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This Week in DPPA: 21 - 27 May 2022

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

Security Council

Digital technologies: Council considers benefits and risks for peace and security 

Briefing the Council on 23 May on technology and security, Rosemary DiCarlo, Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, said digital technologies have created fresh possibilities for the UN’s peace and security work. However, advances in technology have also created significant new risks and can affect conflict dynamics for the worse, including using lethal autonomous weapons, technology to target civilian infrastructure, and social media to fuel violence and spread disinformation. DiCarlo stressed that more must be done to advance, elaborate and implement a normative framework to ensure responsible behavior in cyberspace.   

To read her remarks to the Council, click here

Swan: “Let us work together to capitalize on this moment of opportunity for Somalia” 

James Swan, Special Representative and Head of the UN Support Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), during his briefing to the Council on 23 May, said the conclusion of Somalia’s electoral process the past week is a major milestone for the country. The Presidential contest followed an unduly protracted and contentious process to choose members of the legislature. Once the Senators and Members of Parliament were sworn in on 14 April 2022, however, they moved quickly to prepare for the Presidential vote. The new President was elected and sworn in on 15 May, and the outcome has been fully accepted. Speaking about the humanitarian situation in Somalia, Swan warned that following the failure of a fourth consecutive rainy season, the number of people affected by the drought has risen to 6.1 million.  

To read his remarks, click here  

Finding a negotiated exit to the crisis in Sudan should not be undermined 

Time is short for Sudan to reach a solution to its protracted political crisis, Volker Perthes, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) told Council members on 24 May. He warned that if the impasse is not urgently overcome, the consequences will be felt beyond national borders, impacting a whole generation. “The crisis facing Sudan is entirely homegrown and can only be resolved by the Sudanese,” he added. In his briefing, Perthes called on the military leadership and the Sovereignty Council to release the remaining detainees, cease arbitrary arrests, and lift the state of emergency without limitations. “It is time for all violence to end,” he stressed.  

To read his full remarks, click here  

Wennesland: “There are tangible, ongoing arrangements that can be regularized and expanded immediately – if there is political will” 

Tor Wennesland, the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, told the Council on 26 May that there has been a familiar pattern of daily violence in recent weeks, including armed clashes, settlement expansion, evictions, demolitions, and seizures of Palestinian structures, as well as a deadly terrorist attack in Israel. In Gaza, he said, efforts by the UN and international partners to improve Palestinian lives and measures by Israel to ease pressure and facilitate more economic activity have enabled the fragile ceasefire to continue. Keeping the calm, however, is neither enough nor sustainable – more needs to be done to alleviate the humanitarian crisis and lift Israeli closures. “These dynamics – combined with the financial crisis – are dangerously converging and intensifying,” he warned.

 To read his remarks, click here  

DiCarlo: Coordinated and constructive effort is required to prevent further polarization and end the political stalemate in Libya 

Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo briefed the Council on 26 May on the situation in Libya, voicing concern about the protracted political impasse, which is having an increasingly negative impact on security. “It is imperative that the ceasefire in Libya be maintained, calm preserved and any steps that could result in renewed violence be avoided,” she said. DiCarlo urged all parties to uphold their commitment to the peaceful resolution of political differences through dialogue and negotiations. It is also critical that Libyan political and security actors continue to engage constructively in the upcoming Cairo talks in support of the electoral/constitutional track. “This is the only way to fulfill the aspirations of the Libyan people to select their representatives through the ballot box,” she stressed.  

To read her remarks, click here 

Council members renew UNSOM and UNAMI mandates

On 26 May, the Security Council adopted resolution 2631(2022) renewing the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq until 31 May 2023. The Council also extended the mandate of UNSOM until 31 October 2022, adopting resolution 2632 (2022).  

Central Africa

UNOCA takes part in UNSAC symposium on peace and security

François Louncény Fall, Special Representative and Head of the UN Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) participated in a symposium marking 30 years of theUN Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa (UNSAC) on 23 May in Yaoundé, Cameroon. In his remarks, Special Representative Fall highlighted that the regular consultations between UNSAC member countries have become an essential pillar of the peace and security architecture of Central Africa, especially the ministerial meetings that are held twice a year. The next ministerial meeting will take place from 30 May – 4 June.  

Read more here 

West Africa and the Sahel

Special Representative Annadif discusses prevention on violent extremism 

On 23 May, Mahamat Saleh Annadif, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Mission in West Africa and the Sahel, participated in the 4th Regional Seminar on the Defense and Security Forces organized by the Center for Advanced Defense and Security Studies (CHEDS). He spoke on the adaptation of political frameworks for the prevention of violent extremism. 



Special Envoy meets Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad 

Geir Pedersen, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria, was in Damascus on 22 May, where he met with Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad. They discussed a range of issues related to the implementation of Security Council resolution 2254 (2015), including the serious socioeconomic and humanitarian challenges affecting the Syrian people.  


Special Coordinator Wronecka underlines need for solidarity following elections 

Following the conduct of parliamentary elections on 15 May, Special Coordinator Joanna Wronecka held a round of meetings this week with Lebanon’s religious leaders. The talks with the Grand Mufti of the Republic Sheikh Abdel-Latif Derian, Greek Orthodox Archbishop Elias Audeh, Deputy Head of the Higher Shiite Council Sheikh Ali Al-Khatib and Jaafarite Mufti Sheikh Ahmad Qabalan focused on the need to respond to the Lebanese people’s urgent needs through functioning and effective state institutions. The discussions also highlighted the need for wise leadership and quick decision-making to steer Lebanon towards urgent reforms. 

