Welcome to the United Nations

This Week in DPPA: 15 - 21 May 2021

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

USG DiCarlo participates in UN forum on the question of Palestine

Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo participated in the International Parliamentarian Support to the Question of Palestine on 18 May, convened by the UN General Assembly Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP) to mobilize international support for a peaceful settlement of the Israel-Palestinian conflict. In her remarks, USG DiCarlo said the UN has been actively involved in mediation efforts with all sides with a view to ending the violence immediately.

Read full remarks here

Launch of dialogue with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization  

On 17 May, the Assistant Secretary-General for Europe, Central Asia and Americas, Miroslav Jenča, and the Secretary-General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Vladimir Norov, launched the first Secretariat-to-Secretariat dialogue between the two groups. The event highlighted cooperation between the SCO and the UN, the role of women and youth, and collaboration with regional organizations. 

ASG Jenča takes part in OSCE Conflict Cycle Seminar

The ASG for Europe, Central Asia and Americas, Miroslav Jenča, participated in the high-level opening session of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Conflict Cycle Seminar on 17 May, which marked the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the OSCE Ministerial Council Decision on “Elements of the Conflict Cycle.” "Conflict prevention and resolution efforts must systematically include women and women’s civil society organizations at all levels”, he said. The Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO) also participated in the later session of the seminar on early warning and prevention. 

ASG Fernandez-Taranco talks innovative financing for peace

The Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support, Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, participated on 18 May in the high-level roundtable titled “Innovative Financing for Peace: Finding new solutions to meet local peacebuilding needs”, co-organized by the governments of Germany and Colombia with the support of the Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO). “From a peacebuilding perspective, innovative financing approaches must be guided by principles of conflict-sensitivity, gender equality, and youth inclusion and be aligned with national strategies, support national ownership and involve local actors”, said Fernandez-Taranco. 

DPPA releases its new Update to the Multi-Year Appeal and 2020 Annual Report

DPPA released two new reports on 21 May: the Update to the Multi-Year Appeal and the 2020 Annual Report. The Multi-Year Appeal (MYA) is an extra-budgetary fund that supports an ever-larger percentage of the Department’s work. The additional funds provided through the MYA enable the fast, flexible and global actions often required to prevent violence and preserve peace.  The update calls for US$ 40 million for 2021 to respond to the critical and growing needs it faces. The 2020 Annual Report highlights operations and activities made possible through the generous support of our donors.

Read full Update to the Multi-Year Appeal here

Read full 2020 Annual Report

Security Council

Wennesland briefs Council members in open debate

Tor Wennesland, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, updated the Security Council at an open debate on 16 May in connection with the Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. He reiterated the Secretary-General’s urgent call on Israel and Palestinian armed groups to take immediate and decisive steps to de-escalate the situation and prevent any further loss of life. On 20 May, after 11 days of deadly hostilities, Gaza and Israel agreed to a ceasefire.

Full briefing to the Security Council here

Perthes encourages all of Sudan’s partners to continue supporting the country’s reforms

Volker Perthes, Special Representative for Sudan and Head of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) updated the Security Council on 20 May on recent developments in Sudan. He said that the International Conference to Support the Sudanese Transition, organized by the French Government earlier this week in Paris, clearly demonstrated the international community’s continued support for Sudan. He encouraged all of the country’s international and domestic partners to continue their support as it implements key economic and political reforms. Regarding the peace process, he noted that UNITAMS will act as a facilitator, supporting the role of South Sudan as a mediator, while also working to ensure the meaningful participation of women.

Full briefing to the Security Council here


Kubiš: “The significant progress and achievements in the past many months must be consolidated”

Ján Kubiš, the Special Envoy for Libya, briefed the Security Council on 21 May on the preparations for parliamentary and presidential elections. He noted that the security situation had significantly improved, although clashes between armed groups still continued to occur. “We need to work together with and provide meaningful support to Libyan authorities and institutions in their efforts to achieve national reconciliation and transitional justice, the unification of State institutions, the full implementation of the ceasefire agreement and to set the stage for holding the elections on 24 December, for their free, fair and secure conduct an acceptance of their results”, he said. “This is important not just for the Libyan people but for the region as a whole”.

Full briefing to the Security Council here

New Appointment

Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee announced as new Assistant Secretary-General for Africa

Secretary-General António Guterres announced the appointment of Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee of Ghana as Assistant Secretary-General for Africa in the Departments of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and Peace Operations (DPPA-DPO). She succeeds Bintou Keita of Guinea, who took up a new assignment as the Special Representative in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Head of United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO). She was previously Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Ghana to the United Nations from 2015 until 2020.

