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This Week in DPPA: 20 - 26 November 2021

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


Security Council

Hennis-Plasschaert: “Iraq cannot afford its national interest to be neglected” 

Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), briefed the Security Council on 23 November regarding last month’s elections. She noted that the polls had been assessed as generally peaceful, well run, and featuring significant technical and procedural improvements. But, she observed, there was a severe lack of trust: between parties, between parties and institutions, and between parties and authorities, in addition to the longstanding lack of public trust in both politicians and institutions. “Iraq cannot afford its national interest to be neglected,” she urged. The Special Representative repeated the UN’s consistent call for political dialogue to prevail, adding that outstanding electoral concerns must only be dealt with through established legal channels. "The importance of a sound and inclusive government formation process cannot be overstated", she stressed. 

Full remarks at the Security Council here 


Kubiš urges Libyan actors to ensure inclusive, free, fair parliamentary and presidential elections 

Ján Kubiš, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), briefed the Security Council on 24 November from Tripoli on the process leading up to the 24 December elections. He warned that the political climate in Libya remained heavily polarized, noting that vocal opposition to the holding of elections on the basis of the existing legal framework persists. He called on all those that challenge the process or the candidates to channel them through the existing judicial mechanisms and to fully respect the verdict of the judicial authority. He said that the presence of foreign fighters and mercenaries continues to be of concern, although the ceasefire has continued to hold. He also noted that he had tendered his resignation on 17 November 2021, which the Secretary-General had accepted, effective as of 10 December 2021. 

Full remarks at the Security Council here 




UNAMA Head meets with UK, European Commission officials 

Deborah Lyons, Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) met on 23 November with Lord Tariq Ahmad, British Minister for South Asia, the United Nations and the Commonwealth, to discuss the humanitarian situation, human rights and girls' education in Afghanistan. In Brussels, on 24 November, the Special Representative discussed health care, food and lifesaving assistance with European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) Director General Paraskevi Michou.


Deputy Special Representative visits Kandahar 

In Kandahar on 25 November, Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan Mette Knudsen met with senior Taliban representatives, the business community and women leaders. The latter shared their concerns about restrictions on freedom of movement and access to education and work. Ms. Knudsen reiterated the UN’s support for the rights of all Afghans and that these issues were being raised by the UN “day-in day-out" with the Taliban.   


Central Asia

Central Asian water-energy and environment experts discuss regional strategy 

The United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) organized an online meeting on 26 November of water-energy and environment experts of the Central Asian states Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The attendants discussed the draft text of the updated UNRCCA strategy in support of water, energy and environmental cooperation among the states of Central Asia for 2022-2025. The experts agreed that the review process will continue under the auspices of UNRCCA at the next meeting in December. 

Read more here 



Special Representative Hennis-Plasschaert discusses post elections 

On 25 November, Special Representative Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert met in Baghdad with Fateh Coalition Chairman Hadi Al-Ameri. She expressed hope that the Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission and Electoral Judicial Panel would give full consideration to all appeals independently. She also urged all parties to find serious political solutions and form an inclusive government that meets the expectations of the Iraqi people.



Special Envoy Grundberg visits Egypt and Russia 

Hans Grundberg, Special Envoy for Yemen, concluded his visit to Egypt on 24 November. He told his interlocutors, including the Egyptian Foreign Minister, the head of the League of Arab States (LAS) and a diverse group of Yemeni men and women who are in Egypt, that piecemeal approaches would not result in a sustainable solution. Discussions in Cairo also included recent military developments in Yemen, including in Hudaydah, and the worsening humanitarian situation. He then travelled to Moscow where he met with Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Vershinin Sergey Vasilievich and Deputy Foreign Minister and Special Presidential Representative for the Middle East and Africa Mikhail Bogdanov. The Special Envoy thanked Russia for its sustained support to the UN’s peacemaking efforts in Yemen.  

Read more here 


Great Lakes Region

Technical Support Committee of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework discusses developments in the Great Lakes Region 
Huang Xia, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes region, opened the 29th meeting of the Technical Support Committee (TSC) of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the region, held virtually on 23 November. Participants discussed key political and security developments, and reviewed initiatives in support of the implementation of the Framework. 

West Africa and the Sahel

Open Day on Women, Peace and Security in Guinea-Bissau

In Guinea-Bissau on 23 November, Special Representative and Head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Mahamet Saleh Annadif, together with the President of Guinea-Bissau, Umaro Sissoco Embaló, chaired the Regional Open Day on the implementation of Security Council Resolutions 1325 and subsequent resolutions on women, peace and security. The Open Day brought together nearly a hundred women and young leaders from West Africa and the Sahel, as well as government representatives from the region. They spoke about new initiatives to be put in place to prevent conflicts and consolidate peace, and ways to accelerate the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda in West Africa and the Sahel.  

