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This Week in DPPA: 29 February - 6 March

29 February - 6 March 2020

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

Security Council

Hennis-Plasschaert: ‘Critical’ window of opportunity closing fast in Iraq 
Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Special Representative for Iraq and Head of UNAMI, briefed the Security Council on the situation in the country on 3 March. She updated the Council on the ongoing demonstrations, political situation, and the threat of ISIL and other non-state armed groups. “Times of crisis also present opportunities. And I sincerely hope that Iraqi political leaders will recognize in this moment, the crossroads where they either stand idle, or where they place themselves in the service of their countrymen and women. But I have to say: the critical window of opportunity is closing fast,” Ms. Hennis-Plasschaert said. 
Read her full remarks here 
Read more in UN News


Security Council discusses DPRK missile launch 
At the request of France, Germany and the UK, the Security Council held a closed session on 5 March on the most recent launch of ballistic missiles by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding, briefed the Council. 
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New York

Longstanding conflict between Equatorial Guinea and Gabon formally ends 
Secretary-General António Guterres and Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo witnessed the last step in the resolution of the longstanding border dispute between Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. At a ceremony on 3 March, the Permanent Representatives of the two countries exchanged notifications that formally put an end to a conflict that dated back to the early 1970’s. The UN mediated in the conflict for more than two decades.    
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DPPA and East Africa Community signs agreement to enhance cooperation  
DPPA and the East Africa Community (EAC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 5 March. Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo signed the MoU on behalf of DPPA. From now on, the two actors will cooperate on conflict prevention, electoral assistance, women, peace and security and gender equality, youth, peacebuilding, countering terrorism and preventing violent extremism. “In a time of persisting multifaceted challenges across the globe, the strengthening of partnerships between DPPA and regional and sub-regional organizations is essential,” Ms. DiCarlo said in her remarks.  
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Peacebuilding Commission meets on Burkina Faso  
The Chair of the Peacebuilding Commision (PBC), Canadian Permanent Representative Marc-Andre Blanchard, convened a meeting on “Peacebuilding and sustaining peace in Burkina Faso” on 5 March. Burkinabe Minister of Economy Lassané Kaboré, Under-Secretary-General DiCarlo, senior representatives of the European Union, the African Development Bank and the World Bank, the Mayor of the city of Dori, and a representative of a women’s civil society organization in Burkina Faso briefed the Commission. Member States deplored the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in the country but welcomed the rallying of international support for the governments’ priorities for immediate action. Member States also agreed on the need to ensure immediate mobilization of resources to close the financing gap; and reiterated their commitment to help accelerate development and sustain peace in Burkina Faso through the government’s forthcoming National Development Plan (2021-2025). They also recognized UN system-wide support across humanitarian, development and peacebuilding areas of work, including through strengthened UN presence in the five regions of the Sahel Emergency Program, and acknowledged in particular the role of the Peacebuilding Fund. They encouraged the UN to continue to do its utmost to ensure system-wide coherence, including by regularly mapping its interventions and funding gaps.     
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Great Lakes

Special Envoy visits the United Arab Emirates 
Huang Xia, UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region, visited the United Arab Emirates from 29 March to 1 February. The objective of the visit was to promote the upcoming Great Lakes Investment and Trade Conference (GLITC), scheduled to take place in Kigali, Rwanda, on 18-20 March. The Special Envoy met with H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and they exchanged views on the immense potential for investment and trade in the Great Lakes region, which remains largely untapped.  
Read more here


Political Coordination meeting in Nairobi  
The Office of the UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region organized its 7th Political Coordination meeting in Nairobi on 5-6 March to review the political and security situation and arrive at a shared analysis of recent dynamics and trends in the Great Lakes region. Huang Xia, UN Special Envoy, chaired the meeting, that brought together UN representatives from regional entities. In a bid to reinforce their collaboration considering the recent positive momentum observed, participants discussed ways to enhance concerted UN support through a clarification of roles and responsibilities of the different UN entities within the region. 
Read more here






