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This Week in DPPA: 22 - 28 June 2024

A brief roundup of United Nations-related political and peacebuilding events and developments globally.

USG DiCarlo: Restoring the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and Council resolution 2231 remains "unfortunately elusive"

On 24 June, Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo said that restoring the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and Council resolution 2231 to their full, effective implementation “remains, unfortunately, elusive.” She reiterated the call for participants to the Plan and the United States to pursue all possible avenues for dialogue and cooperation. She also expressed concerns about the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) estimations on the total stockpile of enriched uranium in Iran - 30 times the amount allowable under the Plan. “Such a stockpile of enriched uranium and level of enrichment remain very concerning,” she stressed.

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“There is a deal on the table and it should be agreed,” Special Coordinator Tor Wennesland tells Security Council

On 25 June, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland highlighted the devastating impact of hostilities on the civilian population in Gaza and reiterated the need for a two-State solution. “Palestinians and Israelis can no longer wait to establish a viable political horizon. Efforts to address security and humanitarian challenges that ignore or sidestep fundamental political questions are doomed to fail,” he said during his briefing to the Security Council. He called for an immediate and unconditional release of all hostages and an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, adding that “there is a deal on the table and it should be agreed – and fast.” The Special Coordinator also warned that the ongoing hostilities in Gaza are fueling regional instability, pointing, in particular, to recent escalations between Israel and Hezbollah along the Blue Line.

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Acting SRSG for Somalia James Swan condemns Al-Shabaab terrorist attacks

On 24 June, Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) James Swan said that Somalia continues to pursue its key national priorities, including the constitutional review process, the electoral framework, and the fight against Al-Shabaab. "Al-Shabaab remains determined to continue terrorist attacks with little regard for the loss of civilian life,” he said, condemning the attacks. The Acting SRSG also informed the Council that climate change is outpacing the support for adaptation and humanitarian response in the country, and risks intensifying social tensions and conflicts. "To address these challenges, investments to strengthen the longer-term resilience of communities, infrastructure, and economic recovery are essential.”

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7.2 million Syrians are now internally displaced, says Deputy Special Envoy


“Syria is in grave crisis and none of its myriad problems can be sustainably addressed without a political solution,” Deputy Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria Najat Rochdi told Security Council members on 25 June. She reported that many Syrians live in a climate of fear as numerous security incidents continued to take place in the recent months, including airstrikes, clashes and terrorist attacks. Humanitarian conditions remain in sharp decline, compounded by the profound economic crisis, she warned, highlighting that 7.2 million Syrians are now internally displaced. “None of these challenges can be sustainably addressed without a meaningful UN-facilitated political process to implement resolution 2254,” she emphasized.

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UNAMI welcomes announcement of new date for Kurdistan Region Parliament elections

On 25 June, Claudio Cordone, Deputy SRSG for Political Affairs and Electoral Assistance and acting Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), met separately with Deputy Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region Qubad Talabani (pictured on the left) and President of Diwan, Kurdistan Region Presidency, Fawzi Hariri, in Erbil. UNAMI’s electoral team met separately with civil society. On 26 June, UNAMI welcomed the announcement by Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani of the new and final date for the elections of the Kurdistan Region Parliament, set for 20 October 2024. Following the announcement, on 27 June, the Deputy SRSG met in Baghdad with the Chairman of the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC), Judge Omar Mohammed, and IHEC board members (pictured on the right). UNAMI reiterates its readiness to work with the Independent High Electoral Commission and all other relevant institutions, as mandated by Security Council resolution 2732 (2024), to ensure inclusive, free and fair elections, with the full participation of women and all other components of the Kurdistan Region society.

UNOAU and the African Union hold workshop on gender-responsive elections for civil society organizations

On 18- 20 June, the UN Office to the African Union (UNOAU) and the African Union Commission, Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security, jointly organized a training workshop aimed at building the capacity of civil society organizations in Africa to enhance the achievement of gender-responsive elections. In 2024, 19 African countries are slated for presidential or general elections.

