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This Week in DPPA: 20 - 26 March

20 - 26 March, 2021

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

 
 
Security Council
 
Lyons: “Any peace settlement must take into account the views and the concerns of all Afghans”
Deborah Lyons, Special Representative for Afghanistan and Head of UNAMA, briefed the Security Council on 23 March on the situation in Afghanistan and the UN’s support for the Afghan peace process. “Afghans are not just ready for peace, they are demanding it,” she said. “And all sides need to stop the violence and need the violence to stop”, she added “Any peace settlement must take into account the views and the concerns of all Afghans.”
 
Kubiš: “It is up to the Libyan leaders to demonstrate the will to honor the pledges and commitments under the LPDF Roadmap”
Ján Kubiš, Special Envoy on Libya and Head of UNSMIL, reported to the Security Council on 24 March on Libya for the first time since his appointment in January. “Moving forward, we all need to assist and encourage the new executive authority, the House of Representative and the High Council of State to pursue an inclusive political process, to fulfill the objectives set by the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) and to maintain momentum on all intra-Libyan tracks, which need to continue working in a mutually-reinforcing manner,” he said.
 
Wennesland: “in pursuit of achieving the vision of two States”
Tor Wennesland, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, briefed the Security Council on 25 March on continued Israeli settlement activity in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other developments between Israel and Palestine. “I am deeply concerned by continued Israeli settlement expansion, particularly into highly sensitive areas, which entrench the Israeli occupation, erode the possibility of a contiguous, independent and viable Palestinian State and further threaten the prospect of achieving a two-State solution,” he said.
 
West Africa and the Sahel
 
Secretary-General appoints Annadif Khatir Mahamat Saleh as Special Representative 
The Secretary-General has appointed Annadif Khatir Mahamat Saleh of Chad as his new Special Representative for West Africa and the Sahel and Head of UNOWAS. He brings to the position extensive national and international experience having taken part in several peace processes in Africa, including Niger, the Central African Republic, and Sudan.
 
Yemen
 
Special Envoy visits Oman
Martin Griffiths, Special Envoy on Yemen, is visiting Oman from 25-29 March. On 26 March, he met with Abdusalam Salah, Official Spokesperson for Ansar Allah. They discussed the urgency to agree on opening Sana'a airport and easing restrictions on Hudaydah ports, entering a nationwide ceasefire, and resuming the political dialogue under a UN framework to pave the way for sustainable peace.
 
Libya
 
Special Envoy arrives in Tripoli 
Ján Kubiš, Special Envoy for Libya, arrived in Tripoli on 23 March to conduct a series of meetings with various Libyan stakeholders this week. He met, among others, with the leadership of the Presidency Council, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs. He affirmed the unified support of the UN and the international community to the Libyan people as well as to the new leadership to meet their commitments within the timeframe defined by the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF). He will work to expedite the implementation of the LPDF Roadmap, including mobilizing the required support and resources to hold national elections on the 24th of December 2021.
 
Colombia
 
UN Mission supports a truth encounter between former combatants and victims of the conflict in Cauca
On 20 March, the UN Mission in Colombiaassisted the Truth Commission in organizing an event titled, “Encounter for the Truth: Recognition for Life: Caldono tells the Truth” in Caldono municipality, Cauca, southwestern Colombia. Former FARC-EP combatants voluntarily acknowledged their responsibility to victims in this region. The Governor's Office of Cauca, the Mayor's Office of Caldono, the Special Unit for the Search for Persons Deemed as Missing, representatives of the peasant, Nasa, and Misak indigenous victims, and members of religious communities participated in the event.  
 
Somalia
 
Special Representative meets federal member state leaders
James Swan, Special Representative for Somalia, continued meetings in the past week with federal member state leaders ofGalmudug, Jubaland,  Hirshabelle, and Puntland in preparation for the Mogadishu summit. He spoke with Southwest leaders and the opposition representatives as part of wide consultation to urge necessary compromises to reach an agreement on electoral process implementation for the upcoming elections. 
 
