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This Week in DPPA, 25 - 31 May 2019


25 - 31 May 2019

This Week in DPPA aims to keep you abreast of developments and events on the agenda of the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, at UN HQ and in the field, and especially those that sometimes "fly under the radar".

New York

“No military solution to the conflict in Syria”
On 29 May, Special Envoy Geir O. Pedersen briefed the Security Council, in closed consultations, on the situation in Syria. After the meeting, the Special Envoy participated in a media stakeout, where repeated that there is no military solution to the conflict in Syria. He also expressed grave concern for the situation of the 3 million civilians in Idlib province. 
Watch the envoy address the media here

New Special Representative for Somalia
On 30 May, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced the appointment of James Swan of the United States as his Special Representative for Somalia and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM). Mr. Swan is an experienced diplomat with a long international career in the United States Government. He spent most of his career in African countries facing complex political transitions.
Read full announcement

Senior Leadership Travel 

Assistant Secretary-General Jenča visits Kosovo
From 26 – 28 May, Assistant Secretary-General Miroslav Jenča visited Kosovo to meet with local stakeholders. In Pristina, the ASG met with the Kosovo Assembly President and the Minister of Local Government and Administration. He met with woman leaders to hear more about their work on gender equality, violence against woman and implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 on woman, peace and security. In Gracanica monestary, he discussed the importance of dialogue, tolerance, reconciliation, and protection of religious sites with Bishop Teodosije.

African Union

UN AU office inks partnership with think tank  
The UN Office to the African Union (UNOAU) and the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), an Africa-based think tank, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on 29 May. The agreement will serve as a framework for collaboration between UNOAU and ISS in support of the African Union, Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Regional Mechanisms (RMs), as well as African Member States to strengthen the UN – AU partnership in peace and security.

Finding a path to women’s leadership in arms control
UNOAU participated in the “Path to Peaceful Studies – Consultation on Harnessing Women’s Leadership on Arms Control to Prevent Violence and Advance Development” consultative workshop held at African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa from 29-30 May 2019. The consultation brought together a group of leading female disarmament and violence prevention leaders from across Africa who interacted with AU, UN, Government and think tank actors to map the ongoing local disarmament and violence prevention methods and set the course for future emerging research priorities.
Read the full story on UNOAU’s website.





Community outreach programme to remote parts of Guinea-Bissau
The third edition of the UNIOGBIS community outreach programme came to an end on 26 May. Between 17 and 26 May, three teams travelled to 15 remote villages to talk about UNIOGBIS mandate and transition, constitutional framework, reforms and electoral process, human rights, and promotion of citizenship. The community outreach programme will continue in the capital Bissau in June.
Read the full story on UNIOGBIS website


Great Lakes 

Special Envoy participates at Presidential inauguration in South Africa
One May 25, the Special Envoy for Great Lakes Region, Huang Xia, represented the UN Secretary General at the inauguration ceremony of the President-elect of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria.


Central Africa 

High-level roundtable on human rights in Central Africa
Ms. Marilyn Mgum Fru, Senior Political Affairs Officer at UNOCA, participated in a high-level roundtable on the role of political parties in the promotion of human rights, peacebuilding and democracy in Cameroon, from 28-29 May in the capital Yaoundé. The encounter was organized by the United Nations Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Central Africa with the support of national and international partners as well as other UN entities.



Grave concern about accounts of Taliban ill-treatment of detainees
This week, UNAMA expressed grave concern about what the Mission described as credible accounts of Taliban subjecting detainees to ill-treatment and actions that may amount to torture, as well as serious allegations that some detainees were killed. UNAMA’s preliminary findings derived from face-to-face interviews with 13 detainees freed from a Taliban-run detention facility in Uruzgan on 25 April 2019 in an Afghan National Army Special Forces operation. Read the full story on UNAMA’s website.



Training on national and international fair trial rights
On 27 May, the UNAMI’s Human Rights Office and the Kirkuk chapter of the Iraqi Bar Association jointly conducted a training session named “Understanding national and international fair trial guarantees”. This was the second training session for members of the Bar Association in Kirkuk this year.
Read the full story on UNAMI’s website

Support for the rights of minorities in Iraq
On 29 May 2019, UNAMI’s Human Rights Office (HRO) in Baghdad convened the second roundtable discussion on the rights of minorities in Iraq, in line with its mandate to support the Government to fulfil its obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD). The discussion was aimed at enabling a structured forum for advocacy on the implementation the CERD Committee recommendation made to the Government of Iraq in January 2019, to accelerate the process of reinstating the citizenship of some Faili Kurds which was lost in the 1980s. Read the full story on UNAMI’s Facebook page


400 women meet to discuss their reintegration process
On May 30, the UN Verification Mission in Colombia attended the national conference of women in reintegration into civilian life, organized by the FARC National Commission on Women, Gender, and Diversity. Some four hundred women participated in the four-day meeting where they discussed their living conditions, overall needs, and work strategies for their economic, political and social autonomy. "The mission recognizes your efforts and we will continue to work within the framework of our mandate to support actions to ensure your active and meaningful participation in the reintegration process”, said Raúl Rosende, Head of Verification of the UN mission.




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