Welcome to the United Nations

This Week in DPPA: 16 - 22 September 2023

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

General Assembly

A Whirlwind of Diplomacy: USG DiCarlo meets dozens of senior officials, joins the Secretary-General in talks with multiple world leaders

The General Debate of the General Assembly, which began on 19 September, is winding down. This high-level segment of the annual Assembly session marked a “return to normal” after years of Covid restrictions. The hectic pace of the discussions is reflected in the staggering number of meetings and events over the past four days (the General Debate formally closes on 26 September). DPPA helps prepare or participates in most of these events. Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo held 22 “bilats” with Foreign Ministers or other senior officials from all regions as well as representatives of regional organizations. She also accompanied the Secretary-General in 36 of his meetings with world leaders. 

At “Peace Day” UNGA78 side event on Middle East, USG DiCarlo highlights that “the potential peace dividend is vast”

On 18 September, Peace Day, Under-Secretary-General DiCarlo spoke at an event on the margins of the General Assembly on peace in the middle east, convened by Saudi Arabia, the League of Arab States, and the European Union, in cooperation with Egypt and Jordan. “There is no doubt that the potential peace dividend is vast – for Palestinians, for Israelis, and for the broader region. We must galvanize our collective efforts to achieve a just and lasting peace,” she said.

Read full remarks here

At “Global Solidarity with Afghan Women and Girls” event, USG DiCarlo decries repression of rights, increase in violence

On 19 September, Canada, Indonesia and Ireland held a General Assembly side event on the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan. In her remarks, USG DiCarlo noted that the Taliban leadership had made it increasingly difficult for the international community to engage in the country. “Conditions for Afghan women are so severe that, according to some experts, they may be considered as persecution on gender grounds, which may amount to a crime against humanity,” she said.

Read full remarks here

USG DiCarlo: “civilians have paid a heavy price” for conflict in Sudan

On 20 September, on the margins of the General Assembly, the European Union, the UN and the African Union, as well as Egypt, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, convened a high-level ministerial side event titled “the cost of inaction in Sudan” on the humanitarian response in Sudan and the region. In her remarks, USG DiCarlo said that since fighting broke out in April between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces, over 5,000 women, men and children had been killed, and millions displaced. Homes and places of business had been destroyed. The USG also condemned the ethnic violence in Darfur and stressed the need for accountability for rape and sexual violence, as well as medical and psychosocial support for survivors. The warring parties, she continued, must end the fighting “and return to Jeddah to advance a meaningful ceasefire that will lead to a durable cession of hostilities.”

Read full remarks here

Khiari: “The international community must help Bangladesh respond to the needs of the Rohingya people and commit to sharing in this responsibility”

On 21 September, Bangladesh, Canada, the Gambia, Malaysia, Turkiye, the United Kingdom and the United States hosted a high-level side event on the Rohingya Crisis. In his remarks, Assistant Secretary-General Khaled Khari reaffirmed the Secretary-General’s strong support for the Rohingya and the people of Myanmar and their aspirations for an inclusive, peaceful and just future. The ASG went on to commend the generosity of Bangladesh in the wake of the 2017 forced mass displacement of the Rohingya people and other communities from Rakhine State, noting that the ultimate responsibility for sheltering its people lies with Myanmar itself. Until the creation of conducive conditions for return, he said, “the international community must help Bangladesh respond to the needs of the Rohingya people and commit to sharing in this responsibility.”

Watch full event here

At ministerial-level event on mediation, USG DiCarlo notes need for “greater trust” to tackle current geopolitical challenges

On 21 September, the Group of Friends of Mediation, Finland and Türkiye convened a ministerial-level breakfast meeting on “Inclusion and Ownership of Peace Processes.” In her remarks, USG DiCarlo noted that inclusive mediation approaches were vital to tackle the complex root causes of contemporary conflict and that sustainable mediation and prevention efforts required leadership and ownership by national actors. She also highlighted that, to take on the current moment of geopolitical transition required “greater trust – among Member States, and with the United Nations.”

