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This Week in DPPA: 4 - 10 November 2023

A brief roundup of United Nations-related political and peacebuilding events and developments around the world. 

Security Council

ASG Jenča, briefing the Security Council regarding Ukraine, urges all Member States to uphold the UN Charter, prevent further escalation and spillover

On 8 November, Assistant Secretary-General Miroslav Jenča briefed the Security Council on the situation in Ukraine. He said 17.6 million people – nearly half the population – were now in need of humanitarian aid. Jenča went on to state that 9,933 civilians had been confirmed as killed since February last year, according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). In recent weeks, he noted, there had been a pattern of escalation of attacks on critical infrastructure, including attacks on energy infrastructure, across the country. “The impact of these attacks on the lives of civilians is of particular concern, especially at the onset of the winter period,” he said. 

Special Envoy Tetteh briefs Council on situation in Sudan and South Sudan

On 6 November, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Horn of Africa Hanna Tetteh briefed the Security Council on the situation in Sudan/South Sudan. She said the military confrontation between the Sudanese Armed Forces and Rapid Support Forces is getting closer to the boundary with Abyei and the border with South Sudan. “With the conflict in Sudan, the conditions are not conducive for talks on the final status of Abyei,” she said. She told the Council that she will continue to engage with the relevant Sudanese and South Sudanese stakeholders to advocate for a comprehensive process that leaves no conflict unaddressed and in line with Resolution 2046. 


At Paris Peace Forum 2023, Mozambique's Peace Process spotlighted as global model for dialogue and reintegration 

This week, at the Paris Peace Forum 2023, the Peace Process in Mozambique was one of the 50 projects chosen to be highlighted as a success story. The country saw more than 5,000 former combatants demobilized with more than 1,500 individuals connected with reintegration opportunities since the signing of the Maputo Accord in August 2019. “Mozambique has shown itself to be a global leader for peace, at a time when peace is needed more than ever in the world," said the former Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General, Mirko Manzoni, who added that the Mozambican experience shows how the power of dialogue can create a culture of peace. 


SRSG Laing commends Somalia's progress on women's empowerment 

On 7 November, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), Catriona Laing participated in the “Global Open Day on Women, Peace and Security” event in Mogadishu, alongside Somalia’s Deputy Prime Minister Salah Ahmed Jama and Federal Minister for Women and Human Rights Development Khadija Mohamed Diriye. Laing highlighted the achievements of Somalia, citing the selection of the first female Deputy Speaker of the House of the People, while noting a slight decline in the number of women parliamentarians. She also praised Somalia’s National Action Plan to implement Resolution 1325 and emphasized the importance of increased women’s political participation in constitutional review processes and conflict resolution.

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UNAMA SRSG advocates for Afghan women at OIC International Conference in Saudi Arabia

On 8 November, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) Roza Otunbayeva attended the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) International Conference on Women in Islam, held in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  Otunbayeva met with officials from Indonesia, Kuwait, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Development Bank, where she stressed need for strong engagement, humanitarian support and initiatives to support Afghan women. 

Secretary-General Guterres Appoints Indrika Ratwatte as Deputy Special Representative in Afghanistan

On 7 November, the Secretary-General appointed Indrika Ratwatte of Sri Lanka as his new Deputy Special Representative in the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator in Afghanistan.

Central Asia

UNRCCA Head Kaha Imnadze emphasizes importance of regional cooperation against terrorism 

From 6-10 November, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) Kaha Imnadze participated in the 9th International Scientific and Practical Conference titled “Trust, cooperation and professionalism as the key to a secure future” organized by the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO RATS). In his remarks, Imnadze underlined that the countries of Central Asia continued to share a common understanding in preventing violent extremism and countering terrorism. All five Central Asian states adopted in March an updated Joint Plan of Action for the Implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in the region.

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Special Envoy Grundberg visits Tehran

Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen Hans Grundberg visited Iran on 6 November. He met with Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and other senior officials. They exchanged views on the importance of making progress to advance an agreement on measures to improve living conditions in Yemen, a sustainable nationwide ceasefire, and the resumption of an inclusive political process under UN auspices. The Special Envoy emphasized the crucial role of the region and the international community in supporting efforts to achieve a lasting peace that addresses the aspirations of a wide range of Yemeni stakeholders.

UNMHA Head engages with Yemeni leadership to advance peace in Hudaydah

Major General (Rtd.) Michael Beary, Head of the UN Mission to support the Hudaydah Agreement (UNMHA), met on 8 November the PM of Yemen, Moen Abdul Malik, in Aden. Gen. Beary gave an overview of the status of the Mission’s mandate implementation, and UNMHA's activities in support of bringing peace to the civilians of Hudaydah on both sides of the frontlines of the Governorate. On 9 November, he met with the Minister of Defense, Lt. Gen Mohsen Mohammed Al Daeri. They discussed the overall situation in Hudaydah and the progress on UNMHA mandate implementation in the Governorate. 


