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This Week in DPPA: 22 - 28 May 2021

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

USG DiCarlo takes part in 2021 Protection of Civilians Week event

Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo participated in a high-level virtual event on 25 May on the “Contributions of Special Political Missions to the Protection of Civilians”. It was convened in the margins of 2021 United Nations Security Council Open Debate on Protection of Civilians. “The surest way to keep civilians from harm is to achieve political solutions to prevent or resolve conflict”, said USG DiCarlo in her remarks.

Read full remarks here

ASG Jenča visits Haiti

Assistant Secretary-General for Europe, Central Asia and the Americas, Miroslav Jenča, arrived in Haiti for a three-day visit on 26 May. He is reviewing progress in the work of the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) and holding talks with the authorities and other interlocutors.

Security Council

Swan urges Somali leaders to commit to a clear way forward with the elections

James Swan, Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), told the Security Council on 25 May that the political process to implement elections in Somalia has faced many obstacles in recent months. Swan also urged Somali leaders to find solutions in good faith, and to demonstrate the leadership the country requires of them. He stressed that the signatories of the 17 September Agreement must commit to a clear way forward with the holding of elections. On 27 May, Somali leaders reached agreement on the implementation of the 17 September Electoral Model.

Full briefing to the Security Council here

Pedersen warns that Syria will become another protracted conflict

Geir Pedersen, Special Envoy for Syria, stressed the importance of implementing Security Council resolution 2254 (2015) in his briefing to the Council on 26 May. He noted that the elections being held that day in Syria were not part of the political process called for by the resolution. He said that the broad contours of a political solution to the conflict are well understood by key stakeholders, yet no one is willing to take the first step. “If key players are more invested in conflict-management than conflict resolution, I fear that Syria will become another protracted conflict, lasting generations”, he warned.

Full briefing to the Security Council here

Wennesland: The violence will end “only through negotiations that end the occupation and create a viable two-State solution”

Tor Wennesland, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO), updated the Security Council on 27 May on the recent hostilities between Palestinian militants in Gaza and Israel, adding that the cessation of hostilities is holding. He emphasized that only through negotiations that end the occupation and create a viable two-State solution can there be an end to the cycle of violence. “I reiterate the Secretary-General’s appeal to the international community to work with the United Nations on developing an integrated, robust package of support for a swift recovery and sustainable reconstruction that supports the Palestinian people and strengthens their institutions”, he said.

Full briefing to the Security Council here

Security Council renews the mandate of the UNAMI

United Nations Security Council members voted unanimously on 27 May on resolution 2576 (2021) extending the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) until 27 May 2022.


Special Representative meets the President of the Republic of Iraq

Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Special Representative for Iraq and Head of UNAMI, met on 24 May in Baghdad with the President of the Republic of Iraq, Barham Salih, and the Board of Commissioners of the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC). They discussed preparations for the forthcoming early general elections. 

UNAMI Human Rights Office conducts Human Rights Advocacy training to the Norwegian Refugee Council

On 25 and 26 May, UNAMI Human Rights Office conducted a two-day training workshop for the staff of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) in Iraq who work on human rights issues. It was attended by fourteen participants from Anbar, Diyala, Dohuk, Erbil, Khanaqin, Kirkuk, and Mosul . The training aimed to familiarize participants with human rights advocacy, focusing on how to develop an evidence-based human rights advocacy strategy and understanding the different types of such advocacy. It also examined how to conduct a human rights analysis in order to design effective strategies. 


Deputy Special Representative discusses peace efforts

Mette Knudsen, Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) visited Kandahar this week to assess the situation in the region. She met with local authorities, tribal leaders, civil society representatives and women and youth groups to discuss peace efforts and humanitarian assistance work. During those encounters, the UN envoy assured partners that the United Nations will continue to work with the people of Afghanistan to achieve a sustainable peace.

Read more here


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Central Asia

UNRCCA holds online training for the “Academy of Preventive Diplomacy"

On 26 May, the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) launched a new series of training seminars within the framework of the "Academy of Preventive Diplomacy" initiative. 36 candidates from all Central Asian countries and Afghanistan were selected to participate. In its third year, the 2021 training cycle will conclude with the third Dialogue between Governments and Youth of Central Asia and Afghanistan.

Read more here


Special Representative attends the Juba Peace Talks

Volker Perthes, Special Representative for Sudan and Head of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), attended peace talks between the Transitional Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement - North Abdalaziz al Hilu faction, which were being mediated by South Sudan in Juba. Speaking at the opening of the talks, he said it offered a historic opportunity to reach a settlement to the conflict that has divided Sudan for far too long, and that has inflicted unbearable harm on too many people.

Read more here


Special Envoy participates in the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum

Ján Kubiš, the Special Envoy for Libya, welcomed Libyan delegates to a two-day virtual meeting of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF). In his remarks, he called for progress towards ensuring the wish of the Libyan people was respected and met – including for elections that are to be held on 24 December. He told delegates that all eyes were on Libya, with great expectations that the LPDF meeting would produce what was required to respond to the overwhelming aspiration of the people.

Full remarks here


Special Envoy concludes a three-day visit to Saudi Arabia

Martin Griffiths, Special Envoy for Yemen, concluded a three-day visit to Saudi Arabia on 26 May, where he met with senior Saudi and Yemeni officials. During his visit, he met the Saudi Deputy Minister of Defence Khalid bin Salman, the Yemeni Vice-President Ali Mohsen Saleh, the Yemeni Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik, the Saudi Ambassador to Yemen Mohamed Al Jaber and the United States Special Envoy for Yemen, Tim Lenderking, among other diplomats. In his meetings, he discussed the critical situation in Ma’rib, and stressed that the fighting must stop to allow diplomatic peace efforts a chance to yield positive results. He then traveled to Muscat on 27 May, where he met with the chief negotiator of Ansar Allah, Mohammed Abdel Salam, to further the discussion.

Read more here

West Africa and the Sahel

Special Representative meets the EU Special Envoys on the Sahel

Annadif Khatir Mahamat Saleh, Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), met on 24 May with the European Union Special Envoys on the Sahel, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Portugal, and the EU Special Representative for the Sahel. They reviewed ongoing developments in the region, highlighting progress towards the operationalization of the G5 Joint Force, the implementation of the Human Rights compliance framework and a stronger emphasis on governance. Special Representative Annadif stressed that to better consolidate the democratic processes in the region, violence must be reduced, while efforts to assist populations should be stepped up.

UNOWAS hosts a workshop in conflict prevention for youth

Together with the West African Network of Young Women Leaders (ROAJELF-Burkina), UNOWAS organized a workshop for youth on prevention and conflict management, peace and social cohesion from 25 to 27 May in Burkina Faso. The workshop aimed to strengthen the analysis capacities of young women and men, to improve participation in the processes of conflict prevention and management, as well as in the consolidation of peace and social cohesion within communities.


A new episode of “She Stands for Peace” is out

This week’s episode features Nicholas Haysom, Special Representative for South Sudan and Head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan. In this episode, he discusses the roles that peacekeepers play in the protection of women's rights. 

For more information on the podcast series, click here

Next Week

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