Read full remarks here

Special Representative Abarry participates in high-level meeting on the situation in Chad 

On 18 September, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA), Abdou Abarry, took part in a high-level meeting on the challenges and perspectives of the political transition in Chad. In a Declaration published at the end of the discussions, partners were invited to “strengthen their support for elections, DDR, demining, prevention of hate speech, strengthening of the judicial system, empowerment of women and youth, sustainable development, actions to support community resilience and peacebuilding.”

Read the outcome document here

Watch the full side event here

UNOCA article here

Security Council

DiCarlo addresses Security Council members, Arab Summit Troika and League of Arab States

On 21 September, the Security Council held an informal interactive dialogue between its members, representatives of the Arab Summit Troika and the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States. USG DiCarlo outlined what she described as “the magnitude of today’s challenges” - in Sudan, the occupied West Bank and Israel, Syria, Yemen, Libya and beyond – and emphasized the need for greater international cooperation and collective action, as stressed by the Secretary-General in his A New Agenda for Peace policy brief. She also highlighted the longstanding and constructive collaboration between the United Nations and the League of Arab States.

Read full remarks here

Jenča briefs Security Council, noting importance of “full engagement in the normalization process by Armenia and Azerbaihan” 

On 21 September, the Security Council held a briefing on the “letter dated 13 September 2022 from the Permanent Representative of Armenia to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/2022/688).” In his remarks, ASG Jenča emphasized that "A genuine dialogue between the Government of Azerbaijan and representatives of the region, together with full engagement in the normalization process by Armenia and Azerbaijan, are the only sustainable way forward."

Read the full statement here

Peacebuilding Commission

The Peacebuilding Commission holds Ministerial-level meeting on peacebuilding and sustaining peace

On 22 September, the Peacebuilding Commission met at the Ministerial level to provide political guidance and seek to build momentum to bolster multilateral cooperation to address challenges to peacebuilding and sustaining peace. The meeting discussed how to elevate the Commission's role, building on the Secretary-General's policy brief on a New Agenda for Peace. The Commission was briefed by President of the General Assembly Dennis Francis, Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo, and Victoria Kwakwa, the Vice President for Eastern and Southern Africa of the World Bank Group, and Comfort Ero, the President and CEO of International Crisis Group. Participants, in a ministerial statement, adopted by the Commission, committed to strengthening the Commission as a dedicated intergovernmental advisory body to bring a strategic approach and coherence to peacebuilding efforts. They expressed their willingness to continue engaging on the New Agenda for Peace. They agreed to engage constructively to achieve consensus on peacebuilding related issues in the lead-up to the Summit of the Future in 2024 and the review of the United Nations peacebuilding architecture in 2025. In her remarks, USG DiCarlo noted that the 2025 review of the peacebuilding architecture would provide a vital opportunity to act on the recommendations of the Secretary-General's New Agenda for Peace, which includes a call for a strengthened role for the Commission.


Special Coordinator Wronecka meets with political officials on recent security developments

This week, Special Coordinator for Lebanon Joanna Wronecka held a series of meetings with Lebanese representatives on the political stalemate and recent security developments. In separate meetings with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri and Deputy Speaker Elias Bousaab, the Special Coordinator underlined the role and responsibility of the Parliament to elect a president and enact on the reforms required to put Lebanon on the track of recovery. Meeting with MP Abdel-Rahman Bizri and former MP Bahia Hariri, she discussed the situation in the southern city of Sidon and in the neighboring Palestine refugee camp of Ein El-Hilweh. SC Wronecka also met the caretaker Minister of Finance Yousef Khalil to discuss the state budget.

Special Coordinator receives petition on Beirut Port explosion from parliamentarians

This week, UN Special Coordinator Joanna Wronecka received a delegation of parliamentarians, who submitted a petition to the Secretary-General related to the Beirut Port explosion investigation. SC Wronecka reiterated UN calls for an impartial, thorough and transparent investigation to deliver truth and justice to the families of the victims and the Lebanese people.


SRSG Hennis-Plasschaert meets with Iraqi National Security Advisor, discusses border security

On 18 September, Special Representative Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert participated in a meeting in Erbil of the Iraqi National Security Advisor, Qassem al-Araji, and the Kurdistan Regional Government’s Minister of Interior, Rêber Ahmed. Discussions focused on border security and issues of common concern.

