Women, Peace and Security
Guterres: “Recognize women who step up every day”
The Security Council on 29 October held its annual debate on Women, Peace and Security. “We must recognize these women as the peacebuilders they are, at the local level, in communities around the world. We must also recognize women who step up every day in conflict zones to help those at risk, mediating between groups to enable access by civilians and humanitarian aid, building trust and strengthening social bonds,” Secretary-General António Guterres said in his opening remarks. He also stressed that women are playing a crucial role in the response to the pandemic, stating that: “Women at all levels are on the front lines of the COVID-19 response, dominating sectors of the economy that are critical to daily life.”
Read the Secretary-Generals remarks here
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DiCarlo: "We need to elect more women"
Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo stressed the need to elect more women at the event 'Beyond the Pandemic: Opening the Doors to Women's Meaningful Participation' on 28 October. She was joined by Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Special Representative for Iraq and Head of UNAMI, Kaavya Asoka, Executive Director of the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security, Huda Ali, Member of MANSAM, a Sudanese coalition of 13 women’s rights civil society bodies, and Erika Brockmann, former member of the Bolivian national parliament (1997-2005) and currently a master trainer for the National Democratic Institute. “Women’s full, equal and meaningful participation in peacemaking and political life is essential. Research has shown that inclusive societies are more stable and peace processes that include women at the table have a greater chance of promoting peaceful societies,” Ms. DiCarlo stressed.
Read her remarks here
Read DPPAs new publication on WPS here
Watch the event here
Pitches for Peace
At the online event 'Pitches for Peace: Rethinking Inclusive Peace Processes' on 26 October, Miroslav Jenča, Assistant Secretary-General for Europe, Central Asia and the Americas, highlighted the need for creative and innovative ways to tackle persistent barriers to women’s full and equal participation in peace and political processes. The event was organized by the Association for Inclusive Peace.
Griffiths: “Yemeni women’s activism, persistent efforts and initiatives to end this war provide hope and inspiration”
At the online event 'Stronger Together: Advancing Yemeni Women’s Meaningful Engagement in Building Peace' on 29 October, over 50 representatives from Yemeni women’s organizations, mediation support organizations, Track II partners, and diplomatic missions called for embedding and implementing the resolution into the peace process in Yemen. Special Envoy Martin Griffiths affirmed his full focus on women’s representation in any formal talks and the importance of gender perspectives across all policy issues. He noted that: “Yemeni women’s activism, persistent efforts and initiatives to end this war provide hope and inspiration. My Office continues to engage the parties on the need to represent all Yemenis and include women in their delegations and gender concerns in their deliberations”. The Envoy’s Office continues to explore ways in which women’s perspectives are more actively considered by the conflict parties and is committed to actively consulting women including through forthcoming digital discussions.
Read more here
Parties in the Middle East must work together to contain COVID-19
Special Coordinator Nickolay Mladenov on 26 October briefed the Security Council on the Middle East peace process. In order to contain COVID-19, Mr. Mladenov urged the parties to “work together to mitigate risks, save lives and avoid unilateral actions that undermine these efforts.” “On the 20th anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325, I want to acknowledge the efforts made by civil society and the Palestinian Government, in partnership with the UN, on advancing the Women, Peace, and Security agenda despite the challenging political and humanitarian context,” he said.
Read his remarks here
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Pedersen: “A wider and more credible and effective process is plainly needed”
Special Envoy Geir Pedersen on 27 October updated the Council on the political situation in Syria. He noted a narrowing of differences between the parties and expressed hope to resume Syrian Constitutional Committee meetings in November.
“A wider and more credible and effective process is plainly needed,” he said.
