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This Week in DPPA: 23 - 29 March, 2024

A brief roundup of United Nations-related political and peacebuilding events and developments around the world.

Security Council demands "immediate ceasefire" in Gaza for month of Ramadan

On 25 March, the Security Council demanded an "immediate ceasefire" in Gaza for the month of Ramadan. In a resolution adopted by a vote of 14 in favour and zero against, with one abstention, the Council called for the ceasefire to be respected by all parties and "leading to a lasting sustainable ceasefire." It also demanded the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages, as well as ensuring humanitarian access to address their medical and other humanitarian needs. By other terms of the resolution, the Council emphasized the urgent need to expand the flow of humanitarian assistance and reinforce the protection of civilians in Gaza. It also demanded the lifting of all barriers to humanitarian assistance at scale, in line with international humanitarian law.

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As situation in Gaza worsens, settlement activities in the West Bank have intensified, Wennesland tells Council

On 26 March, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland told the Council some 4,780 housing units were advanced or approved in settlements in Area C across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, since the last time he had briefed on the matter. “Settlement activities have continued and intensified," he said, noting that Israeli authorities had demolished, seized, or forced people to demolish 300 structures, displacing 314 people, including 137 children. On Gaza, he said that “We need a ceasefire now, we need the release of all hostages now, the suffering must end,” and commended the Council's adoption on Monday of resolution 2728 (2024). 

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UN and Lebanon welcome the achievements of the First National Action Plan on Resolution 1325

This week, UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Joanna Wronecka took part in a ceremony in Beirut commending the achievements of the first National Action Plan on women, peace and security and the beginning of work on the second National Action Plan, in line with Resolution 1325. Wronecka said that concerted efforts to promote the inclusion and participation of women was timely, particularly as Lebanon faces a series of challenges, not least at the security level. Speaking alongside Lebanon’s Prime Minister Najib Mikati, the President of the National Commission for Lebanese Women Claudine Aoun and UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Imran Riza, the Special Coordinator said more still needs to be done to enable all women in Lebanon to exercise their full rights and contribute to inclusive and sustainable reform.

UNAMI director meets with KDP Politburo members

On 28 March, Director of the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq's (UNAMI) Political Affairs and Analysis Office Manoj Mathew met in Erbil with Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) Politburo member, Hemn Hawrami. Matthew underlined the importance of holding Kurdistan Region parliamentary elections as scheduled. He also met with KDP Politburo member and former Iraqi Cabinet minister Hoshyar Zebari. They discussed the forthcoming Kurdistan Region parliamentary elections.

United Nations Country Team in Iraq promotes cooperation on World Water Day

On the occasion of World Water Day on 22 March, the United Nations Country Team in Iraq drew attention to pressing water issues facing the nation, and advocated for enhanced cooperation to address those challenges. This year's theme for World Water Day, "Water for Peace," is particularly relevant in Iraq, where water scarcity, pollution, and unequal access can create tensions and hinder social and economic development. In addition, Iraq's water resources are shared with neighbouring countries, and transboundary water management is critical for fostering cooperation and maintaining peace.

(In this month's Politically Speaking, read about other efforts to boost water security.)

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UNOAU participates in ministerial seminar of AU Peace and Security Council on women's leadership

On 23 March, the African Union Peace and Security Council (AU PSC) convened a ministerial high-level seminar, entitled “Commemorating 20 Years of the PSC by Taking Stock of Women’s Participation and Leadership in Peace Processes in Africa.” Held in Swakopmund, Namibia, the event championed women’s meaningful participation and representation across all dimensions of peace-making, notably within formal peace processes in Africa. In his statement, Special Representative of the Secretary-General to the African Union Parfait Onanga-Anyanga lauded African women’s tireless efforts in promoting peace and security.

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Next Week

Malta will assume the Presidency of the Security Council for the month of April.