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This Week in DPPA: 29 August - 4 September 2020


29 August - 4 September 2020

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


Interview with the Resident Coordinator in Guatemala
Building peace in Guatemala is a long-term process, and integrating conflict prevention in the socio-economic response plan for COVID-19 is critical. In the new episode of the video series, “Building Peace during the Pandemic” Rebeca Arias, the UN Resident Coordinator in Guatemala spoke with Marc-André Franche, Chief, Financing for Peacebuilding, Peacebuilding Support Office. Ms. Arias mentioned how the pandemic had exacerbated the existing conflict factors and created new conflict issues for the short, medium and long term including the stigmatization of return migrants and the increase in violence against women. She highlighted how the UN is helping to protect health workers, facilitating the return of migrants and supporting civil society organizations to prevent violence against women. The UN team in Guatemala has also finalized the socio-economic response plan for COVID-19. Ms. Arias explained that the UN is holding several dialogues with representatives of indigenous populations to listen to their needs and proposals to address the COVID-19 crisis and is acting as a bridge between these communities and the government institutions.
Watch here

For up-to-date information on COVID-19 and its impact, please visit:   
WHO website  
UN coronavirus website 


Security Council

Williams: “Libya is indeed at a decisive turning point”
Stephanie Williams, Acting Special Representative and Head of UNSMIL, on 2 September updated the Security Council on the situation in Libya.  "It is becoming a regrettable cliché to appear before you and warn that Libya is at a critical juncture but yet I am compelled to pronounce these same words again today. Libya is indeed at a decisive turning point," Ms. Williams said. On COVID-19, she stated that the situation appears to be spiraling out of control, and that the immiseration of the Libyan people is further compounded by the pandemic.
Read her full remarks here
Read more in UN News


Women´s rights will be a central issue at intra-Afghan talks
“After four decades of war, the people of Afghanistan have more reason than ever to hope that this devastating conflict, which has brought so much suffering, may finally come to an end,” Deborah Lyons, Special Representative and Head of UNAMA, said when she briefed the Council on 3 September. With intra-Afghan talks set to launch soon, Ms. Lyons highlighted the need to include women in the negotiations:  “The issue will be more central, this issue of women’s rights, will be more central in the Afghan peace process than we have ever seen in any other peace negotiation in recent memory,” she said.
Read her full remarks here
Read more in UN News


















Verification Mission in Colombia calls for "100 Messages of Peace"  
Under the framework of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, the Verification Mission in Colombia invites the country to join the commemoration of the International Day of Peace on 21 September, by sharing in social media messages, photos, videos, thoughts, songs, or texts responding to the question: What does peace mean? "We want to invite all of Colombia to speak out and tell what peace means to each person, inspiring everyone to put an end to violence. It is time to remind the world that this country is an example of peace-building," Special Representative Carlos Ruiz Massieu said. With the hashtag: #100MensajesDePaz, the UN Mission wants to promote citizen participation, sending more than 100 messages from Colombia to the world and the UN Secretary-General.



Special Representative visits Egypt 
Acting Special Representative for Libya Stephanie Williams on 30 August met with Sameh Shoukry, Egypt´s Minister of Foreign Affairs, in Cairo. They discussed the rapid political and security developments in Libya. Ms. Williams expressed her gratitude for President Sisi's welcome of the ceasefire calls by the Head of the Presidential Council, Fayez Sarraj, and House of Representative Speaker Aguila Saleh. They both stressed the urgent need of resuming a comprehensive political process to avoid a renewed armed conflict in Libya.



Pedersen: “Progress is happening”
Syrian opponents meeting in Geneva as part of efforts to find a peaceful end to nearly a decade of conflict in their country have found common ground on which to pursue further discussions, UN Special Envoy Geir Pedersen said at a press conference on 29 August. “I am confident that we have been able to build a little bit of confidence, a little bit of trust, and that we can build on this and continue the work that we have started, we would see progress in the work of the committee. But as I have said, progress is happening, it’s of course up to the Syrians themselves within the Committee,” Mr. Pedersen told journalists.
Read more in UN News


Special Envoy visits Russia
Special Envoy Geir Pedersen visited Russia on 3 September. In Moscow, he met with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and they discussed UN-Russian cooperation on implementing Security Council resolution 2254, including advancing work of the Syrian Constitutional Committee.


Meetings with Presidents of Iraq and Kurdistan
In Baghdad on 1 September, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Special Representative and Head of UNAMI, was received by the President of the Republic of Iraq, Barham Salih. They discussed the current political, health, security and humanitarian situation in the country, including preparations for the forthcoming early elections. On 2 September, Ms. Hennis-Plasschaert met with Nechirvan Barzani, President of the Kurdistan Region. They discussed the current situation in the Region, including Baghdad-Erbil relations.


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