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This Week in DPPA: 25 - 31 May 2024

A brief roundup of United Nations-related political and peacebuilding events and developments globally.

"Women bear the brunt of the global rollback of human rights," says USG DiCarlo

On 28 May, Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo told the Security Council that "women bear the brunt of the global rollback of human rights." Addressing a meeting regarding the participation of women and youth in peace and political processes, she recalled her recent visit to Afghanistan, where women and girls were systematically denied rights and dignity, particularly in education. On the role of young people in peacebuilding, she stressed that they deserve the opportunity to shape their future. While there are “no quick fixes to entrenched power politics, patriarchal attitudes, or unequal social structures,” she highlighted that "through its meetings and decisions, the Council can reinforce that women, along with men, are responsible for building peace and prosperity in their societies" and can also promote recognition of young people as important agents of change.

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“There can be no long-term solution in Gaza that is not fundamentally political," Special Coordinator Wennesland warns Council

On 29 May, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland told the Council that more than 36,000 Palestinians and over 1,500 Israelis and foreign nationals had been killed since the 7 October attacks, while 126 hostages were still being held in Gaza. “Agreement on a deal to achieve ceasefire and secure release of hostages is blocked,” he reported, recalling the “appalling incident” on 26 May in Rafah that killed 45 Palestinians and injured 200. Noting that the West Bank remained a “pressure-cooker of negative trends”, he pointed to the risk of regional conflagrations. “This trajectory must change if we are to avoid further catastrophe,” he emphasized. To this end, “he stressed, "we should be putting in place the framework for Gaza’s recovery” he said, adding: “There can be no long-term solution in Gaza that is not fundamentally political.” 

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"We urgently need de-escalation across all theatres of the Syrian conflict," Special Envoy Pedersen tells Council

On 30 May, Special Envoy Geir Pedersen told the Council that "the Syrian people remain trapped in a profound crisis, which is becoming more entrenched with time." In the absence of a comprehensive political process, negative trends are festering that present terrible risks for Syrians and the international community, he said, noting that "a dizzying array of local and international actors and listed terrorist groups remain engaged in conflict." If this dynamic continues, there will inevitably see more civilian suffering. "Instead of this, we urgently need de-escalation across all theatres of the Syrian conflict," he warned, noting that regional de-escalation efforts, starting with a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, were absolutely essential.

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ASG Khiari: DPRK's pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes undermines non-proliferation regime

On 31 May, Assistant Secretary-General Khaled Khiari told the Counci that, despite Security Council resolutions prohibiting the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) from conducting launches using ballistic missile technology, the country reportedly conducted “the launch of reconnaissance satellite Malligyong-1-1 aboard the new-type satellite carrier rocket” on 27 May. The DPRK’s persistent pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes, in violation of relevant Security Council resolutions, continues to undermine the global nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime, and the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons that underpins it, Khiari warned.

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ASG Spehar visits the Republic of Korea and Japan

The Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support, Elizabeth Spehar, travelled to the Republic of Korea and Japan this week. Both countries are steadfast champions of prevention and peacebuilding, including through support to DPPA's Multi-Year Appeal and the Secretary-General's Peacebuilding Fund, as well as through their membership of the Peacebuilding Commission. In Seoul, the ASG attended the Asia-Pacific consultation on the 2025 peacebuilding architecture review, convened by Korea and attended by 14 Member States from the region. The ASG met with the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kang Insun, counterparts in Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Korean International Cooperation Agency, as well as from the National Assembly. In Tokyo, the ASG met with the Foreign Minister of Japan, Yōko Kamikawa, counterparts in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Japan International Cooperation Agency and Cabinet officials, and representatives of the Komeito party. The United Nations University also hosted a discussion with the ASG on peacebuilding and the opportunities presented by the architecture review.

Peace and Security Council Marks 20th Anniversary

On 25 May, the UN Office to the African Union (UNOAU) participated in the 20th Anniversary colloquium of the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania as the African Union marked the 20th Anniversary of the Peace and Security Council (PSC). The event, themed "20 years of the AU PSC," featured key figures, including Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan, AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat, and Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) Parfait Onanga-Anyanga. In his congratulatory remarks, the SRSG said the PSC has been a "cornerstone in promoting peace, security, and stability across Africa." Discussions highlighted the PSC's achievements and ongoing challenges, emphasizing the need for preventive actions, conflict resolution tools, and stronger partnerships. The colloquium underscored the importance of addressing governance deficits and the "conflict gap" to ensure a more peaceful and secure future for Africa.

