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This Week in DPPA: 30 April - 6 May 2022

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


Security Council

War on Ukraine is senseless in its scope, ruthless in its dimensions, limitless in its potential for global harm 

Secretary-General António Guterres briefed the Security Council on 5 May on his recent travel to Moscow and Kyiv. "The war on Ukraine is senseless in its scope, ruthless in its dimensions and limitless in its potential for global harm," he said. Guterres reported progress in the evacuation of civilians from besieged Mariupol in efforts coordinated with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). “It is good to know that even in these times of hyper-communications, silent diplomacy is still possible and is sometimes the only effective way to produce results,” he said.

Read full remarks here 


Twenty years after Bojayá massacre, victims demand implementation of Peace Agreement 

The UN Verification Mission in Colombia, on 2 May, participated in the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Bojayá massacre in the department of Chocó, in which more than 100 people were killed during clashes between former FARC-EP guerrillas and paramilitaries in 2002. The victims reiterated the importance of non-repetition, pointed out the increasing insecurity in the area and stressed the need for the full implementation of the Peace Agreement. The event was coordinated by local ethnic and social victims’ organizations, UN Human Rights, and international NGOs, with the participation of the ambassadors of Germany, Spain and Switzerland, and the Integral System of Truth, Justice, Reparation, and Non-Repetition. 


Haitian National Police and civil society representatives discuss public security 

The UN Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) held a working lunch on 4 May with the High Command of the Haitian National Police and representatives of civil society to discuss public security issues. This exchange allowed participants to better understand the challenges for the Haitian population brought on by the current situation and to strengthen their collaboration to address them. 


Special Envoy stresses need for safe and unimpeded access for humanitarian actors 

In a statement on 4 May, Special Envoy on Myanmar, Noeleen Heyzer, welcomed the convening of the Consultative Meeting on ASEAN Humanitarian Assistance to Myanmar on 6 May and strongly urged ASEAN leaders and donors to prioritize principled engagement with diverse local humanitarian networks to effectively deliver aid to all communities in need. Given the complexity of Myanmar’s conflict, Heyzer stressed that it is imperative that humanitarian assistance is delivered through a diverse range of channels, without discrimination or favor, and reaches the most vulnerable in every part of the country. “Safe and unimpeded access for all aid actors is non-negotiable,” she said.  

Read full statement here


Focus on parliamentary elections 

Special Coordinator for Lebanon Joanna Wronecka on 4 May discussed with Commander Gen. Joseph Aoun the Lebanese Armed Forces’ (LAF) efforts to safeguard security in Lebanon, particularly ahead of the elections. On 5 May, Prime Minister Najib Mikati briefed the Special Coordinator on the situation in Lebanon in the run up to the polls. She then, together with UNDP and UNHCR in Lebanon, led a discussion with the international community on pre- and post-electoral dynamics. The Special Coordinator also discussed with President Michel Aoun how Lebanon’s security, stability and development agenda could best be served within the framework of cooperation between Lebanon and the UN.  

Digital youth dialogue in Lebanon 

The Office of the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon (UNSCOL), supported by DPPA’s Innovation Cell, held a digital youth dialogue on 5 May to hear views of the public in light of the upcoming parliamentary elections on 15 May. Most of the participants (59%) identified as women, and 67% of the participants were under the age of 35. Participants weighed in on issues such as the upcoming elections, the candidates, the importance of inclusivity and how they view Lebanon’s future. Some of the main concerns included lack of trust in the current system and the possibility of change, freedom of choice, fake news and misinformation, electoral fraud, voter intimidation and hate speech. 

African Union

Meeting of the UN-AU Joint Task Force on Peace and Security 

The United Nations-African Union Joint Task Force on Peace and Security held its 21st consultative meeting on 5 May 2022. During the virtual meeting, the group discussed coordinated peace and security efforts in Ethiopia, Libya, Mozambique, Somalia, the Sahel region and the Sudan and underscored the need to a timely return to constitutional order in Burkina Faso, Chad, Guinea and Mali. 


Horn of Africa

Special Envoy Tetteh in New York 

During a visit to UN headquarters, Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Hanna Tetteh met on 3 May with Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations. They discussed the challenges within the Horn of Africa and recent developments in Ethiopia. On 4 May, Tetteh met with Taye Atske Selassie, Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to the UN. They exchanged views on a wide range of issues with reference to peace and security challenges in the Horn of Africa region. The same day, she also met with Martin Kimani, Kenya's  Permanent Representative to the UN. 


Williams prepares for second round of Joint House of Representatives/High Council of State Committee meeting  

In Tripoli on 5 May, Stephanie Williams, Special Adviser on Libya, met separately with Faouzi el Nuweiri, First Deputy for the House of Representatives (HoR) and Head of the High Council of State (HCS) Khaled el Mishri to brief them on her recent visits to various European capitals to discuss current events in Libya. Both confirmed the commitment of the HoR and the HCS to taking part in the second round of meetings of the Joint HoR/HCS Committee in Cairo on 15 May, with the aim of agreeing the necessary constitutional arrangements for taking Libya to national elections as soon as possible.  


