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This Week in DPPA: 13 - 19 May 2023

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

Security Council

ASG Pobee warns Security Council of worrying security situation in Sahel 

Assistant Secretary-General for Africa Martha Pobee briefed the Security Council on 16 May on the G5 Sahel Joint Force. The security crisis is exacerbating an already dire humanitarian situation, she said, as terrorism and violent extremist groups frequently target border areas, in particular the tri-border area of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger – the Liptako-Gourma. Notwithstanding the support extended to the G5 Sahel, stabilizing the region hinges on aligning our policies and approaches, and on putting the Sahelian people at the forefront of our efforts," she said.

Read her full remarks here

Special Envoy Grundberg reports on progress towards Yemen peace agreement

Reporting to the Security Council on his work on 17 May, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen Hans Grundberg said there is clear determination on all sides to make progress towards a permanent ceasefire and the resumption of a Yemeni-led political process under UN auspices. “This political process will need to address complex issues on the long-term future of Yemen and must start as soon as possible,” he said, noting also the inclusivity of this process as a key to the sustainability of any political solution.

Read his full remarks here

SRSG Hennis-Plasschaert: “Now is not the time to be complacent”

On 18 May, Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert briefed the UN Security Council on the situation in the country. She reported that drivers of instability largely remain in Iraq. “Now is not the time to be complacent, or to take for granted that Iraq has turned a corner,” she said, stressing the “necessity for relentless commitment from a wide range of actors; the significance of placing the national interest over that of any individual or party; the critical role of independent state institutions, and the need for an active, empowered and protected civic space.”

Read her full remarks here

Peacebuilding Commission

Ambassadorial-level meeting on the Gulf of Guinea

On 19 May, the Peacebuilding Commission convened an Ambassadorial-level meeting on Strengthening Peacebuilding and the Implementation of the Regional Maritime Security Framework in the Gulf of Guinea. The Commission discussed the key achievements and challenges of regional efforts in implementing the Framework, exchanged lessons learned on the national, regional, and multilateral efforts and explored how the international community can further support inter-regional efforts to fully operationalize the Yaoundé Architecture. 

Written advice to the Security Council on the G5 Sahel

On 16 May, the Peacebuilding Commission provided written advice to the Security Council on the G5 Sahel. The Commission encouraged the Security Council to continue to underscore the urgent need to address the root causes of conflicts and drivers of instability, and ensuring good governance, rule of law, respect for human rights, gender equality, and sustainable development. The Commission also encouraged the Council to reiterate the need for coherent and sustained security, governance, socio-economic development, and peacebuilding efforts, as well as the implementation of national strategies and inclusive regional cooperation. 

Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People

Commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Nakba

On 15 May, Under-Secretary-General (USG) for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo addressed the first-ever high-level special meeting on the 75th commemoration of the Nakba. USG DiCarlo said that prospects for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process were receding amid a deterioration of the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. “The UN position is clear. The occupation must end,” she said.  

Read more here


ASG Peacebuilding support visit to Sweden and the Stockholm Forum

The Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support, Elizabeth Spehar, visited Sweden this week to engage with Government counterparts and to participate in the Stockholm Forum on Peace and Development. With the Director General for International Development Cooperation at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, ASG Spehar discussed Sweden’s longstanding partnership with DPPA and Sweden’s role as a champion of prevention and peacebuilding. She also met with other partners, including the Folke Bernadotte Academy, the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). At the Stockholm Forum, organized by SIPRI, ASG Spehar spoke at a high-level panel about the transformational shifts needed to strengthen multilateralism to address today’s challenges, alongside fellow panelists SIPRI Chair Stefan Löfven and Afghan political leader and women’s rights activist Fatima Gailani. The ASG emphasized political will as one of the key ingredients needed, as well as the principles of trust, solidarity and universality.


DSRSG Cordone visits Mosul, Ninewa, Muthanna, and Dhi Qar

On May 14-18, 2023, the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq for Political Affairs and Electoral Assistance (DSRSG-P), Claudio Cordone, visited Mosul, Ninewa, Muthanna, and Dhi Qar governorates. During his visits, he met with a range of stakeholders, including government officials, civil society representatives, and community leaders. The DSRSG-P discussed a number of issues during his visits, including the need to implement the Sinjar Agreement, Provincial Council elections, and the impact of climate change. The DSRSG-P reiterated the UN's commitment and readiness to supporting Iraq.

On May 15-17, 2023, the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq (DSRSG/RC/HC), Ghulam Mohammad Isaczai, met with a number of key stakeholders in Iraq. He held a meeting with key donor partners to discuss the UN's Strategic Plan for durable solutions in Iraq. He also discussed UN support for finding durable solutions for returnees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in his meeting with the Minister of Migration and Displacement, supported by UNFPA Iraq. During these meetings, the DSRSG/RC/HC reiterated the UN's commitment to supporting Iraq in its efforts to achieve a more prosperous and stable future.