Special Representative steps down  
Ghassan Salamé, Special Representative and Head of UNSMIL, said on 2 March he was stepping down.  “My health no longer allows this rate of stress,” Mr. Salamé tweeted. “So I asked the Secretary-General to relieve me from my mission, wishing Libya peace and stability.” Mr. Salamé served as Special Representative for Libya for more than two years, and recently convened talks between representatives of the warring sides in Geneva.  
Read more in UN News 


Consultation meeting on Somalia’s new constitution in Hirshabelle  
A three-day public consultation ended in Jowhar on 3 March, at which representatives from all walks of life in Somalia’s federal state of Hirshabelle discussed and shared views on key elements of a future constitution for their country. Topics discussed included power-sharing, federalism, the financial system, the justice system, national security, and the status of the capital city, Mogadishu. Those in attendance included a range of community representatives, including civil society groups, academics, clan elders, youth, women, farmers, persons with disabilities, and religious leaders. The meeting was organized by the Federal Ministry of Constitutional Affairs (MoCA), with support of the UN Assistanec Mission in Somalia (UNSOM). 
Read more on UNSOM’s website


Ex-combatants and Indigenous people reconcile
The Embera indigenous community and former FARC combatants in Dabeiba, Antioquia department, held a reconciliation ritual on 1 March. Representatives of the Government, political parties and the UN Verification Mission in Colombia attended the ceremony, which consisted of four acts symbolizing the protection of the land, truth and commitment to non-repetition, the vision of a future without violence, and a chant of healing. According to Embera leader Leonardo Domicó, the ceremony allowed FARC to recognize that the indigenous communities were victims of the conflict. "We want FARC's party to join in building well-being and opportunities for the communities, as a testimony and symbol of the commitment for peace to last in Dabeiba and Colombian territory." Francesc Claret, Head of the Mission's regional office in Medellín, said the event "is very symbolic because it is the first time that FARC made an act of forgiveness to these communities. The ceremony has been prepared for a long time, following the traditions and culture of the Embera community."  
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Ruiz Massieu: Peace Agreement offers mechanisms that help to end the cycles of violence in Colombia 
Special Representative and Head of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, Carlos Ruiz Massieu, participated in the roundtable for the Protection of Life in Puerto Asís, Putumayo, on 3 March. The event, organized by the Prosecutor's office, the Truth Commission, the Ombudsman's office, and USAID, aimed to promote the protection of social leaders and human rights defenders in the region. In his statement, the Special Representative highlighted that "the Peace Agreement offers mechanisms that help to end the cycles of violence that impact communities affected by the conflict and facilitates the integral presence of the State, local development and reintegration sustainability." At the end of the meeting, the attendees signed the "Road Map for the Protection of Social Leaders," an initiative of civil society, governors, and the Attorney General's Office. 
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Event to combat hate speech with Under-Secretary-General Adama Dieng 
UNAMI’s Human Rights Office brought together representatives of Iraqi human rights organizations, media monitoring bodies and legal associations, and representatives of diverse communities, to take stock of the dangers that hate speech represents to Iraqi society. The event took place in Baghdad on 3 March. Under-Secretary-General Adama Dieng, Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide and the UN global focal point on hate speech, attended the event, and launched an appeal for all Iraqis to band together against hatred, discrimination and violent extremism. “We are mainstreaming measures to counter hate speech, in line with international human rights norms and standards, into our programmes and activities, working with local stakeholders and interlocutors,” Deputy Special Representative Alice Walpole said in her remarks.  
Read more on UNAMI’s website



Special Envoy visits Egypt  
Syria Envoy Geir O. Pedersen addressed the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the League of Arab States in Cairo, Egypt on 4 March. He briefed the Ministers on the latest developments in Syria and his efforts to facilitate the political solution to the conflict. “Syria is beset by deep political divisions, massive humanitarian needs, and economic challenges growing in severity,” he said. He also focused on the situation in Idlib, the Constitutional Committee, and the role of the international community. “Let us work for the day when Syria’s sovereignty, unity, independence and territorial integrity are fully restored, and the Syrian people are able to determine their own future, as called for in Security Council resolution 2254,” Mr. Pedersen concluded.   
Read his full remarks here 







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