Read his full remarks here
Preparations for presidential election
Côte d’Ivoire is preparing for presidential election on 31 October amid political and intercommunity tensions. The UN is intensifying support for a peaceful, inclusive and transparent electoral process. Electoral assistance through the UN Development System is focusing on fostering dialogue and preventing electoral violence; strengthening communication around the electoral process and building the capacity of national actors in charge of organizing the election. Other activities, funded through the Peacebuilding Fund, are dedicated to the fight against hate speech, which has recently triggered violence. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNOWAS, has undertaken good offices missions to the country to foster dialogue between the Government and the opposition. Mr. Ibn Chambas also participated in a joint African Union (AU), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), UN visit to Côte d’Ivoire from 4 to 7 October.
First virtual meeting of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum
Stephanie Williams, Acting Special Representative and Head of UNSMIL, on 26 October convened the first virtual meeting of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF). “Libyans want peace, security and a decent life for them and their children; Libyans want respect and justice; they want unified and fair governance; and most importantly they want national unity, national sovereignty and a coherent social fabric. What matters to the Libyan people is "what?" not "who?", Ms. Williams said addressing the meeting. The Libyan parties agreed to an immediate ceasefire on 23 October.
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On Dhusamareb visit, international representatives urge Somali leaders to continue collaboration
James Swan, Special Representative and Head of UNSOM, on 27 October visited Dhusamareb, the capital of Galmudug State. He was part of a delegation consisting of representatives from the UN, the European Union, the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). “We urge all of Somalia’s leaders to continue to collaborate in this manner with the preparations for the national elections so that they are underpinned by transparency, fairness and inclusivity,” Mr. Swan said.
Read more here
“Iraqi Youth: Pioneers for Dialogue and Stability” virtual workshop held in Muthanna
Under the theme “Iraqi Youth: Pioneers for Dialogue and Stability”, twenty-nine young men and women from Muthanna Governorate had the opportunity to discuss the challenges facing their communities at a three-day virtual workshop on 22, 23 and 27 October. This was the seventeenth in a series of workshops organized by UNAMI, in cooperation with the Committee for Coexistence and Societal Peace in the Prime Minister’s Office and the Iraqi Al-Amal Association. Due to the ongoing health crisis, it was the third workshop in the series to be held online.
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Natalia Gherman concludes mission to Kyrgyzstan
Special Representative and Head of UNRCCA Natalia Gherman on 26 October concluded her mission to Kyrgyzstan. Ms. Gherman underlined that the next elections had to be transparent and inclusive, ensuring meaningful participation of women and youth, and with strong oversight of the electoral process.
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Papua New Guinea/Bougainville Peace Process
Youth forum in Bougainville
The DPPA Liaison Officer in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, together with the Bougainville House of Representatives and the Department of Community and UN partners, organized a two-day Youth Forum on 27 and 28 October. The aim was to bring together a group of 30 youth leaders from all three regions of Bougainville to create an avenue for youth to engage on their priorities with their elected representatives. Bougainville President Ishmael Toroama opened the Forum and announced that his government would make funds available for youth to start their own small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Moving the peace process forward, Bougainville President Toroama and the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, James Marape, have agreed to hold a Joint Supervisory Body (JSB) meeting on 30 November (the JSB is the highest-level body overseeing implementation of the Bougainville Peace Agreement). The JSB meeting would be expected to agree on the timeline and process for the post-referendum consultations which are expected to launch in early 2021.
Special Representative visits Tashkent
Special Representative Natalia Gherman visited Tashkent on 27 October. Ms. Gherman met with Sherzod Asadov, Deputy Foreign Minister of Uzbekistan, and Eldor Aripov, Director of the Institute for Strategic and Regional Studies under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan. They discussed implementation of activities in the key priority areas of UNRCCA, as outlined during the last meeting of the Deputy Foreign Ministers of Central Asia and Afghanistan in June 2020. The Uzbek interlocutors expressed strong support to UNRCCA initiatives aimed at closer interaction and cooperation in the region.
