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This Week in DPPA: 19 - 25 August 2023

Security Council

Briefing Security Council, USG DiCarlo decries “eighteen months of death, destruction and unimaginable suffering” for people of Ukraine

On 24 August, Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo briefed the Security Council on the maintenance of peace and security of Ukraine. She noted that the day of the briefing marked a year and a half since the Russian Federation launched its full-scale invasion, which had led to “death, destruction and unimaginable suffering” for the people of Ukraine.  She said that since Russia’s withdrawal from the Black Sea Initiative on 17 July, the fighting had escalated. She stressed that attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure — wherever they may occur — are indefensible and strictly prohibited under international law. She also congratulated the Ukrainian people on their national day and reiterated the UN’s commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.

Lack of progress in addressing conflict’s core issues has led to "a dangerous and volatile vacuum, filled by extremists,” Special Coordinator Wennesland tells Security Council

On 21 August, Special Coordinator of the Secretary-General for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland briefed Security Council members on the situation in the Middle East.  He underscored that Palestinians and Israelis were being killed and injured in near daily violence. “The lack of progress towards a political horizon that addresses the core issues driving the conflict has left a dangerous and volatile vacuum, filled by extremists on both sides,” Wennesland said, noting so far this year, there had been over 200 Palestinian and nearly 30 Israeli fatalities in the West Bank and Israel. The Special Coordinator also noted that the fragility of the Palestinian Authority’s fiscal situation, compounded by funding shortages facing key UN agencies, threatened to worsen the plight of the most vulnerable Palestinians.

Special Representative Bathily tells Council that ensuring Libya's stability is “even more critical” following recent clashes in Tripoli

Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Abdoulaye Bathily briefed the Security Council on 22 August. He said that recent deadly clashes between two largest armed groups in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, underscored the dire security situation and were undermining preparations for the elections planned for later this year. He also emphasized that ensuring stability in Libya was all the more vital in light of the situation in Niger and Sudan. He went on to call for an inclusive political agreement that paves the way for peaceful, inclusive and transparent elections. “Current events in Libya and the region demonstrate that interim arrangements are fraught with risks of violence and disintegration for countries,” he said.

Briefing Council, Special Envoy Pedersen calls on Syrian Government to work with the UN on a political path out of conflict

The Special Envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen, briefed Council members on 23 August. He reported that the Syrian people — both inside and outside the country — continue to suffer acutely from the conflict, while the absence of a genuine political process was deeply detrimental to their well-being. "Only with movement on Security Council resolution 2254, addressing the political crisis at the heart of the conflict, can we begin to address the many crises afflicting this country," he said, adding that a political process is the right of the Syrian people. 

ASG Khiari briefs Council on non-proliferation, echoes Secretary-General's condemnation of DPRK missile launch

On 25 August, Assistant-Secretary-General for Middle East, Asia and the Pacific Khaled Khiari briefed the Council on the launch of another satellite using ballistic missile technology by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on 24 August. He underscored that the Secretary-General strongly condemned the launch, reiterating the SG’s call on the DPRK to cease such acts and to swiftly resume dialogue without preconditions to achieve the goal of sustainable peace and the complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.


Head of UNOCA meets with Gabonese elders and civil society ahead of elections

On 21 August, Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and Head of the UN Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) Abdou Abarry met with the Council of Notables and Dignitaries of the Nation and with representatives of Gabonese civil society. He stressed the importance of maintaining a peaceful atmosphere before, during and after the general elections on 26 August. On the eve of the general elections, SRSG Abarry and the entire UN System reiterated the UN Secretary-General's call for a peaceful, inclusive and credible electoral process.

Read the full press release here


In Mozambique, allocation of pensions to DDR beneficiaries under Maputo Accord begins

This week, the Office of the Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General supported the preparation of pension documents for the first 277 combatants demobilized under the Maputo Accord in Beira City. This was the first step in the allocation of pensions for eligible Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) beneficiaries following the historic governmental decree that expanded the benefit for demobilized combatants and family members. This is a crucial part of the peace process and of national reconciliation, providing the DDR beneficiaries with dignity and recognition.


