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This Week in DPPA: 20 - 26 February 2021

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

Security Council

Swan: “This is a time to pursue dialogue”

Special Representative James Swan on 22 February briefed the Security Council on the situation in Somalia. “Public communication from key leaders has become increasingly polemical and confrontational, revealing the frustration, mistrust, and sense of grievance felt by many,” Mr. Swan said. He urged Somalia's political leaders to pull back from confrontation and avoid risky “winner-take-all tactics”. "Instead, this is a time to pursue dialogue and compromise to reach an inclusive and credible political agreement to hold elections."

Read his full remarks here

Read more in UN News

La Lime: Haiti needs ‘democratic renewal’

Special Representative Helen La Lime on 22 February updated the Council on Haiti and the work of BINUH in the country. “The Haitian people deserve the opportunity to express themselves through the ballot box in an appeased climate and to actively decide on the direction their country will take, free from the fear of intimidation and political violence,” Ms. La Lime said. “Only a democratic renewal, resulting from the prompt holding of credible, transparent, and participatory elections, can provide Haiti with the opportunity to overcome its protracted political crisis and allow its society and leaders to focus their attention on undertaking the governance and economic reforms necessary to set the country back on the path towards sustainable development.” 

Read her full remarks here

Read more in UN News

Wennesland: “It is critical to begin the process of restoring hope”

Special Coordinator Tor Wennesland on 26 February briefed the Council the Middle East peace process. “Palestinians and Israelis are fully engaged in their respective electoral processes. The COVID-19 crisis remains a persistent health threat that has triggered a massive economic fallout. Meanwhile unilateral steps on the ground are eroding the prospect of establishing a viable and contiguous Palestinian state and are moving the parties further from constructive dialogue and compromise,” the Special Coordinator said. "It is critical to begin the process of restoring hope to Palestinians and Israelis that the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace can be realized", he concluded.

Read his full remarks here,

and his recent statement to the meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee here


Special Envoy visits Djibouti

Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, travelled to Djibouti from 20 to 24 February. He met President Ismail Omar Guelleh, as well as members of the diplomatic community, including representatives from the EU, US, France, Russia, China, Germany and Japan. The one-on-one discussion with President Guelleh focused on the political crisis in Somalia, as well as the Ethiopia-Sudan border dispute and related mediation efforts. During his engagement with representatives of the diplomatic community, the Special Envoy discussed political and security developments in the region, including the conflict in Tigray, Ethiopia.


Special Representative reiterates UN Support to the Government and people of Niger

Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative and Head of UNOWAS, undertook a solidarity mission to Niamey from 19 to 23 February, where the second round of the presidential election took place on 21 February. During his mission, he met with Heads of observation missions and visited "situation rooms" set up by civil society. On 23 February, Mr. Ibn Chambas met with the President of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou. He commended him for his leadership in strengthening democracy in the country and congratulated the Independent National Electoral Commission for the organization, and the Nigerien people for their peaceful participation. The Special Representative condemned the killing of election officials in the Tillabéri and Diffa regions on election day.



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Special Envoy calls on States to take the side of the people of Myanmar

Special Envoy Christine Schraner Burgener on 26 February updated the General Assembly on the situation in Myanmar. “The situation in Myanmar is extremely fragile and fluid,” the Special Envoy said. “Ongoing violence, intimidation and harassment by security personnel, and deliberate acts to create insecurity and instability, as well as the enactment of draconian laws which deprive people of their basic human rights, are egregious.” In her conclusion, Ms. Schraner Burgener called on states to “take side for the people of Myanmar, to take side for democracy and human rights,”

Read here full remarks here

Read more in UN News


Special Envoy visits Damascus

Geir Pedersen visited the Syrian capital Damascus this week. On 22 February, the Special Envoy met with Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad and other officials to discuss the work of the Constitutional Committee.


Fish farming project in Risaralda is a model of economic reintegration

In Colombia, a group of former combatants came together two years ago on a fish farming project on a farm in the Santa Cecilia community, Risaralda department. On 25 February, they collected about 730 kilos of fish, the first harvest of 2021. This reintegration project has the support of the UN Multi-Partner Post-Conflict Trust Fund. The former combatants formulated the project’s operational plan alongside the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, UNDP, and the Agency for Reintegration and Normalization of Colombia.


Peacebuilding Commission meeting on youth, peace and security

Following the recent adoption by the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) of a strategic action plan on youth and peacebuilding, Commission Chair Mohamed Edrees convened a meeting to consider ways of strengthening support to youth-led peacebuilding organizations in 2021 and contributing to the implementation of Security Council resolution 2535 (2020) on youth, peace and security (YPS). At the meeting, the Commission called for collective efforts to address the systemic challenges of young people’s exclusion in decision-making, sustainable resourcing, and civic space restrictions. The Commission recognized the importance of prioritizing the development of dedicated local, national and regional roadmaps for YPS, and noted positive developments in that regard in Nigeria and The Philippines. The Commission discussed youth-led initiatives across a wide range of peacebuilding issues, including climate change, and heard the youth representatives’ call to prioritize the safety of youth advocates and young peacebuilders; ensure predictable funding for youth, peace and security; and include youth in national and regional peacebuilding initiatives. The Commission recognized the important contributions of the PBF’s Gender and Youth Promotion Initiative, and the useful guidance contained in the YPS Programming Handbook, developed by PBSO, UNFPA and UNDP, with the generous support of the Folke Bernadotte Academy.

Next week

The United States will assume the presidency of the Security Council for March.