Welcome to the United Nations

This Week in DPPA: 31 July - 6 August

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

Security Council

Afghanistan at dangerous turning point, Security Council hears

In her briefing to the Security Council on 6 August, Deborah Lyons, Special Representative and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), warned that in the past weeks, the war had entered a new, deadlier, and more destructive phase, with over 1000 casualties just in the past month. She said that Afghanistan was at a dangerous turning point: “Ahead lies either a genuine peace negotiation or a tragically intertwined set of crises: an increasingly brutal conflict combined with an acute humanitarian situation and multiplying human rights abuses.” Lyons deplored the fact that despite significant concessions for peace, there has been a 50 percent increase in civilian casualties with the certainty of many more as the cities are attacked. She called on the regional and international community to send a strong signal—not only in public statements but also in bilateral communications with both parties—that it is essential to stop fighting and negotiate, in that order. “Otherwise, there may be nothing left to win,” she added.

Full briefing to the Security Council here

Third edition of the UN Security Council in Review out now

DPPA’s Security Council Affairs Division has just released the third edition of the "United Nations Security Council in Review". The monthly newsletter offers an overview of the activity of the Security Council for the previous month. It is an addition to the existing research tools and information products available here.

Read the latest July newsletter here

New Appointment

Hans Grundberg announced as new Special Envoy for Yemen

Secretary-General António Guterres announced on 6 August the appointment of Hans Grundberg of Sweden as his Special Envoy for Yemen. He succeeds Martin Griffiths (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) who has been appointed as Under‑Secretary‑General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). He was previously Ambassador of the European Union to Yemen and brings over 20 years of experience in international affairs, including over 15 years working in conflict resolution, negotiation and mediation with focus on the Middle East.


Stepping up ongoing efforts to address corruption in Afghanistan remains critical, UNAMA report finds

The fifth annual anti-corruption report “Afghanistan’s Fight against Corruption: Stepping up integrity, transparency and accountability” released on 4 August finds that numerous shortcomings remain despite some positive steps taken by the country towards establishing solid anti-corruption legal and institutional frameworks. The report covers the period from January 2020 to May 2021, capturing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and increased violence after the announcement of the withdrawal of international troops which have slowed down the pace of reforms. “Effectively fighting corruption goes hand in hand with increasing State legitimacy, prosperity and stability,” Special Representative for Afghanistan Deborah Lyons said in the press release.

Read more here

Full report here

Central Asia

Special Representative emphasizes need for gender equality and increased women’s participation

Natalia Gherman, Special Representative and head of the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) convened the Central Asia Women Leaders’ Caucus (WLC) held on 6 August in parallel with the Consultative Meeting of Heads of State. The Women Leaders’ Caucus aimed to share experiences of regional cooperation towards furthering gender equality policies. Addressing the event, the Special Representative said: “Today’s meeting, which in many ways resonates with the agenda of the Consultative Meeting of Heads of State, should give an even greater impulse for regional cooperation to achieve gender equality and increase women’s participation in political, economic and social life.” After the event, the WLC issued the Awaza Declaration, stressing the need for sustained efforts and intensified regional cooperation to develop ways to help address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women.

Read more on the Women Leaders’ Caucus here

Read more on the Consultative Meeting of Heads of State here

UNRCCA celebrates International Youth day

UNRCCA organized on 2 August an event dedicated to the first anniversary of the adoption of Security Council Resolution 2535 on Youth, Peace and Security, as well as in support of the upcoming International Youth Day on 12 August. More than 40 participants from Central Asia and Afghanistan joined the online event, to discuss the crucial role of youth in global peace and security processes.

Read more here


Deputy Secretary-General appeals for stronger global support for Lebanon

Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed spoke on 4 August by videoconference to the International Conference in Support of the Lebanese People, which took place one year after the tragic explosion at the port of Beirut that left some 200 people dead and thousands more displaced.  Speaking on behalf of the Secretary-General, she reiterated the need for an impartial, thorough and transparent investigation into the explosion. She added that the international community must lay the foundations for longer-term recovery, anchored in the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. “We need an enabling environment to move the needle – ultimately, Lebanon needs an empowered government poised to rapidly implement the necessary reforms”, said Mohammed in her remarks.

Read more about the conference here

Full remarks by DSG Mohammed here


Libyan Political Dialogue Forum Proposals Bridging Committee concludes deliberations

Raisedon Zenenga, Assistant Secretary-General and Mission Coordinator of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) facilitated on 2 August the fourth and final virtual session of the Proposals Bridging Committee of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF). The members of the committee acknowledged that all possibilities of reaching a compromise on a single proposal had been exhausted, and therefore requested UNSMIL to transmit the four full-fledged proposals that were submitted within the deadlines set by its members to the LPDF plenary for its consideration and decision. UNSMIL will facilitate the upcoming LPDF plenary, where a proposal for a constitutional basis to enable the holding of national elections in December will be produced.

