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This Week in DPPA: 18 - 24 May 2024

A brief roundup of United Nations-related political and peacebuilding events and developments globally.

USG DiCarlo meets with Afghanistan de facto authorities to discuss upcoming meeting of Special Envoys

From 18-21 May, Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo visited Afghanistan to meet with the de facto authorities (dfa), the diplomatic community in Kabul, and representatives of civil society. She conveyed to the dfa an invitation from the Secretary-General to participate in the next meeting of Special Envoys on Afghanistan, to take place in Doha from 30 June to 1 July. The meeting will be the third such event, and aims to increase international engagement with Afghanistan in a more coherent, coordinated and structured manner. 

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“There can be no long-term solution in Gaza that is not fundamentally political," Wennesland tells Council

On 20 May, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland said he feared the worst for "the beleaguered and terrified civilians in Rafah, for the hostages held in unimaginable conditions for more than 225 days, and for the overstretched humanitarian operation that remains on the brink in the Strip.” The Rafah crossing with Egypt remains closed, he noted, while active hostilities and Israel Defense Forces operations continue to render “nowhere safe in Gaza." "There can be no long-term solution in Gaza that is not fundamentally political,” he stressed. The new Palestinian Government, with eight ministers from Gaza, represented an important opportunity to support tangible steps towards unifying Gaza and the occupied West Bank politically, economically and administratively, he said.

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Peacebuilding Commission prepares advice for Security Council

This week, the Peacebuilding Commission adopted advice to the Security Council on the role of women and youth in peacebuilding, ahead of the Council’s Ministerial debate on the maintenance of international peace and security, to be held on 28 May. The advice reiterates, inter alia, the critical role of women and youth in peacebuilding efforts, in particular in conflict, post-conflict, and transition settings. It also encourages the Security Council to include youth perspectives in its meetings and enable the timely consideration of the reports on Youth, Peace and Security, notably by drawing on the progress and precedent achieved by the Peacebuilding Commission through including the voices of youth in its meetings.

Secretary-General announces appointment of Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert as Special Coordinator for Lebanon

On 20 May, Secretary-General António Guterres announced the appointment of Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert of the Netherlands as his new Special Coordinator for Lebanon. Hennis-Plasschaert, who will finish her tenure as Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq this month, succeeds Joanna Wronecka of Poland.

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SRSG Hennis-Plasschaert stresses importance of women’s empowerment in Iraq

On 19 May, SRSG Hennis-Plasschaert, Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), met in Baghdad with civil society representatives and Women Advisory Group members from Iraq, including the Kurdistan Region, along with Ajay Madiwale, UN Women Country Representative. SRSG Hennis-Plasschaert stressed that any pending legislation should have the protection of women and girls as a core objective. “There are genuine concerns, not just from women, but from all those in favour of promoting a safe and just society. As I leave Iraq, I laud the efforts of Iraqi women and men in advocating for legislation that supports the empowerment of women and girls," she said.

DSRSG Isaczai meets with returnees in Salah al-Din

On 22 May, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General (DSRSG) for Iraq Ghulam M. Isaczai visited Yathrib District in southern Salah al-Din Governorate and met with a group of internally displaced families who had recently returned from Ashti camp in Sulaymaniyah, east of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The DSRSG acknowledged the efforts of the Government and the significant progress made in ensuring the safe and dignified return of displaced persons. He also recognized the ongoing challenges that returnees face, including the need for shelters, sustainable livelihoods, and access to essential services. The DSRSG also met separately with Salah Din Governor, Badr Mahmoud Al-Jubouri. Their discussions focused on enhancing cooperation on the provision of support and services to newly returned IDPs.


UNAMI Human Rights Office holds roundtable discussions and workshops on principles of human rights


On 22 May, UNAMI’s Human Rights Office (HRO), in coordination with the Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights and the Human Rights Directorate at the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), organized a two-day human rights workshop for members of the PMF Security Directorate. The workshop provided an introduction to international human rights law, and covered a range of topics including national and international human rights protection mechanisms and human rights in counter-terrorism. On 20 May, the UNAMI HRO, in coordination with the Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights Babil Office held a roundtable discussion with Babil Police Command on the due process rights of defendants and the right to a fair trial under Iraqi and international law. The roundtable discussion focused on fair trial guarantees under national and international legal frameworks including the right to legal counsel, the right to remain silent and the right to an adequate defense.

On 19 May, the UNAMI Human Rights Office, in coordination with the Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights Baghdad office conducted the sixth and final session in a series of human rights training for students at the Police Academy of the Iraqi Ministry of Interior. The training included lectures on the basic principles of human rights and human rights in law enforcement operations.

Special Coordinator Wronecka holds round of farewell meetings

This week, Special Coordinator Joanna Wronecka held a round of meetings with Lebanese political and religious leaders ahead of her departure from Lebanon at the end of the month to thank them for their fruitful cooperation during her three-year mission. The Special Coordinator met caretaker Prime Minister Nabih Mikati and caretaker Foreign Minister Abdallah Bouhabib. She stressed the need for a Presidential election, reforms and institution building. In a meeting with Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros El-Rahi (pictured), the Special Coordinator said she hoped that Lebanon’s religious leaders would continue to spearhead efforts to promote coexistence and understanding.

Special Coordinator Wronecka visits FAO-supported project in Batroun, North Lebanon

This week, Special Coordinator Wronecka visited community-led projects supported by FAO in Ram in the area of Batroun in north Lebanon. The initiative encourages resilient livelihoods and food security through the promotion of sustainable agriculture. The Special Coordinator highlighted the potential of development projects to "build back better" in Lebanon.

SRSG Imnadze participates in Central Asia Women Leaders Caucus event

On 23 May, SRSG for Central Asia and Head of the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) Kaha Imnadze participated in the opening of the Central Asia Women Leaders’ Caucus in Bishkek. The event focused on the role of women in innovation and technology development, as well as the implementation of the green agenda. The conference was attended by Caucus representatives, women political leaders, female tech entrepreneurs and civil society. In remarks, SRSG Imnadze emphasized the link between women’s leadership in climate and green agendas and peace and security in the region.

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“The participation process currently underway in Colombia is unprecedented," SRSG Ruiz Massieu

The fourth plenary session of the National Participation Committee and the Amazon regional meeting took place this week in Bogotá and Leticia in the Colombian Amazon. Both were significant milestones for the social participation process and the peace talks between the government and the National Liberation Army (ELN), moving the parties closer to signing the agreement on the first point of the Mexico Agenda. In Leticia, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Colombia Carlos Ruiz Massieu underlined that social participation was one of the fundamental pillars of the peace talks.

Chilean and Colombian women mediators attend meeting on peacebuilding

From 20-25 May, the Embassy of Chile in Bogotá, in close collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile, the UN Verification Mission in Colombia and UN Women, hosted the international meeting Chile-Colombia Women Mediators for Peacebuilding and Conflict Resolution, in Bogotá and Popayán, Cauca. Women peacebuilders from La Araucanía and Colombian leaders exchanged experiences in mediation, prevention and conflict resolution, using an intersectional gender and indigenous approach.

Next Week

On 28 May, the Security Council will hold an open debate on the role of women and young people in the maintenance of peace and security. On 30 May, there will be a briefing on Syria.