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This Week in DPPA: 18 - 24 April 2020


18 - 24 April 2020

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


Geneva International Discussions
In a statement on 18 April, the Co-Chairs of the Geneva International Discussions (GID) strongly urged all GID participants to set aside differences and to refrain from actions that could lead to increased tension. “The focus should be on collaboration, for the good of all people in the region and against the common threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. The reported erection of signs along the South Ossetian dividing line today predictably contributes to a tense atmosphere on the ground and rids the local people of their livelihoods,” the statement said.
Read the full statement here

Somalia - Meeting between the Prime Minister and international partners
The UN in Somalia facilitated a briefing with Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khayre and 25 international partners on 21 April. The Prime Minister and his cabinet updated on Somalia’s COVID-19 response, and the partners pledged their solidarity and willingness to support. Special Representative James Swan attended the briefing on behalf of UNSOM.
For more Information, contact us


Gabon – Donations from UN staff to help families in Libreville 
François Louncény Fall, Special Representative and Head of UNOCA, handed over donations from UN staff in Gabon to the Senior Minister in charge of Foreign Affairs on 22 April. The donations consisted of ten tons of rice, soap bars and bottles of bleach, meant to help the neediest families in Libreville address COVID-19 challenges.
For more Information, contact us

Colombia - During the pandemic, hope is sown in Carrizal
Former FARC combatants from Carrizal, Remedios (Antioquia) planted 10,000 native trees on 22 April. On this year’s International Mother Earth Day, all attention was focused on the COVID-19 pandemic. But there is another profound emergency: the planetary environmental crisis. People in the process of reintegration are also advancing in an environmental protection plan that involves the community and victims of the conflict. This is possible thanks to the accompaniment of several universities (Uniciencia, Universidad Nacional, Universidad de Antioquia), local authorities, the Agency for Reintegration and Normalization (ARN), public forces, social organizations, and the UN Verification Mission in Colombia.
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West Africa and the Sahel - Peacebuilding Commission meeting
Marc-André Blanchard, Permanent Representative of Canada, chaired a virtual Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) meeting at the ambassadorial level on the impact of COVID-19 on peacebuilding and sustaining peace in West Africa and the Sahel. Special Representative Mohammed Ibn Chambas and Assistant Secretary-Genereal for Peacebuilding Support Oscar Fernandez-Taranco briefed the Commission. Mr. Ibn Chambas emphasized the importance of supporting governance structures to adequately respond to this challenge in the short, medium and long term and stressed the need for concerted efforts to ensure that there is consensus in addressing the implications of COVID-19 on electoral processes in the region. Mr. Fernandez-Taranco informed of ongoing efforts of the UN system and related adjustment of the Peacebuilding Fund, in coordination with other UN funds.
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For up-to-date information on COVID-19 and its impact, please visit:   
WHO website  
UN coronavirus website 


Security Council

Huang Xia: “Determined and united, we will defeat COVID-19"
Huang Xia, Special Envoy for the Great Lakes, presented the report on the Implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Region to the Security Council on 22 April. The Special Envoy also spoke about the ongoing pandemic, saying that: “Determined and united, we will defeat COVID-19.”  He urged all stakeholders to come together in the fight against the virus.
Watch the briefing here
Read more in UN News (French)

Climate change multiplying factors that lead to insecurity for millions, Rosemary DiCarlo tells “Arria Formula” meeting
Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo, on 22 April, addressed an “Arria Formula” meeting on “Climate and Security risks: the latest data. What can the UN do to prevent climate-related conflicts and how can we climate-proof UN in-country activities?” “While climate change is rarely the main driver of conflict, it multiplies existing risks and exacerbates factors that we know can lead to insecurity. The manifestation of these linkages is highly specific to context,” Ms. DiCarlo said. The meeting was hosted by the Permanent Mission of France to the UN, and can be viewed on the Mission’s Facebook page.
Read her full remarks here