UNAMI leadership engages in diplomatic discussions across Iraq

On 7 November, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert met with the Secretary-General of the Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq movement, Qais al-Khazali, to discuss current political and security developments in Iraq and the broader region. She also met the Head of the Al-Nasr coalition, Haider Al-Abadi.

On 6 November, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq for Political Affairs and Electoral Assistance Claudio Cordone met with the Chair and Board of Commissioners of the Independent High Electoral Commission. The meeting focused on the Governorate Council elections process, including measures to ensure a successful campaign and support women candidates.

On 8 November, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq and Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator (DSRSG/RC/HC) Ghulam Mohammed Isaczai met with Non-Governmental Organizations and Civil Society Organizations. The meeting addressed developmental challenges and the Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF), showcasing UNAMI's commitment to collaborative efforts for Iraq's progress.

UNAMI Independent Strategic Review Team initiates official visit to Baghdad

Volker Perthes, Head of the Independent Strategic Review Team of UNAMI, is in Iraq until 27 November on a visit pursuant to Security Council resolution 2682 (2023). That text tasked the Secretary-General with conducting an independent strategic review of UNAMI. to be submitted by 31 March 2024. The review involves consultations with the Government of Iraq, UN agencies, Member States, regional organizations, independent experts, civil society, and the Government of Kuwait, among others. The scope of the review encompasses assessing current threats to Iraq’s peace and security, evaluating the ongoing relevance of UNAMI’s tasks and priorities, and providing recommendations to enhance the optimization of UNAMI’s mandate, mission structure, and staffing. In adherence to this mandate, Perthes will engage in consultations and report his findings to the Secretary-General upon completion of the review.

UNAMI Human Rights Office empowers rights defenders and journalists through digital security and human rights training

From 3-4 November, UNAMI’s Human Rights Office and the Internal Network Security Monitoring (INSM) Network organized training on “Digital Security and Digital Rights.” Human rights defenders, activists, journalists, bloggers, and lawyers gained practical tools on how to safely navigate cyberspace, strengthen their access to the right to freedom of expression and enhance protection against hate speech in the digital environment. 

Also on 3-4 November, the Human Rights Office organized a two-day training workshop with the Iraqi Women Journalists Forum in Mosul. The participants discussed the international legal framework, human rights instruments and norms, and the application of the human rights-based approach in journalism. This is the fifth workshop held this year in a series of training courses under the Global Drive for Media Freedom and the Safety of Journalists initiative supported by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. 


Special Coordinator Wronecka engages in diplomatic meetings ahead of League of Arab States Summit

Ahead of the emergency summit of the League of Arab States in Riyadh on 11 November, Special Coordinator of the Secretary-General for Lebanon Joanna Wronecka met in Beirut with several Arab ambassadors to discuss the importance of shielding Lebanon from a spread of the conflict in Gaza. In her meetings with the ambassadors of the League of Arab states, Qatar, Jordan, Algeria, Kuwait, Morocco and Tunisia, the Special Coordinator underlined the importance of safeguarding Lebanon’s security and stability during this period.

The Special Coordinator also held a round of meetings with Lebanese officials, parliamentarians, academics, intellectuals and other stakeholders to discuss how to reinforce Lebanon’s security and stability as well as the socio-economic impact of the skirmishes along the southern border on the country’s socio-economic situation and its people. 


Hearing the voices of LGBTIQ+ former combatants to build peace in Colombia

From 6 to 9 November, the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, in collaboration with UNDP Colombia, the Agency for Reintegration and Normalization (ARN), and the Office of the Vice President for LGBTIQ Affairs, co-organized the first national meeting of LGBTIQ+ former combatants in Bogotá.  Participants discussed achievements, such as the creation of a network of LGBTIQ+ former combatants, and the development of a communication strategy based on their life stories to prevent stigmatization and violence due to prejudice and to promote their access to rights were addressed. The voices of former combatants contributed to the creation of the LGBTIQ+ Public Policy and the Integral Reintegration Program in Colombia, demonstrating that they are fundamental for the comprehensive implementation of the Peace Agreement in Colombia.

Mediation and Human Rights

DPPA and OHCHR launch mediation and human rights guide

On 7 November, DPPA and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) launched a practice note, titled “Enhancing the quality and effectiveness of mediation efforts through human rights.” Speaking at the launch, held at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea, Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo underlined that advocacy for human rights in mediation efforts can provide additional avenues for success. “This practice note is an invitation to conceptualize new ways to design and facilitate more effective peacemaking through leveraging the complementarities between the fields of mediation and human rights,” she noted.

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Next Week

On 16 November, the Security Council will discuss the situation in Sudan.

From 13 to 20 November, the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) Chair will visit the African Union Commission and Mozambique. On 17 November, the PBC will hold an Ambassadorial-level Meeting with the Peacebuilding Fund Advisory Group.