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This Week in DPPA: 23 - 29 May 2020


23 - 29 May 2020

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


Iraq - Individual responsibility essential to confront COVID-19
In a statement on 27 May, UNAMI applauded the Iraqi government’s leadership and decisive response to the COVID-19 outbreak at a time when it is also confronting separate crises, including social unrest and an unprecedented economic downturn. “No amount of government response can succeed without the active involvement of the entire population,” Special Representative Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert stressed.“Despite the high hardship imposed by these measures, we know that they represent our best hope of getting back on our feet as soon as possible,” she added.
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Colombia: Former combatants help blunt COVID-19 impact with food donation
A group of 15 former FARC-EP combatants and their families joined together to donate part of their bean and plantain harvest to the most needy inhabitants of Chamuscados, a rural community in Antioquia, northwest Colombia. The food was distributed during an event on 23 May in the town of Dabeiba. The former combatants are receiving technical advice from the Colombian Government to establish future commercialization channels that will allow them to improve their living conditions. The UN Verification Mission in Colombia is supporting that process.
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Colombia: Former combatants in Chocó, advance in their social reintegration
This week, and despite the difficult circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic, former combatants started a sustainable food production project as a contribution to food security and nutrition for 56 families living in the former Territorial Area for Training and Reintegration (TATR) in Brisas, department of Chocó, on the Pacific side of Colombia. With the support of the World Food Program (WFP), men and women members of the TATR’s agricultural cooperative grow vegetables for their consumption and produce poultry and fish. The UN Verification Mission in Colombia accompanies this project that seeks to contribute to peacebuilding, food sovereignty, and strengthening the agricultural capacities of the families living there.
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Virtual Talk on Indigenous Peoples, COVID-19 and Conflict Prevention
DPPA-DPO’s Americas Division, hosted on 28 May a virtual talk on “Indigenous Peoples, COVID-19 and Conflict Prevention”. The Division is DPPA’s focal point on indigenous issues. Participants discussed the importance of including and empowering indigenous women and men as political and social actors amidst the pandemic to reduce the risk of escalation of conflicts resulting from the impacts of COVID-19. Key takeaways from the discussion were: i) Violence against indigenous peoples, including in border areas was on the rise; ii) A regression in the protection of indigenous peoples' rights was expected, increasing the potential for conflicts around natural resources; iii) The militarization of indigenous lands occurring as part of states’ responses to the pandemic further increased social tensions and conflicts; iv) Indigenous women were disproportionately impacted and violence against them was escalating; v) A guidance note on indigenous peoples and COVID-19, issued by the UN Inter-Agency Support Group on Indigenous Issues available in English, French and Spanish, offered entry points for UN engagement on prevention.
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For up-to-date information on COVID-19 and its impact, please visit:   
WHO website  
UN coronavirus website 




Eid al-Fitr

“We share your hopes for an Eid without conflict so every family can celebrate this auspicious and important time in peace,“ the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr earlier this week. Deborah Lyons, Special Representative and Head of UNAMA, said, “I urge all those in positions of power to do everything possible to stop the violence and to respect this time of reflection and tolerance“.
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Special Envoy Martin Griffiths also issued a statement on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr. “May the spirit of Eid guide us all to achieve sustainable peace and stability for all men, women and children in Yemen, redirect the country toward reconciliation and recovery, and pave the way for a better future,“ Mr. Griffiths said.
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Meanwhile, the UN family in Somalia extended its warm congratulations to all Somalis “The United Nations wishes a peaceful and safe Eid al-Fitr to the people of Somalia as we come to the end of the holy month of Ramadan, a time for celebration and togetherness,” Special Representative James Swan said.
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New members of advisory group appointed
Secretary-General António Guterres on 28 May appointed the members of the Sixth Advisory Group of the Peacebuilding Fund. The UN Peacebuilding Fund is the organization’s financial instrument of first resort to sustain peace in countries or situations at risk or affected by violent conflict. From 2006 to 2017, the Fund approved a total of USD $772 million to 41 recipient countries, and from 2017 to 2019, it scaled up its commitments by approving USD $531 million for 51 countries. Consistent with the Terms of Reference of the Peacebuilding Fund adopted by the General Assembly, the Secretary-General appoints ten eminent individuals for a term of two years, taking into consideration gender and regional balance. Candidates are nominated by Member States, including countries contributing to the Fund. 
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