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This Week in DPPA: 14 - 20 October 2023

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

Secretary-General calls for humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza

On 19 October, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres traveled to Cairo, where he was joined by Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo. In remarks to the media after meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, the Secretary-General called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and made two pressing appeals: “To Hamas, for the immediate and unconditional release of the hostages,” he said. “To Israel, for immediate unrestricted access of humanitarian aid to respond to the most basic needs of the people of Gaza.”

Read full remarks here

Security Council

ASG Khiari: "The driving force for a more effective collective security system must be diplomacy"

Assistant Secretary-General (ASG) for the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific Khaled Khiari briefed the Security Council on 20 October on contributions of regional mechanisms for peace and security. He cautioned that geopolitical tensions are currently at their highest point in decades, resulting in a loss of trust that affects almost all regions. Khiari emphasized that negotiated settlements of conflicts have been harder to achieve, triggering military solutions that impose a heavy toll on civilians. Against this backdrop, he underscored the importance of the Secretary-General’s A New Agenda for Peace in recommitting to diplomacy for peace and rebuilding trust. The ASG urged, “The driving force for a more effective collective security system must be diplomacy,” emphasizing that diplomacy requires rick-taking, persistence and creativity, and – above all else – a commitment to peaceful resolution.

Special Representative Laing briefs Council on developments in Somalia

On 19 October, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) Catriona Laing briefed the Security Council on the situation in the country. On political developments, she highlighted the 27 May National Consultative Council communiqué, which set out four specific proposals for a future electoral system, including moves to a presidential system, and a two-party system. These proposals dominate the political debate, with the presidential system and the proposed synchronization of federal member states election schedules with the extension of incumbent mandates proving contentious.

Read full remarks here

“We are at the brink of a deep and dangerous abyss,” Special Coordinator tells Council

Tor Wennesland, the Special Coordinator of the Secretary-General for the Middle East Peace Process, briefed the Security Council on 18 October. He said that the region – and the international community - faced a “devastating and clearly difficult challenge.” It comes at a moment when the global institutions needed to respond to the crisis are already overstretched. Ultimately, the Special Coordinator said, the only way to bring an end to the bloodletting and prevent any recurrence is to pave a way towards a long-term political solution, in line with UN resolutions, international law and previous agreements.

Read full remarks here

Special Envoy Xia briefs Council on humanitarian, security situation in Great Lakes region

The Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes Region, Huang Xia, briefed Security Council members on 17 October. He expressed deep concern over the worsening security situation and potential for a direct conflict between the DRC and Rwanda, who have accused each other of supporting armed groups within each other’s territory. The Special Envoy reiterated his appeal to the international community to strengthen humanitarian assistance and for urgent measures to be taken to facilitate the return of displaced people to their homes.

Read more here


Special Representative for Libya tells Council of “unprecedented tragedy” caused by Storm Daniel

Abdoulaye Bathily, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya, spoke at the Security Council on 16 October. He underlined that Storm Daniel had resulted in an “unprecedented tragedy” when it struck on 10 September, causing two dams near Derna to fail. UN agencies and international partners were on the ground within hours, with humanitarian aid reaching 146,000 people. While the disaster prompted solidarity and unified action at an institutional level, it also revealed severe governance deficits, including the lack of maintenance of dam systems, he said, calling for a unified national platform to be set up to assess the damage and undertake reconstruction efforts.

Read full remarks here

Security Council votes to extend sanctions regime to curb Haiti violence

On 19 October, the Security Council, noting its “deep concern” about the “protracted and deteriorating political, institutional, economic, security, human rights, humanitarian and food security crises in Haiti,” renewed a travel ban, asset freeze and arms embargo aimed at individuals and entities responsible for the violence in the country. The resolution It comes on the heels of a recent report by a panel of experts (S/2023/647), which notes that the security situation in Haiti has significantly worsened in the country.

Read more here, on Politically Speaking

Peacebuilding Commission

The Peacebuilding Commission provides advice to the Security Council on the Great Lakes region

On 10 October, the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) submitted its advice to the Security Council regarding the Great Lakes region, also recalling its previous advice from April 2023. In its advice, the PBC reiterated the importance of the Peace, Security, and Cooperation Framework as a vital tool for addressing the root causes of conflict. The Commission also expressed deep concern over the humanitarian situation in the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and called for an immediate humanitarian pause to ensure safe, timely, unhindered and sustained delivery of humanitarian assistance. The PBC also stressed the importance of strengthening election processes,to ensure credible, timely, and peaceful elections in line with each country's constitution. While noting the crucial role of women and youth in peace processes, the Commission called on their meaningful inclusion in peace negotiations, peacebuilding and recovery efforts.  


Accompaniment of progress in peacebuilding efforts with the Yera community in Catatumbo

Between 13 and 14 October, the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, together with FAO, UNDP, UN Human Rights, the Special Jurisdiction for Peace and the Agency for the Renewal of the Territory, accompanied the Yera Community in the assembly of the Resguardo Motilón Barí in the area of Catatumbo, department of Norte de Santander. Participants engaged in a discussion about the implementation of the Ethnic Chapter of the Peace Agreement, the Comprehensive Rural Reform, the processes of restorative justice and community reincorporation. The Verification Mission carried out its mandate, with a particular focus on verifying section 6.2 related to the Ethnic Chapter of the Final Agreement. Indigenous communities play a vital role in peacebuilding by supporting economic and social reincorporation and making valuable contribution to the reconciliation processes in their territories. 