New women parliamentarians to put women’s issues across Lebanon’s priority agendas 

On 27 May, Special Coordinator Wronecka met seven of the eight women elected to the 128-member Parliament in Lebanon. Congratulating them on their election, the Special Coordinator hoped their presence in Parliament would encourage additional involvement of women in political decision-making in Lebanon, particularly at this juncture of the country’s history where important reforms that will shape the country’s future are expected to be implemented. The meeting was an opportunity to discuss ways of working together on short-term and longer-term objectives aimed at putting Lebanon back on track and meeting the Lebanese people’s needs. The participants agreed that women’s issues should not be perceived only from the lens of women’s rights, but as a cross-cutting issue in all of Lebanon’s priority agendas.


Special Envoy Grundberg consults Yemenis on multitrack peace process design and priorities

The Special Envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, met on 22 May with a diverse group of Yemeni women peace activists, experts, civil society and private sector actors and other leaders as part of his efforts to consult on the framework for the multi-track peace process. On 24 May, he concluded a two-day meeting with Yemeni economic experts from diverse backgrounds to consult the same, where the participants underlined the momentum provided by the truce on economic issues and identified opportunities for incentivizing further progress. 

Read more on the 22 May meeting here 

Read more on the 23-24 May meeting here 

Ongoing negotiations on implementation and prospects of truce renewal   

On 25 May, representatives of the Government of Yemen and Ansar Allah started the negotiations under UN auspices in Amman to agree on opening roads in Taiz and other governorates. The Special Envoy, Hans Grundberg, called on the parties to negotiate in good faith to urgently reach an agreement that facilitates freedom of movement and improved conditions for civilians. The current 2-month truce agreement is to end on 2 June. More than 1,000 passengers have travelled since the truce, and the frequency of flights is increasing.   

Read more here 


UN-facilitated dialogue in Erbil 

Heads and senior representatives of political parties in the Kurdistan Region met on 26 May at the UN compound in Erbil at the invitation of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI). Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNAMI Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert thanked the parties for participating and urged continued and stepped-up efforts to tackle the challenges of the region. 


Special Representative Lyons calls for inclusive governance and upholding rights of all Afghans 

Deborah Lyons, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), was in Kandahar on 22 May and in Mazar on 23 May, meeting with women leaders and Taliban representatives. She stressed the importance of building domestic legitimacy through inclusive governance, a genuine reconciliation process and upholding the rights of all Afghans, especially the right of girls to attend school. 

Central Asia 

UNRCCA co-organizes regional training course on preventing violent extremism and countering terrorism 

On 24-25 May in Doha, Qatar, the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA), in partnership with the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) and its International Hub on Behavioural Insights to Counter-Terrorism, organized the training course “Application of Behavioural Insights in Preventing Violent Extremism and Countering Terrorism Programming in Implementing National Strategies and Action Plans of the Central Asian States.” Participants discussed political and security developments in the region and their implications on counter-terrorism efforts. The training also touched upon more specific areas, such as approaches leveraging behavioural science and behavioural insights for preventing violent extremism and countering terrorism.  

Read more here  

UNRCCA capacity building workshop non-profit organizations financing  

On 23-25 May, UNRCCA, in partnership with UNOCT and the Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism (EAG), organized a capacity building workshop on implementation of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Recommendation 8 for Tajik authorities and civil society representatives in Dushanbe. The FATF Recommendation 8 refers to the requirement for countries to review the adequacy of laws and regulations relate to non-profit organizations that can be abused for the financing of terrorism. The national workshop provided an opportunity to share best regional and international practice regarding the implementation of the Recommendation.  

Read more here 


Special Envoy meets with ASEAN Chair 

Special Envoy Noeleen Heyzer was at the World Economic Forum in Davos this week. In her latest discussion with Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia in his capacity as the Chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Special Envoy reiterated the importance of aligning regional efforts with ground realities and support towards a Myanmar-led process that reflects the needs and will of the people.  In this connection, she highlighted a visit to Myanmar would be consistent with her commitment to actively consult all stakeholders in the hope of delivering concrete outcomes to benefit the people of Myanmar.

Virtual brownbag on DPPA Strategic Plan 

On 26 May, DPPA carried out a department-wide internal consultation as it embarked on the drafting of its next Strategic Plan for 2023-2026. Through an inclusive and participatory process, the Plan will be developed to help us better define our priorities and how best we can play our role in implementing our mandates for the next four years. More than 100 staff participated in the discussion. Another session is to take place on 8 June.  


ASG Spehar discusses climate security in Stockholm 

Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support Elizabeth Spehar, together with a small DPPA team, participated in the Stockholm Forum on Peace and Development, co-hosted by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. She spoke in two panel discussions, including Integrating climate security in Somalia and the potential role of the UN Peacebuilding Commission and overcoming financial barriers to women’s climate security action. DPPA engaged in meetings with the Swedish Secretary of State for international development cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs key partners, SIPRI Director, current and incoming chair of SIPRI, Director-General of Folke Bernadotte Academy, on the sideline of the Forum to discuss the strong partnership and support from Sweden to the UN Peacebuilding architecture, its prevention and climate security offer and tools. Additional meetings were held with the Director-General of Cairo International Center for Conflict Resolution, civil society organizations, youth and women’s activists to discuss local peacebuilding support and opportunities, including under the Peacebuilding Fund’s Gender and Youth Promotion Initiative. 

Next Week

Albania will take over the presidency of the Security Council for the month of June.  

The Peacebuilding Commission will discuss the impact of climate change on peacebuilding in the Pacific Islands. For the first time, the Commission will visit the field through a cinematic 360° virtual reality experience: Sea of Islands, developed by DPPA's Innovation Cell. 




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