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This Week in DPPA: 26 June - 2 July 2021

This Week in DPPA is a brief roundup of political and peacebuilding events and developments at UNHQ and around the world. 
USG DiCarlo participates in UN conference on the question of Jerusalem

Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo participated in the International Conference on the Question of Jerusalem on 1 July, organized by the UN General Assembly Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP) with support from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. In her remarks, USG DiCarlo called on Israel to cease house demolitions and evictions, as well as illegal settlement activities. She reiterated the call for all sides to uphold and respect the status quo of holy sites in Jerusalem and urged Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza to refrain from attacks that would again destabilize the situation. “The crisis between Israel and Gaza was another reminder of the imperative to renew peace efforts. We'll keep pushing to translate opportunities, such as the normalization of relations between Israel and several Arab countries, into tangible outcomes”, she tweeted following the event.

Read full remarks here

USG DiCarlo meets with the Group of Friends of Mediation

On 28 June, Under-Secretary-General DiCarlo briefed a Permanent Representative-level virtual meeting of the Group of Friends of Mediation on the UN’s support to local mediation. The Group, co-founded in 2010 by Finland and Turkey, consists of 60 Member States, as well as the United Nations and regional and international organizations. Member States stressed the necessity for strategic engagement at the local level and urged DPPA to develop a set of criteria to help guide decision-making when engaging with and investing in local processes. She later tweeted on the importance of context-specific approaches in local mediation. “As conflict evolves, our approach to peacemaking must also change. Elite-level processes have not always been enough to end violence. Peace is sustainable when driven and owned locally”, she said.

ASG Jenča attends Prespa Forum Dialogue

The Assistant Secretary-General for Europe, Central Asia and Americas, Miroslav Jenča, traveled to North Macedonia to attend the First Prespa Forum held on 1 July. During his visit, he delivered a message on behalf of the Secretary-General to the Forum, applauding the people and government for creating an arena to build bridges across the region. The ASG met with Prime Minister Zoran Zaev to discuss strengthening the stability of the Western Balkans region. He noted that the Prespa agreement conveys an important message for the region and beyond, as it shows that when there is political will and courage, peaceful solutions are possible. 

ASG Fernandez-Taranco addresses evolving counter-terrorism challenges

The Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support, Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, participated in the Second UN high-level Conference on Counter-Terrorism on 29 June. He delivered remarks at a panel on “Responding to new and evolving counter-terrorism challenges in the new decade”, where he underscored the need for greater attention to prevention and sustaining peace as the terrorist threat becomes more complex and global and its links to conflict more pronounced. 

Security Council

Security Council discusses Tigray

On the situation in the Tigray region in Ethiopia, Under-Secretary-General DiCarlo told the Security Council on 2 July that the recent ceasefire announcement was an opportunity that all parties to the conflict must seize upon. She called for a political process that would lead to an inclusive solution as the way to overcome the crisis. "We should urge Ethiopia’s leaders to work swiftly to restore national unity through a process of inclusive dialogue and reconciliation", she said.  

Full briefing to the Security Council here

USG DiCarlo briefs Council members on Iran nuclear issue

Under-Secretary-General DiCarlo briefed the Security Council on 30 June on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear issue. She said that the context for the implementation of the JCPOA and resolution 2231 (2015) has improved considerably since last year. The continued diplomatic efforts in Vienna, she said, offered a critical opportunity for both the United States and Iran to return to the full and effective implementation of the Plan and of the resolution. She further called on Iran to resume the temporary technical understanding with the International Atomic Energy Agency without delay, to refrain from taking further steps to reduce its commitments, and to return to full implementation of the Plan.

Full briefing to the Security Council here


BINUH issues report on prison conditions in Haiti

The United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) jointly released on 30 June a report, "N ap mouri", which described detention conditions in Haiti. The report is based on observations and interviews carried out by the BINUH Human Rights Service (HRS) during visits to 12 places of detention undertaken between January and March 2021. The report documents the specific situation of people in vulnerable situations, including women, girls, boys, the elderly and people with disabilities. The report mentions that the proportion of pre-trial detainees in Haitian prisons continues to grow and has reached 82 per cent of the overall prison population. It also outlined dreadful conditions for prisoners, including the limited access detainees have to the outdoors, food, water and health services, as well as the use of corporal punishment. The report concludes with recommendations to the authorities to address this situation.

