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This Week in DPPA: 18 - 23 December 2021

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


Lebanese leaders do not have the right to be divided and paralyze the country

Secretary-General António Guterres, together with Under-Secretaries-General Rosemary DiCarlo and Jean-Pierre Lacroix of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, visited Lebanon this week to show solidarity and reaffirm the support of the entire UN family for the country. The delegation met with Government officials, including President Michel Aoun, Speaker Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Najib Mikati, as well as a number of religious leaders and civil society. They also paid tribute to the victims of the 2020 Beirut Port blast and undertook field visits to interact with people impacted by the numerous crises the country has been facing. The Secretary-General, during his last press conference before departing for New York, once again urged Lebanon’s political leaders to work to implement reforms that respond to the demands of the Lebanese people for greater welfare, accountability, protection and transparency in order to restore hope for a better future. 

Read more here 

Security Council

Syria Envoy Pedersen: “Military solution remains an illusion”

Geir Pedersen, Special Envoy for Syria, briefed the Security Council on 20 December. He said that we can only look back on 2021 as a year of deepening suffering of the Syrian people with continuing violence against civilians and systematic human rights abuses. He said that all parties confront a strategic stalemate on the ground that has now continued for 21 months, with no shifts in frontlines – making it increasingly clear that no existing actor or group of actors can determine the outcome of the conflict, and that a military solution remains an illusion. The Special Envoy also noted that he is ready to convene a seventh session of the Constitutional Committee in Geneva as soon as understandings are in place.

Watch the briefing highlight here

Wennesland: “It is crucial that all parties take immediate steps to lower tensions and restore calm”

Briefing the Security Council on 21 December, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland expressed his continued concern over recent developments in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and in particular the deteriorating security situation. The Special Coordinator said, if left unchecked, the dynamics could also impact the security situation in Gaza and undermine the cessation of hostilities that has held there since May. He reiterated that it is crucial that all parties take immediate steps to lower tensions and restore calm, adding that we must act now to prevent yet another destructive and bloody round of violence from happening.

Full remarks to the Security Council here

Security Council unanimously adopts resolution 2615 (2021) on Afghanistan

The Security Council unanimously adopted on 22 December resolution 2615 (2021), declaring that humanitarian assistance and other activities that support basic human needs in Afghanistan do not violate the UN sanctions regime against the Taliban. The humanitarian operations in Afghanistan are set to be the largest anywhere in the world in 2022, reaching some 22 million people.

Read more here              

Full resolution here

Central Asia

UNRCCA co-organizes regional forum on Women, Peace and Security

On 20 December, the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA), the Senate of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the UN Women Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia co-organized a Regional Forum on the implementation of Security Council resolution 1325 in Central Asia with the participation of women’s organizations from across the region. A number of recommendations were made by the participants at the end of the forum which include increasing women’s participation and representation; expanding youth-related work; financing of national action plans on resolution 1325; enhancing women’s role in countering global threats such as terrorism and violent extremism as well as climate change.

Read more here

Central Asia Women Leaders’ Caucus meets for annual meeting

Natalia Gherman, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Central Asia and Head of UNRCCA, co-hosted on 21 December the annual meeting of the Central Asia Women Leaders’ Caucus (CAWLC). The meeting focused on CAWLC’s activities and achievements in 2021 and outlined main directions of work for the next year. Emphasizing the pertinence of the CAWLC, the Special Representative noted that the platform demonstrates the crucial importance of cooperation and solidarity. “The Women Leaders’ Caucus is a telling example of solidarity and expression of political will to support all women of the region,” said Gherman.

Read more here


Report on human rights and freedom of expression in Kurdistan region

The Human Rights Office of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), together with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), issued on 22 December a report on human rights and freedom of expression in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. The report examines criminal justice proceedings in four emblematic cases in the Erbil Criminal Court. It sets out an evidence-based analysis of the administration of justice in Kurdistan and provides an assessment of risks individuals may face for exercising legitimate rights to freedom of expression. The report is available for download at the following links:

English - https://bit.ly/3qaS7K4

Arabic - https://bit.ly/3J4iGcN

Kurdish - https://bit.ly/3yPlsxD


Special Adviser Stephanie Williams continues discussion to advance electoral process

Stephanie Williams, Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on Libya, continued her good offices and mediation efforts this week. She met with a number of presidential candidates, including Agila Saleh in Al-Quba and Aref Nayet, as part of her meetings with Libyan political actors to discuss ways to protect and advance the electoral process. She also met with President of the Presidential Council Mohamed Al-Menfi, and they stressed the importance of accelerating the national reconciliation process and the critical role of the Presidency Council. On 22 December, the Libyan High National Elections Commission (HNEC) requested that the House of Representatives set a new date for the first round of Presidential elections within a period of 30 days in accordance with the law, citing difficulties related to the inadequacies in the electoral legislation and the process of challenges and appeals related to the eligibility of candidates.

Read more here


UNITAMS Permanent Ceasefire Committee for Darfur chair visits Ed-Daein

On 23 December, Chair of the Permanent Ceasefire Committee for Darfur (PCC) General Sandeep Bajaj of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), paid a first visit to Ed-Daein, capital of East Darfur State, along with members of the PCC. The delegation interacted with the State’s Acting Wali and its security committee on the PCC’s functioning.


Verification Mission supports recreational activities for children of former combatants in Cauca

On 19 December, children of FARC former combatants, local indigenous, and community members participated in a recreational activity promoted by the Agency for Reintegration and Reincorporation (ARN), at the municipalities of Santander de Quilichao and Caloto, in the department of Cauca, with the support and participation of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia. This activity is part of the ARN programme “Pilot Project of Integral Development for Children and Adolescents", providing better educational opportunities for minors in crucial topics such as psychosocial development, arts and culture, and recreation.


New episode of “She Stands for Peace”

This week’s episode of UNOAU's podcast series on women in peace and political processes features Regional Director and Assistant Secretary-General for UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa Ahunna Eziakonwa. In this episode, she offers her insights on the application of a gender perspective to reconstruction and peacebuilding.

Listen to the episode

For more information on the podcast series, click here









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