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This Week in DPPA: 13 - 19 February 2021

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

Security Council

Hennis-Plasschaert: "Transparency must rule" in Iraqi elections

Special Representative Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert briefed the Security Council on 16 February. She said that the country has a responsibility to take back the more than 30,000 Iraqi citizens in the Al-Hol camp in Syria. “Al-Hol continues to be a ticking time bomb. And if it goes off, the impact will be immense,” the Special Representative warned. She also updated on the status on the upcoming elections, scheduled for 10 October. “For elections to be trusted, unfounded theories must be disproved, baseless accusations refuted, intimidation replaced with accountability. Transparency must rule and loyalties cannot be for sale,” Ms. Hennis-Plasschaert said.

Read her full briefing here

Read more in UN News

Griffiths: Military situation in Yemen “extremely tense”

Yemen Envoy Martin Griffiths briefed the Council on 18 February. “The military situation in the country is extremely tense. Indeed, I think it has not been this tense in the time I had the privilege to be engaged with Yemen. Civilians bear the brunt of the hostilities, as always; shocking violations of international humanitarian law takes place. In Hudaydah and Taiz governorates, worrying spikes of violence and hostilities continue, causing civilian deaths and injuries and damage to homes,” Mr. Griffiths said. 

Read his full briefing here

Read more in UN News


Special Envoy visits Libya

Ján Kubiš, Special Envoy and Head of UNSMIL, arrived in Tripoli on 15 February. This is his first visit to Libya since his appointment on 18 January. Mr, Kubiš, accompanied by UNSMIL Coordinator Raisedon Zenenga and Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Georgette Gagnon, has held meetings with a range of stakeholders, including Fayez Serraj, President of the Presidency Council, and Mohamed Siyala, Minister of Foreign Affairs. The Special Envoy expressed his gratitude for the warm welcome and reiterated the UN’s full support to the Libyan people in their pursuit of peace, stability, prosperity and unity, especially through the holding of national elections on 24 December 2021.

Read more here


UNITAMS head meets Sudan Prime Minister

The new Special Representative and Head of UNITAMS, Volker Perthes, on 14 February met with Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok in Khartoum. They discussed the new mission’s mandate and its four strategic and interrelated pillars, as outlined in Security Council resolution 2524 (2020). “I look forward to working in partnership with the Prime Minister, the Sovereignty Council, the Government, political parties, peace partners and all Sudanese stakeholders to advance Sudan’s political transition. This has to include those groups who are not signatories to the peace agreement. The overall aim is to support the country stay course on its journey to sustainable peace that responds to the concrete political and social-economic needs of its people,” Mr. Perthes said in a statement following the meeting.

Read more here

West African and the Sahel

Women groups assess implementation of resolution 1325 in West Africa

The Special Representative and Head of UNOWAS, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, on 12 February chaired a Regional Open Day on the implementation of Security Council resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. More than 100 women and young leaders from the region, including from rural areas, as well as actors from civil society organizations and representatives of regional organizations, participated in the virtual event. The aim of the meeting was to assess the level of awareness and implementation of resolution 1325 and to identify ways to accelerate action at the community level.

Read more here



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New report on killing of human rights defenders and media professionals

The period following the start of Afghanistan Peace Negotiations in September 2020 has witnessed a sharp and chilling number of killings of human rights defenders and media professionals in Afghanistan. A new report issued by UNAMA on 15 February analyses data and trends connected to the killings from 1 January 2018 to 31 January 2021. It traces the changing patterns of attacks on these key sectors of civil society and provides recommendations. No fewer than 11 human rights defenders and media workers were killed in targeted attacks in Afghanistan from the 12 September 2020 start of peace negotiations through to 31 January 2021. This trend, combined with the absence of claims of responsibility, has generated a climate of fear among the population.

Read more here


Special Representative holds meetings in Erbil

The Special Representative and Head of UNAMI, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, on 14 February met separately with the President of the Kurdistan Region, Nechirvan Barzani, Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region, Masrour Barzani, and President of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, Masoud Barzani. The meetings took place in Erbil, and discussions focused on the current political, economic and security situation in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, including Baghdad-Erbil relations and the implementation of the Sinjar agreement.


Reintegration process moves forward in Colombian Amazon

In the municipality of Puerto Guzmán, Putumayo, in the southwest of Colombia, 90 former combatants take part in a cooperative to carry out their reintegration process with a fish farming project, the breeding of stingless beekeeping project, and a project of community nurseries for timber seedlings and Amazonian fruit trees. This week, the UN Verification Mission and UNDP participated in a follow-up visit with regional and national authorities to share, with the community, the progress and challenges of these projects.


C-24 starts 2021 session

“The specific challenges of sustainable development that the Non-Self-Governing Territories face have now been compounded by the health, social and economic consequences of COVID-19. Addressing these impacts requires improved global cooperation and solidarity,” Secretary-General António Guterres told Decolonization Committee at its opening session on 18 February in a message delivered by Under-Secretary-General Rosemary A. DiCarlo. The session marks the beginning of the Fourth International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism (2021-2030).

Read more here

Next week

Special Representative James Swan will brief the Security Council on the situation in Somalia on Monday morning. In the afternoon, Special Representative Helen La Lime will update on Haiti and the work of BINUH. On Tuesday, there will be an open debate on climate and security. Special Coordinator Tor Wennesland will update on the Middle East peace process on Friday.