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This Week in DPPA: 18 - 24 September 2021

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

Security Council

Climate and Security: “The threats are clear and present.”

Secretary-General António Guterres opened a high-level open debate on climate and security on 23 September by recalling that last month’s report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change sounded a “code red for humanity”. Urging much bolder climate action ahead of the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference, known as COP26, he said the impacts of climate change are particularly profound when they overlap with fragility or conflict. “Where coping capacities are limited and there is high dependence on shrinking natural resources and ecosystem services … grievances and tensions can explode,” he warned. He also pointed out that climate‑related disasters displaced more than 30 million people in 2020 alone.

Full briefing to the Security Council here


Special Representative meets Taliban official

Deborah Lyons, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), met on 21 September with acting second Deputy Prime Minister Mulla Adbul Salam Hanafi of the Taliban. They discussed the challenges facing Afghanistan and how the Taliban and the UN family can establish common ground to help solve the most pressing issues facing the Afghan people. The Special Representative also met with Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah to discuss the political situation as well as improving the humanitarian situation in the country.


International community reaffirms support for the Lebanese Army

Following the international conference co-chaired by France and the United Nations in June, the Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon (UNSCOL) and the Lebanese army co-organized a high-level meeting in Lebanon on 21 September to confirm international commitment to support the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) to address the emergency needs resulting from the economic crisis. UNSCOL has played a role in promoting and coordinating international assistance for the LAF since 2013. Noting that the crisis was impacting the Lebanese army’s operational capabilities, Special Coordinator for Lebanon Joanna Wronecka said that the need to support the army was as urgent as ever. Commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces General Joseph Aoun added that dealing with the current economic crisis was “perhaps more dangerous than a conventional military war” and thanked the United Nations and participating countries for their support. 


Special Envoy concludes visit to Muscat

Hans Grundberg, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, concluded on 21 September a visit to Muscat, Oman where he met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Badr Albusaidi and other senior Omani officials.. He also met with Ansar Allah’s chief negotiator Mohammed Abdel Salam and reiterated his commitment to work with the parties to move towards a comprehensive political settlement to the conflict in Yemen.

Read more here 


UNAMI supports electoral simulation ahead of the upcoming elections

Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir, Deputy Special Representative (DSRSG) for Political Affairs and Electoral Assistance of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), visited on 22 September the third electoral simulation by Iraq's Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC). These exercises have served to identify flaws ahead of the elections on 10 October and to ensure the elections can run as smoothly as possible. By the end of September, the UN team will comprise more than 800 personnel, including those assisting and supporting the IHEC and the monitors. On 20 September, UNAMI also helped organize signing ceremonies of the Electoral Code of Conduct throughout the country. Political parties and independent candidates in all of Iraq’s 18 governorates and Baghdad participating in the elections signed the Code of Conduct, pledging to refrain from intolerance, violence and hate speech during the campaigning and voting period.

Read more here

UNAMI raises awareness about elections at sport events

Election-related information and messaging were shared at football matches in Baghdad on 20 and 21 September. The events were organized to support IHEC in raising awareness about Iraq’s upcoming elections on 10 October and the importance of voting and participating in inclusive elections. As Iraq’s 10 October elections approach, Iraqis are talking about the issues that matter most to them and how voting can give them a chance to be heard. 

Watch more in this latest UNAMI video

Horn of Africa

Special Envoy discusses regional peace and stability

Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Horn of Africa, met on 22 September with the German Chancellor’s Personal Representative for Africa, Günter Nooke, and Regional Director for Sub-Saharan Africa and the Sahel, Robert Dölger. The three exchanged views on recent developments in the Horn of Africa and Germany's role and support to enhancing peace, security and development in the region. On 24 September, the Special Envoy met with the Ambassador of Canada to Ethiopia Stephane Jobin to discuss recent developments in the Horn of Africa and Canada’s role in furtherance of regional peace and stability.


