Afghanistan: Young Afghans speak out for peace – voluntarism in context of the COVID-19 pandemic
Young people in Afghanistan have the power to build a culture of peace while preventing and resolving local disputes, even in the context of the COVID-19 crisis, said participants in a UNAMA-backed radio discussion broadcast in Faizabad, the capital of the north-eastern province of Badakhshan. “Youth have enormous potential to make change, especially with regard to joining in national efforts moving toward peace negotiations and to help in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Salahuddin Qarizada, a Badakhshan University lecturer and a member of the provincial Peace and Conflict Resolution Network.
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Peacebuilding Commission meeting on The Gambia
The Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) held an ambassadorial-level meeting on 15 June to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in The Gambia. The PBC welcomed government efforts in response to COVID-19, with support from the international community, while maintaining attention to the country’s peacebuilding priorities, including crucial political and economic processes and reforms and preparations for 2020-2021 general elections. Although The Gambia has a relatively limited number of confirmed cases, the PBC expressed concern about the acute socio-economic impact on its people and warned against the reversal of peacebuilding gains. It urged all concerned stakeholders not to lose sight of the Gambia’s peacebuilding agenda, and, in that regard, expressed gratitude for ongoing efforts, including with PBF support, to empower women and youth to play an active role.
Full recording available here
DiCarlo: “Our works goes on despite challenging conditions”
“Good exchange with the General Assembly’s 4th Committee today on how political missions cope with COVID-19. From using tech to broaden engagement in Yemen peace process to distributing sanitation kits in Colombia, our works goes on despite challenging conditions.” That’s what Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo tweeted on 17 June after addressing the Committee. She expressed deep appreciation to UN Member States for their continued support to special political missions.
Read her full remarks here
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Pedersen calls for action on the release of detainees and abductees
Syria Envoy Geir O. Pedersen on 16 June briefed the Security Council on the situation in the country. “I continue to appeal for calm to be sustained in Idlib and elsewhere and for a nationwide ceasefire, in line with resolution 2254,” the Special Envoy said. He also reiterated his appeal “for the Syrian government and all other Syrian parties to carry out 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
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La Lime: “reform of the Constitution is required to break the circle”
Special Representative Helen La Lime on 19 June updated the Council on the situation in Haiti and the work of BINUH in the country. “It is becoming increasingly evident that a reform of the Constitution is required to break the circle and to create the conditions for institutional stability, good governance and the rule of law, three essential characteristics for the country to thrive,” the Special Representative said. “Working with civil society, BINUH will pursue its efforts to encourage authorities to amplify the fight against impunity and the promotion of human rights,” she stated.
Read her full remarks here
New agreement between the Government and the UN
The Government of Bolivia and the United Nations System in the country on 18 June signed an agreement on supporting dialogue and human rights for peace building in the country. The objective is to support the implementation of the Peace Consolidation Initiative for Bolivia designed by the Secretary General’s Personal Envoy and the United Nations System in Bolivia. The Resident Coordinator’s office will lead the coordination of the project, which will be implemented by the UN system and financed by the Secretary General’s Peacebuilding Fund.
'Mountain Honey,' a contribution to peace
A group of 20 people from La Plancha community, in Anorí Antioquia, who are preparing for reintegration , is carrying out a beekeeping project. Bees, vital for keeping ecosystems alive, are now major allies of the former FARC-EP combatants, who are engaged in honey production and marketing initiative that includes home delivery. On 15 June, former combatants were trained in the technical process to improve production and commercialization. This project is supported by the PASO Colombia Foundation and the National Learning Service, SENA. The UN Verification Mission in Colombia is accompanying the development of this process.
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Lyons: Afghan women’s meaningful engagement in peace benefits society as a whole
Afghan women’s meaningful engagement in peace efforts, and in all areas of society, will benefit Afghanistan as a whole, said Deborah Lyons, Special Representative and Head of UNAMA, during a panel discussion that brought together many well-known Afghan women to address peace. Lyons, together with Shaharzad Akbar, Chairperson of Afghanistan’s Independent Human Right Commission, moderated the virtual event organized by UN Women and chaired by its country representative, Aleta Miller. In her opening remarks, Lyons said it is important for Afghan women across the country – and especially for young girls – to see a peace process that has representation from the full population.
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Acting Special Representative briefs Human Rights Council
Acting Special Representative Stephanie Williams on 18 June briefed the 44th Session of the Human Rights Council on the situation in Libya, including on the many human rights violations in the country documented by UNSMIL. “The key priority for the UN is to find a peaceful solution to the current conflict within the framework of the conclusions endorsed during the 19 January International Conference in Berlin and UN Security Council resolution 2510,” Ms. Williams said.
Read her full statement here
International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict
Special Representative and Head of UNAMI Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, speaking on the occasion of the the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict on 19 June, said: “As we commemorate this important day under difficult circumstances, I salute the resilience of survivors and their determination to overcome all the hardships they have endured. I call upon all stakeholders to remain vigilant and reaffirm their commitment to addressing the needs of survivors of conflict-related sexual violence,” Hennis-Plasschaert said.
Read the full statement here
“Conflict-related sexual violence inflicts deep personal wounds and remains a violation of the human rights of the victims. It also scars the fabric of society and the country and has no place in the modern, emerging Somalia” James Swan, Special Representative and Head of UNSOM, said in a statement on 19 June. In Somalia, some 3,000 victims and survivors of sexual assault and gender-based violence, including CRSV, received medical and health assistance last year, and some 5,700 received psychological assistance.
Read the full statement here