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This Week in DPPA: 25 April - 1 May 2020


25 April - 1 May 2020

This Week in DPPA is a brief roundup of political and peacebuilding events and developments at UNHQ and around the world.


Afghanistan – Ceasefire necessary to fight COVID-19  
More than 500 civilians, including more than 150 children, were killed due to the fighting in Afghanistan during the first quarter of 2020, according to a UN report released on 27 April, highlighting the urgent need for all parties to the conflict to do more to protect civilians from harm, especially in view of the looming threat posed to all Afghans by COVID-19. “I call on all parties to seize the opportunity offered by the Secretary-General’s call for a global ceasefire to focus collective efforts on fighting a common enemy, the COVID-19 pandemic,” Deborah Lyons, Special Representative and Head of UNAMA, said. “To safeguard the lives of countless civilians in Afghanistan and to give the nation hope of a better future, it is imperative that violence is stopped with the establishment of a ceasefire and for peace negotiations to commence.”  
Read more here 
Colombia - Quarantine in reintegration areas  
The concern about the spread of COVID-19 is also present in the reintegration areas. They are facing challenges and have closed their borders. The virtual world and isolation have also become part of daily life of the 24 former Territorial Areas for Training and Reintegration (TART) housing nearly 3,000 former FARC-EP combatants and their families. Since the infrastructure in these areas does not fully guarantee adequate sanitary conditions, former combatants have prohibited the entry of visitors and external personnel, restricted residents' movements and conducted  “disinfection days” and educational campaigns. To monitor the situation in the TARTs, the Technical Board of Health of the National Council for Reincorporation meets regularly and coordinates virtually the response measures to COVID-19 with delegates from the FARC, the Agency for Reintegration and Normalization, the Ministry of Health and the UN Verification Mission in Colombia

Colombia - Transport of humanitarian aid 
The UN Verification Mission facilitated the transport of humanitarian aid for the community of Mandé, Urrao in Antioquia on 27 April. The aid was sent by the Governor's Office as part of the COVID-19 emergency for the community and people in the process of reincorporation. That same day, the Mission facilitated the transfer of 200 food provisions for families in Vista Hermosa, Meta, donated by the Saldarriaga Concha Foundation and Colombia Cuida. Both journeys were made in the two Mission helicopters. 
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For up-to-date information on COVID-19 and its impact, please visit:   
WHO website  
UN coronavirus website 


Security Council

Onanga-Anyanga: Pandemic will likely have negative effect on peace processes in Sudan and South Sudan   
Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, briefed the Council on progress in the implementation of Resolution 2046 on 28 April. The resolution concerns outstanding bilateral issues between Sudan and South Sudan and the conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states. The Special Envoy said that the COVID-19 pandemic will likely have a negative effect on the peace processes in the two countries, including by significantly slowing down engagements. “I am particularly worried by the exponential increase in a number of COVID-19 related deaths in Sudan. Urgent external support will be needed to help both countries offset these unprecedented challenges,” Onanga-Anyanga said.  
Read his full remarks here 
Read more in UN News





Pedersen: Syria needs a ceasefire arrangement that results in sustained calm and is nationwide in scope  
Special Envoy Geir O. Pedersen updated the Council on the situation in Syria on 29 April. “I strongly believe that Syria needs a ceasefire arrangement that results in sustained calm and is nationwide in scope – one that does not see new assaults across lines of contact, and enables Syrians to access equipment and resources necessary to combat COVID-19. We cannot afford hostilities which would surely lead to another surge in displaced vulnerable communities – something that we witnessed in horror only two months ago. We could not afford this scenario before the pandemic; the price could only be higher now,” Mr. Pedersen said. 
Read his full remarks here 
Read more in UN News



New head of UNAMA speaks with Afghan  President  
Deborah Lyons, Special Representative and Head of UNAMA, had an introductory call with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on 26 April. They discussed the need for an inclusive government, prospects for intra-Afghan negotiations leading to peace, and coordination around COVID-19. “I am very happy to be back working with the resilient Afghan people as they embrace these challenging times on the way to a brighter future. Enough suffering. Time for peace and opportunity for Afghan boys and girls. The UN is your partner in this important work,” Ms. Lyons said in a tweet after the meeting.
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Meeting with President of Kurdistan   
Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Special Representative and Head of UNAMI, met with President Nechirvan Barzani of the Kurdistan region on 28 April. The Special Representative was accompanied by Dr. Adham Ismail, Iraq Representative for the World Health Organization. They discussed the political developments in Iraq including the ongoing activities to form the new Iraqi Government, Baghdad-Erbil relations and efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. On 27 April, Ms. Hennis-Plasschaert met with Prime Minister Masrour Barzani, with whom she discussed the current political, security, economic and health situation in the Region, with special emphasis on the formation of the new Iraqi government, and Baghdad-Erbil relations. 
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African Union

UN and other international organizations sign multi-year partnership to eliminate violence against women and girls  
After a year of negotiations coordinated by the Special Representative and Head of UNOAU,  Hanna Tetteh, the UN, the AU and the EU on 27 April signed the Spotlight Initiative Africa Regional Programme, which will work towards the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls, including harmful practices. The  Programme design is guided by the provisions of AU Agenda 2063; the development priorities of Agenda 2030 for sustainable development; the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (the Maputo Protocol) and other related key regional instruments. 
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