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This Week in DPPA: 29 May - 4 June 2021

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

DPPA hosts virtual annual donor meeting

On 3 June, the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) held its annual donor meeting, attended by representatives from 52 Member States. Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo thanked donors for their support of the Department’s work through the Multi-Year Appeal. The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sudan, Volker Perthes, gave an update on the work of the UN Integrated Transitional Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) made possible by the MYA. Delegates commended DPPA on its response to the pandemic and how it was able to adapt its operations, and expressed interest in the work of DPPA in the areas of innovation, new technologies and climate security. 

Click here for a short video on DPPA’s work

Meeting of the African Member State contributors to the Peacebuilding Fund

On 2 June, the Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support, Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, and the Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC), Mohamed Fathi Ahmed Edrees, co-hosted an informal dialogue with Permanent Representatives of African Member States, including Burkina Faso, Egypt, The Gambia, Morocco and Sierra Leone, all of which are financial contributors to the Peacebuilding Fund (PBF). Participants underscored the importance of the work of the PBF for peacebuilding in Africa and encouraged further synergies between PBC and PBF to raise awareness of the activities of the Fund and to connect with non-traditional donors.

Security Council

Security Council renews UNITAMS mandate

United Nations Security Council members voted unanimously on 3 June to extend the mandate of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) by 12 months (See resolution 2579 (2021).

Middle East

Special Coordinator visits Gaza

Tor Wennesland, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, visited Gaza on 1 June, to continue his engagement with political and recovery efforts. He remains in close contact with all relevant parties, including Palestinian and Israeli leaders. On 2 June, he met with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz. They discussed the efforts and steps needed to solidify the current cessation of hostilities in Gaza and Israel with all relevant sides to chart the political way forward.

West Africa and the Sahel

Special Representative starts familiarization tour of West Africa

Mahamat Saleh Annadif, Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) began his first official tour of the region this week following his appointment in May. He visited Ghana on 31 May, where he was received by the President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, with whom he discussed terrorism and maritime security, as well as ways to strengthen the partnership between the UN and Ghana. Visiting Guinea-Bissau on 2 June, he was received by the President of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau, Umaro Sissoco Embaló, and met with various government authorities and representatives of the main political parties. In the coming days, he plans to travel to the Gambia, Guinea, Cape Verde, Niger, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Nigeria. 


The closing of the Office of the Special Envoy for Burundi

The Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Burundi (OSESG-B) officially closed on 31 May, after more than four years of operations in the country. Huang Xia, Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region, presided over the ceremony. Several officials, including from the Government of Burundi and other UN entities, as well as representatives of political parties, civil society organizations, and members of the diplomatic community attended the event, which took place in the country’s capital, Bujumbura. The Office closed following an assessment by the UN Security Council in December 2020, which noted the improved security situation in Burundi and requested the Secretariat to cease its periodic reporting on the country. To that end, the United Nations will continue working in close coordination with international, regional, and other partners, in support of the Government’s efforts and its people towards consolidating social cohesion, stability and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in Burundi.

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UN and Catholic Church continue to facilitate social dialogue

This week, the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia has supported several meetings to facilitate social dialogue at the national, regional, and local levels. These dialogues were attended by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and representatives from the Catholic Church. The institutional bodies and national and local strike committees were able to reach an agreement to guarantee the protection of peaceful protest and the lifting of various blocking points for mobility on national roads, especially in the South-west of the country, in Valle del Cauca, Cauca, Huila and Caquetá departments. This will ensure the supply of food, goods, medical supplies, and other products for communities and the industrial sector.


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Central Asia

UNRCCA co-organizes regional roundtable on the protection of major sporting events against terrorist attacks

The UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA), in partnership with the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), the UN Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), the UN Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) and the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS), organized on 1 June a regional roundtable on supporting the protection of major sporting events from terrorist attacks, as well as the use of sport as a tool to prevent violent extremism in Central Asia. Some 30 participants, representing law enforcement structures, Ministries of Sport and other relevant state institutions from all five Central Asian states, took part.

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Special Coordinator meets Lebanese officials

Joanna Wronecka, Special Coordinator for Lebanon, held her first round of meetings with Lebanese officials on 3 June. She met with President Michel Aoun, Speaker of the Parliament Nabih Berri, Caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab and Acting Caretaker Foreign Minister Zeina Akar. They discussed key areas of cooperation between the UN and Lebanon, focusing on Lebanon’s priority needs, including at the political, security, humanitarian and development levels. “Lebanon is in crisis at different levels and unfortunately the Lebanese people are struggling more and more each day”, Wronecka said. “Solutions are urgently needed. And they are available. Lebanon is a country of huge promise and potential, which I am confident the country can build on to recover and build back a better future”.

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United Nations participates in Presidency Council-organized Workshop on National Reconciliation

Assistant Secretary-General, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Libya (ASG/RC/HC), Georgette Gagnon, attended on 31 May the launch of a series of workshops on national reconciliation, organized and led by Presidency Council’s members, Musa Al-Koni and Abdullah Al-Lafi. They were joined by the Minister of Justice and Minister of State for Internally Displaced Persons and Human Rights with the virtual participation of the African Union Ambassador to Libya.

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Special Representatives visits Russia

Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Special Representative and Head of UNAMI, met in Moscow on 31 May with the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Sergey Vershinin. They discussed the current political situation in Iraq and the region, with a special emphasis on preparations for early parliamentary elections in October, as well as the role and place of the United Nations in the electoral process in the light of the latest Security Council resolution. 

Deputy Special Representative discusses preparations for the forthcoming elections

Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir, Deputy Special Representative for Political Affairs and Electoral Assistance, met on 30 May with the First Deputy Speaker of the Iraq Council of Representatives Hassan Al-Kaabi. They discussed preparations for the forthcoming early general elections in Iraq. On 2 June, she met virtually with the United Nations Development Programme Administrator, Achim Steiner. They discussed cooperation between UNAMI and UNDP on the electoral assistance program for the early general elections in Iraq, as well as new initiatives based on the latest Security Council resolution.

UNAMI releases Update on Demonstrations in Iraq

UNAMI issued on 30 May its “Update on Demonstrations in Iraq: Accountability for Human Rights Violations and Abuses by Unidentified Armed Elements”. The Update highlights due diligence obligations, and provides concrete recommendations aimed at ensuring accountability and the protection of activists. Between 1 October 2019 and 15 May 2021, UNAMI documented 48 incidents of attempted or completed targeted killings of protestors and critics, mostly shootings by “unidentified armed elements”, resulting in at least 32 deaths and 21 injuries. 

Next Week

Special Representative François Louncény Fall will brief the Security Council on developments in Central Africa and United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) on Monday, 7 June. The Council will hold a briefing on the cooperation between the United Nations, regional and sub-regional organizations, and the European Union on Thursday, 10 June.