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This Week in DPPA: 18 - 24 February 2023

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

Security Council

Foreign Ministers, senior officials mark one year since the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine

On 24 February, the Security Council held a ministerial-level open debate on the international peace and security of Ukraine. The Secretary-General, in his opening remarks to a packed Council Chamber, said “The Russian invasion of Ukraine is a blatant violation of the United Nations Charter and international law. It has unleased widespread death, destruction and displacement. Attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure have caused many casualties and terrible suffering…Life is a living hell for the people of Ukraine. … The guns are talking now, but in the end we all know that the path of diplomacy and accountability is the road to a just and sustainable peace.” The Council meeting marked one year since the beginning of the Russian invasion and followed two days of discussions in the General Assembly, which called for an immediate cessation of the hostilities by the Russian Federation against Ukraine. 

Special Coordinator Wennesland urges parties to avoid unilateral steps that could further inflame the situation in the Middle East

On 20 February, Special Coordinator of the Secretary-General for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland warned the Security Council that we are witnessing a surge in violence, including some of the deadliest incidents in nearly 20 years. At the same time, he said, unilateral actions are moving the parties still further apart, worsening tensions and driving the conflict. He reported on ‘ominous signs’ of what awaits if fail to address the current instability. “Preventing more violence is an urgent priority” he said, noting that it will not only require coordinated security measures, but also considerable political efforts. On 23 February, he visited Gaza to continue his engagement with all parties, following the violence in Nablus a day earlier. 

Deputy Special Representative Gbeho: “We must remain focused on advancing women’s participation and equality”

The Security Council held a meeting on 22 February under the theme “Somalia: a women, peace, and security perspective”. Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Officer in Charge of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) Kiki Gbeho welcomed the Somalia Federal Government’s continued commitment to implementing the women, peace, and security agenda, as demonstrated by the launch of the National Action Plan on Security Council Resolution 1325. She said that the Federal Government of Somalia has made made significant progress in advancing its key national priorities, but also stressed that more has to be done to enable equal representation in all facets of public life, including enhancing women’s political participation which remains critical. 

Tensions continue to increase in the Korean Peninsula

Assistant Secretary-General for the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific Mohamed Khaled Khiari briefed the Security Council on 20 February on non-proliferation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). He reiterated the Secretary-General’s strong condemnation of the launch of yet another ballistic missile of intercontinental range by the DPRK on 18 February. “Tensions continue to increase, due to the negative action-reaction cycle, with no off-ramps in sight,” he said, as the situation on the Korean Peninsula continues to head in the “wrong direction”. He calls for the unity of the Security Council as it is essential to ease tensions and overcome the diplomatic impasse.


Special Envoy on Myanmar meets with the ASG of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to discuss Rohingya refugees

On 20 February, the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General on Myanmar, Noeleen Heyzer, visited the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Headquarters in Saudi Arabia. She met with Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs Yousef Al-Dobeay to discuss the Special Envoy’s proposal of holding a joint international conference this year in partnership with the OIC and the UN, with the aim of establishing and enhancing practical and longer-term pathways to upscale educational benefits to both Rohingya refugees and host communities. Both the ASG and the Special Envoy renewed their commitment to remain constructively engaged on the issue of the Rohingya.


In Mandé, Peace opens new roads 

Thanks to the Colombia Peace Agreement, the community and former combatants of Mandé, a remote region located in the municipality of Urrao, in Antioquia, are opening paths of reconciliation and hope. A group of 55 people from the area, 30 of them former combatants and most of them Afro-descendants, received diplomas from Alianza SENA, certifying them as operators in Fish farming Production and Bakery Processes. On 18 February, the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia accompanied the graduation ceremony with the entities and organisations that make up "The Alliance for Mandé". "We accompany the Alliance for Mandé because we believe that the participation and commitment of local actors in these community-based reincorporation spaces are key to the comprehensive implementation of the Peace Agreement,” Enrique Sánchez, Head of the Mission’s Regional Office in Medellín, said in his concluding remarks. “Thanks to this inter-institutional coordination, progress is being made in the sustainability of the different projects and initiatives."

New ethnic reintegration area in Vidrí

On 19 February, the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia participated in the assembly of former combatants in the process of reintegration in Vigía del Fuerte, for the creation of a New Collective Reintegration Area with an ethnic focus composed of approximately 50 former combatants of Antioquia and Chocó. They expect to develop and implement productive projects to improve their quality of life and those of the surrounding communities.

