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This Week in DPPA: 28 August - 3 September 2021

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


UN Peacebuilding Fund’s top 12 donor group meets in Switzerland

Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, Assistant Secretary-General (ASG) for Peacebuilding Support, was joined on 31 August by senior government representatives for the third annual strategic dialogue of the top 12 donor group of the Secretary-General’s Peacebuilding Fund hosted by Switzerland. They discussed the implementation of the Fund’s strategy in the context of global challenges and broader peacebuilding financing trends. The group reaffirmed commitments to support the Fund’s strategy, highlighted the importance of sustaining peace in UN transition contexts, and reflected on implications of climate security and the pandemic. The meeting concluded with commitments to collaborate on mobilizing more voluntary donors, greater burden-sharing among existing donors, and further exploring other financing options.


ASG Jenča travels to Belgrade

Miroslav Jenča, Assistant Secretary-General for Europe, Central Asia and the Americas, met on 3 September in Belgrade with President Aleksandar Vučić of Serbia to discuss UN-Serbia cooperation, the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue and regional developments. Earlier during the day, ASG Jenča also met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikola Selaković. He thanked Serbia for its contribution to United Nations peacekeeping missions.

Security Council

Wennesland: "Gaza requires political solutions”

Tor Wennesland, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, briefing the Security Council on 30 August, reported that three months after the deadly escalation between Israel and militants in Gaza the situation remains tense with militants launching incendiary balloons on multiple occasions and Israeli Defense Forces firing missiles. He called on all sides to show restraint, avoid provocations at the fence and keep the protests peaceful. He added that the UN continues to engage all sides to maintain calm and provide urgent assistance to residents of Gaza.

Full briefing to the Security Council here

UNSOM mandate extended until next year

The Security Council voted on 30 August to extend the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) until the end of May 2022. The Council requested the mission to strengthen its presence across the country “as the security situation allows” and decided that UNSOM should continue to coordinate United Nations efforts, focused in particular on supporting acceleration of Government-led inclusive politics.

Read more here


Discussions on Human Rights and October elections

Danielle Bell, Chief of the UNAMI Human Rights Office (HRO), met on 31 August with Minister of Justice Judge Salar Abdul Satar Mohammed Hussein and ministry officials on issues related to human rights in detention ahead of the October elections. Earlier in the week, the HRO also met with department heads of the Ministry of Interior Police Affairs Agency to discuss cooperation and implementation of human rights, including torture prevention.

Read UNAMI’s latest report on Human Rights in the Administration of Justice in Iraq here


Ministerial Conference concludes in Algiers

The two-day “Consultative Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Neighboring States of Libya” hosted by Algeria concluded on 31 August in Algiers. In his remarks, Special Envoy Ján Kubiš emphasized that continued, concerted and aligned efforts of neighboring countries and the international community are essential to support and encourage the various sides and parties in Libya and set the stage for holding the parliamentary and presidential elections on 24 December. He also stressed that the coordination between 5+5 Joint Military Commission and Libya’s neighboring countries on the withdrawal of foreign forces and mercenaries continues to be important and ongoing.

Full remarks here


Activities of the UN system in August 2021 at a glance

The UN Assistance Mission in Somalia has just issued a handy round-up of activities of the UN system in Somalia in August 2021. It covers topics from human trafficking, peace and poetry, mine action to shelter, COVID-19 and more.

Read more here

Great Lakes Region

Countries meet to identify actions to curb illegal exploitation and trade of natural resources

The Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes region and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), in partnership with the German International Cooperation Agency (GIZ), organized from 31 August to 2 September in Khartoum, Sudan, a workshop on natural resources in the Great Lakes region to discuss coordinated actions, explore realistic options to curb the illicit exploitation and trade of natural resources, and address the issue of financing illegal armed groups in the region. UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region Huang Xia, Executive Secretary of the ICGLR João Samuel Caholo and German Ambassador to Sudan Thomas Terstegen chaired the workshop, which brought together over 100 participants from the 12 ICGLR Member States, the United Nations System, as well as regional and international development organizations and financial institutions.

Read more here

Joint press release here


West Africa and the Sahel

Special Representative concludes his visit to Liberia

Mahamat Saleh Annadif, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), is continuing his first official tour of the region. On 3 September, he concluded a two-day visit to Liberia, where he met with President George Weah, among others. The discussions focused on various subjects related to the national and regional situation. He welcomed the resolve of the government of Liberia to strengthen national reconciliation and improve governance in the country as well as the need to further strengthen the partnership between the United Nations and Liberia in order to consolidate democracy and development.

Read more on his latest familiarization tour here

Freedom of expression central component for democratic consolidation in West Africa and the Sahel

The United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), in collaboration with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights West Africa Regional Office (OHCHR-WARO), on 31 August organized a regional exchange session on enhancing the freedom of expression to discuss the existing and emerging challenges to the respect of the freedom of expression. Participants made a series of recommendations aiming at protecting freedom of expression as a human right and as a central component for democratic consolidation in the region.

Read more here


Community and former combatants strengthen capacities in ecotourism projects

The UN Verification Mission accompanied the Vice-Ministry of Tourism and the Agency for Reincorporation and Normalization during a visit to the “Orquideas del Macizo Association” on 28 August in the rural area of San Agustín municipality of Hulia, located in the south of the country. As a cooperative, the Association’s 25 people from the community and former combatants carry out rural and environmental tourism projects within the area’s archaeological sites. During the visit, the officials shared ideas on how to improve and strengthen the Association’s work in this archeologically rich and biodiverse area.


In Their Hands: Women Taking Ownership of Peace 

UN Women, the Department of Peace Operations (DPO) and DPPA, in partnership with New York’s Photoville festival, will host a joint multimedia exhibition titled “In Their Hands: Women Taking Ownership of Peace.” This project will feature women peacebuilders and peacemakers from the Central African Republic, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lebanon, Mali, South Sudan, Sudan and Yemen, as seen through the lens of local women photographers. This initiative, which is part of a multi-donor project, offers an excellent opportunity to amplify women’s voices and advocate for women’s participation in peace and political processes, a central focus of the Women, Peace and Security agenda. The exhibition will be on view from 18 September until 1 December 2021 at the Photoville Festival, Pier 2, Furman Street, Brooklyn, New York.

Read more here

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Next Week

The Security Council will discuss maintenance of international peace and security with the Elders on Tuesday, 7 September and hold an open debate on peacekeeping operations: transitions on Wednesday, 8 September. Special Representative Deborah Lyons will brief the Council on Afghanistan on Thursday, 9 September. On Friday, 10 September, Special Envoy Hans Grundberg will brief on Yemen in the morning, and Special Envoy Ján Kubiš will update the Council on the situation in Libya in the afternoon.