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This Week in DPPA: 14 - 20 August 2021

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

Security Council

Guterres: “We cannot and must not abandon the people of Afghanistan”

Secretary-General António Guterres took part in an emergency Security Council meeing on Afghanistan on 16 August. He appealed to Council members and to the whole international community to stand together and use all tools at their disposal to suppress the global terrorist threat in Afghanistan and to guarantee that basic human rights will be respected. The Secretary-General called upon the Taliban and all parties to respect and protect international humanitarian law and the rights and freedoms of all persons, including the women and girls. He stressed that “we cannot and must not abandon the people of Afghanistan”, noting that “we continue to have staff and offices in areas that have come under Taliban control”.

Full briefing to the Security Council here


Kazakhstan hosts a temporary remote office of UNAMA

On 18 August, a group of UN personnel departed from Kabul to Almaty, Kazakhstan where they will continue their work remotely. The arrangement was made possible thanks to the offer of the Government of Kazakhstan to host a temporary remote office of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). Adapting to the security situation in Kabul and other parts of the country, a part of the UN staff in Afghanistan was relocated pending return as conditions permit. This temporary measure was decided to allow the UN to keep delivering assistance to the people of Afghanistan with the minimum of disruption, reducing risk to UN personnel.


Call for humanitarian pause in Myanmar

The Security Council held a private meeting on Myanmar on 17 August with briefings from Special Envoy Christine Schraner Burgener and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator Ramesh Rajasingham. The recently appointed Special Envoy of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Erywan Yusof was also present at the briefing, joining the call for a humanitarian pause and strong international response to allow vaccines to get in, to all in need in Myanmar.

Security Council Media Stakeout on Myanmar here


Special Representative discusses upcoming elections with President Salih

Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), met in Baghdad on 15 August with President Barham Salih of the Republic of Iraq. They discussed the current political and security situation in the country, including preparations for the upcoming elections. The Special Representative reaffirmed the United Nations’ commitment to assist the Iraqi authorities with the conduct of credible and transparent elections.

UNAMI commemorates victims of the 2003 terrorist attack

The United Nations in Iraq commemorated the 18th anniversary of the 2003 terrorist attack on the UN offices on 19 August in Baghdad, in which 22 colleagues lost their lives. Solemn ceremonies were held at UNAMI Headquarters in Baghdad, at the Regional Support Office in Erbil, and at the offices in Kirkuk, Mosul and Basra. In her remarks, Special Representative Hennis-Plasschaert paid tribute to the survivors of the bombing for their courage and resilience, and to the victims of this attack and countless more claimed by terrorism.

Full remarks of the Special Representative here


UNMHA launches its mission website

A website for the United Nations Mission to support the Hudaydah Agreement (UNMHA) has been launched. UNMHA is a Special Political Mission in Yemen tasked with leading and supporting a Redeployment Coordination Committee comprising representatives of Hudaydah’s conflict parties; monitoring the ceasefire in the Hudaydah governorate; working with parties to ensure the security of Hudaydah city and the governorate’s three crucial ports, through which an estimated 80 % of Yemen’s imports arrive; and facilitating UN support to assist the full implementation of the Hudyadah Agreement. You can visit the site at https://unmha.unmissions.org.


UNSOM public outreach event calls for Somalia’s Constitution to guarantee rights of all citizens

A three-day public outreach meeting to drum up support for the adoption of the new, permanent Constitution of Somalia started on 17 August in Mogadishu organized by the federal Ministry of Constitutional Affairs with the support of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM). Attended by more than 70 participants, including representatives of youth, women, elders and persons with disabilities, the forum concluded with a call to ensure that their views are taken into consideration when finalizing the document.

Read more here


Colombia launches the Week for Peace

The 34th annual Week for Peace was launched on 19 August at the Centre for Memory, Peace and Reconciliation. This initiative by Colombian peace-building organizations highlights the daily efforts of individuals, groups, organizations and institutions working to build and consolidate peace. In his speech, the Special Representative and Head of Verification Mission Carlos Ruiz Massieu, commended the initiative, noting that "after 34 years, this meeting continues to demonstrate the persistence and conviction of Colombian society, including especially the victims and communities in areas affected by the conflict, to continue their search for a country in peace."


New episode of “She Stands for Peace”

This week’s episode features the African Union Commission's Commissioner for Social Affairs, Amira El Fadil, a renowned Sudanese activist for women’s rights and empowerment an ardent advocate for the rights and welfare of children, notably through the Saleema Initiative on Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation and the End Child Marriage Campaign. In this episode of “She Stands for Peace”, El Fadil talks about issues relating to displacement and humanitarian assistance in Africa.

Listen to the episode

For more information on the podcast series, click here

Next Week

Assistant Secretary-General for Middle East, Asia and the Pacific Khaled Khiari will brief the Security Council on the situation in Yemen on Monday, 23 August. Special Envoy Geir Pedersen will update the Council on the situation in Syria on Tuesday, 24 August. Special Representative Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert will brief on the situation in Iraq on Wednesday, 25 August. 

Call for nomination to recognize exceptional African women advancing the Women, Peace and Security agenda

As a follow-on to their publication ‘She Stands for Peace; 20 Years, 20 Journeys’, for the 20th Anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000), that was jointly produced by the UN Office to the African Union (UNOAU) and the African Union Commission (AUC) in 2020, UNOAU is planning to publish “She Stands for Peace - eBook” to recognize the contributions made by women and women’s organizations in peacebuilding efforts across Africa. To this end, UNOAU is calling for nominations of individuals or women’s organizations, female citizens of African Union Member States, who have made impactful contributions to peace and security on the continent. The call will be open until Tuesday, 31 August 2021.

Click here for more details on nomination eligibility and criteria