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This Week in DPPA: 30 November - 6 December 2019


30 November - 6 December 2019

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

New York

PBC discusses transhumance and sustainable peace and development in West Africa and the Sahel
The UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) held a joint meeting on the impact of cross-border transhumance on sustainable peace and development in West Africa and the Sahel on 3 December. The meeting aimed to raise awareness about the complex challenges related to transhumance in countries and cross-border areas of West Africa and the Sahel. The discussions aimed at showcasing successful practical approaches and actions, providing lessons learned, identifying gaps and challenges to implementation and impact and making recommendations and giving policy advice on how to provide a coherent and coordinated response to address the root causes of conflict between farmers and pastoralists. Deputy Special Representative of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) Ruby Sandhu-Rojon shared her experiences of UN efforts to promote peaceful transhumance in West Africa and the Sahel.  Guillermo Fernández de Soto, Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission emphasized the PBC’s commitment to engage societies beyond political elites and include the perspectives and deep knowledge of local communities in relevant discussions. 
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Support to peacebuilding in the Sahel, Lake Chad and Mano River Union discussed
The next day, during PBC’s Annual Session, participants from the PBC, ECOSOC, UNOWAS, the UN Office for Central Africa (UNOCA), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Lake Chad Basin Commission reviewed challenges and opportunities for enhancing regional and sub-regional approaches to peacebuilding in the Sahel, the Lake Chad Basin, and the Mano River Union (MRU). The annual session focused on ensuring consistent PBC accompaniment to the Sahel region, to sustain international attention and to advance a more coherent, coordinated and action-oriented approach to peacebuilding and sustaining peace and explore ways to support the region’s movement towards strong economic growth and steady progress in governance and institution building. UNOCA head François Louncény Fall called upon the Peacebuilding Commission to consolidate engagement in the Lake Chad Basin in support of activities that reinforce social cohesion and promote socio-economic development.
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Security Council

Special Representative calls for “bold, forward thinking” in Iraq
Speaking about the current protests and civil unrest in Iraq at the Security Council on 3 December, Special Representative and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert said that the situation cannot be resolved “by buying time with band-aid solutions and coercive measures: this approach will only further fuel public anger and distrust.” She added that the challenge is to seize this opportunity and build a sovereign, stable, inclusive and prosperous Iraq. “Now is the time to act. The great hopes of so many Iraqis call for bold, forward thinking.”
Read her full remarks on UNAMI’s website


Political and security situation in Central Africa worrying, says Special Representative
Special Representative and head of the UN Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) François Louncény Fall at the Security Council on 6 December said that the political and security situation in Central Africa remained worrying, citing insecurity and humanitarian, human rights and socio-economic challenges. He also pointed to security threats related to climate change. UNOCA is continuing efforts to promote national dialogue and greater participation of women and youth in governance and peacebuilding as most states in the sub-region prepare for elections in 2020 and 2021, the Special Representative added.
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Afghan community leaders call for support for peace in the country
Peace remains the single most important aspiration for the people of Afghanistan, stressed participants at recent UN-backed events in the southeastern province of Khost and in the central highlands province of Bamyan. In the Bamyan event, some 100 community leaders – including religious scholars, civil society members, women’s rights activists and youth representatives – came together to add their voices to other communities across the country calling for peace. In a similar UN-backed event in Khost, a 120-strong delegation of religious leaders and government officials came together to discuss how they could strengthen peace efforts. Religious leader Ezatullah Khairkhuwa, participating in the event in Bamyan, stressed the importance of religious scholars in promoting peace, tolerance and harmony. “This is not a choice, but rather a responsibility,” he said. “This is the time for all of us to seize the moment and support peace in the country.”
Read the full story on UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan’s website


Viet Nam

ASEAN, UN and Viet Nam discuss cooperation towards a more inclusive and agile mechanism for conflict management and resolution
The fifth Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-UN Regional Dialogue on Political-Security Cooperation (AURED V) brought together senior UN and ASEAN officials, senior officials from ASEAN Member States, and civil society representatives in Ha Noi, Viet Nam on 3 and 4 December. They discussed opportunities for enhancing ASEAN’s conflict prevention and resolution capacities, through the ASEAN-Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (AIPR). UN Assistant Secretary-General Khaled Khiari led the UN delegation. Under Chatham House rules, participants highlighted the increasingly complex security threats facing Southeast Asia, from growing tensions in the South China Sea, weakening of trust between countries as well as between governments and their peoples, violent extremism and climate-related security risks. Discussion focused on furthering the Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) and the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agendas and exploring opportunities and challenges of establishing a ‘pool of experts’ under AIPR, as a mechanism for conflict prevention. DPPA, as lead on the ASEAN-UN Comprehensive Partnership will continue to support ASEAN's efforts in this regard.
Read the media release