Read more here

Full remarks by Mission Coordinator here


UNAMI commemorates the Yazidi Genocide

In a video message to a virtual international conference organized on the occasion of the 7th Annual Commemoration of the Yazidi Genocide, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) acknowledged the immense challenges survivors still face due to discord on security arrangements, public service provisions and a unified administration, and emphasized the UN’s readiness and commitment to help move towards a normalized, sustainable situation on the ground. Participating in the conference’s virtual panel, Deputy Special Representative for Iraq for Political Affairs and Electoral Assistance Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir noted that the UN remains actively engaged with Baghdad and Erbil to follow up on the Sinjar Agreement’s implementation. “[T]he United Nations continue to encourage the Federal and Kurdistan Regional governments and all relevant stakeholders to put aside partisan interests, overcome differences and place the needs of the people above all and do so without further delay,” the Deputy Special Representative stressed.

Full video message by Special Representative here

Full remarks by Deputy Special Representative here

Deputy Special Representative discusses forthcoming parliamentary elections

Deputy Special Representative (DSRSG) Sólrún Gísladóttir met on 2 August with a delegation of the Justice and Benevolence Movement. They discussed the political situation in the country, preparations for the forthcoming early parliamentary elections on 10 October 2021, challenges related to security and issues facing female candidates. She stressed that the UN in Iraq remains fully dedicated to advising and assisting the Iraqi authorities to ensure that credible and transparent elections are held on time. On the same day, the DSRSG, in a discussion with the Head of the Supreme Security Committee for Elections and Deputy Commander of Joint Operations emphasized the need to provide a safe and secure environment for the elections to ensure that all candidates can campaign freely and all citizens can vote in full safety without facing any type of discrimination. In Mosul on 4 August, she met separately with the Governor of Ninewa, the Mayor of Mosul, and representatives of civil society of Ninewa to discuss the current political and security situation in the Governorate in the lead up to the elections and the implementation of the Sinjar Agreement.

New human rights report focusing on prevention of torture in places of detention in Iraq

UNAMI and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released on 3 August the report “Human Rights in the Administration of Justice in Iraq: legal conditions and procedural safeguards to prevent torture and ill-treatment,” which seeks to prevent torture in places of detention in Iraq, including the Kurdistan region. It notes that full implementation of Iraq’s protective legal framework will help prevent torture and ill-treatment, thereby building public trust in the criminal justice system. “No circumstances, however exceptional, justify torture or any form of impunity”, said Special Representative Hennis-Plasschaert in the press release. “I encourage increased efforts towards prevention and accountability, in line with Iraq’s obligations under international and domestic law”, she added.

Read more here

Download the report here


Former combatants and community take on guinea pig farming in Cauca

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) on 2 August delivered 340 guinea pigs to a rural area of Popayán, capital of the Cauca department in southwestern Colombia for the launch of a new productive project. 46 former FARC combatants and community members will be farming guinea pigs in the framework of reintegration with a community approach. The UN Verification Mission in Colombia alongside IOM Colombia and the Agency for Reincorporation and Standardization (ARN) Colombia contributed in the project’s set-up and in the training of its members.

Climate and Security

New online course on climate change, peace and security

DPPA’s Policy and Mediation Division launched on 4 August the first module of a new online course, “Climate Change, Peace and Security: Understanding climate-related security risks through an integrated lens”, jointly developed by UNEP, UNDP, UN Women, UN Climate Change Learning Partnership (UN CC:Learn) and Adelphi, an independent think tank on climate, environment and development. It unpacks the interlinkages between climate change and peace and security while introducing a special focus on assessing the ways gender norms and other factors of social identity shape how people from different backgrounds experience and respond to climate-related security risks.

Read more information and access the course here


New episode of “She Stands for Peace”

This week’s episode released on 3 August features Obiageli Ezekwesili, co-convener of the #BringBackOurGirls campaign. In this episode, she talks about inspiring and organizing the next generation of peacebuilders. She shares insights on how we might approach governance and youth participation differently.

Listen to the episode

For more information on the podcast series, click here

Next Week

The Security Council will hold an open debate to discuss maritime security on Monday, 9 August. Special Representative James Swan will update the Council on the situation in Somalia on Thursday, 12 August.