Afghanistan
 
Radio campaign by UNAMA field offices to encourage dialogue and discussion
UNAMA field offices in Herat, Jalalabad, Kandahar, Kunduz, and Mazar-e Sharif organized a radio campaign this week as part of a countrywide outreach programme to create platforms - using radio, television and social media - where Afghans can engage in dialogue and discuss critical issues affecting their communities. In the series of discussions on civilians’ plight in Afghanistan’s decades-long conflict, participants said the increase in attacks on public places frequented by civilians is a reality and a ceasefire is the most direct way to protect civilians from harm. “Protecting civilian life from the conflict and, ultimately, ending the war must be priorities for groups and communities in Afghanistan”, said one participant in the radio campaign.
 
Iraq
 
UNAMI hosts a virtual event featuring short films on human rights
UNAMI Human Rights, the Iraqi Prime Minister’s Office and the Racial Discrimination Commissioner from the Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights co-facilitated a virtual event to mark the International Day on Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The event featured four short films by young Iraqi filmmakers in keeping with this year’s theme “Youth standing up against racism and discrimination.” Participants emphasized the simplicity and power of the films in demonstrating how discrimination occurs and can be challenged, and the need for TV networks to broadcast such content and the importance of a state-sponsored awareness-raising campaign. 
 
Deputy Special Representative speaks at NATO workshop on gender and civilian protection  
Irena Vojáčková-Sollorano, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq and Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq (DSRSG/RC/HC), and Danielle Bell, Chief of the UNAMI Human Rights Office (HRO), participated in a virtual workshop on gender and protection of civilians organized by the Allied Joint Force Command Naples of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on 22 March. “Participation of women in reconstruction and peacebuilding is a key element to reconciliation and to the national action plan on 1325. The United Nations in Iraq is supporting the Government in implementing the commitments under the Women, Peace, and Security agenda which is intimately connected to Sustainable Development Goal 5 on women and girls’ empowerment”, said DSRSG/RC/HC.
 
UNAMI HRO Chief discusses conditions of detention in Nasiriyah Central Prison with Minister of Justice 
UNAMI HRO Danielle Bell met Judge Salar Abdul Sattar Mohamed, Minister of Justice, on 23 March to discuss cooperation in promoting human rights in the administration of justice and conditions of detention, including in the Nasiriyah Central Prison.
 
Turkmenistan
 
UNRCCA announces Youth Contest “Preventive Diplomacy Ambassador”
For the third consecutive year, UNRCCA is sponsoring an international youth contest, Preventive Diplomacy Ambassador”, tobuild capacity in preventive diplomacy among young people aged between 18-29 residing in the border areas of the Central Asian states and Afghanistan. The project flows from the 2030 Youth Strategy and the UN Security Council Resolution on Youth, Peace, and Security. The contest offers the candidates selected a unique opportunity to take part in online training on preventive diplomacy, conflict prevention strategy, intercultural communication, leadership skills and public speaking skills. The application deadline is 30 April 2021.
 
Peacebuilding
 
PBC participation in the WTO Trade for Peace Network
At the invitation of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC), Mohamed Edrees, participated in the Inaugural Meeting of the Trade for Peace (T4P) Network on 25 March. The T4P was launched at the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires in December 2017 to promote a multilateral trading system as a pathway to development and sustainable peace. The Network would serve as a dedicated platform for policymakers and experts to explore the nexus between the multilateral trading system, peace and security, including by identifying areas of collaboration and actions by its members. In his intervention, the Chair explained the role of the PBC and presented recent results, while also noting numerous opportunities for collaboration between WTO and the PBC in support of countries under the consideration of the Commission which also seek accession to the WTO.
 
Next week
 
Special Envoy Geir O. Pedersen will update the Security Council on Syria on Monday, 29 March. Also on Syria, the General Assembly will hold an informal meeting on 30 March to hear a briefing from the Secretary-General. On 1 April, Vietnam will take over the presidency of the Security Council for the month.