Special Envoy meets with senior Yemeni officials and diplomats

The Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, concluded a visit to Riyadh this week, where he met senior Yemeni, regional and international officials and diplomats. Discussions focused on next steps to facilitate an agreement on measures to improve living conditions in Yemen, a nationwide ceasefire, and an inclusive intra-Yemeni political process under UN auspices. In his meeting with the President of the Yemeni Presidential Leadership Council, Rashad al Alimi, the Special Envoy stressed that Yemen is going through a critical juncture that still has the potential of bringing Yemenis closer to the just peace they aspire to. The Special Envoy also held meetings with the Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Jasem al Budaiwi, and with the Saudi Ambassador to Yemen, Mohamed al Jaber, as well as the P5 Ambassadors to Yemen.


Special Coordinator urges need to shield Lebanon from conflict

Special Coordinator of the Secretary-General Joanna Wronecka held a round of meetings this week with Lebanese and international stakeholders on safeguarding Lebanon’s security and stability from the ongoing warfare between Israel and Hamas, which has already resulted in tensions along Lebanon’s southern border with Israel. In the meetings, the Special Coordinator underlined the urgency of restoring calm along the Blue Line between Lebanon and Israel and of protecting Lebanon from a further spillover of violence. The Special Coordinator met with ambassadors of the P5 in Lebanon to coordinate conflict prevention efforts as well as with the Brazilian ambassador (Brazil is chair of the Security Council for October) and the Palestinian ambassador to discuss the situation in the Palestine refugee camps in Lebanon. 

The Special Coordinator also held a round of meetings with Lebanese spiritual leaders, including the Shiite Jaafari Mufti Sheikh Ahmad Kalaban and Druze Sheikh Aql Sami Abil Mona on the importance of strengthening national unity and collective solidarity.


Deputy SRSG Cordone attends opening of Yazidi Genocide Memorial

On 18 October, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq for Political Affairs and Electoral Assistance Claudio Cordone attended the opening of the Yazidi Genocide Memorial in Solagh, Sinjar. On behalf of the UN family in Iraq, the DSRSG extended deepest condolences to the survivors and the families of the victims of the Yazidi genocide.

Read full remarks here

Deputy SRSG Cordone meets with Kurdistan Region Minister 

On 19 October, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq for Political Affairs and Electoral Assistance, Claudio Cordone, met with Kurdistan Region Government Minister of Interior, Rêber Ahmed. They discussed the implementation of the Sinjar Agreement and regional developments. 

Deputy SRSG Isaczai meets with Kurdistan Region Minister, discusses IDPs 

On 17 October, the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq/Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, Ghulam Mohammed Isaczai, met with Kurdistan Region Minister of Interior, Rêber Ahmed. They discussed a wide range of topics, including internally displaced persons, coordination and the upcoming UN Cooperation Framework. 


Pension payments for demobilized begin in Mozambique

Following the passing of a historic decree by the Government of Mozambique to extend pensions to former RENAMO (Mozambique National Resistance) combatants in March of this year, pension payments have begun in Mozambique. Personal Envoy Mirko Manzoni, who played a central role in negotiations on the issue, welcomed the first payments He noted that “it represents an important step towards the long-term sustainability of the process.” In total, 5,221 former RENAMO combatants have participated in the disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration programme. All 16 RENAMO military bases have been closed through the peace process.

Read full statement here

Central Africa

Special Representative Abarry concludes official visit to the Republic of Congo 

From 10 to 14 October, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA), Abdou Abarry, engaged with the UN Country Team as well as with a variety of stakeholders during his visit to Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of Congo. He met with Prime Minister Anatole Collinet Makosso, and had meetings with the Presidents of the National Assembly, Isidore Mvouba, and of the Senate, Pierre Ngolo. Discussions focused on issues of common interest, including national and regional developments on the sociopolitical, peace and stability domains. Among other key points, the Special Representative noted the importance of women’s representation in the congolese public sphere and welcomed the increased number of female senators. He also mentioned the importance of climate security, and of the upcoming Three Basins Summit to be held from 26 to 28 October in Brazzaville.

African Union

African Union, UN, and World Bank launch fourth phase of DDR implementation framework 

The African Union, in partnership with the United Nations and the World Bank, launched the fourth phase of the Joint Collaborative Framework on Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) on 19 October. The DDR initiative aims to bolster AU DDR Capacity building, fostering sustainable DDR capabilities of the organization and the Member States to support African national and regional DDR efforts. This phase, spanning 2023-2025, builds upon the success of the previous three phases, benefiting from the support of the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU), World Bank and other key partners.

Read more here

Next Week

On 23 October, the Security Council will be briefed on the situation in Haiti. On 24 October, there will be an open debate in the Council on the Middle East. On 25 October there will be an open debate in the Council on women, peace and security. 

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Contact DPPA at dppa@un.org