Special Coordinator encouraged by cooperation to fight COVID-19
Special Coordinator Nickolay Mladenov briefed the Council on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, on 23 April. “Despite these worrying developments, I am encouraged that the COVID-19 crisis has also created some opportunities for cooperation. I hope that these opportunities will not be undermined or destroyed if the political context between Israel and the Palestinian Authority deteriorates,” Mr. Mladenov said. “I strongly urge Israeli and Palestinian leaders to seize this moment to take steps towards peace, to reject unilateral moves that will only deepen the wedge between the two peoples and undermine the chances for peace,” the Special Coordinator encouraged.
Read his full remarks here
Read more in UN News


DiCarlo: “We should do everything we can to support the transition and the Sudanese people”
Under-Secretaries-General Rosemary DiCarlo and Jean-Pierre Lacroix briefed the Council on Sudan on 24 April, focusing on continued support to the country’s transition. “The situation in Sudan is clearly dire and the need for support is real and urgent,” Ms. DiCarlo said. The establishment of a new UN Mission to support the transition in Sudan is taking place, despite difficulties related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Under-Secretaries-General DiCarlo and Lacroix have instructed a team to lead a multi-disciplinary inter-agency planning exercise over the coming weeks to develop a framework for future UN presence in Sudan. “We should do everything we can to support the transition and the Sudanese people in addressing the existing challenges,” Under-Secretary-General DiCarlo concluded.
Read her full remarks here


Talking Prevention 

This first edition of the Talking Prevention series, focusing on DPPA’s innovation work, took place via video conference on 24 April. DPPA's newly established Innovation Cell gave an overview of ongoing projects and areas of technology partnerships and the Mediation Support Unit briefed on its deepening engagement with the applicability of digital tools to its work. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, innovative and digital approaches to prevention, mediation and peacebuilding have become even more relevant. The new context has made direct interaction, including traditional shuttle diplomacy with conflict parties and peace constituencies, difficult.  This puts new technologies for safe and comprehensive dialogue at the forefront of diplomacy and mediation. DPPA has been working on a series of tools, including digital focus groups and social media mining to support its work, while also developing its knowledge of both the possibilities and limitations of digital communication in peace process engagement.
Read more about our Innovation Cell here
For more Information, contact us


At the start of the Holy month of Ramadan, Special Envoy Martin Griffiths extended his best wishes to everyone in Yemen in a statement on 23 April. “To the people of Yemen: I wish Ramadan brings you its gifts of peace, reconciliation and joy. I hope you will continue to raise your voices to demand peace and to defend your right to a better future,” Mr. Griffiths said.
Read the full statement here

Special Representative and Head of UNAMA Deborah Lyons issued a statement on behalf of the UN family in Afghanistan, where she extended her warmest wishes to all Afghans as the month of Ramadan begins. “The period ahead is a special time of prayer and reflection, as well as a time to show compassion for the most vulnerable members of society. I hope that Ramadan will provide an opportunity for all communities in Afghanistan to strengthen their bonds with each other in solidarity,” the Special Representative said.  
Read the full statement here

Special Representative and Head of UNAMI Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert extended her best wishes for a peaceful, healthy Ramadan in a statement on 23 April. “The holy month of Ramadan is a time for peace and reflection which Muslims dedicate to praying and fasting, emphasizing forgiveness and charity towards those less fortunate. As COVID-19 continues to take a heavy economic and emotional toll in Iraq and around the globe, with lockdowns, curfews, and physical distancing, Ramadan remains an opportunity to pause, cherish what we have, look after each other and find peace of mind. The UN family in Iraq wishes you a safe and healthy Ramadan. Better days lie ahead,” Ms. Hennis-Plasschaert said. 

The United Nations in Somalia extended its warmest wishes to all Somalis as the holy month of Ramadan began. “The holy month of Ramadan is a special time for solidarity and kindness; reflection and renewal. With the start of Ramadan in 2020, we are all acutely aware that Somalia – and the entire world – faces a myriad of challenges in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. During this difficult period, the values of this occasion – centred around peace, compassion and an end to suffering – are ever more important,” said Special Representative James Swan in a statement on 24 April.
Read the full statement here

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