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This Week in DPPA: 15 - 21 June 2024

A brief roundup of United Nations-related political and peacebuilding events and developments globally.

“No let-up in the killing and destruction” in Ukraine, says USG DiCarlo

On 18 June, Under-Secretary-General (USG) for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo told the Security Council that, “Two and a half years since the Russian Federation’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, there is no let-up in the killing and destruction.” Because of the war, the broader region is less stable and safe, she said, adding, however, that “discussions on possible pathways to peace are multiplying.” She noted that the 2024 Humanitarian Needs and Response Plan is currently only 27 per cent funded, and urged the Russian Federation to enable humanitarian access to the areas under its control.

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“We cannot afford to be passive bystanders,” ASG Pobee tells Security Council meeting on Sudan

On 18 June, Assistant Secretary-General (ASG) for Africa Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee expressed concern about the escalation of fighting in El Fasher, Sudan, and the mounting violence against civilians. She called for an immediate ceasefire, stressing that the international community cannot afford to remain a passive bystander. “A ceasefire in El Fasher is needed now to prevent further atrocities, protect critical infrastructure and alleviate civilian suffering. It could and should also pave the way for a broader scale cessation of hostilities,” she told Security Council members. She also briefed the Council on the efforts of Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General for Sudan Ramtane Lamamra to advance a coordinated mediation endeavor.

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DSRSG Koury calls for “resolute and united action” to advance the political process in Libya

On 19 June, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General (DSRSG) Stephanie Koury said “the status quo [in Libya] is not sustainable,” adding that institutional and political divisions keep deepening. In her ongoing consultations in the east and west of the country, “overwhelmingly, citizens conveyed the need for a political agreement so that credible national elections can be held to restore legitimacy to all institutions.” She called for “resolute and united action” to advance the political process, with the international community’s support.

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SRSG for Afghanistan calls for clearer political will among stakeholders ahead of Doha meeting

On 21 June, Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) Roza Otunbayeva recalled that the de facto authorities in Afghanistan have indicated that they will attend the third meeting of Special Envoys on Afghanistan to be held in Doha at the end of June. Briefing the Council, she called for greater flexibility and clearer political will among all stakeholders involved. “We hope that in Doha key stakeholders will convene around the table, speak to each other face-to-face, reinforce the principles underlining the consensus to engage, and agree on next steps to alleviate the uncertainties that face the Afghan people,” she said. The SRSG also focused on ongoing restrictions on women and girls in the country.

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ASG Elizabeth Spehar visits the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of the Netherlands

From 17-20 June, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support Elizabeth Spehar visited the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In the UK, the ASG met with the Chief Executive of ODI, and Chair of the Peacebuilding Fund’s Advisory Group, Sara Pantuliano, who hosted an informal consultation for the United Nations Peacebuilding Architecture Review with the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office and non-governmental organizations. In the Hague, the ASG participated in discussions at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and with civil society organizations on current challenges and the role of multilateralism. She took part in a Fireside Peace Chat, "Navigating Conflict: The UN’s Role in Peacebuilding and Peacemaking" hosted by the Knowledge Platform on Security and Rule of Law and partners. She held informal consultations with peacebuilding partners on measuring the impact of prevention for the UN Peacebuilding Architecture Review. The ASG met with Pascalle Groitenhuis (pictured), Director-General for International Cooperation, for constructive discussions on how to support effective, impactful, nationally and locally led peacebuilding efforts.

Peacebuilding Commission convenes Ambassadorial-level meeting on 2025 Review of the Peacebuilding Architecture

On 21 June, the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) convened an Ambassadorial-level meeting entitled 2025 Review of the United Nations Peacebuilding Architecture: The Gambia's experience in peacebuilding and sustaining peace. The PBC Chair, Ambassador Sérgio França Danese of Brazil, emphasized that the assessment of concrete engagements between countries and regions with the PBC is essential to the process of improving the peacebuilding architecture. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of The Gambia, Mamadou Tangara, shared experiences with PBC engagement, which included discussion of a broad range of issues across the humanitarian-development-peace nexus. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea, Cho Tae-yul, also noted the importance of prevention and sustaining peace, highlighting the PBC's engagement with The Gambia, and reflected on his tenure as the PBC Chair in 2017.

Special Coordinator for Lebanon Hennis-Plasschaert visits UNIFIL

On 20 June, Special Coordinator for Lebanon Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert made her first visit to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) headquarters in Naqoura, meeting with UNIFIL Force Commander and Head of Mission Lt. Gen. Aroldo Lázaro and UNIFIL peacekeepers. The Special Coordinator highlighted UNIFIL’s leadership and the dedication of its peacekeepers, who remain present and continue to patrol the area south of the Litani River despite the challenging and dangerous conditions. After visiting the Blue Line, the Special Coordinator stated, “Our joint efforts are aimed at restoring stability along the Blue Line after over eight months of intense exchanges that have severely disrupted tens of thousands of lives on both sides. It is crucial for all sides to stop the firing and for the parties to commit to sustainable solutions in line with Security Council Resolution 1701. There is no inevitability to conflict.”

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Protecting the environment through a peace initiative in Colombia

On 18 June, the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia accompanied a group of former combatants who led a reforestation initiative with community representatives and state entities, including armed forces in El Caguán, a rural area of ​​Neiva, the capital of Huila in south central Colombia. The group planted 130 trees to protect the banks of the rivers that feed the main town's aqueduct.

Next Week

On 24 June, the Security Council will meet on Somalia and will hold an open briefing on the Iran nuclear issue. On 25 June, there will be briefings on the Middle East and Syria. On 26 June, there will be an open debate on children and armed conflict.