UNAMA’s Human Rights Chief: “Protecting journalists is protecting people’s right to know”
The Afghan Journalists Safety Committee (AJSC) and the UN on 5 November jointly hosted a conference in Kabul with media, government and civil society to mark the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, with participants highlighting the particular importance of press freedom during peace talks. “Attacks against journalists have often a major objective: to silence them. When governments fail to bring to justice those responsible for such attacks, they are effectively exercising a form of censorship, muzzling those who dare to report and chilling others into silence. Protecting journalists is protecting people’s right to know, to have access to information and to be informed”, said UNAMA’s Human Rights Chief, Fiona Frazer.
Read more here
New report on women’s participation in political life
UNAMI, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and the Iraq Foundation, on 31 October launched a new report on women’s participation in political life in Iraq which documents the challenges faced by women running for elected public office and the factors influencing voter choices regarding women candidates. The report also proposes a set of recommendations to overcome these challenges. Women's participation in political processes in Iraq is hampered by many obstacles, despite Iraqi women’s determination to engage in the public sphere. In 2020, Iraq ranked 70th worldwide in terms of women holding seats in parliament.
Read more here
Special Representative visits Kurdistan
Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Special Representative and Head of UNAMI, on 4 November visited Kurdistan. In Erbil, she met separately with Qubad Talabani, Deputy Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region and Rêber Ahmed, Minister of Interior of the Kurdistan Region. They discussed the current political and security situation in the country and the region, as well as the recent agreement between the Federal Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government on the status of Sinjar district in Ninewa.
Special Envoy visits Egypt
Geir Pedersen, Special Envoy for Syria, on 5 November visited the Egyptian capital Cairo. Mr. Pedersen met with Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and briefed him on his vision for a political settlement to the Syrian crisis and his talks with various parties to resolve the issue. The Foreign Minister reiterated Egypt's stance that supports "a political settlement to the crisis based on UN Security Council Resolution 2254, in a manner that preserves the unity of Syria and the independence of its political decision." Mr. Pedersen also held similar discussions with Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit.
Special Representative visits Cameroon
François Louncény Fall, Special Representative and Head of UNOCA, on 2 November, began an official visit to Cameroon. In Yaounde, he was received by the Minister of External Relations, Mr. Lejeune Mbella Mbella. They discussed the latest developments in the country and in Central Africa.
National Dialogue Conference
Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, attended the National Dialogue Conference of South Sudan from 2 to 5 November. He congratulated the President of South Sudan for having initiated the process and guaranteeing its independence. He also emphasized that the process is a quintessential requirement for nation-building and congratulated the co-chairs of the National Dialogue for their bold and forward-looking recommendations for attaining peace and stability in South Sudan. While in Juba, Mr. Onanga-Anyanga paid a courtesy call to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and consulted with Kenya’s Special Envoy to South Sudan. The Special Envoy is mandated to maintain peaceful relations between Sudan and South Sudan and, in this regard, he also met with the South Sudan-appointed Administrator of Abyei during his visit.
More than two thousand former combatants marched to Bogotá to defend peace
Local and regional teams of the UN Verification Mission, including Special Representative Carlos Ruiz Massieu, accompanied the “pilgrimage for peace and life” of more than 2,000 former FARC combatants made during this week from various regions of the country. The pilgrimage ended in the capital Bogotá. Mr. Ruiz Massieu met with national and local leaders of the former combatants to hear their concerns about security and reintegration issues. “We will continue to work on the ground, at the national level in advocacy with the national government so that more and better things can be done for your protection, and in general for the implementation of the Agreement,” Ruiz Massieu said. The former combatants also promoted several public events in the principal plaza of the city next to the National Congress, where they exhibited the products of their productive projects.
Annual Session of the Peacebuilding Commission
The Peacebuilding Commission dedicated its 2020 session on 2 November to advancing options to ensure predictable and sustainable financing for peacebuilding. The meeting had briefings by the Secretary-General (recorded message), the Chair of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Development Assistance Committee, the African Development Bank’s Vice President for Regional Development, the World Bank's Senior Director for Fragility, Conflict & Violence, the Chair of the Peacebuilding Fund’s Advisory Group; and the Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of Mali’s Laham Industries. Member States stressed the inextricable links between humanitarian, development, peace and security initiatives, and in that regard urged for more robust action to ensure coherent UN action in the field with stronger focus on efficiency and results and called for deeper exploration of innovative financing and even stronger UN/IFIs collaboration for peacebuilding. Watch the meeting here
Interview with the Resident Coordinator in Tajikistan
In “Building Peace during the Pandemic” this week, Sezin Sinanoglu, UN Resident Coordinator in Tajikistan, spoke with Marc-André Franche, Chief, Financing for Peacebuilding, Peacebuilding Support Office, about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the people of Tajikistan. Ms. Sinanoglu explained how the pandemic had caused economic hardship and led to increased tensions within the society due to socio-economic losses. She highlighted how the UN Country Team had led coordination efforts with development partners and immediately put together an effective mechanism to collect information and discuss and understand how different sectors were progressing in the current situation. The UN also developed an integrated socio-economic framework that looked at key pillars impacted by the pandemic including health, education, peace and social cohesion. Ms. Sinanoglu emphasized how the UN is committed to cross-border efforts and is increasingly identifying ways and means to continue the dialogue among the communities and the government.
Peacebuilding Commission meeting on the Great Lakes region
The PBC on 4 November held its second meeting this year on the Great Lakes to discuss the role of women in building peace and promoting development in the region. The meeting followed a series of regional consultations on women, peace and security that were organized by Huang Xia, Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region, during the summer, specifically to inform PBC engagement in the region. Recommendations on how to empower women and youth as agents of social and economic transformation, particularly in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, and how to prevent all forms of violence against women and to guarantee their meaningful participation in political processes and peacebuilding were discussed. Member States recognized wide-ranging African Union and UN efforts to bolster the central role of women in national economies and transborder trade but warned that the lack of adequate financing for peacebuilding might jeopardise the sustainability of such initiatives. They called for strengthened support for the implementation of the 1325 regional plan of action, noting that the new UN Strategy for the Great Lakes should be helpful in that regard. They highlighted the critical role of the PBF and called for its replenishment so that it can continue to support women-led cross-border projects in the region.
Full recording of the meeting here
Event on Climate Change and Women, Peace and Security
On Tuesday 10 November at 11:45AM EDT, Security Council members will take part in a discussion on Climate and Security: An Emerging Context in a New Era for Women, Peace and Security. The objective of this side-event to the 2020 Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security is to discuss a way forward for fully integrating climate change considerations into the WPS agenda and – likewise – to ensure that gender is on the agenda in debates and discussions related to climate change and security.
On Wednesday 11 November, Special Envoy Martin Griffiths will update the Security Council on the situation in Yemen.
Updated Security Council programme
The Work of Peace
Remember to check out our virtual exhibit: The Work of Peace. It highlights the UN’s key role in preventive diplomacy, good offices, mediation and elections over the past 75 years, and looks ahead at what the future may hold for this work.