Former women combatants opens market in Medellín
A group of 32 women in the reintegration process from different regions of Colombia opened the "Market of Women Building Peace" in Medellín on 29 October with the support of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia and UNDP. The market sells family-oriented products, many of them produced by people in the process of reintegration. The purpose, beyond providing a livelihood and bringing the products from the Reintegration Areas to the city, is to generate gender links, guarantee distribution channels, and - as Ledys Restrepo, one of the project's members, explains - "open the doors of this new world for us who come from the countryside and want to work together to get ahead."
Restaurant in Quibdó city run by former combatants
After overcoming some difficulties caused by the pandemic, the restaurant "La Rancha de mi Pueblo" opened its doors to the public in Quibdó, Chocó, on 26 October. The opening complies with safety measures to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. The project is led by women in the process of reintegration and members of the local community, and is supported by the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, UNDP, and other partners.
Peacebuilding Commission meeting on Guinea-Bissau
The Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission’s (PBC) Guinea-Bissau Configuration, Ambassador Ronaldo Costa Filho, Permanent Representative of Brazil to the UN, on 27 October convened a virtual meeting to discuss Guinea-Bissau’s peacebuilding priorities and socio-economic challenges. PBC members welcomed the briefings by Rosine Sori-Coulibaly, Special Representative and Head of UNIOGBIS, and Ambassador Emmanuel Ohin, ECOWAS Special Representative to Guinea-Bissau, and emphasized the importance of inclusive dialogue regarding the reform processes in country. Members underscored their support for the Commission to continue to provide a platform for furthering system-wide coherence between the UN, Guinea-Bissau and its partners during and after the UN transition. They underlined the importance of partnerships and the country’s cooperation with international financial institutions, particularly in the context of COVID-19. PBC members welcomed the briefing by Ana Turé, Coordinator for the Women’s Council of Guinea-Bissau, stressing the importance of the full, effective and meaningful participation and representation of civil society, including women and youth at all levels in peacebuilding processes. In that regard, they welcomed the additional support that the PBF is currently considering for youth dialogue with community leaders.
Interview with the Director of the Quaker United Nations Office
In the latest “Building Peace during the Pandemic” video series, Andrew Tomlinson, Director of the Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO) spoke with Marc-André Franche, Chief, Financing for Peacebuilding, Peacebuilding Support Office. Mr. Tomlinson highlighted the main challenges brought by the pandemic on the community of peacebuilders globally. He explained how the governments at both local and national level are struggling to find the resources needed to respond to the crisis and offset the damage done to their economies. A big opportunity now, he said, is to connect the global short-term response to the pandemic to the long-term insights of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development and to create the possibility of achieving an effective humanitarian response while contributing to long term peace and development goals for more robust and resilient societies.
Watch the interview here
Great Lakes region
“As Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes region, I will spare no effort to ensure the Future of a peaceful, inclusive, prosperous, and resilient region becomes a Now for all the people and communities in the Great Lakes region,” Special Envoy Huang Xia said in a statement marking the 75th Anniversary of the signing of the UN Charter on 24 October
Read more here
On the occasion of UN Day, James Swan, Special representative and Head of UNSOM highlighted the long-running partnership between the UN and Somalia and reaffirmed the organization’s support for Somalis now and into the future. “The United Nations, though we are focused on it today because it’s UN Day, is here in a supporting role. It’s here in a collaborative role – fundamentally to assist Somali institutions, the Somali national government, Federal Member States and other entities in addressing the needs of the people,” he said.
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“My message to all Iraqis on the 75th anniversary of our organization is that you belong to these United Nations as we belong to you. Let us continue our shared journey, stepping up our joint efforts to live up to the ideals and principles enshrined in the UN Charter. Let us reaffirm our commitment to these shared values and remain unwavering in our determination to deliver a brighter, more just and prosperous future for all Iraqis,” Special Representative Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert said in a statement for UN Day.
Read more here
The Work of Peace
Remember to check out our virtual exhibit: The Work of Peace. It highlights the UN’s key role in preventive diplomacy, good offices, mediation and elections over the past 75 years, and looks ahead at what the future may hold for this work.