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This Week in DPPA: 4 - 10 September 2021

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

Security Council

Lyons: “We must ask also ourselves: what can we do and what must we do?”

Deborah Lyons, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), updated the Security Council on 9 September on the new reality of the country following the fall of Kabul on 15 August. “These scenes, watched around the world … show that the Taliban have won power, but not yet the confidence of all the Afghan people,” said Lyons. She added: “Now is the moment for the Taliban to visibly demonstrate to the people of Afghanistan... that they are committed to each and every one of them, in guaranteeing their safety, their freedoms, their health, their education, and their future prosperity”.

Full briefing to the Security Council here

Grundberg: “We all have shared responsibility to end the conflict in Yemen”

The Secretary-General’s new Special Envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg delivered his first briefing to the Security Council in his capacity as the new Special Envoy for Yemen. He noted that enabling a resumption of a peaceful and inclusive political transition process will not be easy as the current armed conflict continues unabated after more than 6 years. He added that he intends to assess past efforts and work to move forward the discussion on a comprehensive settlement guided by the aspirations of the Yemeni people. “I will spare no effort in trying to bring together actors across conflict lines, to engage Yemenis from all political perspectives and societal components and from all parts of the country, to discuss under UN auspices how they can find common ground and resolve their differences without resorting to force.”

Full briefing to the Security Council here

Elections an essential step in further stabilizing and uniting Libya

Just over 100 days from the parliamentary and presidential election date agreed by the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum in its Roadmap and mandated by you in the SC Resolution 2570, Ján Kubiš, Special Envoy for Libya and Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), welcomed the progress made so far by the Libyan High National Elections Commission (HNEC) on the preparations for holding national elections In December. Kubiś urged Libyan actors "to join forces and ensure inclusive, free, fair parliamentary and presidential elections, which are to be seen as the essential step in further stabilizing and uniting Libya.”

Full briefing to the Security Council here


UNAMI holds press conference on Iraq election

Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq and Head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), held on 7 September a press conference on the elections in Iraq. She told Iraqi media that "In the interest of Iraq’s young democracy, it is crucial to deliver an electoral process that will be recognized as credible". She further noted that "Democracy is always a work in progress... It’s not easy to balance interests and opinions. But if people feel included – if they feel they can help shape their own futures – then the compromises and investments are more than worth it."

Full remarks at the press conference here

Watch the full press conference here

Nearly 4.7 million old Electronic Voter Cards taken out of Iraq’s electoral system

The shredding and disposal of over 4.6 million electronic voter cards, which were printed before the 2014 and 2018 elections but never picked up by registered Iraqi voters, commenced on 8 September at Al-Dabash warehouse in Baghdad. UNAMI staff joined officials from the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) for the exercise that will culminate in the removal of the information on those cards from the voter registration database. UNAMI has been supporting IHEC ahead of the October elections in areas such as election simulations; ballot paper design and printing; advice on COVID-19; security planning; and recruitment and training of polling staff.

Read more here

Watch the latest UNAMI video on elections

Great Lakes Region

Special Envoy discusses peace and security with Uganda

Huang Xia, Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region, met on 9 September with Minister of Foreign Affairs Abubaker Jeje Odongo of Uganda to discuss a variety of regional developments, including peace and security cooperation, and regional economic integration. They agreed on the importance of Great Lakes countries to work together to strengthen ongoing positive trends in the region. Special Envoy reiterated the UN’s continuous support to Uganda and other countries in the region achieving the objectives of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework.

West Africa and the Sahel

Special Representative concludes visit to Sierra Leone and Nigeria

Mahamat Saleh Annadif, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), is continuing his first official tour of the region. On 7 September, he concluded a visit to Sierra Leone, where he met with President Julius Maada Bio, among others. The discussions focused on national and regional issues, including on ways to reinforce the UN-Sierra Leone partnership to better support the country in its efforts towards consolidating democratic institutions, human rights and development. On 9 September, Annadif traveled to Nigeria and met the President of the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Jean Claude Kassi Brou. They renewed their condemnation of the coup d'etat in Guinea and called for the speedy release of President Alpha Condé, and a return to constitutional order.

Read more on his latest familiarization tour here


Truth Commission promotes agreement for coexistence

The Commission for the Clarification of Truth, Coexistence, and Non-Repetition launched on 8 September the "Agreement for Coexistence" that commits Colombian society to build a better future and honor the memory and the lives of all people, organizations and communities who suffered during the conflict. In his speech, Special Representative Carlos Ruiz Massieu stressed the importance of this pact. "This meeting is a clear reflection of the resilience and perseverance of the communities, the victims, of those who have been affected by the conflict.” He added that it is also a reflection of the “great will for peace” that exists in the victims who have laid down their weapons and exercise social leadership. He also recognized the work of the Truth Commission and its president, Father Francisco de Roux, for its contribution to peace in Colombia.

Commemoration of the Week for Peace in Bogotá

This week, the Verification Mission participated in various activities in Bogotá as part of the commemoration of the “Week for Peace” in the country. This yearly initiative by Colombian and civil society organizations working in peacebuilding brings together communities, victims, former combatants, as well as the departments of Antioquia, Chocó, Cauca, Cesar, Huila, and Norte de Santander.


UN Peacebuilding Fund Advisory Group convenes

Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, Assistant Secretary-General (ASG) for Peacebuilding Support, briefed the Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) Advisory Group on 10 September on key tenets of the UN Common Agenda with regards to peacebuilding and prevention efforts as well as the outcome of the annual strategic dialogue for the Fund’s top 12 donors held last week. He shared the upcoming thematic reviews and evaluations of the PBF’s investments at the country level. The Group reiterated the need to pursue voluntary and innovative funding as complementary avenues to secure more predictable resourcing of the PBF and advised on communicating the Fund’s reviews and evaluations also with the political decision-makers and end beneficiaries as appropriate. Going forward, the Group will focus on preparing their next full meeting, including with the Secretary-General, in early 2022 and to stay engaged on the processes leading up to the High-Level General Assembly meeting on peacebuilding financing in 2022.


In Their Hands: Women Taking Ownership of Peace 

DPPA, in partnership with UN Women, the Department of Peace Operations (DPO) and New York’s Photoville festival, will host a joint multimedia exhibition titled “In Their Hands: Women Taking Ownership of Peace.” This initiative, which is part of a multi-donor project, offers an excellent opportunity to amplify women’s voices and advocate for women’s participation in peace and political processes, a central focus of the Women, Peace and Security agenda. The opening event is open to the public and will take place at the Photoville Festival, Pier 2, Furman Street, Brooklyn, New York City on 18 September at 7pm. The exhibition is on viewuntil 1 December 2021.

Read more here

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Next Week

One Tuesday, 14 September, the Security Council will discuss 1591 Committee concerning Sudan Sanctions in the morning, and Special Representative Volker Perthes will update the Council on the situation in Sudan in the afternoon.