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This Week in DPPA: 13 - 19 March



13 19 March, 2021

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

Under-Secretary-General DiCarlo highlights role of women in search for peace in Afghanistan
On 19 March, Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo took part in a high-level panel meeting on International Support for Afghan Women’s Rights, convened virtually on the margins of the 65th session of the Commission on the Status of Women. The Under-Secretary-General highlighted the longstanding and continuing UN support for Afghan women peacebuilders. 
 
Security Council
 
Pedersen: “Let us ensure that Syria receives top level and sustained attention”
Marking the 10th anniversary of the conflict in Syria, Geir Pedersen, Special Envoy on Syria, briefed the Security Council and held a press conference on 15 March. He urged the Council not to lose sight of the fundamental importance of a peaceful resolution of the Syrian conflict and stressed the need for consolidating the fragile calm in the country and turning it into a true nationwide ceasefire. “[W]hat is needed are good steps for good steps,” he said. “We all have to work in this direction, for the sake of the Syrian people.”
 
Griffiths: “There should be no preconditions for resuming the political process”
Martin Griffiths, Special Envoy for Yemen, reported to the Security Council on 16 March a dramatic deterioration of the conflict, with the continued Houthi offensive in Ma’rib and increased cross-border attacks into KSA. He reiterated the need for a nationwide ceasefire, the re-opening of Sana’a airport, the unhindered flow of commodities through the ports, and the resumption of the political process. “Resuming the [political] process, and engaging seriously in it, is an obligation upon the warring parties anywhere” 
 
UNSCOL reports on the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1701
Najat Rochdi, Officer in Charge of UNSCOL, briefed the UN Security Council on 18 March on the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1701 (2006) and the situation in Lebanon. She voiced deep concern over the socio-economic and financial crisis in Lebanon and implored Lebanese authorities to act urgently to halt the deepening crisis and ensure good governance, to which the Security Council members agreed that Lebanon’s political forces should immediately facilitate the formation of a fully-empowered Government to undertake the necessary reforms to put Lebanon on the path of recovery and restore the trust of the people and the international community.
 
Afghanistan
 
Secretary-General appoints Jean Arnault as Personal Envoy 
The Secretary-General has appointed Jean Arnault of France as his Personal Envoy on Afghanistan, as announced on 18 March. He will work closely with Special Representative for Afghanistan Deborah Lyons, head of UNAMA, in supporting the peace process. His responsibilities include liaising, on behalf of the Secretary-General, with regional countries with the aim of supporting the negotiations between Afghanistan and the Taliban and implementation of any agreements.
 
UN invites women to talk peace at home
The UNAMA field office in Kunduz, in partnership with the Afghan Women’s Network (AWN), organized a 3-month campaign that ended on 14 March to hear women’s voices on peace. The teams reached over 1,500 women, door-to-door, asking “What does the peace process mean to you? How do you see your role in it?” The campaign was covered by media partners Uranoos TV and Radio Kunduz, with over 200,000 audiences. The views expressed were then presented at a national level to the AWN and UNAMA in Kabul, to be shared with the female members of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan’s Peace Negotiation Team. 
 
Iraq
 
Deputy Special Representative visits Diyala Governorate 
Irena Vojáčková-Sollorano, Deputy Special Representative and Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, visited Diyala on 18 March with OCHA, UNDP, IOM, and representatives from the UNAMIDevelopment Support Office. She met with the Governor and travelled to Muqdadiya to meet with local authorities, IDPs and returnees to discuss durable solutions. While in Hembes village, where it is considered as a high severity location by IOM, she met with a returnee who lives with his five daughters in a home without a roof. Several households have recently returned to the village after the closures of Al-Wand and Qaratoo IDP camps.  
 
Deputy Special Representative for Political Affairs and Electoral Assistance discusses the forthcoming national elections  
Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir, Deputy Special Representative for Iraq for Political Affairs and Electoral Assistance, met with the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the Independent High Electoral Commission, Judge Jalil Adnan Khalaf on 17 March in Baghdad. They discussed preparations for the forthcoming early national elections, including ways to secure timely voter registration, greater female participation and capacity building of IHEC staff.
 
Colombia
 
Music and arts to promote reconciliation among former combatants and armed-conflict victims  
The UN Verification Mission in Colombia (UNVMC) delivered musical instruments this week to former combatants and armed-conflict victims in two communities in the northwest of Colombia. The musical instruments were donated by many people from all over the country as part of the national campaign 'Let's Sing Another Story', led by the UN Mission with the musician and peace activist César López. UN staff shared a special moment with the communities as they handed over the instruments that included violins, guitars, drums, and flutes. More deliveries are planned for the coming months in other regions of the country to promote reconciliation through music and arts.
 
Turkmenistan
 
UNRCCA co-organizes a regional workshop on terrorism-arms-crime nexus
Natalia Gherman, Special Representative and Head of UNRCCA, delivered an address at a three-day regional workshop on 16 March on preventing and combating the illicit supply of small-arms and light weapons and their illicit supply to terrorists. She said that while the Central Asian states have made significant efforts to prevent and combat the illicit-trafficking of small-arms and light weapons, “our globalized world risks remain and the militarization of terrorist groups becomes a threat not only to countries torn by conflicts, but also to countries that are free from instability.” 
 
Peacebuilding
 
Report of the Peacebuilding Commission on its 14th session is released
The PBC’s annual report (2020), issued on 19 March, contains updates on the record number of 37 meetings held last year, covering 15 different national and regional contexts. The highlights include strong multi-partner support for peacebuilding in Burkina Faso; a unique form of PBC engagement in Colombia with women former combatants and survivors; an innovative PBC engagement in the Great Lakes designed by women in the region; the presentation of a roadmap prepared by Sierra Leone to help enhance awareness about ongoing efforts to consolidate national reconciliation and social cohesion; mobilization of further support for Somalia’s National Development Plan and its National Reconciliation Framework; and mobilization of resources in support of the Sustainable Development Goals in Papua New Guinea. 
 
Next week
 
Special Representative Lyons will update the Security Council on the situation in Afghanistan and the work of UNAMA on Tuesday, 23 March. Council members will hear from Special Envoy Ján Kubiš on Libya on Wednesday, 24 March, and from Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland on on Thursday 25 March.