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This Week in DPPA: 18 - 24 November 2023

A brief roundup of United Nations-related political and peacebuilding events and developments around the world. 

Under-Secretary-General DiCarlo visits Middle East  

From 19 to 22 November, Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo visited Israel, the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Jordan. Throughout her visit, DiCarlo expressed her deep concern over the continued loss of life in Gaza following the abhorrent attacks of 7 October. She also listened to the views of her interlocutors regarding ending the conflict, emphasizing the absolute need for all to commit to a political horizon through a two-state solution allowing Israelis and Palestinians to live in peace, security and dignity. 

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Special Coordinator Wennesland welcomes deal to secure release of hostages and humanitarian pause 

On 24 November, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland welcomed the start of the implementation of the agreement reached on 22 November to release Israeli hostages held in Gaza and start a four-day humanitarian pause. Thirteen Israelis abducted by Hamas and others on 7 October were released, while 39 Palestinians were freed from Israeli prisons. He further welcomed the release of a number of foreign workers held in Gaza, and noted he looked forward to additional releases over the coming days. “Today’s humanitarian pause went into effect with relative calm allowing truckloads of aid to go into Gaza,” Wennesland continued, underscoring that “These developments are a significant humanitarian breakthrough that we need to build on.”

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Secretary-General highlights “A New Agenda for Peace” in Security Council debate on peace and development 

On 20 November, in an open debate in the Security Council on sustaining peace through common development, the Secretary-General said his policy brief "A New Agenda for Peace" contained proposals framed around the core principles of the Charter and recognized the interlinked nature of the many challenges the world faces. “A New Agenda for Peace” also sets out "a vision for preventing conflict, sustaining peace and advancing development that applies to everyone, in all countries, at all times,” he added.

"New grim milestone" reached in war in Ukraine, says ASG Jenča

On 21 November, Assistant Secretary-General for Europe, Central Asia and the Americas Miroslav Jenča said the Russian invasion of Ukraine had reached a “new grim milestone”, with more than 10,000 civilians killed and over 18,500 injured, according to figures recorded by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. He warned that there were indications that attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure might escalate further during the winter months.

Peacebuilding Commission visits Mozambique 

From 16 to 20 November, Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) Chair Ivan Šimonović and Vice-Chairs Muhammad Abdul Muhith and Thomas Peter Zahneisen visited Mozambique to discuss methods to sustain peacebuilding gains achieved during the Maputo peace process and to explore ways to further advance Mozambique’s peacebuilding priorities. The PBC delegation participated in a national conference on peace and security hosted by the President of Mozambique, Philipe Nyusi. It also held discussions with senior government officials, local administration, the UN country team, regional and financial institutions, and civil society in Maputo and Cabo Delgado on how to support the country in its efforts to mobilize international political, financial, and technical assistance to meet its peacebuilding needs. The PBC Chair will prepare a visit report and will debrief PBC members on the visit.

ASG Jenča visits Armenia and Georgia 

This week, Assistant Secretary-General (ASG) for Europe, Central Asia and the Americas Miroslav Jenča visited Armenia and Georgia. On 17 November in Yerevan, he met with Deputy Foreign Minister of Armenia Vahe Gevorgyan and discussed UN-Armenia relations, support for Karabakh Armenians and the situation in the South Caucasus, including perspectives on the peace process. In Tbilisi, on 20 November, the ASG met with Deputy Foreign Minister of Georgia Lasha Darsalia and State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality Tea Akhvlediani, focusing on UN-Georgia relations and ways to promote peace and security in Georgia and the South Caucasus. In both capitals, the ASG discussed cooperation on the implementation of A New Agenda for Peace and preparations for the Summit of the Future and the Pact for the Future, as well as regional connectivity and the promotion of Women, Peace and Security and Youth, Peace and Security agendas. In Georgia, ASG Jenča also visited conflict-affected populations and UN-approved projects.

