Mladenov: Settlement expansion and demolitions a continued threat to a two-State solution
Special Coordinator Nickolay Mladenov on 29 September briefed the Security Council on the Middle East peace process. He reiterated the Secretary-General’s call to the Middle East Quartet and the Israeli and Palestinian leadership to urgently strengthen efforts to advance the goal of a negotiated two-State solution before it is too late. “Israel’s suspension of plans to annex parts of the West Bank removed a critical threat that had the potential to upend peace and regional stability. Annexation would have constituted a most serious violation of international law and deal a devastating blow to prospects for a two-State solution. The threat, however, to the viability of a two-State solution posed by continued settlement expansion and demolitions remains,” Mr. Mladenov said.
Read his full remarks here
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Debate on the challenge of poverty in Central Africa in a COVID-19 context
Special Representative François Louncény Fall on 30 September took part in the Forum of Ministers in charge of Social Development of Central African countries, organized virtually by UNESCO, the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the Gabonese government. The participants shared their ideas and contributions on the theme "The challenge of poverty in Central Africa: what impact of the COVID19 pandemic and what strategies?". In his statement, Mr. Louncény Fall underlined that it is not possible to dissociate peace, stability and conflict prevention from the challenges of sustainable development. In this regard, he argued that it is crucial to strengthen mechanisms for early warning and crisis prevention, while accelerating efforts for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in order to ensure that poverty stops being a source of conflict.
Special Representative concludes pre-electoral visit to Côte d'Ivoire
Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative and Head of UNOWAS, on 27 September concluded his pre-electoral mission to Côte d'Ivoire.The objective of this mission was to renew the support of the UN for the organization of a peaceful, inclusive, transparent and credible presidential election on October 31, and to encourage the stakeholders to work together for peace and stability in the country.
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Democratic Republic of the Congo
Special Envoy visits the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Huang Xia, Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region, visited the Democratic Republic of the Congo this week. In Kinshasa on 30 September, he met with Mr. François Muamba, a Congolese politician who was appointed as National Coordinator of the Presidential Council for Strategic Intelligence by Head of State Felix Tshisekedi in April 2020. Following their meeting, Special Envoy Xia thanked Mr. Muamba for an “edifying exchange on regional efforts to promote peace, security and development in the region”. They both expressed their satisfaction with the good collaboration between the UN and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Special Envoy also visited the National Institute for Biomedical Research. Built in 1975, the National Institute for Biomedical Research is located in Kinshasa, the country’s capital, with Dr. Muyembe-Tamfum as its Managing Director. Mr. Xia praised the medical center for its professionalism in its handling of the COVID-19 tests in Kinshasa.
Meeting with the new Prime Minister
James Swan, Special Representative and Head of UNSOM, and other representatives from the international community, on 28 September had an introductory meeting with Mohamed Hussein Roble, Somalia’s new Prime Minister. The meeting was set up to discuss partnership in achieving national priorities.
Fish farming project for ex-combatants in Chocó advances
The United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia on 28 September accompanied the former combatants' cooperative "Héroes de Murrí" in its first fish farming project in Quibdó, Chocó, in the west of the country. About 6,000 tilapias will be produced in the next five months, benefiting 50 families. The project receives support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Agency for Reintegration and Normalization (ARN) and the United Nations Verification Mission.
First reintegration route with an ethnic focus signed in Colombia
The Mayasquer indigenous reservation in Cumbal, Nariño, in southern Colombia, is home to 114 former combatants who are advancing in their reintegration process. On 26 September, the indigenous authority and former combatants signed the "Route of Reconciliation and Harmonization," the first ethnically focused reintegration route in Colombia. The route contemplates differential ethnic and gender aspects, from the perspective of rights, justice, and the understanding of territory. The Agency for Reintegration and Normalization (ARN) and the UN Verification Mission have accompanied this process of dialogue over the last two years.
Panelists seek support of elders and Ulema in calling for violence reduction
Radio panelists sought the support of the country’s Ulema and community elders in calling for a reduction in violence and a long-term ceasefire during a series of radio programs in the western provinces. Speaking during UNAMA-backed radio discussions broadcast in Badghis, Farah, Ghor and Herat provinces, panelists representing civil society, academia, women and religious organizations, said Ulema are uniquely placed to influence both the government and Taliban to reduce violence in the country. “Ulema are respected both by the government and the Taliban,” said civil society activist, Rafiq Shahir on Herat’s Mozhdeh Radio. “They have the power to talk to both parties and demand an end to the war.”