Read more here (English) and (French)

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UNSMIL facilitates Libyan Political Dialogue Forum

The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) convened an in-person meeting of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum in Switzerland from 28 June to 2 July. The meeting was held for the members of the LPDF to develop proposals to facilitate the holding of national elections on 24 December 2021, in particular with regard to the constitutional basis for the elections. Ján Kubiš, the Special Envoy and Head of UNSMIL delivered his remarks, calling on the parties to overcome their differences, focus on reaching the largest possible consensus, and work constructively to bridge the remaining gaps. On 29 June, he held consultations with representatives of France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States. He also had telephone conversations with Russia, Morocco and Libyan high-level representatives to discuss progress made towards the implementation of the LPDF Roadmap, in line with the Berlin II Conference Conclusions and UN Security Council Resolution 2570 (2021). The international partners encouraged all relevant Libyan actors to make progress on their pledges to facilitate the holding of national elections on 24 December.

Read more here

West Africa and the Sahel

Deputy Special Representative discusses drugs and crimes

Giovanie Biha, Deputy Special Representative for West Africa and the Sahel, United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), participated in the 5th Sahel Programme Steering Committee meeting on 1 July, organized by the Office of the United Nations for Drugs and Crime (UNODC). She said that "We must remain vigilant and redouble our efforts” to curb trafficking and organized crime, including cybercrime which hinders the peace, stability and sovereignty of the Sahel region. Earlier in the week, she also attended the launch event of the 2021 World Drug Report in West Africa i for the World Drug Day, reaffirming UNOWAS’s commitment in the fight against the scourge of drugs and cross-border crime.

Middle East

Special Coordinator travels to Qatar

Tor Wennesland, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, met with Deputy Prime Minister and Qatari Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani. During the meeting, they reviewed developments of the situations in Palestine and the mechanism for delivering aid to the Palestinian people. SC Wennesland thanked Qatar for its efforts, which contributed to reaching the ceasefire agreement in the Gaza strip. 

Central Asia

UNRCCA co-organizes the regional roundtable on enhancing women’s participation and leadership

On 29 June, the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) and the Senate of the Republic of Uzbekistan organized a regional roundtable focusing on global solidarity and partnership in advancing the Women, Peace and Security agenda. The event was held within the framework of the Central Asia Women Leaders’ Caucus launched in 2020, with the support of UNRCCA and UNDP, to boost the political, economic and social participation of women in Central Asia. The roundtable brought together members of the Central Asia Women Leaders’ Caucus and leaders of international and regional women platforms to share best practices in promoting the Women, Peace and Security agenda in their respective contexts. At the end of the meeting, the Caucus members unanimously adopted a Joint Statement reiterating their commitment to the promotion of WPS and emphasizing the role of Central Asian women in strengthening regional co-operation and partnership at all levels.

Read more here


Special Representative meets with women leaders

Carlos Ruiz Massieu, Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia met with women leaders of the regional forum for the security of women leaders in Montes de Maria and social leaders Victims' Board of El Carmen de Bolivar on 30 June.  They discussed the implementation status of the Peace Agreement in the region, the reintegration process, security guarantees, and the expansion of the Mission's mandate. The Special Representative also highlighted the importance of advancing truth and justice, as well as taking steps to ensure the non-repetition of events. "Victims are a fundamental pillar for peace. The success of the Agreement depends on reparations and the conditions for reconciliation", he said.

Read more here (Spanish)


PBC meeting on Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea

The Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) met on 30 June to address maritime insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea with briefings by UNOCAUNOWASUNODCECCASECOWAS and the Gulf of Guinea Commission (GGC), as well as experts from the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) and the Interregional Coordination Center (ICC). The Commission stressed the need to help address associated human security challenges and encouraged stronger coordination among relevant actors to pave the way for further international support for the implementation of the Yaoundé Code of Conduct. The Code aims to address all forms of illicit maritime activities in West and Central Africa. The Commission took note of the preliminary findings of a UNODC study on pirate activities in the Gulf of Guinea and looked forward to the final report and recommendations. 

Next Week

Under France's presidency of the Security Council for the month of July, Special Representative Annadif Khatir Mahamat Saleh will update the Council on West Africa and the Sahel on Thursday, 8 July. All Council meetings will be in person.