Welcome to the United Nations

This Week in DPPA: 24 February - 1 March 2024

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

"Tensions in the region need to be urgently de-escalated," Special Envoy Pedersen tells Council in briefing on Syria

On 27 February, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria Geir O. Pedersen told Security Council members that February had seen further spillover effects from regional conflict, with multiple air strikes attributed to Israel reportedly resulting in both civilian and military casualties. He noted that Israel confirmed it had carried out strikes in response to rocket attacks from southern Syria towards the Occupied Syrian Golan, while the United States carried out retaliatory strikes for a drone attack on a post in Jordan. The entire north of the country, containing millions of civilians, has seen multiple front-line skirmishes in February, including pro-Government, Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham and Turkish drone strikes. Da’esh attacks continue to rise in the central and north-eastern regions, while southern Syria remains violent and unstable. “Plainly, the tensions in the region need to be urgently de-escalated, starting with the immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza,” he stressed.

Watch here

UNITAMS completes its withdrawal from Sudan

On 29 February, the United Nations Integrated Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) completed its withdrawal from the country. In a statement, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres reiterated his deep appreciation to all international and national UNITAMS personnel for their dedication and service to the people of Sudan throughout the Mission’s mandate. He noted that a small team would remain in Port Sudan to oversee the Mission's liquidation process, beginning on 1 March. Guterres said that the conflict in Sudan was jeopardizing the entire country and region. He also stressed that “the United Nations is not leaving Sudan. It remains strongly committed to providing lifesaving humanitarian assistance and supporting the Sudanese people in their aspirations for a peaceful and secure future.” The Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy for Sudan, Ramtane Lamamra, has commenced his work in support of mediation efforts, in coordination and close partnership with African and other international partners.  

Read more

Special Coordinator for Lebanon meets with senior political officials in Beirut

This week, during meetings with Lebanese stakeholders in Beirut, Special Coordinator of the Secretary-General for Lebanon Joanna Wronecka advocated for safeguarding Lebanon’s security and stability. With caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati (pictured above right), she discussed internal and regional dynamics, with an emphasis on the imperative of de-escalation efforts along the Blue Line. The Special Coordinator also met several parliamentarians, including Free Patriotic Movement leader Gebran Bassil, Kataeb leader Sami Gemayel and MP Inaya Ezzedine. She underlined the importance of the full implementation of Security Council Resolution 1701. She also discussed the security situation in Lebanon and along its borders with the Acting head of General Security Elias Bayssari.

Special Coordinator Wronecka takes part in launch of Action Plan of the National Strategy for Women in Lebanon

Special Coordinator Wronecka took part in the launching of the “Action Plan of the National Strategy for Women in Lebanon 2024-2026” by the National Commission for Lebanese Women. The Special Coordinator said the Action Plan offered opportunities to empower women at the personal, educational, economic and social levels. These efforts are even more remarkable and timely given the current political, socio-economic and security context Lebanon, she said. 

UNAMI meets with Kurdistan Regional Government on election issues

On 29 February, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, met in Erbil with the Deputy Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region, Qubad Talabani (pictured above right). They discussed the current situation in Iraq, including the Kurdistan Region. 

Special Representative for Iraq attends Sixth Baghdad International Dialogue

On 24 February, Special Representative Hennis-Plasschaert spoke at the Sixth Baghdad International Dialogue. She noted that “the steps taken since the Government’s formation in October 2022 signal positive momentum, highlighting Iraq’s enormous potential to act as a force for good – both within and outside the region." She went on to say that an enabling environment would be essential, and that would require the buy-in of all relevant actors, whether in- or outside Iraq. "It is quite simple: no government can go it alone. Hence, everyone is expected to support this objective, rather than to thwart it," she stressed.

Read more

DSRSG Isaczai and Basra governor launch Joint Coordination Forum

On 29 February, the Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (DSRSG)/Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, Ghulam Isaczai, visited Basra Governorate where he met with Governor Asaad AlEidani. Discussions focused on enhancing cooperation to address climate change impact in southern Iraq and emphasized collaboration for a sustainable future. The DSRSG/RC/HC and the Governor also launched the Joint Coordination Forum (JCF). The Forum aims to streamline governorate-level coordination by bringing together development actors to share information. On 27 February, Isaczai and officials of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Iraq, visited Anbar Governorate, where they met with the Governor, Mohammed Noori. Discussions focused on durable solutions for returnees from Al-Hol Camp and internally displaced persons (IDPs) residing in Anbar. The UN Iraq delegation also met with a group of returnees from Al-Hol Camp in Syria, as well as with IDPs at the Bzebiz informal site in Anbar.