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Afghanistan’s commitment to information access – key to saving lives, building trust, bringing hope
Luminaries from Afghanistan’s media, human rights, corruption watchdog sector and other civil society bodies were joined on 28 September in Kabul by the UN at an event held at the Presidential Palace to observe the International Day of Universal Access to Information. Participants highlighted how critical access to information is to societies in terms of accountable government, empowering citizens and building trust. Special emphasis was given to the importance of access to information at times of crisis, such as that presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Deborah Lyons, Special Representative and Head of UNAMA, reassured participants that the UN will support government efforts to further advance access to information.
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International Translation Day
At the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), translation and interpretation play an important role in the work of the Mission and in the daily activities of the organization, from translating documents to interpreting at meetings. International Translation Day on 30 September is an opportunity to pay tribute to the work of language professionals, which play an important role in bringing nations together, facilitating dialogue, understanding and cooperation, contributing to development and strengthening world peace and security. UNAMI made a video for International Translation Day that can be watched here
“Iraqi Youth: Pioneers for Dialogue and Stability” virtual workshop held in Baghdad
Twenty-nine young women and men from across Baghdad Governorate participated in a three-day virtual workshop, from 24 to 27 September, to discuss their role in addressing challenges facing their communities. Held under the theme “Iraqi Youth: Pioneers for Dialogue and Stability”, this workshop was the fifteenth in a series organized throughout Iraq by UNAMI, in cooperation with the Committee for Coexistence and Societal Peace in the Prime Minister’s Office and the Iraqi Al-Amal Association. It was the first such workshop to be held online, due to the current health crisis. Alice Walpole, Deputy Special Representative, noted: “Empowering young people, supporting them, and ensuring they can fulfil their potential is important in every society. If we are to create a more peaceful, sustainable and prosperous Iraq, we need you as partners and leaders”.
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New briefing note on investments in the context of the pandemic
The Secretary-General’s Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) has published a Briefing Note on its investments in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The note summarizes the peacebuilding dimensions of the pandemic, explains the Fund’s efforts as part of the UN’s Comprehensive Response, and takes stock of the Fund’s response up until this summer. The pandemic undermines global peace and security through the erosion of trust in public institutions, exacerbating inequality, and weakening of the social fabric—which in turn hinders vital health and humanitarian efforts. Responses to the pandemic must address immediate consequences but also the medium- and longer-term dimensions; how we respond will determine how fast and how well the world recovers. The PBF reacted quickly, working with UN Resident Coordinators and partners to understand emerging risks and opportunities, adjusting ongoing programmes welcoming specific proposals to mitigate violent conflict risks from the pandemic. Nearly half of all PBF-funded programmes required adjustments while the Fund receives an increasing number of targeted proposals as partners identify new peacebuilding needs to address divisions and tensions fueled by the pandemic or the economic downturn as a results of confinement measures.
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Interview with the Resident Coordinator in El Salvador
In this week’s “Building Peace During the Pandemic” series, Birgit Gerstenberg, UN Resident Coordinator in El Salvador spoke with Marc-André Franche, Chief, Financing for Peacebuilding, Peacebuilding Support Office, on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on peacebuilding efforts in El Salvador. Ms. Gerstenberg explained how the inequalities and gaps in social protection have exacerbated as a result of the pandemic and women, migrants and displaced populations have been severely affected. She also highlighted how the UN Country Team is working together with the government authorities to support the country in its peacebuilding efforts. The UN has adopted a diverse range of measures to keep advancing in projects at the national and territorial levels, through its partners on the ground and also formulated a socio-economic response plan.
DiCarlo: "Women’s contributions to peace and security are still often outside the mainstream of formal efforts, and too frequently undervalued"
Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo on 2 October addressed the Peacebuilding Commission Ambassadorial-level Meeting on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) - Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) at its Twentieth Anniversary: Strengthening Linkages between Women, Peace and Security; and Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace. “Women’s contributions to peace and security are still often outside the mainstream of formal efforts, and too frequently undervalued. I appreciate that the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) gives space to women making such contributions in challenging contexts,” Ms. DiCarlo said.
Read her full remarks here
The Work of Peace
New virtual exhibit
Remember to check out our virtual exhibit – The Work of Peace. It highlights the work of the UN in preventive diplomacy, good offices, mediation and elections over the past 75 years, and looks ahead at what the future may hold for this work.