Symposium in Mogadishu calls for expansion of Somalia’s civic space 

From 23 to 24 August, a two-day civil society symposium was organized in Mogadishu with support from the United Nations. The meeting brought human rights defenders, journalists, members of parliament, cabinet ministers, and academics together. Participants discussed ways to empower civil society organizations to become active in their communities, to speak out on critical human rights concerns and to amplify their voices on advancing human rights in Somalia. The Chief of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia’s (UNSOM) Human Rights and Protection Group, Kirsten Young, stressed the important role of civil society in representing citizens and highlighted civil society’s
collaboration with Somalia’s federal Parliament to enact human rights legislation on topics
such as juvenile justice, disability rights and child rights.


Read more here

Central Asia

Special Representative Imnadze continues his tour of Central Asian countries

This week, Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and Head of the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) Kaha Imnadze undertook a series of diplomatic visits to Central Asian countries.

In Uzbekistan, together with Assistant Secretary-General Miroslav Jenča, SRSG Imnadze met with the President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and other high-ranking officials to discuss climate change, terrorism prevention, and the situation in Afghanistan.

In Tajikistan, the SRSG addressed security concerns, climate change, and transboundary water management in his meeting with the Foreign Minister, Sirojiddin Muhriddin. In Kazakhstan, meetings with President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Deputy Prime Minister Murat Nurtleu, among others, centred on regional challenges, including Afghanistan, extremism, and drug trafficking. 


Verification Mission supports educational event on peace and astronomy in Dabeiba, Antioquia

On 21 August, a “Night of Astronomical Observation for Peace” united children, youth, and adults from the former ETCR Llano Grande in Dabeiba, Antioquia. They took part in an educational event organized by the Astronomy undergraduate program at the University of Antioquia, with support from the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, facilitated through Multi-Year Appeal funds. During the event, community members and peace signatories got to use telescopes, binoculars, and various tools for observing the universe. Among those behind the initiative was the daughter of an ex-combatant, who aspires to become an astronomer.  


UN pays tribute to the victims and families of the 2003 Canal Hotel terrorist attack  

On 19 August, the Government of Iraq and the United Nations family in Iraq paid tribute to the victims and families of the 19 August 2003 terrorist attack on the then-UN headquarters in Baghdad. The ceremony was held at the same location of the Canal Hotel, now the Al-Qanat Social Rehabilitation Centre of the Ministry of Health. In her remarks, Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and Head of UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) Hennis-Plasschaert noted that the past 20 years, the United Nations has not given up on its efforts to contribute to peace and stability throughout the country. 

On the sidelines of the commemoration, the SRSG met with Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Fuad Hussein. They discussed UN-Iraq cooperation, including preparations for the forthcoming provincial council elections, as well as preparations for the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly in September, and the issue of repatriation of residents of al-Hol camp in northern Syria. 

DSRSG Claudio Cordone addresses key issues and election preparations

On 19 August, Deputy SRSG Claudio Cordone delivered a speech at the 15th Annual Conference to Address Violence Against Women and Girls. He expressed concern regarding the lack of the adoption of a law against domestic violence. He also urged greater implementation of the 2021 Yazidi Survivors’ Law, and commended the government for establishing the High Committee to Support Women’s Political Participation in the forthcoming Provincial Council elections.  

UNAMI celebrates youth engagement and climate action for sustainable development

On 18 August, UNAMI joined the Government, diplomatic agencies, and youth-led and environmental NGOs for a clean-up event along the Tigris River in Baghdad to celebrate International Youth Day. Over 400 volunteers worked to make Iraq cleaner and reduce plastic waste, showcasing the power of collective action for sustainable development. 

On 23 August, the UNAMI Human Rights Office and the Resident Coordinator's office in Baghdad organized a workshop in Erbil on the impact of climate change on human rights, especially in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Participants discussed how climate change affects their right to a healthy environment and shared ideas to address these challenges, particularly in response to rising temperatures. They emphasized the importance of increasing the number of green spaces and preserving land for agriculture in the fight against climate change.

UNAMI facilitates discussions on women's political involvement in Salah al-Din

On 22 August, UNAMI held consultations in Salah al-Din with local government officials, civil society representatives and former provincial council members on women’s participation and representation in political process. The consultations were held as part of a series of governorate-level consultations throughout Iraq. Participants discussed proposals to promote Iraqi women in decision-making positions and highlighted the contributions of women in politics. 


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