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This Week in DPPA: 24 - 30 July 2021

This Week in DPPA is a brief roundup of political and peacebuilding events and developments at UNHQ and around the world. 
USG DiCarlo travels to Ethiopia and Sudan

Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo was on an official visit to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 25 to 27 July, where she met with Ethiopian President Sahle Work Zewde. They discussed Ethiopia’s priorities and how the UN can further support efforts to strengthen the participation in public life for all Ethiopians, including women, youth and civil society. She also spoke with Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen and Minister of Peace Muferiat Kamil to exchange views on steps to strengthen dialogue and national unity in Ethiopia. USG DiCarlo emphasized the need for a peaceful resolution to the Tigray conflict. While in Addis Ababa, she also met with Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission Monique Nsanzabaganwa and AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security Adeoye Bankole to discuss UN-AU cooperation on conflict prevention, conflict resolution and peacebuilding efforts in Africa. 

On 28 July, she traveled to Khartoum, Sudan and met with Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. She congratulated him on the recent progress achieved and assured him that the UN and the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) remain fully committed to supporting the Sudanese transition to democracy. She also met with the Chairman of the Sovereign Council Lt. General Abdel Fatau Al-Burhan and discussed UN support for the completion and implementation of the peace process. In an exchange with women civil society leaders, USG DiCarlo emphasized the critical role women have played in Sudan’s transition and the importance to strengthen women’s participation in public life. Her visit to Sudan will conclude on 31 July.

Security Council

Hastings: “Let us not lose sight of the broader goal”

Lynn Hastings, Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, briefed the Security Council on 28 July on humanitarian efforts following the fighting in Israel and Gaza in May. She said that it is essential that Israel implement additional measures to allow unhindered entry of all humanitarian assistance and emphasized that urgent efforts to improve the situation in Gaza must move forward swiftly. “[L]et us not lose sight of the broader goal: resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, ending the occupation and realizing a two-State solution on the basis of UN resolutions, international law and bilateral agreements,” Hastings added.

Full briefing to the Security Council here


Sharp increase in civilian casualties in Afghanistan, UNAMA report shows

The latest Afghanistan Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict 2021 Midyear Update, released on 26 July, documents more than 5,000 civilian casualties in the first half of 2021, including a particularly sharp increase in killings and injuries since May when international military forces began their withdrawal and the fighting intensified following the Taliban’s offensive. The number of civilian casualties during May and June – 783 killed and 1,609 injured – was the highest for those months since the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) began its systematic documentation in 2009. “The report provides a clear warning that unprecedented numbers of Afghan civilians will perish and be maimed this year if the increasing violence is not stemmed,” Deborah Lyons, Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA, wrote in the report.

Read more here

Full report here

Central Asia

Seminar on preventive diplomacy and leadership

The United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) organized on 28 July the second seminar for the Preventive Diplomacy Academy participants on leadership and goal setting skills. The participants gained knowledge on the definition of leadership and its types, incentives, and how to define and set goals. They were also informed about activities of UN Volunteers in the field of peacebuilding, security and the UN Youth Strategy.

Read more here

Northeast Asia

Virtual Dialogue Series with Northeast Asian Youth

DPPA’s Innovation Cell and the Asia and Pacific Division, together with UNESCO and Shared Studios, a social change company that facilitates intercultural dialogues, convened on 28 July the first “Futuring Peace in Northeast Asia Youth Dialogue” with more than 50 youth champions from China, Japan, the Republic of Korea and Mongolia. The participants were invited to discuss the role of youth in the region looking forward to 2060. The project aims to feed into UN knowledge on the region and in support of the implementation of the Youth, Peace and Security resolutions in Northeast Asia. The second virtual dialogue will continue in October.


UNAMI Human Rights Office supports launch of Iraq’s Human Rights National Action Plan

The Human Rights National Action Plan was launched on 26 July at an event organized with the support of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and the Office of the President. Prepared by the Ministry of Justice and endorsed by the Council of Ministers, the Action Plan seeks to harmonize national legislation with international human rights standards, strengthen national policies for the protection and promotion of human rights, and build human rights capacity within government institutions. Danielle Bell, Chief of UNAMI’s Human Rights Office and Representative of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), welcomed the adoption and its launch. “The need for strong and coherent action on human rights is more essential than ever. The Human Rights National Action Plan provides a solid framework for the legislative, policy and procedural reforms which can prevent human rights violations in the future and which will make a difference to the lives of all Iraqis”, said Bell in her remarks.

Read more here

Full remarks by UNAMI Human Rights Office here


LPDF Proposals Bridging Committee holds second virtual meeting

Raisedon Zenenga, Assistant Secretary-General and Mission Coordinator of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) facilitated on 27 July the second virtual meeting of the Proposals Bridging Committee of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF). Committee members held discussions with the aim of reaching common ground on a proposal for a constitutional basis for the upcoming elections on 24 December 2021. They agreed to receive fully developed proposals that address outstanding differences on a constitutional basis from its members. The Committee will reconvene on 31 July to discuss and recommend to the LPDF the proposed approach and decision-making mechanism.