Read more here


Subscribe to This Week in DPPA by clicking here

Contact DPPA at dppa@un.org

United Arab Emirates

Agreement with UAE on support for WPS agenda

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) signed an agreement with DPPA on 18 May on a two-year contribution to support the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda, as well as to enhance the voices of women, youth, and persons with disabilities in UN-assisted peace processes. “WPS is such an important part of our work because we know from experience that when women are at the table, peace agreements are more likely to hold and the benefits of peace are enjoyed more broadly,” said Under-Secretary-General DiCarlo, who signed the agreement on behalf of DPPA. “The support of the UAE is invaluable. Such contributions allow us to make a difference in peace and mediation efforts globally.”

Read more here


Special Representative participates in Unity and Constitution Conference in Kurdistan region

Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Special Representative for Iraq and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), participated in the Unity and Constitution Conference hosted by the Centre for Regional and International Studies (CRIS) at the University of Kurdistan Hewlêr (UKH). “A strong, united Kurdistan Region also strengthens federal Iraq, not only domestically but also internationally. Strength abroad begins with strength at home”, she said. 


Special Envoy travels to the United Kingdom

Ján Kubiš, the Special Envoy for Libya, was in London on 17 May where he met with high-level British officials, including those in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and the Ministry of Defense. He also met with Martin Reynolds, the Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister. They discussed the United Kingdom’s support to the Libyan people and authorities in their quest for peace, stability, unity, and prosperity, including through the Security Council. 

Read more here

Great Lakes Region

Special Envoy chairs the Senior Policy Group meeting

On 20 May, Huang Xia, Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region, chaired a virtual meeting on the Senior Policy Group while on an official visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The meeting discussed the Action Plan of the UN Strategy for Peace Consolidation, Conflict Prevention, and Conflict Resolution in the Great Lakes region


UN Verification Mission facilitates peace dialogues

UN Verification Mission representatives have attended various meetings this week to facilitate dialogue. On 16 May, the Special Representative for Colombia and Head of Mission, Carlos Ruiz Massieu, joined the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Episcopal Conference of the Catholic Church at a meeting between the national government and the National Strike Committee. The Mission also attended meetings at the regional level in Antioquia, Cauca, Nariño, and Valle del Cauca departments, between local authorities, youth organizations, civil society, human rights organizations, and other United Nations agencies, to help advance the negotiation of a joint solution for the benefit of Colombia, as mass demonstrations continue.


Peacebuilding Commission meeting on institution building.

On 17 May, the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) met to discuss good practices and future support for institution building. The PBC stressed that investments in institution building, including through e-governance, must empower youth and women to shape governance systems and highlighted the importance of mainstreaming gender into national policies and public institutions. The PBC also underscored the need to include people with disabilities in local- and central-level institutions and called for more reliable financing for peacebuilding, considering the additional pressures caused by the pandemic. The PBC reiterated its commitment to build on the rich institution-building experiences with a focus on innovation and impact.

A new episode of “She Stands for Peace” is out

This week’s episode features André Mundal, Norway Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security. In this episode, he discusses the commitment of Member States to the WPS Agenda and stresses the importance of working with an active civil society, as well as creating opportunities for new learning. 

For more information on the podcast series, click here

An open course on Digital Process Design and Facilitation is launched

The DPPA’s Mediation Support Unit, and the organizations Build Up, the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue and Tandemic have developed a new course, “Digital Process Design and Facilitation.” It aims to provide core skills for mediators in digital process design and facilitation, offering a set of emerging good practices that can help design and deliver mediation activities using online platforms and tools.

For more information and enrollment, click here

DPPA’s Innovation Cell, UAE, Mexico, and Switzerland hosts a panel discussion on “peacetech”

DPPA’s Innovation Cell, together with the Permanent Missions of the United Arab Emirates, Mexico, and Switzerland, co-hosted a panel discussion on ''Technology as a Peace Enabler” on 17 May. The event was attended by over 70 participants, including 30 representatives from Member States. Participants discussed how frontier technologies could be better utilized by the UN system to ensure the delivery of public goods, as well as address potential peace and security concerns. 

Next Week

The Security Council will hold an open debate on 24 May to discuss the safety and security of UN peacekeepers. On 25 May, Special Representative James Swan will brief the Council on developments in Somalia and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM). There will also be an open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict later that day. Special Envoy Geir Pedersen will brief on Syria on 26 May. Special Coordinator Tor Wennesland will brief on the situation in occupied East Jerusalem on 27 May.