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This Week in DPPA: 4 - 10 March 2023

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

Security Council

Special Representative Otunbayeva warns Council that oppression of women in Afghanistan hinders progress 

On 8 March, Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) Roza Otunbayeva warned the Council that half of the country's potential doctors, scientists, journalists and politicians are being prevented from working due to the oppression of women. Speaking on International Women's Day, the SRSG said that funding for Afghanistan is likely to drop if women are not allowed to work. She also expressed concern that national women staff working for the UN will be banned. She added that the UN's ability to deliver aid is being affected by the growing threat of ISIS-K to the security of the country and its NGO partners.

Read full remarks here

Peacebuilding Commission advises on UNMISS mandate renewal in South Sudan

On 3 March, the Peacebuilding Commission provided written advice to the Security Council on the situation in South Sudan, ahead of the Council meeting held on 6 March. The advice was to provide input for the mandate renewal of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) on 15 March. The Commission emphasized the need for effective, inclusive, and accountable government institutions at the local level to foster dialogue and reconciliation, and ensure access to basic social and economic services. They also called for the promotion of women's participation in the peace process and encouraged engagement with the Commission to build sustainable peace.


Former combatants in Colombia receive certification for restorative work

On 7 March, the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (SJP) certified the restorative work carried out by former combatants in a rural area of Viotá in the department of Cundinamarca, located in the center of Colombia. This certification recognizes the collective and participatory process in which former combatants, victims, and authorities came together to improve road infrastructure, promoting confidence building and reconciliation in a conflict-affected community. The Special Jurisdiction has received 205 certification requests to date, with 178 already approved.


Special Coordinator Wronecka meets Lebanese officials ahead of Security Council briefing

Special Coordinator of the Secretary-General Joanna Wronecka met with Lebanese officials this week ahead of her briefing to the UN Security Council on 16 March. The Special Coordinator discussed the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1701 and emphasized the need for progress on outstanding obligations by both Lebanon and Israel. She also noted the importance of fulfilling key constitutional milestones in Lebanon, including the election of a president and timely municipal elections. She reiterated the UN's support for the Lebanese Armed Forces' efforts to ensure stability and security in the country. She met with caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati, caretaker Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib, caretaker Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi, and other political representatives.

Special Coordinator for Lebanon participates in Model UN simulation

On 6 March, Special Coordinator Wronecka participated in a Model UN simulation organized by the Lebanese American University. Students from schools across Lebanon simulated Security Council, General Assembly, and ECOSOC debates on various topics related to sustainable peace, development, and human rights. The Special Coordinator shared her experiences as a senior UN official in Lebanon and a former Ambassador of Poland. She emphasized the importance of multilateral diplomacy in addressing global challenges, and highlighted the central role of youth in shaping the future of diplomacy, negotiations, and public policy.


Special Representative Hennis-Plasschaert meets with officials in Iraq

On 8 March, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert held discussions with Kurdistan Regional Government Minister of Interior Rêber Ahmed in Erbil, focusing on the political and security situation in Iraq, including the implementation of the Sinjar Agreement. The Special Representative also attended the opening of the Erbil International Book Fair, which features works from national and international publishers in Arabic, Kurdish and in English, among other languages. 

Iraq hosts first International Day for Women Judges with UN support

The Association of Women Judges in Iraq, in collaboration with UNAMI's Human Rights Office and UNDP, hosted Iraq's first International Day for Women Judges on 10 March in Baghdad. The event was held in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolution 75/274 (2021). The event was attended by the Chief Justice, women judges, government officials, UN officials, and representatives of diplomatic missions. The Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General/Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, Ghulam Mohammad Isaczai, commended the efforts of women judges in the administration of justice and encouraged further efforts to advance women at all levels of the judiciary.


Special Envoy Pedersen calls for calm and political progress in Syria

On 9 March, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General Geir O. Pedersen chaired the International Syria Support Group Ceasefire Task Force in Geneva, calling for sustained calm on the ground, particularly in areas affected by earthquakes. He asked all actors to use their influence and expressed his appreciation for the positive engagement of CTF members. He also reiterated his call for stakeholders to work together in the aftermath of the earthquakes and to move the political process in Syria forward, as called for in Security Council Resolution 2254.


Mozambique leaders discuss completion of DDR process for RENAMO

On 8 March, Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi and the leader of RENAMO, Ossufo Momade, met in Maputo to discuss the conclusion of the demobilization, disarmament and reintegration (DDR) process. With the good offices of the Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General, Mirko Manzoni, both leaders confirmed their willingness to complete the DDR process in the current month of March. To date, 94 per cent of the 5,221 RENAMO former combatants have been demobilized and 15 out of its 16 bases across Mozambique have been closed.

International Women's Day

In Colombia, communities discuss empowerment, leadership and gender equality

On 8 March, the UN Verification Mission in Colombia supported the commemoration of International Women's Day in El Doncello, Caquetá. The event included a meeting and exchange of experiences between communities, social leaders, and former female combatants from the three former Territorial Area for Training and Reintegration (TATR) in Caquetá. The participants discussed empowerment, productive projects, leadership, and strategies to improve gender equality in the region. Attendees also experienced the virtual reality #PathwaysColombia, which showcases the progress in the implementation of the Peace Agreement.

UN discusses women's representation in Lebanon's decision-making processes

On International Women’s Day, Special Coordinator Wronecka hosted roundtable discussions with Lebanese experts, academics, and influencers to discuss the challenges and opportunities in rebuilding trust and a better future for Lebanon. The discussions focused on improving women's representation in decision-making processes at local and national levels, particularly in the upcoming municipal elections.

UNAMI attends fair showcasing Yazidi handcrafts in Baghdad 

On 7 March, Special Representative Hennis-Plasschaert and Special Adviser Christian Ritscher attended a two-day fair in Baghdad organized by UNITAD to mark International Women's Day, where they sampled handicrafts made by Yazidi female survivors of the 2014 atrocities committed by Da’esh/ISIL in Sinjar.

On 8 March, UNAMI released two videos highlighting the work of Khanda Briam and Muklah Hilal Naji to honour the achievements of women is. Meanwhile, on 5 March, the Special Representative gave a speech at an event in Baghdad hosted by an Iraqi NGO in honor of International Women's Day.

UNMHA video shows female colleagues working to implement the mission’s mandate

The UN Mission to Support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA) is dedicated to championing gender equality and women empowerment in the implementation of its mandate. On this year’s International Women’s Day, it released a video showcasing two female colleagues who are challenging gender stereotypes through their work with the mission. 

Next Week

On 13 March, Special Envoy Noeleen Heyzer will brief the Security Council on Myanmar. On 15 March, the Security Council will discuss the situation in Yemen with a briefing by Special Envoy Hans Grundberg. On 16 March, the Council will discuss the situation in Lebanon in closed consultations.

On 13 March, a Peacebuilding Commission Ambassadorial-level meeting on Guinea-Bissau is to take place. On 14 March, the Commission will hold an Ambassadorial-level meeting on the World Bank. 


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