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This Week in DPPA: 21 - 27 August 2021

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

Security Council

No progress on Yemen’s four-point plan, Security Council hears

In his briefing on Yemen to the Security Council on 23 August, Khaled Khiari, Assistant-Secretary-General (ASG) for the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, called on all parties to prioritize the needs of civilians and to abstain from weaponizing the economy. "It is imperative to resume an inclusive, Yemeni-led political process to reach a negotiated solution to the conflict", he added, calling on all to extend their full support and cooperation to the new Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg.

Full briefing to the Security Council here

Pedersen: "The conflict in Syria is far from over, and we need a credible political process and more sustained international cooperation"

Geir Pedersen, Special Envoy for Syria, briefing the Security Council on 24 August, reported an escalation in fighting in many parts of the country. He stressed the need to work towards a nationwide ceasefire. He also noted that the issues facing Syrians are far from solely being in the hands of the Syrians, stressing that constructive international diplomacy is plainly needed.

Full briefing to the Security Council here

Iraq’s October elections: “The stakes are immensely high”

Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), updated Council members on 25 August on the preparation and progress made towards the October elections in Iraq. She stressed the importance of a free, inclusive and safe process with only 46 days left until Iraq goes to the polls on 10 October. She added that the elections clearly have the potential to be different from the elections of 2018 but warned that they cannot be the sole responsibility of the Electoral Commission. She called on all parties to commit to transparent and credible elections in words and in deeds.

Full briefing to the Security Council in English here

Full briefing to the Security Council in Arabic here


“Safety of all United Nations personnel in Afghanistan is the top priority”

Secretary-General António Guterres held on 25 August a town hall meeting with staff in Afghanistan to outline what the UN system is doing to keep people safe and the UN operations running. He said that the UN is taking measures to keep its staff safe while also ensuring that the mounting humanitarian needs in Afghanistan are met. In a video message on 23 August, the Secretary-General thanked the staff for everything that they are doing to support the Afghan people.

Central Asia

Publication on early warning bulletins on transboundary waters

The UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) released its Aral Sea Basin Transboundary Water Early Warning Bulletin. The Bulletin is a resource for timely collection and dissemination of information on the water-related, environmental, and climatic situation in the Aral Sea basin with the purpose of preventing problems and disputes. It provides all Central Asian states and their international partners with improved capacity to monitor the status of transboundary rivers regularly and warn early of potential issues that require attention.

Read more here

Read the latest bulletin here


UNSMIL welcomes the creation of a joint force as step towards reunification of state institutions

The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) welcomed the creation of a new joint force on 26 August, from both sides of the demarcation lines, comprising the 166 Battalion for Protection and Security and the Tareq Bin Ziyad Brigade, to secure the Great Man-Made River, a network of pipes that supplies fresh water across Libya. UNSMIL commends these efforts, conducted in coordination with the 5+5 Joint Military Commission (JMC). “This step sends a strong message to Libyans and international actors that Libyans are able and willing to overcome their differences and come together in building a unified, stable, prosperous and democratic country,” Special Envoy for Libya and Head of UNSMIL Ján Kubiš said.

Read more here


Visit to Kirkuk to discuss October elections

Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir, Deputy Special Representative for Iraq visited Kirkuk on 25 August where she met separately with the Acting Governor Rakan Al-Jubouri, Arab, Kurdish and Turkmen ethnic groups, and representatives of Kirkuk communities to exchange views on election preparations. She noted the need for credible, inclusive elections in October, and pledged that UNAMI would continue to provide technical advice and support to the Iraqi people. Related, on 26 August, UNAMI released a new video featuring the improvements made towards this year’s elections. The video breaks down how the October 2021 early elections differ from the previous ones held in 2018.

Watch the video here


Former combatants and social leaders call for the protection of life in Cauca

The UN Verification Mission in Colombia supported an event held in Popayán, Cauca from 20 to 24 August called "Humanitarian Refuge for Life and Peace" initiated by former FARC-EP combatants from the departments of Cauca, Nariño, Valle, and Cundinamarca. The event was organized to demand security guarantees for human rights defenders, people in the process of reincorporation and social leaders in the territories affected by violence.


Complementarities of the Women, Peace and Security and Youth, Peace and Security agendas at a glance

The Policy and Mediation Division of the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) has created a one-pager document that outlines differences and linkages between the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) and Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) agendas. It also includes recommendations on how to approach these two agendas differently as they should be considered as two distinct categories with differentiated needs. The Peacebuilding Support Office and the Office of the Special Envoy for Youth were also consulted.

Click here to view the one-pager 


DPPA commended for dedication to achieving gender equality, promoting women’s empowerment

UN Women commended DPPA for its dedication to achieving gender equality and promoting the empowerment of women by being the first UN entity to meet or exceed all applicable performance indicators of the UN System-wide Action Plan (UN-SWAP) 2.0 on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women in 2020. The UN-SWAP is an instrument used to track progress in achieving gender equality within the United Nations developed in 2012 to systematically mainstream gender into all major institutional functions and create an accountability framework on policy and programme management. See the full assessment here:

DPPA UN-SWAP 2.0 Report Card

Next Week

Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland will brief the Security Council on Monday, 30 August. On Wednesday, Ireland will take over the presidency of the Security Council for the month of September. 

Call for nomination to recognize exceptional African women advancing the Women, Peace and Security agenda

The UN Office to the African Union (UNOAU) is calling for nominations of individuals or women’s organizations, female citizens of African Union Member States, who have made impactful contributions to peace and security on the continent for “She Stands for Peace -eBook” to recognize the contributions made by women and women’s organization in peacebuilding efforts across Africa. The call will be open until Tuesday, 31 August 2021.

Click here for more details on nomination eligibility and criteria