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This Week in DPPA: 15 - 21 January 2022

This Week in DPPA is a brief roundup of political and peacebuilding events and developments at UNHQ and around the world. 
DiCarlo: We will need everyone to work together to enhance youth inclusion and participation 

Taking part virtually in the High-Level Conference on Youth Inclusive Peace Processes on 21 January, Under-Secretary-General (USG) for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo commended organizers and participants for the meeting’s important tangible outcomes, including the Guidelines for Member States and the Five-Year Strategy on youth inclusive peace processes. “It is encouraging to see the momentum created by this gathering and hear all the pledges made to accelerate implementation of the agenda,” said USG DiCarlo. She further noted that DPPA and the UN as a whole will continue to scale up partnerships for and with youth, stressing the importance of increased, accessible resources and investments to youth-led initiatives. 

Read her full remarks 

Effective collaborative approach is needed to help Haiti tackle its security problems 

USG DiCarlo participated on 21 January in the Ministerial-Level Meeting on Haiti, organized by the Government of Canada to convey the commitment of the international community to supporting Haiti as the country confronts a number of critical issues, including growing insecurity. In her remarks, she stressed that the main path to sustainable security and stability in the country is supporting Haitian stakeholders to overcome their divisions, act cohesively, and assume joint ownership of a unified national vision. She further noted that “an inclusive common way forward” is needed to foster the type of political and security environment that could result in the holding of elections. 

Read her full remarks 

ASG Miroslav Jenča discusses regional cooperation with CSTO

Assistant-Secretary-General for Europe, Central Asia and Americas Miroslav Jenča held on 20 January a video call today with Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Secretary-General Stanislav Zas. They discussed UN-CSTO cooperation and developments in Central Asia, the South Caucasus and Eastern Europe. 

Read more here

Security Council

Ruiz Massieu: "Political reintegration is at the core of the peace process" 

Briefing the Security Council on 20 January regarding the Secretary-General's latest report on Colombia, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia Carlos Ruiz Massieu said that it is important to carry forward the momentum provided by the celebration of the fifth anniversary of the Peace Agreement in order to consolidate peace. He emphasized the importance of ensuring the safety of all candidates running for Congress in this year’s elections and called on all political actors to conduct their campaigns with respect and engage in initiatives that promote non-violence and non-stigmatization of the electoral process. Coinciding with the consideration of the Colombia report, Council members donned virtual reality headsets to screen a film that allowed them to witness the daily life of Colombian former combatants undergoing reintegration. The film, Pathways Colombia, was co-produced by DPPA’s Americas Division and Innovation Cell, as well as the UN Verification Mission in Colombia.

Wennesland: “It is only a matter of time before we face an irreversible, dangerous collapse and widespread instability” 

Tor Wennesland, the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, briefed the Security Council on 19 January, reporting that violence continues unabated across the occupied Palestinian territory, including settler violence, leading to numerous Palestinian and Israeli casualties and heightening the risk of a broader escalation. Settlement activity, demolitions and evictions also continue, feeding hopelessness and further diminishing prospects for a negotiated solution. The Special Coordinator emphasized once more the urgent need for a coordinated approach to address political, economic and institutional obstacles blocking the way to a meaningful peace process. He warned that an irreversible collapse and widespread instability will be inevitable without a realistic prospect of an end to the occupation and the realization of a two-State solution. 

Central Asia

UNRCCA pilot training on the use of Education for Justice materials 

The UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) co-organized on 18-20 January a pilot training course on the use of Education for Justice (E4J) materials for members of the three national Turkmen universities and teachers from Ashgabat. The E4J initiative, developed by UNODC in partnership with UNESCO, seeks to prevent crime and build a culture of lawfulness through education activities designed for primary, secondary and tertiary levels. Participants were introduced to specifically designed educational materials related to the criminal justice system, human trafficking, cybercrime and other areas relevant to prevention of violent extremism and countering terrorism. 

Read more here 


Special Envoy concludes visit to Saudi Arabia 

Hans Grundberg, the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, concluded on 20 January a visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) where he continued his discussions with senior Yemeni and Saudi officials on options for de-escalation. The Special Envoy has been in close contact with all sides and urges them to exercise maximum restraint and to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law. During his meetings, he denounced the recent wave of military escalation that has engulfed Yemen, including heavy airstrikes on Sana’a, and spilled over the borders to the United Arab Emirates and the KSA. He expressed grave concern about the impact of this escalation on the prospects of peace in Yemen and the heavy toll it has taken on civilian lives and livelihoods. 