UN leadership discusses Somali state-building and upcoming presidential elections

The UN joined some of Somalia's international partners on 3 May to meet the newly elected Speaker of the House of the People, Sheikh Aden Mohamed. The ensuing discussion focused on concluding the electoral process peacefully, and the need to advance Somalia’s state-building agenda. Support for advancing Somalia’s state-building priorities after the elections was also the focus of discussion on 5 May between UN Deputy Special Representative for Somalia Kiki Gbeho and the Chairperson of the Somalia Non-State Actors (SONSA), Osman Moallim.

Ahead of Somalia’s presidential elections and as part of his regular meetings with political figures, UN Special Representative James Swan, on 6 May, met with candidate Dr. Abdinur Sheikh Mohamed to learn about his policy priorities and vision for the country.

West Africa and the Sahel

Steering Committee of the UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel meets in Chad 

The 13th meeting of the Steering Committee of the UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel opened on 5 May in Ndjamena, Chad under the co-chairmanship of Special Representative Annadif and Mar Dieye, UN Special Coordinator for the Sahel. The meeting was held “to take stock of our responses, readjust our actions according to the needs of the populations and emerging risks, and strengthen our cooperation with local and regional partners,” Dieye noted. In his opening remarks, Special Representative Annadif underlined the impact of the Ukrainian crisis on the Sahel region: “The inflationary spiral we are witnessing [...] poses significant risks to political and social stability in the region.” Referring to the political situation and governance in the Sahel, he stressed that unconstitutional regimes jeopardize the integration and cohesion of the region. On the security front, Annadif indicated that national and regional responses are being strengthened both in the Central Sahel as well as the Lake Chad Basin. The morning of 6 May was dedicated to discussions focused on challenges related to climate change, food security and governance, gender and education, especially for young girls in the Sahel, and resource mobilization and partnerships. 

World Press Freedom Day


On World Press Freedom Day on 3 May, Somali journalists, representatives from the police, the attorney general's office and civil society organizations came together for a one-day panel discussion on press freedom in Somalia, organized by the Federation of Somali Journalist (FESOJ) and supported by the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM). In a statement issued for the occasion, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNSOM stressed: “Somalia’s media are a key component for the growth of democracy, and they need to be able to go about their work free from threats, intimidation and harm so they can carry out their important work.”  

Read the full statement here


A number of Afghan journalists and media advocates attended an event in Kabul on 30 April marking World Press Freedom Day, organized by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and UNESCO. The event offered a platform to exchange views on the shrinking and restrictive media space in the country and the way forward. UNAMA Deputy Head Mette Knudsen paid tribute to the hard-working journalists for their tenacity and resilience. “Let me assure you that UNAMA and the UN family in Afghanistan stand firmly in solidarity with your clarion call for safety, professional independence and a free press,” she said.  



Peacebuilding Commission retreat discusses how to stay fit-for-purpose 

On 5 and 6 May, the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation and DPPA’s Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO) hosted an in-person ambassadorial-level retreat of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) at Greentree Estate in Manhasset, New York. The two-day retreat focused on how the Commission can better deliver in the face of continuing threats – from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to worsening climate impacts, growing humanitarian crises and conflicts, and the unraveling of hard-won gains in curbing poverty and closing the gender divide. Representatives of PBC members and countries under the Commission’s consideration discussed the important and interlinked elements of the Programme of Work of the PBC for 2022, with a focus on ways of amplifying impact, improving communications and visibility and strengthening the Commission’s advisory and bridging roles. Rosemary DiCarlo, Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, Melissa Fleming, Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications, Elizabeth Spehar, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support, Asako Okai, Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the UNDP Crisis Bureau, and Åsa Regnér, Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director of UN Women were present. Boukar Issoufou Mamadou Goni, President of the NGO WARAKA in Niger, connected virtually to share his views. PBC members reiterated their commitment to ensuring that the Commission stays fit-for-purpose in the face of new challenges to peacebuilding. They agreed that this requires continuing focus on timely and effective support to the countries who seek to engage with the Commission, be it, for example, for the operationalization of the Special Criminal Court in the Central African Republic (CAR), the timely implementation of the recommendations of the Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations Commission in The Gambia, or advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment in Liberia. Effective and timely PBC responses is a key factor in determining its future success, they stressed. PBC members renewed their commitment to further strengthen links with the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), and the Security Council, and agreed on the need to dedicate more resources to ensure effective deliberations and enhanced communications. In response to the recent High-Level Meeting on Financing for Peacebuilding, which took place on 27 and 29 April, many representatives expressed their support for a follow-up process of the High-Level Meeting to produce a negotiated outcome document. 

Next Week

Next week at the Security Council will start with consultations on Monday, 9 May, on the 1559 report on the situation in Lebanon. And on Wednesday, 11 May, the Council will hold its quarterly debate on Bosnia and Herzegovina.  

And on 10 May, the Peacebuilding Commission Ambassadorial-level meeting on Youth Peace and Security will take place. 

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