Special Coordinator Wronecka meets with civil society groups to discuss civic engagement

Special Coordinator of the Secretary-General for Lebanon Joanna Wronecka met this week with representatives of different civil society groups to discuss ways to foster civic engagement for the benefit of Lebanon’s future. In a meeting with the board of directors of the Civic Influence Hub, an active non-profit civil society group, discussions focused on the structural role that civil society plays in Lebanon in order to push for the building of a free, just and sovereign state of citizenship and to help Lebanon back to recovery. The Special Coordinator also highlighted in her meetings that the service of the public good is the first step to restoring the confidence of citizens.

Special Coordinator stresses need for unity in Lebanon ahead of Arab League Summit

Special Coordinator Wronecka held a series of meetings with Lebanese officials and foreign stakeholders ahead of the Summit of the Arab League on 19 May in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. In a meeting with caretaker Foreign Minister Abdallah BouHabib, the Special Coordinator discussed regional developments and the Syrian refugee file ahead of the Arab summit. With Saudi Ambassador Waleed Bukhari, the Special Coordinator discussed the need for all parties in Lebanon to work together to ensure the urgent and successful completion of the presidential election and the formation of a new government. 

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Donor Partner visit explores Peacebuilding Fund's support

To highlight the impact of the Peacebuilding Fund's (PBF) support in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Peacebuilding Support Office organized a donor partner visit from 15 - 19 May. Participants included representatives from Belgium, Denmark, the European Union, Finland, Germany, Norway, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. The Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the DRC and Head of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) Bintou Keita welcomed the delegation and briefed on the Mission's priorities and transition planning. DSRSG/RC/HC Bruno Lemarquis and officials of the Ministry of Planning accompanied the delegation to visit PBF-funded projects in Tshikapa, Kasai Province, one of the regions where PBF support has focused during and after MONUSCO's drawdown. The delegation was able to learn about results and challenges through conversations with beneficiaries and partners of community security, social cohesion, durable solution and transitional justice initiatives implemented by UNDP, IOM, UN Women, UNFPA, OHCHR, UNHCR, Interpeace and World Vision. Meetings with Provincial Governments of Kasai and Kasai Central as well as with the World Bank, bilateral development partners and civil society organizations completed the visit.

The Gambia

Key stakeholders collaborate on implementation of TRRC recommendations 

On 12-15 May, PBSO Director and Deputy Head, Awa Dabo participated in the Stakeholder and Donor Conference on the implementation of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) recommendations in The Gambia and met with key peacebuilding and transitional justice stakeholders, including the Ministry of Justice, the World Bank, National Human Rights Commission, and civil society. The Government’s White Paper implementation plan on the TRRC recommendations was discussed by national, regional, and international stakeholders to ensure effective, coherent, and coordinated support to the implementation process. Ms. Dabo underscored political commitment, national ownership, and inclusive approaches as key to a successful implementation process and sustainable impact. She also reiterated the importance of adequate, timely, and sustainable technical and financial resources for an inclusive implementation process to advance national reconciliation and social cohesion.

African Union

SRSG Onanga-Anyanga UNOAU participates in AUPSC session on humanitarian action in Africa

On 18 May, Special Representative of the Secretary-General to the African Union Parfait Onanga-Anyanga participated in an open session on “Humanitarian Action in Africa”, convened by the Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AUPSC). The participants discussed best practices and effective ways of addressing the growing humanitarian situation in the continent. Hunger as a result of conflict, displacement and climate change is the single deadliest killer for young people in crisis situations in Africa, he said.

Read more here


Local brand aims to export coffee 100% produced by victims and former combatants

On 18 May, in Bogotá, victims of the conflict and former combatants who are members of the Coomulnes cooperative launched their partnership with Café Costal Campesino, a brand with which they plan to export more than 100 tons of speciality coffee to Europe. The project has been supported by institutions such as Paso Colombia, the National Agency for Reincorporation and Normalisation (ARN) and promoted with international funds through the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the United Nations Multi-Donor Fund. At the launch event, Carlos Ruiz Massieu, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the Verification Mission, highlighted the commitment of the former combatants despite the immense challenges they face. "This agreement is proof of the perseverance and resilience of men and women who pursue opportunities and remain committed to peace and reconciliation," he said, noting the tenacity and resilience of the victims and former combatants. 


Taparales: A Model of reconciliation in Colombia

On 18 May, the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, together with the National Agency for Reincorporation and Normalisation (ARN), Proantioquia, companies, foundations and former combatants, visited Taparales area in Dabeiba, Antioquia. In this region, former combatants from the former Reintegration Area of Llano Grande are building a model of reconciliation and social and economic reincorporation that is unique in the country. With lemon, banana and cocoa crops, apiculture and fish farming projects, and an environmental and tourism project, the former combatants are working to rebuild their lives and contribute to the peace process in Colombia. Enrique Sánchez, head of the UN Verification Mission regional office in Antioquia, highlighted this initiative as a sustained effort of the private sector in support of the Peace Agreement and the constant dialogue that has allowed progress in this pilot project that is also a model of reconciliation in the country.

Next Week

On 22 May, the Security Council will discuss the situation in Sudan with SRSG Volker Perthes briefing in person. On the morning of 24 May, Special Coordinator Tor Wennesland will brief the Council on the Middle East Peace Process. In the afternoon, the Security Council will discuss sanctions measures relating to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). 



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