Libyans, UN discuss national response to displacement
The UN and the Libyan Ministry of Local Government on 3 December hosted a meeting for ministries and municipalities in Tripoli on the “National Response to Displacement in Libya” to discuss best ways to enhance and improve response to displacement resulting from the current conflict. Representatives of the Presidential Council, 19 municipalities and ministries of Local Governance, IDPs, Education, Finance, Social Affairs, Planning and the Central Bank of Libya with Special Representative and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Ghassan Salamé, Deputy Special Representatives (DSRSGs) Stephanie Williams and Yacoub El-Hillo and representatives of other UN organizations discussed the response so far, achievements, challenges and ways to address obstacles and improve quality, timeliness and suitability of humanitarian response. In the meeting, mayors and municipal council representatives briefed about the mounting challenges they face in responding to displacement and presented ideas to improve the humanitarian response with support from the Government of National Accord and the UN. SRSG Salamé said “It was a frank discussion characterized by a high level of openness.” 
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‘One person, one vote’ elections in 2020
Special Representative and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) James Swan met with two former presidents this week, with Hassan Sheikh (2012-2017) on 2 December and with Sheikh Sharif (2009-2012) on 4 December. During these meetings, they discussed political developments, including next year’s ‘one person, one vote’ elections, and the importance of political space and inclusion. On 2 December, in a meeting between commissioners of the National Independent Electoral Commission (NIEC), the Minister of Internal Security Mohamed Abukar Islow ‘Duale’ and international partners, they reiterated their support to the upcoming ‘one person, one vote’ elections.
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UN Representative to the African Union makes first visit to Somalia
Wrapping up her first visit to Somalia, UN Special Representative to the African Union Hanna Tetteh, on 5 December, noted that she had had the “opportunity to understand the challenges both the UN and the AU are facing in Somalia and the efforts that are being made to address those challenges.” In addition to meeting the heads of the UN Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS) and UNSOM – Lisa Filipetto and James Swan, respectively – Ms. Tetteh held talks with Somalia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Ahmed Isse Awad and the Speaker of the House of the People Mohamed Mursal Sheikh Abdirahman. She also met the head of Hirshabelle state, President Mohamed Abdi Waare, members of his cabinet and the deputy speakers of parliament during a visit to Jowhar, Hirshabelle’s capital on 4 December. Ms. Tetteh also held meetings with AMISOM’s leadership as well as ambassadors representing the countries that contribute troops to AMISOM. Also on 4 December, she met with female Members of Parliament in Mogadishu in what she called an “eye-opening session” about the challenges they faced. They also discussed the importance of securing 30% female representation in Somalia's elections next year.
Read the full story on UNSOM’s website



Business roundtable with former combatants
The central Colombian city of San José del Guaviare hosted a business roundtable on 2 December that brought together farmers of the region and, for the first time, involved people in the process of reintegration. The event was attended by 300 people and 45 entrepreneurs. The former combatants presented their products, including panela (unrefined whole cane sugar), honey, paprika sauce, and clothing items. The business roundtable was organized by the Guaviare governor’s office, the municipal mayor's office, the army, the Chamber of Commerce and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. The UN Verification Mission in Colombia accompanied the activity.
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Alliance for life, development and peace consolidation in the territories
Carlos Ruiz-Massieu, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia participated in a meeting of elected governors "Alliance for Life, Development and Peace Consolidation in the Territories” on 3 December. The governors of all 32 departments of Colombia, who begin their term on 1 January 2020, announced their willingness to include the fulfillment of the peace agreement in the agenda of their development plans. "You will govern departments that today are different from those four years ago. You assume essential leadership to consolidate the advances that the Peace Agreement and other public policies have allowed, as well as to consolidate transformations in the territories," said Ruiz-Massieu. The event was organized by the Attorney General's Office, the Federation of Departments, the Cooperation Group Colombia, and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Colombia. 
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