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This Week in DPPA: 13 - 19 April 2024

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

"It is high time to end the bloody cycle of retaliation" in the Middle East, Guterres tells Council

On 18 April, Secretary-General António Guterres reiterated to Security Council members his “strong condemnation of the serious escalation” represented by Iran’s attack on Israel on 13 April, as well as his condemnation of the attack on the Iranian consulate in Damascus earlier this month. “It is high time to end the bloody cycle of retaliation," he said. Guterres underscored that the international community must work together to pull the region back from the precipice by advancing comprehensive diplomatic action for regional de-escalation, starting with Gaza. “Ending the hostilities in Gaza would significantly defuse tensions across the region,” he stressed.

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"Creating political space for youth to meaningfully engage in peace and security initiatives is key," DiCarlo tells Council

On 17 April, Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo, briefing at a Council open debate on the role of young persons in addressing security challenges in the Mediterranean, said youth needed to be empowered to participate in decision-making that can affect their present and future (see our Politically Speaking story on youth and peace and security initiatives). In the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean, young people constituted 55 per cent of the population, she said, and recalled the wave of demonstrations – with youth at the forefront – that swept across the region in 2011. DiCarlo highlighted DPPA’s work in its special political missions, where it has deployed new technologies to organize digital consultations with youth. “Creating political space for youth to meaningfully engage in peace and security initiatives is key,” she said.

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SRSG Bathily tells Council that the “selfish resolve” and “stubborn resistance” of current Libyan leaders must stop

On 16 April, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya Abdoulaye Bathily told the Council that his recent dialogue with the five key stakeholders on contested issues regarding electoral laws and the formation of a unified government were met with “stubborn resistance, unreasonable expectations, and indifference to the interests of the Libyan people.” He underlined that “despite continuous and extensive engagement with the main institutional actors, their persistent positions are significantly impeding efforts to advance the political process. “The selfish resolve of current leaders to maintain the status quo through delaying tactics and maneuvers at the expense of the Libyan people must stop,” he stressed, adding: “More than ever, the renewed and coordinated commitment among regional and international actors is imperative.” Following his briefing, Bathily confirmed to reporters that he had submitted his resignation as Special Representative.

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Ceasefire and roadmap for political process “best possible chance for achieving peace” in Yemen

On 15 April, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen Hans Grundberg warned the Council that “In the absence of a ceasefire in Gaza and a complete termination of attacks in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, the threat of further escalation persists. The recent developments involving Iran and Israel further underscored the urgency of the matter, he said. While the conflicts in Yemen and the wider region have become interlinked, resolving the conflict in Yemen must not be contingent upon the resolution of other issues. “If we leave Yemen’s political process in the waiting room and continue down this path of escalation, the consequences could be catastrophic, not only for Yemen but also for the wider region,” he stressed.

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UN Special Coordinator holds round of meetings in Lebanon

This week, UN Special Coordinator Joanna Wronecka met with Lebanese officials and political leaders to stress the importance of safeguarding Lebanon’s security and stability at a time of growing regional uncertainty. With caretaker Minister of Interior Bassam Mawlawi (pictured), the Special Coordinator discussed the need for a return to the cessation of hostilities across the Blue Line. In separate meetings with Gebran Bassil, leader of the Free Patriotic Movement, and leader of the Lebanese Forces party Samir Geagea, Wronecka highlighted the need to end Lebanon’s prolonged presidential vacuum. She also discussed with Commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces Gen. Joseph Aoun the importance of adhering to Resolution 1701. She held similar discussions with the Acting Director of General Security Brig Gen. Elias Baissari.

DSRSG Isaczai showcases past humanitarian work of UN Iraq

Speaking at the 8th Sulaimani Forum on 18 April,  Deputy Special Representative for Iraq Ghulam Isaczai showcased UN humanitarian work in the country during the years of conflict. He also spoke about the transition from humanitarian to development and cooperation with the government towards the Sustainable Development Goals.

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Peacebuilding Support Office partners visit South Sudan

This week, DPPA's Peacebuilding Support Office organized a partner visit to South Sudan to highlight the impact of UN Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) supported initiatives. The delegation included representatives from Brazil, representing the Chairpersonship of the Peacebuilding Commission, contributing partners including Denmark, the European Union, Finland, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, the United Kingdom, and two members of the PBF’s Advisory Group. Hosted by the Ministry of Peacebuilding, the participants met with the Minister of Peacebuilding, Minister of Governmental Affairs, the Upper Nile State Government, the UN Country Team, UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and other strategic partners. Interactions with communities and civil society in Juba and Malakal, Upper Nile State, where PBF-supported efforts are being implemented, showcased the willingness of many people to move forward towards peace and reconcile, and the possibility of undertaking projects to build peace.

Promoting the role of women in Great Lakes region peace processes

The Office of the Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region (OSESG-GL), in partnership with the African Union Office of the Special Envoy for Women, Peace and Security, convened a meeting in Nairobi on 17 April to promote the role of women in the ongoing peace processes in the Great Lakes (the Nairobi and Luanda processes). The meeting, chaired Special Envoy Huang Xia, brought together a select group of women leaders, civil society representatives, women rights groups activists and experts from Burundi, Democractic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Preventive Diplomacy Academy holds training on gender equality

This week, the Preventive Diplomacy Academy of the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) held its 6th hybrid training session in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. The training focused on gender equality. Presenters discussed issues such as the root causes of gender inequality, social norms, stereotypes, cultural factors, and the drivers of gender-based violence, as well as the role of men in promoting gender equality. The Academy highlights UNRCCA’s commitment to equip future leaders with the knowledge and tools needed to build a more inclusive and peaceful Central Asia.

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For victims, peace signatories and police in Colombia, football is an act of reconciliation

On 13 April, a soccer championship kicked off in the former Territorial Training and Reincorporation Area (TATR) Tierra Grata in Manaure, department of Cesar. Peace signatories, victims, police and nearby communities joined together to create 14 teams. The event uses soccer as a reconciliation activity to create bonds among children and young people from the Serranía del Perijá. The tournament is taking place in April and May with the backing of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia.


Next Week

On 22 April, the Security Council will hold a briefing on the UN Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH). On 23 April, there will be an open debate on Women, Peace and Security: Conflict related sexual violence sanctions. On 24 April, the Council will be briefed on the Great Lakes region. On 25 April, there will be a briefing on the Middle East.

Starting on 22 April, a photo exhibit from the Office of the Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region (OSESG-GL) entitled “The Great Lakes Region Through Your Lens" will be on show at UN Headquarters. Read more about the exhibit in Politically Speaking.