Read more here


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West Africa and the Sahel

Special Representative concludes his visit to Mauritania

Mahamat Saleh Annadif, Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), is continuing his first official tour of the region. On 28 July, he concluded a visit to Mauritania, where he met with President Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ismaïl Ould Cheikh. Discussions addressed aspects of cooperation between Mauritania and the UN, including ways to strengthen UN support to G5 Sahel countries in their fight against terrorism and insecurity.

Read more on his latest familiarization tour here


DSRSG discusses commitment to election with President Deni of Puntland

Anita Kiki Gbeho, Deputy Special Representative (DSRSG) of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) visited on 26 July Garowe, Puntland. She met with President Said Abdullahi Deni to discuss ways to reinforce cooperation and dialogue with principled leadership to deliver the elections. They discussed the commitment to a concrete plan to achieve no less than 30% women’s representation in electoral processes and outcomes. In her remarks to the press following the meeting, she stressed that a concrete plan to achieve this target is vital in demonstrating the credibility of the electoral process and in building confidence with Somalia’s international partners. 

Read her remarks here


UNITAMS meets women's rights advocates
The UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), together with UN Women and UNDP in Sudan, met on 26 July with a group of over 90 Sudanese women’s rights advocates and entities. UNITAMS Senior Gender Adviser Christina Shaheen stressed the importance of promoting women’s participation in all spheres of political life, first and foremost in decision making roles. She further echoed the UN’s commitment to strengthen women’s participation in peace processes at all levels and across tracks. 


Framework agreement for comprehensive restorative justice signed in Medellín

The Medellín Mayor's Office and the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (SJP) signed on 26 July a framework agreement to facilitate comprehensive restorative processes, reaffirming the commitment to the implementation of the Peace Agreement in the capital of Colombia’s Antioquia Department. The UN Verification Mission in Colombia accompanied the signing of this agreement, the first of its kind in Colombia that takes a territorial approach to restorative justice. "The signing of this agreement is important and sends a strong message in terms of reaffirming the fundamental principle of the Peace Agreement regarding the centrality of the victims," said Raúl Rosende, Verification Director of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia.

Victims, former combatants, police, and civil servants work together on reconciliation

The UN Verification Mission in Colombia, on 24 July, took part in the graduation ceremony for 25 people, among which were victims, former combatants, members of the police and officials of the mayor's office in the municipality of Viotá, who completed the "Diploma for reconciliation and rebuilding social capital". The course was carried out by the NGO Dunna and financed by the Embassy of the Netherlands and the Bolivar-Davivienda Foundation with support from the UN Verification Mission and the Colombian Agency for Reintegration and Normalization. For six months, participants learned mind-body techniques and restorative practices as a pioneering methodology to rebuild trust, reduce stigmatization, and build collective efficacy. With these tools, victims and former combatants were able to develop deep levels of trust and cooperation to be able to work together in three productive projects: an ecological trail, a native tree nursery, and a community garden.


General Assembly Debate on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace

On 29 July, Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) Chair Mohamed Edrees and former Chair Bob Rae briefed the General Assembly at its annual joint debate on the Report of the Peacebuilding Commission and the Report on the Secretary-General's Peacebuilding Fund (PBF). The former Chair emphasized that the 14th session was a landmark year for the PBC as it held a record total of 37 meetings in support of 15 country- and region-specific contexts, promoted more systematic engagement with women and discussed the socio-economic impact of COVID-19. The Chair informed that the PBC will continue strengthening efforts to promote partnerships and further enhance its role in mobilizing support for pandemic recovery and ensuring adequate, predictable and sustained financing for peacebuilding. Member states welcomed both reports, underscoring the centrality of the PBC and the PBF in providing support to conflict-affected countries during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Peacebuilding Commission meeting on the Great Lakes

The PBC held a meeting on the Great Lakes on 26 July to mobilize support for regional peacebuilding efforts and the implementation of the UN Strategy for Peace Consolidation, Conflict Prevention and Conflict Resolution in the Great Lakes Region. Briefers included Special Envoy Huang Xia on the Action Plan of the regional strategy; Chief of Staff of the National Oversight Mechanism for the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the region Marie Claude Nkulu Mbayo on ongoing efforts at the regional level; and Resident Coordinator in Rwanda Fodé Ndiaye on UN/PBF support to reintegrate former combatants repatriated from the DRC to Rwanda. PBC members welcomed the priorities and approach of the Action Plan and the results achieved on the ground. They further welcomed the inclusive, local, coordinated and holistic approach in the implementation of the Strategy and its Action Plan. Special Envoy Xia and many PBC members underscored the political will of leaders in the region to continue to improve internal governance and strengthen cooperation among the countries on regional dossiers.

Watch the full meeting

Next Week

India will take over the presidency of the Security Council for the month of July.

Central Asia Women Leaders’ Caucus

Natalia Gherman, Special Representative for Central Asia and Head of UNRCCA will convene the upcoming Central Asia Women Leaders’ Caucus to be held on 6 August in parallel with the consultative meeting of Heads of State. The chair this year will be Uzbekistan.