Read more here


Special Representative takes part in Mano River Union meeting on Guinea 

At the Extraordinary Session of Foreign Ministers of the Mano River Union on Guinea in Monrovia, Liberia on 22 November, Special Representative Annadif said that the meeting was the expression of an active solidarity of the geographical neighbors. He added that the “coordination and complementarity of our various initiatives, in particular from the neighbors of Guinea, will be the guarantee of our success in helping an inclusive and peaceful transition in the country”. 


33rd Session of the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission concludes in Yaoundé 

Special Representative and Chairman of the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission (CNMC) Annadif, chaired the 33rd session of the CNMC in Yaoundé, Cameroon on 19 and 20 November. Amadou Ali, Vice-Prime Minister and Abubakar Malami, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, led the delegations of Cameroon and Nigeria, respectively. During the meeting, the Mixed Commission expressed its readiness to work closely with the Parties in order to identify and to recommend the implementation of trans-border infrastructural projects to enhance the economic cooperation and the integration of the two countries and the region. 

Full Communiqué here 



Guterres: “Peace does not occur overnight. It is hard to build, take care of, and sustain” 

Secretary-General António Guterres travelled to Colombia on 22 November to participate in celebrations of the Fifth Anniversary of the signing of the 2016 Final Peace Agreement between the Government of Colombia and the former FARC-EP. On 23 November, together with the President of Colombia, Iván Duque Márquez, Guterres was in Llano Grande, in the province of Antioquia, visiting a Training and Reintegration area. While there, he said that he appreciated having the opportunity to listen to community members, indigenous and Government authorities. The Secretary-General pointed out that they know better than anyone that peace does not occur overnight. It is hard to build, take care of, and sustain, he emphasized. Guterres then travelled on to Apartadó to learn about the progress of the Territorial Development Programme in the region. Back in Bogotá, on 24 November, the Secretary-General participated in the commemoration of the Fifth Anniversary of the signing of the Final Peace Agreement. He said the anniversary provided an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the Final Peace Agreement, acknowledge the challenges it faces, and “renew our collective commitment to fulfill its promise to build a stable and lasting peace”. 

Read more here 


Virtual Reality experience on Colombia peace process 

To bring the Colombian peace process closer to decision-makers in New York and have Colombian public voices heard more broadly, the UN Verification Mission in Colombia and DPPA produced the Virtual Reality (VR) experience “Pathways Colombia”. As the country commemorates the fifth anniversary of the signing of the 2016 Final Peace Agreement, the film focuses on the challenges and opportunities of peace consolidation in Colombia, including reintegration, security, and reconciliation efforts. “Pathways Colombia” comprises three immersive episodes focusing on the reintegration of former combatants, security challenges and reconciliation efforts. The launch event of the VR experience was hosted by the Permanent Mission of the United Kingdom and attended by Security Council members and the Colombian Permanent Mission to the UN.  

Watch “Pathways Colombia” 



Thematic Review on Gender-Responsive Peacebuilding 

The UN Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO) just published the Thematic Review on Gender-Responsive Peacebuilding, commissioned by PBSO in partnership with the German Federal Foreign Office (GFFO) and UN Women. The review maps good practices, gaps, challenges, emerging trends and priorities for action in gender-responsive peacebuilding and draws on consultations with women’s organizations in Guatemala, Mali, Niger, Somalia, South Sudan, and Sri Lanka. 

Read the full report here  

Global Call for Nominations  

The Secretary-General’s Global Call for Nominations campaign to identify Heads and Deputy Heads for United Nations Field Missions has been extended until 10 December. The Global Call aims to expand the pool of candidates for the USG/ASG level positions of Special Representative of the Secretary-General and their deputies.

For more information


16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence 

UN in Lebanon urges action to end and prevent gender-based violence 

From 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, to 10 December, International Human Rights Day, the United Nations System in Lebanon, the Sexual and Gender-based Violence Taskforce (SGBV TF) and the National Commission for Lebanese Women (NCLW) are joining forces, for the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence (GBV), to urge actions to end and prevent gender-based violence in the country. The campaign calls for the commitment of state institutions in the adoption of specialized and comprehensive laws and policies that prevent and protect women and girls from GBV. Increasing collective efforts are needed in ending gender-based violence including from national institutions and policy makers, the humanitarian and the development system, the donors, the community leaders, all women, men, girls. 

Read more here 


Next Week

Special Coordinator Tor Wennesland will brief on the Middle East Peace Process on 29 November.  

Launch event: Thematic Review on Gender-Responsive Peacebuilding  

Join a virtual launch event on 1 December, 9-10 am EST to hear from a panel of policymakers and practitioners on what some of the Review findings and recommendations mean in practice.  

RSVP here 

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Contact DPPA at dppa@un.org