani, President of the Kurdistan Region, and Prime Minister Masrour Barzani. She discussed the current political, security and humanitarian situation in Iraq and the region, including forthcoming early elections, voluntary return of internally displaced people, and Baghdad-Erbil relations with the Kurdistan counterparts.



Virtual exhibit - “The Work of Peace” - to be launched on International Day of Peace 
Look out starting Monday for our new mini-website/exhibit entitled, “The Work of Peace”, which highlights the work of the UN in preventive diplomacy, good offices, mediation and elections over the past 75 years and looks ahead at what the future may hold for this work.  


Virtual dialogue series - Talking Peace
In collaboration with Shared-Studios , DPPA is launching a virtual dialogue series to highlight the knowledge, experience and visions for the future of communities on the frontlines of conflict prevention, peacemaking and peacebuilding efforts. The series, featuring voices from Afghanistan, Bolivia, Iraq, Rwanda and Uganda, will explore a range of themes related to peace, including the role of technology in advancing peace initiatives; art in local peacemaking and conflict prevention; and how pop culture can shape the norms of peace. The conversations among these international participants will focus on community-based efforts to sustain peace and explore how interdisciplinary approaches can help spark dialogue, build social cohesion and resolve conflict.  
For more information and to keep up with conversations, click here


Apply now: Peace and Development Advisor and Specialist Positions
The Joint UNDP-DPPA Programme on Building National Capacities for Conflict Prevention is a signature cross-pillar initiative that aims to enhance UN support to national stakeholders on conflict prevention and sustaining peace. Since its inception in 2004, the Programme has engaged in more than 60 countries and provided catalytic support to UN Resident Coordinators and UN Country Teams to advance the UN Secretary-General’s conflict prevention agenda. A global campaign has been launched to strengthen the new iteration of the roster, aiming to expand the pool of highly skilled candidates with substantive, technical and multilingual skills to serve in challenging duty stations. It also purposes to have a more geographically diverse representation and, above all, gender parity in the rosters and deployments.

For more information on current countries of deployments and the PDA role, please refer to Peace Infrastructures or reach out at jp.prevention.undp-dppa@undp.org

Qualified female candidates are encouraged to apply!

Please note that the deadline has been extended to 27 September.
PDA vacancy P4
PDA vacancy P5

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Contact DPPA at dppa@un.org