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This Week in DPPA: 21 - 27 January 2023

This Week in DPPA: 21 - 27 January 2023

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

Under-Secretary-General DiCarlo travels to Iraq, visits mission, meets with leaders

Rosemary DiCarlo, the Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, completed her first official visit to Iraq this week. On 22 January, she held talks with Iraqi President Abdullatif Rashid; Prime Minister Mohammad Al-Sudani; and the Foreign Minister Fuad Mohammad Hussein, as well as Speaker of Parliament, Mohammed al-Halbousi.  She pledged the UN’s continued support for Iraq’s reform efforts, commended its constructive regional engagement, and stressed the vital importance of further advancing the role of women and youth in building a prosperous and stable Iraq. USG DiCarlo also met with representatives of Iraqi civil society, including women leaders and youth groups in both Baghdad and Erbil, where she stressed the importance of addressing all forms of violence against women, and greater inclusion of women in political and electoral positions. On 24 January, she had constructive discussions with President Nechervan Idris Barzani, Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani, and Speaker of Parliament Rewaz Fayeq of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq on Baghdad-Erbil relations, upcoming parliamentary elections and regional issues.

Security Council

La Lime: “Positive effects of the political process” will remain vulnerable to being reversed without international deployment

On 24 January, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) Helen La Lime reported to the Security Council that gang-related violence in the country has reached levels not seen in decades. She said that the National Consensus Agreement signed on 21 December 2022 and sanctions are two important developments that can meaningfully contribute to overcoming the crisis and help alleviate untold suffering of Haitians. “The third element that will re-enforce both the Haitian National Police and these developments is the deployment of an international specialized force”, she stressed, noting that the positive effects of the political process and sanctions will remain fragile and vulnerable to being reversed without this international deployment as she asked for the support of the international community. 

Special Envoy Pedersen updates on concrete actions to build trust among the Syrian parties 

In his briefing to the Security Council on 25 January, Geir O. Pedersen, the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria, recounted a profound humanitarian, political, military, security, economic and human rights crisis of “great complexity and almost unimaginable scale”. Against the backdrop of record poverty and food insecurity, basic services breaking down and an economic crisis, he commended the unanimous adoption of resolution 2672 (2023), while highlighted the importance of dialogue with Syrians across the board, including the Syrian Women’s Advisory Board and the civil society. He also urged the Constitutional Committee to make more substantive progress in Geneva. 

Great Lakes region

East African countries strive for greater partnership in trade and investment 

The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI), in collaboration with the East African Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (EACCIA) and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) Private Sector Forum, organized a trade mission in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) From 23 to 25 January 2023. The Office of the United Nations Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region participated in a trade mission organized by the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce. The Envoy’s office sponsored five women entrepreneurs from Burundi, Tanzania, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Congo to partake and exhibit their products during the conference. Meeting participants discussed trade and investment opportunities for the DRC with the aim of decreasing the illicit exploitation and trade of natural resources, thereby addressing the root causes of instability in eastern DRC and the region. 


UNAMI senior officials meet with political leaders to discuss political developments

On 25 January, Special Representative of Secretary-General to Iraq Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert met with the President of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Masoud Barzani, in Erbil. They discussed the current political developments in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, relations between Baghdad and Erbil, the Kurdistan Region parliamentary elections, and the implementation of Sinjar Agreement.

On 23 January, the Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General/Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, Ghulam Isaczai, met with President Abdullatif Rashid. The discussed safe and voluntary conditions for the return of internally displaced persons. On the same day, the Head of UNAMI’s Regional Office in Kurdistan Region, Ricardo Rodriguez, metl with the Deputy Speaker of the Kurdistan Parliament, Hemin Hawrami. The discussion focused on the political developments in the Kurdistan Region, in particular the next Kurdistan Region parliamentary elections. 


Special Coordinator Wronecka encourages joint political solutions to Lebanon’s crisis

The Special Coordinator of the Secretary-General for Lebanon, Joanna Wronecka, held a round of discussions with Lebanese officials this week, including the caretaker Prime Minister, Minister of Interior and Municipalities, and several political party leaders. She encouraged them to put the national interest first and to find solutions that ensure the election of a new president following almost three months of a presidential vacuum that has in turn exacerbated the country’s socio-economic and financial crisis.