Read more here


Special Envoy continues engagements with his regional interlocutors 

Geir Pedersen, the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria, was in Tehran this week, where he met with Iranian Foreign Minister Amir Abdollahian and other senior Iranian officials. He also traveled to Doha, where he met with the Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani. In Doha, he also met with the Syrian Negotiations Commission President Anas al Abdeh. The Special Envoy explored with all of his interlocutors the possibilities for progress on the Constitutional Committee and on a wider set of issues step-for-step, stressing the need for key stakeholders to work together on issues of common concern to end the conflict in Syria in line with Security Council resolution 2254 (2015). 


Special Representative discusses political situation with Iraqi senior officials 

Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), met on 20 January in Erbil with Deputy Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region Qubad Talabani and Minister of Interior - Kurdistan Regional Government Rêber Ahmed. They discussed the current political situation and the need for durable solutions on IDPs and refugees as well as the urgency of implementing the Sinjar agreement. 

Deputy Special Representative visits Kabala 

Deputy Special Representative for Iraq for Political Affairs and Electoral Assistance Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir visited Karbala on 18 January. She met with Governor Nassif Al-Khattabi and with representatives of civil society. 


Special Adviser Williams visits Cairo 

Stephanie Williams, the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General for Libya, met on 17 January in Cairo with the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Ahmed Aboul Gheit. The Special Adviser stressed the importance of consolidating international and regional efforts to implement the Security Council-endorsed Libyan Political Dialogue Forum roadmap and its timeline. She also met with Ramtane Lamamra, the Algerian Foreign Minister, and noted the critical role of the neighboring countries in supporting an inclusive political dialogue in Libya. 

Find out more about her latest engagements in the region 

Western Sahara

Personal Envoy visits Morocco and Algeria 

Staffan de Mistura, the Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General for Western Sahara, met this week with Moroccan officials in Rabat and Frente POLISARIO officials in Tindouf/Rabouni and with Mauritanian officials in Nouakchott. On 19 January, he was in Algiers and met with the Special Envoy in charge of Western Sahara and Maghreb countries, Amar Belani, among other Algerian officials. During his visits, he heard the views of concerned parties on how to make progress towards a constructive resumption of the political process on Western Sahara.   

West Africa and the Sahel

Special Representative visits The Gambia 

Mahamat Saleh Annadif, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), started a two-day visit to The Gambia this week on the occasion of the inauguration of President-Elect Amada Barrow in Banjul. On 18 January, the Special Representative met with the political party leaders, whom he applauded for their contributions to democratic consolidation in The Gambia. Attending the inauguration on 19 January, he commended the Gambian people who “have put all their marbles in peace and prosperity”. 


UNITAMS holds UN-facilitated consultations on a political process for Sudan 

The second week of the UN-facilitated consultations on a political process in Sudan concluded on 21 January. During the meetings held so far, Sudanese stakeholders urged the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) to broaden consultations beyond Khartoum and organize sessions with constituencies in all states. Participants condemned the escalation of violence and stressed that violence must end before dialogue with the military could be possible. This coming week, UNITAMS will continue to meet with political parties, Darfur resistance committees and civil society groups, including women’s groups, families of victims of recent protests, representatives of the Professional Associations and signatory groups to the Juba Peace Agreement. 

Read more here 


Elizabeth Spehar appointed as Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support   

On 18 January, the Secretary-General appointed Elizabeth Spehar of Canada as Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support in DPPA. Ms. Spehar succeeds Oscar Fernandez-Taranco of Argentina. With 35 years of experience in international and political affairs, Ms. Spehar has worked at Headquarters and in the field, leading political, development, peacebuilding and conflict prevention initiatives. She had been serving since 2016 as head of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP). 

Read more here 

Next Week

On 24 January, the Security Council will hear a briefing on the UN Support Mission in Libya and Libya sanctions. On 25 January, the Council will hold an open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict: wars in cities. And on 26 January, Special Representative Deborah Lyons will brief the Council regarding Afghanistan, followed by Special Envoy Geir Pedersen’s briefing on Syria in the afternoon. 

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Contact DPPA at dppa@un.org