In an op-ed, Special Representative for the Secretary-General to the African Union Parfait Onanga-Anyanga notes that "African leaders were visionary, strategic, and ambitious when outlining the objectives of the PSC." He goes on to underscore how, "by virtue of its unparalleled legitimacy and its unprecedented normative framework, underpinned by the twin principles of non-interference and non-indifference, the PSC is uniquely positioned to advance political solutions in Africa through a more forward leaning conflict prevention approach, consistent with the continent’s strong regional integration agenda." 

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SRSG Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert completes tenure in Iraq

This week, Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Iraq Jeanine Hennis-Plasschert published a message on the end of her assignment in the country. Expressing her gratitude and deep appreciation to all Iraqis, she noted that she "learned much from listening to Iraqi women and men explaining their history with pride" and "truly valued the professional meetings and discussions we had with a wide spectrum of partners." 

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UNAMI Human Rights Office organizes workshops on Universal Periodic Review

On 28 May, the UNAMI Human Rights Office organized a one-day training titled “Submission of Stakeholder Report by civil society organizations to the Universal Periodic Review” for non-governmental organizations from Kirkuk, Diyala, and Salah al-Din governorates. Participants received an overview of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism that explained the process for drafting civil society reports and provided guidelines on how to participate in the 4th cycle review of Iraq scheduled for 2025.

On 29 May, the UNAMI Human Rights Office held a workshop in Baghdad aimed at strengthening the engagement of Iraq’s religious and ethnic component groups with the next UPR of Iraq, which is scheduled to take place in early 2025. The Office provided guidance on how non-governmental organizations can prepare and submit stakeholder reports for consideration under the UPR process. Participants discussed Iraq’s implementation of previous UPR recommendations.


UNAMI Human Rights Office holds high-level workshop on criminal accountability for domestic violence

On 29 May, the UNAMI Human Rights Office held a one-day high level workshop in Erbil entitled ‘Strengthening Accountability for Criminal Violence in Domestic Settings in the KRI: Establishment of the Coordination Mechanism’ in collaboration with the High Council for Women and Development, and the Ministry of Interior. Participants discussed the Terms of References and Action Plan for the Roll Out of the Coordination Mechanism aimed at building a structured platform for sharing relevant and crucial information amongst key institutions that work to prevent domestic violence and protect survivors and vulnerable individuals.

Special Coordinator Wronecka holds final round of farewell meetings

Prior to the end of her mission with the Office of the Special Coordinator for Lebanon (UNSCOL), Special Coordinator Joanna Wronecka held a last round of farewell meetings with Lebanese officials and interlocutors. She thanked Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri (pictured), and emphasized the key role of parliament in electing a president to end an 18-month presidential vacuum. The Special Coordinator also met with a number of academics, intellectuals and civil society representative.

SRSG Imnadze meets with EU and OSCE officials in Brussels

On 27-29 May, SRSG for Central Asia and Head of the UN Regional Ccentre for Preventive Diplomacy for Centra Asia (UNRCCA) Kaha Imnadze paid a three-day working visit to Brussels to participate in a Troika meeting with Terhi Hakala, European Union (EU) Special Representative for Central Asia, and Kate Fearon, Director of the OSCE Conflict Prevention Centre. Imnadze exchanged views on the overall geopolitical situation as well as specific political, security and socio-economic developments in Central Asia. The meeting participants noted the efforts of the Central Asian states to maintain peace, stability and economic development in the region, including through promoting a multi-vector foreign policy. 

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In Colombia, a focus on justice for victims of sexual violence in conflict

On 25 May in Fusagasugá, Cundinamarca, as part of the commemoration of the National Day for the Dignity of Victims of Sexual Violence, the UN Verification Mission in Colombia supported a session around case no. 11 of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace, a case pertaining to Gender-based Violence and Sexual Violence. Around 30 women representing organizations and victims' organizations participated from the region of Sumapaz. This was the first time the Special Jurisdiction for Peace shared information on this matter, and invited victims' participation and their accreditation to this process. The Special Jurisdiction for Peace notes that more than 35,000 people have been victims of sexual violence by the parties to the conflict.

In Antioquia, Colombia, communications professionals work for peace

On 29 May, the UN Verification Mission in Colombia gathered communications professionals from national, departmental, and municipal government entities, universities, and civil society at the Casa de la Memoria Museum in Medellín for a meeting titled "Communications and Peace in Antioquia’." They discussed ways to promote responsible and effective communication in conflict contexts.

Next Week

The Republic of Korea will assume the presidency of the Security Council for the month of June. 

The Peacebuilding Commission Ambassadorial-level Meeting will take place in Guatemala on 4 June. On the same day, from 9:00 a.m to 10.30 a.m. EST, there will be a virtual launch event for the 2024 Thematic Review on Synergies between Human Rights and Peacebuilding in Peacebuilding Fund-supported Programming.