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This Week in DPPA: 28 September - 4 October 2019


28 September - 4 October 2019

This Week in DPPA aims to keep you abreast of developments and events on the agenda of the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, at UN HQ and in the field, and especially those that sometimes "fly under the radar".

Security Council

Pedersen: Constitutional Committee breakthrough offers ‘sign of hope’ for long-suffering Syrians
Special Envoy Geir O. Pedersen briefed the Security Council on the situation in Syria on 30 September, announcing that he intends to convene 150 Syrian men and women for the launch of a Constitutional Committee on 30 October. “I believe this should be a sign of hope for the long-suffering Syrian people,” Mr. Pedersen said.
Read his full remarks here

Xia: Golden opportunity to address the deep-rooted causes of instability

Huang Xia, Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region, told Council member in his briefing on 3 October that there was a golden opportunity now to address the deep-rooted causes of the instability in the region. He cited recent positive developments, such as strengthened diplomatic engagement following the election of a new President in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) last December, the signing of an agreement aimed at easing tensions between Rwanda and Uganda, and regional cooperation to counter armed groups in the eastern DRC.
Watch his briefing here.


New York

Zero tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse
Under the hashtag #HonouringOurValues, Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo and Assistant Secretaries-General Bintou Keita, Miroslav Jenča and Mohamed Khaled Khiari have all expressed their support for the Secretary-General’s call to end sexual violence and abuse by UN personnel. “Sexual exploitation and abuse is unacceptable. We in the United Nations must be in the forefront of the fight against this scourge. We count on all our colleagues to join this effort,” Ms. DiCarlo said on Twitter. 
For more information, please contact DPPA


SRSG visits Putumayo department to verify the progress of the reintegration process
Carlos Ruiz-Massieu, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, visited Putumayo department, in the Colombian Amazon, on 3 October to verify the progress of the reintegration process and the security guarantees for former combatants and local communities in that region . The SRSG met with governor Sorrel Aroca, Farc representatives, local authorities, representatives of the Integral System of Truth, Justice, Reparation, and Non-Repetition, and women's organizations that work with peacebuilding.
For more information, please contact DPPA


The largest Model UN in the world took place in Bogotá
“SIMONU” Bogotá, the largest United Nations model simulation in the world, closed on 4 October. It involved more than 2800 students from 193 public and private Bogotá schools "You are our source of inspiration,” said Special Representative Carlos Ruiz-Massieu during the closing ceremony. “Last week we saw millions of young people on the streets around the world protesting on the climate emergency. This movement has gained strength in social networks because you, this generation, demand the defense of your rights, because you communicate effectively and because you have united in the defense of your common causes." SIMONU is organized by Colombia’s Secretary of Education with the support of UNIC Bogotá.
For more information, please contact DPPA








Vote counting underway in Afghanistan 
Special Representative for Afghanistan and Head of UNAMA Tadamichi Yamamoto visited the headquarters of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) in Kabul on 1 October to review officials working to tabulate and verify Afghanistan’s presidential election. He indicated that transparency is vital and urged candidate agents and observers to view the tallying and other processes at the IEC. The 2019 Afghan presidential election took place on 28 September.
For more information, please contact DPPA


Central Asia

New initiative to increase cooperation and trust between communities
The United Nations Regional Office for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) launched a Preventive Diplomacy Academy on 30 September. The aim is to increase cooperation and trust between communities in border areas around Central Asia and Afghanistan, foster people–to-people contacts between diverse communities and, ultimately, create a culture of mutual understanding and trust that can reduce the risk of conflict and pay peace dividends far into the future. The first training workshop will take place in Taraz, Kazakhstan, on 7-10 October. 
Read the full story on UNRCCA’s website



Partnership Forum to map out a course for Somalia  
The Federal Government of Somalia and its international partners gathered at the Somalia Partnership Forum (SPF) in Mogadishu from 1 – 2 October. The forum was an opportunity for all concerned to take stock of the progress made by the country as well as agree on priorities ahead. In a discussion, James Swan, Special Representative and Head of UNSOM, highlighted that all sectors of Somali society needed to be included in the political decision-making process, particularly women and youth, noting that “politics in Somalia cannot be fully inclusive without the meaningful participation of these large segments of the population.
Read more on UNSOM’s website


The Gambia

Young people reflect on current peace and security situation in The Gambia
The importance of young people as change agents in sustaining and promoting peace in The Gambia is critical. On Tuesday 2 October, the Gambia National Youth Council and UNFPA, supported by the UN SG’s Peacebuilding Fund’s Women and Youth Project held in Banjul a youth reflection event on peace and security. . The gathering, bringing together about 70 young people from all the regions of the country, was an opportunity to create a space for young men and women to reflect on the current peace and security situation and identify how they can work to ensure sustainable peace for national development. Following these discussions, participants will help develop a youth position paper on peace and security in The Gambia that would be used as a policy brief to inform policy and decision-makers about the concerns of Gambian youth and the need for action to address potential conflict and promote tolerance and peaceful coexistence in country.
Read the full story on UNFPA’s website


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