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This Week in DPPA: 29 July - 4 August 2023

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


UN stands ready to support National Participation Committee in facilitating inclusive participation in peace process

In a statement on 3 August, the Secretary-General congratulated the Government of Colombia and the National Liberation Army (ELN) as they embark on a new phase in their peace process, with the entry into force of the bilateral ceasefire agreement and the launch of the National Participation Committee. The United Nations is ready to support the critically important work of the National Participation Committee in facilitating the inclusive participation of Colombian society in the peace process. The Secretary-General also called on the international community to continue to assist these initiatives both politically and through support for the implementation of agreements.

West Africa and the Sahel

Special Representative Simão commends the important role Ghana plays in the sub-region

On 2 August, Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and Head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) Leonardo Santos Simão concluded a two-day visit to Ghana. This visit was part of his regional familiarization tour, following his appointment as Special Representative. During his visit, SRSG Simão met with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. They discussed the strengthening of sub-regional cooperation to address emerging security challenges, especially the fight against terrorism.

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ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit discusses situation in Niger

Special Representative Leonardo Santos Simão was in Abuja on 30 July to take part in the summit on the situation in Niger organized by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). He said that the UN country team in Niger is continuing its assistance to vulnerable people in the country. The SRSG also reiterated the commitment of his office and the entire UN system to work closely with ECOWAS in support of the people of Niger.

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Head of UNOCA calls on media to contribute to a peaceful electoral process

On 3 August in Lambaréné, Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and Head of the UN Office Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) Abdou Abarry took part in the opening ceremony of the capacity-building seminar for journalists on "the fundamentals of a free and regulated media ecosystem during elections". Organized by the High Authority for Communication (HAC) in collaboration of Commission of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) with support of UNOCA, the event brought together about 50 journalists from the nine regions of Gabon. The seminar offered an opportunity for journalists to learn how they could contribute to a peaceful electoral process. SRSG Abarry mentioned that they should make good use of the freedom of expression to maintain and promote a climate of peace and security during the crucial period which begins on 11 August with the launch of the electoral campaign.

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UNSMIL trains civil society activists on security sector reform

On 3 August, the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) concluded a workshop in Tripoli on security sector reform and governance. 15 civil society activists were trained by national experts supported by UNSMIL. Participants learned how to work together to engage with Libyan stakeholders on issues related to security sector reform and governance.

African Union

UNOAU participates in NeTT4Peace Webinar on African Perspectives on New Agenda for Peace

On 3 August, Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and Head of UN Office to the African Union (UNOAU) Parfait Onanga-Anyanga took part in the webinar on African Perspectives on A New Agenda for Peace, organized by the African Union Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security and the African Union Network of Think Tanks for Peace (NeTT4Peace). The webinar aimed to provide an African perspective to the New Agenda for Peace bearing in mind the key priorities of the African Union Commission. In his opening remarks, the SRSG stressed the importance of African ownership in strengthening diplomacy for peace and the need to engage in the preparatory process for the Summit of the Future.

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UN Envoy meets with Truth and Justice Charter Group on arbitrary detention

Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria Geir O. Pedersen had an in-depth exchange with the Truth and Justice Charter Group on 3 August. They discussed the latest developments regarding arbitrary detentions and missing persons in Syria, as well as continued engagement as the establishment of the Independent Institution on Missing Persons moves forward. Pedersen stressed that he would keep pushing for the release of individuals detained arbitrarily and access for international humanitarian actors to all places of detention.



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Moment of silence and calls for justice on third anniversary of Beirut blast 

On the third anniversary of the catastrophic Beirut Port explosion of 4 August 2020, representatives of the United Nations, the diplomat community in Lebanon and Lebanese and Lebanese authorities, led by Special Coordinator Joanna Wronecka and upon her invitation, observed a moment of silence at the Port of Beirut to remember the victims, express solidarity with their families and survivors, and reiterate the call for justice. Meanwhile, the International Support Group (ISG) for Lebanon, which is chaired by the Office of the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon (UNSCOL), issued a statement also expressing its solidarity with the families of the victims and with those severely affected by this tragic event. Lamenting the lack of progress in the judicial proceedings, the ISG called “on the Lebanese authorities to lift all obstacles hindering the pursuit of justice and facilitate the completion of an impartial, thorough and transparent investigation.” The Group also called on Parliament to accelerate the adoption of necessary legislation to strengthen the independence of the judiciary.

Special Coordinator holds round of meetings with Lebanese stakeholders

Special Coordinator Wronecka held a round of meetings this week with Lebanese officials and stakeholders on issues of priority for Lebanon’s peace, security and stability. With Deputy Parliament Speaker Elias BouSaab, they discussed the importance of accelerating the election of a president and the adoption of reform legislation by the Parliament. The Special Coordinator also discussed with the Deputy Speaker Lebanon’s preparations for the beginning of the exploration for oil and gas following the maritime border deal with Israel last year, including the establishment of a sovereign fund. Separately, the Special Coordinator held meetings with MPs Faysal Karami and Fuad Makhzoumi to seek their views on the dynamics within the Sunni community and the positions towards the political impasse, including the need to elect a new President.


“People must be placed before politics or partisan interests,” says SRSG at commemoration event

On 3 August, Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert delivered a speech in Baghdad on 3 August at an event on the 9th Annual Commemoration of Victims of the Genocide Against Yazidis and other Iraqi Components. The United Nations, including through the work of UNITAD, continues to support Iraqi-led efforts to enact relevant legislation and pursue justice.   “People must be placed before politics or partisan interests”, she said. 

Commemorating victims in Erbil as well, SRSG Hennis-Plasschaert appealed for differences to be set aside.

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Special Representative meets with Foreign Minister of Iran

Special Representative Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert met in Tehran on 30 July with the Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian. They discussed the latest developments in Iraq and the region. 

UNAMI reaffirms commitment to women's participation in upcoming elections

Deputy Special Representative of Secretary-General for Political Affairs and Electoral Assistance Claudio Cordone spoke on 2 August at the Women Political Forum at the Al Nahrain Centre for Strategic Studies in Baghdad. He reaffirmed UNAMI’s unwavering commitment to work with various stakeholders to advance women’s full, equal and meaningful participation in the upcoming elections and beyond.

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Central Asia

UNRCCA Preventive Diplomacy Academy holds youth training sessions on preventing violent extremism

The UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) Preventive Diplomacy Academy organized a series of sessions in July to train young people from Central Asia and Afghanistan on preventing violent extremism. They also learned about intercultural communication and negotiation skills. The sessions were delivered by experts in the field and provided young people with valuable training that will help them promote peace and security in Central Asia and Afghanistan.

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Trilateral Summit opens in Ashgabat

On 4 August, a trilateral Summit opened in Ashgabat with the participation of the Presidents of Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. UNRCCA was invited to brief the Presidents of the Summit on the mandate and activities of the Regional Centre in support of preventive diplomacy and regional cooperation.