Deputy SRSG Cordone meets with civil society on human rights issues

On 18 September, Deputy Special Representative Claudio Cordone, with the political, electoral and human rights team of UNAMI, met with representatives of civil society. The discussions focused on the latest political and security developments, the upcoming elections as well as human rights issues, specifically the challenges facing journalists and civil society organizations.

Deputy SRSG Isaczai highlights importance of women’s healthcare services in Iraq

On 18 September, Deputy Special Representative, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, Ghulam Mohammad Isaczai, toured Al-Mansour Primary Health Centre/Centre of Excellence in Baghdad, supported by UNFPA Iraq, funded by the Government of the United Kingdom. "Insightful discussions with service providers highlighted its pivotal role in women's health", noted the DSRSG/RC/HC.

UNAMI third hackathon in Mosul held to strengthen political engagement of youth

From 14-16 September, Iraqi youth - supported by UNAMI - organized the Third Climate Change Action Hackathon in Ninewa Mosul University. In his opening remarks, the Director of the Office of Political Affairs and Analysis, Manoj Mathew, reiterated the mission’s commitment to support Iraqi youth to become drivers of positive social change and to create initiatives within their communities, including on climate change. He also noted that the Hackathon is part of a broader effort to strengthen youth political engagement and participation. 

Learn more here  


Former combatants meet in Huila to share experiences on security, reintegration

On 16 September, a three-day meeting of 70 former combatants concluded in the department of Huila in southwest Colombia. They shared their experiences regarding security and reintegration issues. The event's conclusions were presented to the High Commissioner for Peace of the Colombian government with the support of the Peace Office of the Government of Huila and the participation of delegates from the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, the Ministry of Agriculture, former combatants and institutions. 

UN Verification Mission accompanies United Kingdom delegation on visit to peace initiatives in Anorí 

On 19 September, representatives of the United Kingdom Government’s Cabinet Office, as well as its embassy in Colombia, visited the former TATR La Plancha in Anorí, Antioquia. The delegation learned about the progress of implementing the Peace Agreement in the territory. The UK delegation, together with the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, visited "La Montaña" clothing, essences and beekeeping projects. They also viewed an eco-brickyard, where former combatants and the community work together, with the support of DPPA’s Peacebuilding Fund, UNDP and other entities.

Mission-supported clothing workshop project of former combatants receives recognition

On September 16, the clothing workshop for 25 former combatants in the former TATR located in Icononzo, Tolima, 3 hours by road from the capital, Bogotá, was recognized by the multinational company Enel for its work in reconciliation, as the workshop made 1,750 school kits that the company will deliver to schools. This has been a successful example of a circular economy and reconciliation that has united the community, victims, private companies, military forces, government, and the international community with the support of the UN Verification Mission.


DPPA’s SDG Summit side-event on Youth, Peace and Security highlights the importance of inclusion 

On 16 September, DPPA supported France, the Dominican Republic and other partners to convene an event on the margins of the SDG Summit on “Advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the Youth Peace and Security (YPS) agenda at the Local Level.” Panelists included refugee youth advocate Adriana Figueredo, UNFPA, UNHCR, the United Network of Young Peacebuilders (UNOY) and the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC). Panelists emphasized the role and potential of youth, especially at the local level, in bolstering the achievement of SDG 16 on peaceful and inclusive societies and all other SDGs. They also called for greater political and financial commitments to institutionalize the YPS agenda.

Peacebuilding Fund financed research on gender equality and social cohesion in the Western Balkans launched 

This week, the “Voices of Youth: Gender Equality and Social Cohesion in the Western Balkans” research, funded by the Peacebuilding Fund and supported by UN Women was presented at an event in Tirana by young activists from across the region. This youth-led study reveals how toxic masculinities, rigid gender stereotypes, hate speech and media representation of gender roles increase the risk of violence, with 32% of respondents having experienced gender-based violence in their lifetime.

Subscribe to 'This Week in DPPA' here

Contact DPPA at dppa@un.org