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Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission, chaired by SRSG Simão, makes steps forward on outstanding areas of disagreement

As Chairman of the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission (CNMC), SRSG and Head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) Leonardo Santos Simão chaired on 26-27 June the 6th Extraordinary Session of the CNMC in Yaoundé, Cameroon. The session included the participation of Minister Michel Zoah (pictured on the left) and Minister of Justice Abdullateef Fagbemi (pictured on the right), who led the delegations from Cameroon and Nigeria, respectively. Positive outcomes of the meeting include the decision not to refer back to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for the resolution of three outstanding areas of disagreement; the adoption of a Roadmap for the achievement of the demarcation process by the end of 2025; the mobilization of resources to assist affected communities.

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Scoring for peace in Colombia

On 25 June, in the former Territorial Training and Reincorporation Area of El Oso in the rural area of Planadas, southern Tolima, the UN Verification Mission in Colombia backed a soccer championship between the community, the indigenous reservation, and former combatants, including an all-female team. The activity aimed at strengthening social coexistence in the region, which saw the birth of the extinct FARC-EP in the 1960s.

Children tell stories of peace

The UN Verification Mission in Colombia is carrying out a training on communication for peace for the students of La Julia Educational Institution in the municipality of Uribe, in the department of Meta. The initiative, which began in 2023, aims to strengthen the skills of children writing stories that contribute to social transformation and peacebuilding in their territory in their student newspaper. The initiative, which is now carried out with the alternative media outlet El Cuarto Mosquetero, promotes dialogue between students on the importance of developing peace narratives in one of the municipalities most affected by armed conflict.

Peacebuilding Commission 2024 Retreat

On 27-28 June, the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) and the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation co-hosted an Ambassadorial-level retreat for the members of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) to discuss the ambitions and expectations for the 2025 Review of the Peacebuilding Architecture (PBAR). PBC members discussed progress made so far in the work of the Commission, examined developments affecting the Peacebuilding Architecture, and assessed areas where the work of the Commission can be further enhanced. The participants highlighted the importance of advancing the Commission’s impact on the ground, including by improving its working methods, strengthening its advice to other UN intergovernmental bodies, promoting inclusivity, and advocating for adequate and sustained financing for peacebuilding - particularly in transition settings.

Debating AI and peace: enemies or friends?

On 24 June, participants of the Preventive Diplomacy Academy of the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) took part in an online session dedicated to the topic of Innovations and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the Service for Peace. The session was presented by Martin Waehlisch, Head of the Innovation Cell in the Policy and Mediation Division in DPPA, and sparked a critical conversation about AI and its effects on peace and security around the world. During the session, the participants took part in an exercise to judge the pros and cons of AI when analyzing political speeches. This activity showed the need for future regulation and development of existing AI tools, and opened up a debate about deepfakes and biases.

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Students learn about youth engagement and the Youth2030 Strategy

On 27 June, representatives of the UN Youth Office (UNYO) addressed the participants of UNRCCA's Preventive Diplomacy Academy about the latest UN strategies in the field of youth engagement. Sudha Balakrishnan, Chief of the UN System Coordination and Accountability at UNYO opened the lecture by unpacking the priorities of the newly established UNYO office in mainstreaming youth across the UN. She underlined the pivotal role of the first Assistant Secretary-General for Youth Affairs Felipe Paullier. Emilia Hannuksela, Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) Lead, continued the presentation introducing the YPS Agenda and explained how to integrate it during the students' advocacy and activism. Continuing the lecture, Bianca Liu Herzog talked about the Youth2030 Strategy, explaining its main pillars and priorities. The session concluded with an interactive exercise where the participants learned about youth-led initiatives in their countries.

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Next Week

On 1 July, the Russian Federation will assume the monthly presidency of the Security Council. On 30 June - 1 July, USG Rosemary DiCarlo will chair the meeting of the Special Envoys on Afghanistan in Doha. On 2 July, the Special Envoys are set to meet with representatives of Afghan civil society members.