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This Week in DPPA: 21 - 27 November 2020

21 - 27 November 2020

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

Security Council

Special Representative calls for protection of political space in Somalia
Special Representative James Swan on 23 November updated the Security Council on the situation in Somalia. “Human rights and justice remain at the centre of our work for Somalia’s development. With elections approaching, I underscore my previous calls for the protection of political space, for tolerance of divergent opinions, for respect of free speech and association, and for media freedom,” the Special Representative said.
Read his full remarks here
Read more in UN News

Hennis-Plasschaert: “The centrality of Iraq in building regional stability is a fact”
Special Representative Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert on 24 November briefed on the situation in Iraq and the work of UNAMIin the country. “The centrality of Iraq in building regional stability is a fact. And it bears repeating that Iraq must be shielded from foreign power rivalries - that Iraqis must be given room to focus on their strength at home,” Ms. Hennis-Plasschaert said.
Read her full remarks here
Read more in UN News


Matar: Relative calm in Syria continues to hold
Deputy Special Envoy Khawla Matar on 25 November briefed the Council on the latest political developments in Syria. A constitutional track on its own cannot resolve the crisis, she said, adding that the Syrian-led constitutional committee’s work needs to be accompanied by mutual and reinforcing steps from Syrian and international players. “It is important to note that, while falling short of the nationwide ceasefire called for by resolution 2254, the fragile and relative calm that the Special Envoy has spoken of in recent months continues broadly to hold,” she stated.
Read her full remarks here
Read more in UN News



2020 Afghanistan Conference 
The 2020 Afghanistan Conference, co-hosted by the Governments of Afghanistan and Finland with the United Nations, took place on 23 and 24 November in Geneva. Donors pledged at least US$ 3.3 billion for the first year of the upcoming quadrennial, with annual commitments expected to stay at the same level year-on-year. In a video message, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said: “Progress toward peace will contribute to the development of the entire region, and is a vital step towards the safe, orderly and dignified return of millions of displaced Afghans.” Special Representative Deborah Lyons attended several sessions at the conference, including on fighting conference and regional cooperation. “The UN and international partners will stand by the Afghan people in full knowledge of the challenges facing this country. Violence levels are still far too high. Millions of Afghans remain outside their homeland. Thousands more are displaced inside Afghanistan. The last few years have seen millions more Afghans thrown into conditions of poverty, exacerbated this year by the shock of the COVID-19 pandemic. And Afghans continue to see corruption as a grim fact of life,” Ms. Lyons said in her opening remarks at the conference.
Read more here



Special Envoy visits Saudi Arabia
Syria Envoy Geir Pedersen visited Saudi Arabia this week. “Appreciated meeting in Riyadh with Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud on Syria. Valuable exchange on state of play on political track & prospects for moving process forward. Continuing to take stock of where we are on Security Council Resolution 2254 and way ahead,’ Mr. Pedersen tweeted on 26 November.



Griffiths: The job of a mediator is to infuse hope
Special Envoy Martin Griffiths was this week’s guest in the podcast Awake at Night, hosted by Melissa Flemming, Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications. Mr. Griffiths said a mediator has to bring hope to seemingly hopeless situations, and speaks candidly about his struggles with depression, the mental toll humanitarian work can have, and the importance of empathy when mediating between sides in a conflict. "I'm not from Yemen. It's our conflict because it has such dramatic consequences, not only for the people of Yemen more broadly. But the job of a mediator, I think, is to infuse hope into people, to say there can be a solution to this, to come up with ideas as to how they might resolve their inevitable differences."
Read more and listen here









UN Mission: Colombia should be proud of what it has achieved and of being an example of peacebuilding in the world
The UN Verification Mission in Colombiaon 24 November celebrated four years since the signing of the Final Peace Agreement between the Colombian State and the former FARC-EP guerrilla, which ended more than 50 years of internal armed conflict. In a press statement, the Mission stated that "four years ago, Colombia and the world witnessed the power of dialogue and negotiation to resolve profound political differences and decades of armed conflict. The Peace Agreement established a solid foundation for building sustainable peace. Colombia should be proud of what it has achieved by implementing it so far and of being an example of peacebuilding in the world”. As the Mission recalled, amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the multiple challenges that persist in building peace in the country, the Final Peace Agreement continues to be an opportunity to fulfill the victims' peace expectations and of Colombian society in general to strengthen reconciliation and non-repetition.



Second round of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum
Stephanie Williams, Acting Special Representative and Head of UNSMIL, on 23 November convened the the first virtual meeting of the second round of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) to discuss the selection criteria of the unified executive authorities for the preparatory period preceding the elections. In her opening remarks, Ms. Williams welcomed the progress made in the first in-person round in Tunisia, especially the consensual agreement on a roadmap for the preparatory period and on setting a date for the national elections to be held on December 24, 2021. “You made significant steps forward and raised the Libyan people's hopes and expectations for the holding of national elections. There is much work left to be done to alleviate the suffering of Libyans," Ms. Williams said, addressing the participants.
Read more here


16 Days of Activism 

16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign to challenge violence against women and girls. The campaign runs every year from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day. "Today is International Day to End Violence against Women. and the world is turning orange as a symbol of our commitment to this goal. In times of conflict and in peace, we must combat gender-based violence," Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo tweeted on 25 November. 
Use the hashtags #orangetheworld and #16days to participate in the campaign.


Multi-Year Appeal

New quarterly report
DPPA has just issued a new quarterly report on its main voluntary funding tool, the Multi-Year Appeal. The report provides an update of DPPA’s key milestones and achievements during from 1 July to 30 September. It recalls that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose considerable challenges to conflict prevention, mediation and peacebuilding while exacerbating the conditions that can lead to violence. Nonetheless, the document goes on, we are also witnessing resilience, innovation and inclusive political action in response to the pandemic. DPPA is closely monitoring the implications of the pandemic in mission settings and countries with fragile political transitions.
Read the report here

Next Week 

Security Council
South Africa will take over the Presidency of the Security Council on 1 December.
Updated programme here


The Work of Peace

Virtual exhibit
Remember to check out our virtual exhibit – The Work of Peace. It highlights the work of the UN in preventive diplomacy, good offices, mediation and elections over the past 75 years, and looks ahead at what the future may hold for this work.
Enter here

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Contact DPPA at dppa@un.org