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This Week in DPPA, 15 - 21 June 2019


15 - 21 June 2019

This Week in DPPA aims to keep you abreast of developments and events on the agenda of the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, at UN HQ and in the field, and especially those that sometimes "fly under the radar".

Security Council 

Yemen envoy urges de-escalation
“I call for steps to be taken to de-escalate tensions for the benefit of Yemeni people and regional security”, the Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, said in a UN Security Council briefing on 17 June, referring to the re-escalating violence across Yemen and attacks on civilian infrastructure in southern Saudi Arabia.
Read his full statement here.

The Syrian people have paid a high price for failures to end war, UN Political Chief says
Rosemary DiCarlo, Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, briefed the Security Council on the situation in Syria on 18 June. “The Syrian people have paid a high price for the failures of the international community to end this war. More than half the population is displaced and in need, more than five million refugees are uncertain of when it will be safe to return, hundreds of thousands have paid with their lives, tens of thousands detained, missing, tortured. Are we really asking them to pay more? We must collectively work together to ensure the answer to that question is no”, she told the Council.
Read her full statement here.

Direct talks essential for Afghanistan to remain on path of peace, UN SRSG says   
Tadamichi Yamamoto, Special Representative for Afghanistan and Head of UNAMA, briefed the Security Council on 19 June. In his briefing, he urged the Taliban to come to the table and negotiate directly with the Afghan Government. Read his full statement here.

The latest report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Afghanistan and its implications for international peace and security was the backdrop for the briefing. The Secretary-General calls in the report for direct talks between the Government of Afghanistan and the Taliban and stresses that “the United Nations stands ready to assist with efforts towards the peaceful resolution of the conflict.”

Settlement expansion in occupied East Jerusalem particularly concerning, UN envoy tells Security Council
Nickolay Mladenov, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, briefed the Security Council on 20 June. “Settlement expansion in occupied East Jerusalem, which further undermines the viability of the two-state solution with Jerusalem as the future capital of both Israel and Palestine, is particularly concerning", he told the Council.
Read his full statement here.

Somalia, Mauritius

ASG Keita visits Somalia and Mauritius 
The Assistant Secretary-General for Africa, Bintou Keita, concluded her five-day visit to Somalia on 16 June. The ASG met Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire and other top federal government officials on 15 June. The discussions focused on the participation of women in the country’s political process and economic reforms, and the relations between the UN and the federal government. In a meeting with Somali women leaders, ASG Keita urged women to fight for their rights and vote for female candidates who vie for positions of leadership in order to increase their participation in the country’s decision-making process.
Read the full story on UNSOM’s website.

In Mauritius, ASG Keita participated in the Ministerial Conference on Maritime Security in the Western Indian Ocean region (19 June) as well as the 22nd Plenary Session of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (20 June). The ASG also chaired the 21st Board meeting of the Trust Fund to Support Initiatives of States Countering Piracy off the Coast of Somalia.
For more information, please contact DPPA 


Mediators from around the globe gather in Oslo
“The biggest challenge mediators face today is the internationalization of conflicts,” said Teresa Whitfield, Policy and Mediation Director at DPPA, speaking at the 2019 Oslo Forum earlier this week. Whitfield added that, “When regional international actors are part of the problem, they have to be part of the solution, too.” The Oslo Forum is a series of retreats held in the Norwegian capital for international conflict mediators, high-level decision-makers, and other peace process actors.

Horn of Africa

Special Envoy Onanga-Anyanga visits Djibouti
On his first official visit to a President in the region, Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, met H.E. Ismaïl Omar Guelleh, President of Djibouti on 18 June. They reiterated their commitment to build a meaningful and productive relationship to work for peace, resilience and stability in the region.
For more information, please contact DPPA 




Central Africa

Human rights workshop for Gabonese police  
UNOCA, the Economic Community of Central African States and the National Police Forces of Gabon organized from 17 to 21 June in Libreville a capacity-building workshop for the Gabonese police focusing on "respect for human rights and freedoms in the framework of the fight against cross-border crime."
For more information, please contact DPPA 


Launch of OSESG-B public website
The newly configured website of the Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary General for Burundi (OSESG-B) was launched on 19 June. The website is the latest in an array of online platforms deployed by DPPA to enhance visibility of the work of the department and the United Nations at large. OSESG-B coordinates political efforts by the United Nations to promote national reconciliation as a basis for sustainable development in Burundi. To that end the office provides technical and substantive support to initiatives by the East African Community to promote dialogue among parties in a conflict that arose from the 2015 presidential elections.
For more information, please contact DPPA 


Special Coordinator visits Lebanese Army Regiment in the Bekaa
The Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Jan Kubis, visited the 6th Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) Intervention Regiment and the Central Training Centre for Border Management in Rayak, eastern Lebanon, on 18 June. The visit was in line with the follow up to the Rome II conference of March 2018 on the strengthening of Lebanese security institutions and the commitment of the international community to supporting the build-up of capacities and capabilities of the LAF and other security institutions. “With sacrifices and determination, the LAF has been taking important strides in enhancing border control. LAF achievements were demonstrated to me today by its work in protecting and securing the eastern border, a strong marker of the extension of the Lebanese State authority,” the Special Coordinator said. 
Read the full story on UNSCOL’s website.



Panel discussion on water management, agriculture and environmental preservation in Baghdad
Marta Ruedas, Deputy Special Representative and Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator took part in panel discussion on water management, agriculture and environmental preservation in Baghdad on 16 June. She was joined in the panel by the First Lady of Iraq and other officials. The DSRSG emphasized both the supply and demand problems facing Iraq in terms of water management as well as the structural issues the Government needs to overcome in reducing pollution and waste, improving enforcement and cooperation between ministries, and changing harmful agricultural practices.
For more information, please contact DPPA 


Surobi leaders strategize on building social cohesion, foundations for peace
Community leaders in Kabul’s eastern Surobi district gathered recently at a UN-backed symposium to strategize on ways to promote social cohesion, both locally and nationally, in the interest of advancing peace. The event was organized by UNAMA and broadcast by Surobi Radio to an audience estimated at 100,000 people in and around the district as part of a countrywide outreach programme aimed at creating platforms – using radio, television and social media – to enable Afghans to engage in dialogue on pressing issues affecting their communities.
Read the full story on UNAMA’s website.

Afghan youth must be at forefront of country’s development agenda, say Samangan leaders
The active participation of youth in Afghanistan’s development agenda is of critical importance, said participants in another UN-backed symposium in the northern province of Samangan. Led by Governor Latif Ibrahimi, and organized by UNAMA’s Mazar regional office, the event drew more than 60 participants to strategize on ways to consolidate the base of Afghanistan’s youth in development initiatives and in local and national political processes. During the lively roundtable-style symposium, provincial authorities, civil society representatives and youth advocates underlined the importance of involving Afghanistan’s new generation in any development planning.
Read the full story on UNAMA’s website.


200 trees planted for reconciliation
Carrizal, Antioquia department, a territorial area for training and reintegration of former FARC-EP combatants saw the planting of some 200 trees between 17 and 19 June. The event  brought together teachers, students, artists, peasants, indigenous leaders, victims of the conflict, Public Force and former  combatants. The initiative, under the slogan, "Plant your tree for peace”, has united different society sectors around reconciliation and sustainable development, not only in Carrizal but in the neighboring communities of Rancho Quemado, El Carmen, Arenales, Mina Nueva and La Cristalina. The initiative is supported by social organizations, the University of Antioquia and the UN Verification Mission in Colombia. So far, 7,500 trees have been planted.  



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