UNSOM congratulates graduates of University of Peace programmes

James Swan, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), congratulated a group of Somali students, 14 women and 62 men, graduating with master’s degrees from the University of Peace’s specialized Somalia programme in subjects with special relevance to peacebuilding. In his remarks, the Special Representative welcomed the university’s inclusion of Somalia in its outreach for higher education opportunities in Africa and encouraged the graduates to give back to their communities. “It is what you learn; it’s what is in your brain; it is what is inside you. But if it really is going to have an impact, it needs to be shared in your communities, shared with your fellow countrymen and women, to move the country forward,” he added.

Read more here 


UNSMIL continues to support the 24 December elections

Raisedon Zenenga, Mission Coordinator of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), met on 22 September with Chairperson of the High National Electoral Commission (HNEC) Emad El Sayeh to express continued UNSMIL support for HNEC's work and discuss next steps on technical preparations for the 24 December elections, alongside current developments on the preparation of electoral laws by the legislative authorities. The Mission Coordinator congratulated HNEC on the successful completion of the voter registration process and noted the significant progress made by HNEC in enhancing the level of readiness for elections.

UNSMIL discusses humanitarian and development situation in Benghazi

Georgette Gagnon, the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Libya, concluded a four-day visit on 23 September to Benghazi. She visited health facilities, medical warehouses, the Al Heleas internally displaced person (IDP) settlement, the rehabilitated Benghazi library and AlShabbi Corniche as well as the offices of Tatweer Research and LibAid. In her meeting with the Deputy Mayor of Benghazi and municipal officials, she discussed current needs in the municipality and UN efforts to support some 68 humanitarian and inclusive development projects on community stabilization, rehabilitation of infrastructure, and access to basic services.

Read more here


UN Verification Mission celebrates International Day of Peace

The UN Verification Mission in Colombia, together with the city of Medellín, hosted an event on 21 September celebrating "International Day of Peace", with more than 85 organizations and entities from local authorities and civil society participating. The Reconciliation Choir, made up of victims of the conflict and former combatants, opened the event together with the Medellín Philharmonic Orchestra. The performance was followed by the signing of a manifesto, a tribute to women, and the launch of the photographic exhibition "The Road to Peace: 5 Years of the Agreement". "Medellín is a city that is managing its conflicts with courage and imagination,” said Carlos Ruiz Massieu, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Colombia. “Today I would like to invite you to maintain hope, to maintain the struggle to consolidate peace in the territories throughout the country. The United Nations will continue to support the country to achieve a comprehensive peace, a sustainable and lasting peace.". The Mission also took part in events in Bogotá, Cali, San José del Guaviare, Valledupar and Cúcuta, among others.


In Their Hands: Women Taking Ownership of Peace 

Acting Executive Director of UN Women Pramila Patten opened on 18 September the multimedia exhibition “In Their Hands: Women Taking Ownership of Peace” at the Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 1, New York City, attended by more than 2,500 people on the opening night. Ms. Patten, in her opening remarks, said that the images on display of the 14 women portrayed in the exhibit, underscore the importance of ensuring women play a meaningful role in making, keeping and building peace. This initiative, created by the Department of Peace Operations (DPO), UN Women and DPPA, in partnership with Photoville, offers an excellent opportunity to amplify women’s voices and advocate for women’s participation in peace and political processes, a central focus of the Women, Peace and Security agenda. The exhibition, visited by more than 60,000 people in the past week alone, will be on view until 1 December 2021.

Read more here

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Next Week

Special Representative Geir Pedersen will brief the Security Council on Syria on Tuesday, 28 September. Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland will brief the Security Council on Wednesday, 29 September.

And as we reported last week, the UN Office to the African Union (UNOAU) is planning to publish an e-book entitled, “She Stands for Peace” to recognize the contributions made by women and women’s organizations to peacebuilding efforts across Africa. The call for nominations of individuals or organizations of African Union Member States who have made impactful contributions to peace and security on the continent has been extended until Thursday, 30 September 2021.

Click here for more details on nomination eligibility and criteria







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