UNSCOL celebrates the International Day for Education

On 24 January, Special Coordinator Wronecka took part in the launch of the Transforming Education Media Campaign in Lebanon with the UNESCO regional office, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Information, in celebration of the International Day for Education. Warning of the risks that the education crisis could have on thousands of students and on Lebanon’s future generations, the Special Coordinator encouraged joint efforts, supported by the media, to ensure that every child has access to schools and to quality education. 


In Cúcuta, families cultivate cocoa to promote peace


On 26 January, the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, together with the Mayor's Office of Cúcuta and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), attended a community empowerment event in the village of El 25, which lies in the rural area of Cúcuta on the border between Colombia and Venezuela. Two years ago, as part of an initiative supported by the local mayor’s office to voluntarily substitute illicit crops, 27 families in the village started to cultivate cocoa and bananas. During the event, the families commercialized their products, and inaugurated a community centre, which will serve as a learning and training facility for children, as well as a place for community health brigades.

Building trust and reconciliation in La Chorrera

On 21 January, the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia attended a reintegration event in La Chorrera, Venecia. Mission staff saw how former combatants had made improvements to the school as [part of a confidence building and reconciliation project between the community, victims and former combatants. The process counted on the support and participation of the Mayor’s Office, the National Agency for Reintegration and other institutions. Former combatants will present this as a work with restorative content to the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP).


"She Stands for Peace"

New episodes focus on inclusive approaches to women’s political participation

In the latest episodes of the “She Stands for Peace” podcast, Norway's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Mona Juul discusses Norway's presence in the Security Council, its focus on safeguarding women's participation and wider discussions on foreign policy and WPS in Africa. Inclusive approaches to women’s meaningful political participation and leadership are discussed in the later episode with Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) Anita Kiki Gbeho.  

Listen to the episodes here


DPPA Innovation Cell holds in-person e-analytics course in Doha

From 23 to 26 January, DPPA's Innovation Cell hosted an in-person "innovation lab" in Doha, Qatar, as part of its annual E-Analytics and Innovation Course. The innovation lab was organized together with the Qatar Computing Research Institute of the Hamad Bin Khalifa University, with whom the Innovation Cell has also worked with on the development of applications such as Diplomatic Pulse, the search engine for diplomatic press releases. The innovation lab brought together DPPA, DPPA-DPO and DPO colleagues from UNHQ and missions for training, which also comprised a series of virtual sessions on themes such as innovation methods, geospatial analysis, social media analysis and natural language processing.


ECOSOC Special Meeting on social and economic measures to prevent atrocity crimes 

On 24 January, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) convened a special meeting addressing socio-economic causes to prevent atrocity crimes. Statements were delivered by the Presidents of the General Assembly, Human Rights Council, the Peacebuilding Commission and ECOSOC. This was followed by a discussion with civil society organizations with ASGs Elizabeth Spehar and Brands Kehris of OHCHR serving as co-respondents. ASG Elizabeth Spehar highlighted the importance of partnership between the UN and civil society and the meaningful inclusion of women and youth-led civil society organizations. She also stressed the opportunities of the New Agenda for Peace to strengthen integrated approaches to prevention and peacebuilding. 

UNSC open debate on peacebuilding and sustaining peace 

On 26 January, the Security Council held an open debate on "Investment in people to enhance resilience against complex challenges.” The meeting included briefings from Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) Chair Muhammad Abdul Muhith, and representatives from civil society. The DSG spoke about the importance of inclusive, sustainable development to peace, the importance of the peacebuilding architecture and role of the PBC, and the need for adequate investment in peacebuilding. The PBC Chair, in his briefing, stressed the importance of supporting nationally owned and led efforts to build effective, accountable, inclusive and responsive institutions at the national and local level to reduce vulnerability and protect and empower citizens. 

Next Week

Malta will assume the Security Council presidency for the month of February.

DPPA is hosting a launch event of the “Diplomacy for Peace" exhibit on 31 January at 1:30 p.m. near the curved wall of the General Assembly. You may also visit the exhibit virtually at diplomacy4peace.org/ 

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Contact DPPA at dppa@un.org