ASG Khiari addresses ASEAN-UN Regional Dialogue on Climate, Peace and Security  

This week, the ASEAN-UN Regional Dialogue on Climate, Peace and Security was held in Jakarta, Indonesia, jointly organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, the ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation and the United Nations. Senior officials from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the UN, academics, civil society and other regional partners met to discuss the impacts of climate change. Noting that the “far-reaching effects of climate change, in the words of the United Nations Secretary-General, are a danger to peace”, Assistant Secretary-General for Middle East, Asia and the Pacific Khaled Khiari said: “We can – and must – do more to prevent the unavoidable impacts of climate change from putting lives and stability at risk.” 

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Secretary-General announces appointment of new Envoy for Sudan 

On 21 November, Secretary-General António Guterres announced the appointment of Ramtane Lamamra of Algeria as his Personal Envoy for Sudan.

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Winners of Great Lakes photography competition

On 20 November, the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON) hosted a photo exhibit to mark the culmination of the "The Great Lakes Region Through Your Lens" photo contest organized by the Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes region (OSESG-GL). The exhibit provided a platform to recognize the contestants' work and to shed light on the diverse narratives of the region. It was launched by the Special Envoy alongside the Democratic Republic of the Congo Coordinator of the National Oversight Mechanism (NOM) of the Peace and Security Cooperation (PSC) Framework. 

UNOAU supports the African Union Security Sector Reform Policy Framework  

On 21-22 November, the UN Office to the African Union (UNOAU) supported the 10th anniversary commemoration of the African Union’s Security Sector Reform policy framework, held in Addis Ababa. Participating in the event, Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and Head of UNOAU Parfait Onanga-Anyanga noted that addressing Security Sector Governance and Reform (SSGR) needs to be part of a comprehensive approach and larger peacebuilding and development strategies.

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Colombia commemorated the seventh anniversary of the Peace Agreement

From 18 to 24 November, Colombia commemorated the seventh anniversary of the Final Peace Agreement between the Colombian government and the former FARC-EP guerrillas with forums, academic events, exhibitions and an entrepreneurship fair. Under the slogan “Caring for life, fulfilling the Agreement,” the commemorative events were led by the Colombian Government's National Unit for the Implementation of the Peace Agreement; peace signatories, representatives of the political party Comunes, the Commission for Monitoring, Promotion and Verification of the Implementation of the Final Agreement (CSIVI), and the support and accompaniment of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia. Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the Verification Mission in Colombia Carlos Ruiz Massieu highlighted this anniversary as a cause for celebration for Colombia, as well as an opportunity to renew and revive the commitments of the final peace agreement. 


UNAMI Office of Electoral Assistance assists with IHEC briefing to women candidates 

This week, the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC), together with the Office of the National Security Adviser, organized a three-day briefing to women candidates in Baghdad, a briefing that is being replicated throughout the country at the governorates, for women candidates in those governorates. The UNAMI Office of Electoral Assistance worked closely with the IHEC on the formulation of the agenda and training/briefing methodology. 

Chief of UNAMI Human Rights Office highlights importance of the arts to promote rights 

As part of global celebrations to mark the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), TARKIB Organization for Arts and Culture, in collaboration with UNAMI Human Rights Office, launched a week-long, human rights-themed art exhibition entitled "CYCLE – UDHR75". The exhibition presents a mix of artwork by 20 Iraqi artists, including paintings, sculptures, photography, installations, and digital works. Speaking at the opening, Chief of UNAMI Human Rights Office Dimiter Chalev highlighted the importance of the arts as an effective tool to promote human rights.

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UNAMI promotes green environment in UN offices and accommodation in Baghdad  

This week, the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and UNICEF Iraq partnered on a wastewater treatment plant. This initiative will contribute to better management and re-use of treated wastewater for irrigating landscapes and plant fertilization. UNAMI Chief of Mission Support Harish Joshi said of the project with UNICEF that "our collaboration will help to meet our climate action plan targets as well as our targets for the Global Goals".  

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Next Week

The Security Council will meet on 28 November to discuss political and humanitarian situation in Syria. On 29 November, the Council will hold a monthly briefing on the Middle East Peace Process. On 30 November, the Council is expected to act on a draft resolution on the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS).

On 30 November, DPPA and InterPeace will co-host the inaugural Civil Society Organization-UN Dialogue on peacebuilding in New York. The event will offer a unique opportunity for 70+ peacebuilders to connect, exchange expertise, and share best practices on peacebuilding.