Read more

SRSG Imnadze visits Tashkent, discusses regional challenges with senior officials

From 28 February to 1 March, SRSG Kaha Imnadze visited Tashkent and met with Speaker of the Senate Tanzila Narbaeva, Deputy Foreign Minister Muzaffarbek Madrakhimov, Special Representative for Afghanistan Ismatulla Irgashev, Director of. theInstitute for Strategic and Regional Studies Eldor Aripov, Director of the International Institute of Central Asia Javlon Vakhabov, SRSG Imnadze underlined the Security Council’s support to the initiatives of Central Asian states to build trust in the region, and highlighted the preventive diplomacy projects implemented by the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA). Discussions also focused on transboundary water management and the prevention of terrorism, as well as the situation in Afghanistan and its implications for security in Central Asia.

SRSG Simão discusses peace and security with Ghana President

From 25-28 February, SRSG Leonardo Simão visited Ghana to meet with President Nana Akufo-Addo. They discussed various issues pertaining to peace and security in West Africa, including the threat of terrorism and maritime security. Simão also participated in the third Kofi Annan Peace and Security Forum.

UNOWAS and Mano River Union sign Framework of Cooperation

On 1 March, DSRSG Khassim Diagne and the Secretary-General of the Mano River Union Maria Harisson signed a Framework of Cooperation Agreement for 2024-2026. The Agreement outlines the main areas for joint activities to promote peace, security and stability between the member states of the Union, namely Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. “The signing of the Framework of Cooperation Agreement demonstrates our unwavering joint commitment to work together to serve the people of the sub-region and to reinforce peace and democracy,” said DSRSG Diagne.

Former combatant projects showcased at tourism fair in Colombia

On 28 February, former combatants participated in the Tourism Fair of the Colombian Association of Travel and Tourism Agencies (ANATO), in Corferias in Bogotá. The projects by former combatants included Tierra Grata Ecoturs SAS, from Manaure, Cesar; Caguán Expeditions, from Caquetá, the Cooperativa Multiactiva Nueva Marquetalia, the company Turismo Integral por la Paz from the former Territorial Area for Training and Reintegration (TATR) of Agua Bonita, in La Montañita (Caquetá), and La "Ruta Marquetalia", part of the tourism project of the Cooperativa Multiactiva Marquetalia por un Futuro Mejor, from the former TATR el Oso, in Planadas Tolima. These projects were supported by the UN Verification Mission in Colombia. Also participating were several former combatants from Meta, Caquetá and Guaviare, as part of the Peace with Nature project, which focuses on the empowerment and training of peace signatories and communities on biodiversity issues, with the aim of bolstering socio-economic development through tourism.

ASG Spehar attends World Bank Fragility Forum in Washington, D.C.

This Week, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support Elizabeth Spehar participated in the World Bank Group Fragility Forum in Washington, D.C. Among a wide range of panels engaging policymakers, civil society organizations and academics, ASG Spehar led a session exploring the risks and opportunities for programmatic engagement in the wake of political crises in the Sahel, Sudan, and Afghanistan. ASG Spehar also joined a panel with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and discussed the interaction of macroeconomic and political risks. She also conducted a range of bilateral discussions with Member States and International Financial Institutions counterparts.

UNHCR and DPPA hold event on forced displacement and conflict at World Bank Fragility Forum - Partnerships Day

On 1 March, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and DPPA held an event at the World Bank Fragility Forum Partnerships Day, titled "Forced Displacement in the Cycle of Fragility, Conflict and Violence: Protection, Solutions and People-Centered Peace." Discussions focused on forced displacement and peacebuilding. In a roundtable jointly organized by DPPA and independent think tank Adelphi, Peacebuilding Fund members highlighted findings from the Peacebuilding Support OfficeThematic review, as well as opportunities to strengthen interactions between climate finance and green vertical funds.

Next Week

Japan assumes the Presidency of the Security Council for the month of March.