Palestinian People

Secretary-General addresses the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People  

On 22 February, Secretary-General António Guterres opened the meeting of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. Noting that “the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory is at its most combustible in years,” he went on to underscore that the situation in Jerusalem/Al-Quds was becoming more fragile. The position of the United Nations is clear, he said: The status of Jerusalem cannot be altered by unilateral actions.


Special Coordinator Wronecka discusses situation in Lebanon with foreign delegation

In discussions with different foreign delegations this week, Special Coordinator of the Secretary-General Joanna Wronecka highlighted her office’s good offices role and advocacy efforts on issues that are vital to Lebanon and its stability. The Special Coordinator met with a visiting US congressional staff delegation and the Special Representative for Denmark’s candidacy to the UN Security Council 2025-2026 Holger K. Nielsen. She also held talks online with a delegation from the World Lebanese Cultural Union, an NGO accredited to the ECOSOC that lobbies for the rights of Lebanon and its people. In all her meetings, the Special Coordinator also raised the numerous political and socio-economic challenges facing the country and ways the international community can best support it during this period. 


Special Representative Hennis-Plasschaert meets with Iraqi official to discuss political situation; visits Türkiye Embassy in Baghdad

On 22 February, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, met in Baghdad with the Secretary-General of the Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq movement, Qais al-Khazali. They discussed the political situation in Iraq. On 23 February, the SRSG visited the Embassy of the Republic of Türkiye in Baghdad and signed the book of condolences opened for the victims of the recent earthquake in Türkiye. 

DSRSG of UNAMI meets with Iraqi ambassador in Geneva to discuss development

On 20 February, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General/Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, Ghulam Mohammad Isaczai, met Ambassador Abdul Karim Hashim Mostafa, Iraq’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva. They exchanged views on Iraq’s transition from humanitarian to development including solutions for internally displaced persons, climate change and development finance.

UNAMI video showcases linguistic diversity on International Mother Language Day

On 21 February, UNAMI released a video showcasing staff's cultural and linguistic diversity, produced on the occasion of International Mother Language Day 2023. The video focuses on the Sustainable Development Goals, and aims to contribute to the promotion, preservation and protection of mother languages, in an effort to "leave no one behind". 

West Africa and the Sahel

Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General Biha calls on all parties to respect their commitments under the Second national peace accord ahead of Nigeria's general elections

Ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections in Nigeria, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General (DSRSG) and Officer in Charge of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) Giovanie Biha commended on 22 February the signing of the Second National Peace Accord for peaceful elections in Nigeria, under the auspices of the National Peace Committee (NPC). DSRSG Biha further reiterated the importance of peaceful elections and reaffirmed the United Nations support to the people of Nigeria with hopes that the elections on 25 February will further deepen democratic consolidation in Nigeria and the region.


Peace process in Mozambique focuses on reintegration and reconciliation 

In Mozambique, over 1,300 Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) beneficiaries and family members have been connected with reintegration opportunities in 50 out of 154 districts of the country. As the focus of the peace process shifts to long-term sustainability, reintegration and reconciliation activities assume increasing importance. Confirmation of economic, livelihood, education and social reintegration opportunities for DDR beneficiaries, their family members and communities is ongoing across the country. The Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General for Mozambique is Mirko Manzoni.


The Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission stresses need to address root causes of conflict in Africa

On 20 February, the Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC), Ivan Šimonović, took part in a General Assembly session on “causes of conflict and the promotion of durable peace and sustainable development in Africa.” The Chair stressed the need to build peace in Africa by addressing root causes of conflicts and to support efforts of states in building their national institutions and capabilities in a way that prevents them from slipping into conflicts. He underlined the importance of sustainable and inclusive socioeconomic development for peacebuilding and stressed the importance of ensuring full, equal and meaningful participation of women at all levels, and called for the engagement of youth. 

The Chair of the Central African Republic Configuration of the PBC briefed the Security Council

On 21 February, the Chair of the Central African Republic (CAR) Configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC), Omar Hilale, briefed the Security Council on the peacebuilding efforts in CAR. The Chair underlined the importance of peacebuilding as a tool to address the root causes of instability, primarily through the advocacy of national ownership of peacebuilding priorities. This involved the preparations for local elections (last held in 1988) as a way to promote local governance; the strengthening of the rule of law and transitional justice to fight impunity and ensure accountability for human rights violations; and investments in socio-economic recovery and development to consolidate peacebuilding dividends. “I cannot stress enough that the country is at a critical moment in its history and will need our continued support to ensure a return to lasting peace and sustained stability,” the Chair stressed.  

Next Week

On 27 February, SRSG Bathily will brief the Council on the situation in Libya.







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