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This Week in DPPA: 5 - 11 August 2023

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

Security Council

Sudan conflict brings "unimaginable suffering," ASG Pobee tells Security Council

On 9 August, Assistant Secretary-General for Africa Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee briefed the Security Council on the situation in Sudan. Indiscriminate and sometimes targeted attacks on civilians and civilian objects and infrastructure continued, she noted, particularly in Khartoum, Darfur, and North Kordofan, as the parties disregarded calls to protect civilians. “The conflict in Sudan continues to have immense repercussions on the country and its people who continue to face unimaginable suffering,” she said. She welcomed the ongoing efforts of the African Union and IGAD to end the conflict, and underscored that UNITAMS remained committed to support these efforts, including through the AU-led Expanded Mechanism and its Core Group, of which the UN Is a part. “The longer this war continues, the greater the risk of fragmentation, and foreign interference and erosion of sovereignty, and the loss of Sudan’s future,” she said.

Her full remarks here


Special Coordinator discusses security situation with Acting Director of General Security

On 10 August, Special Coordinator of the Secretary-General for Lebanon Joanna Wronecka met with the Acting Director of General Security, Maj. Gen. Elias Baissari, to discuss the security situation in the country following recent incidents, including armed clashes in the Palestinian refugee camp of Ain El-Hilweh and an exchange of fire in the Lebanese village of Kahale. The Special Coordinator stressed the need to maintain focus on de-escalation efforts for the stability of the country, particularly in light of the fragility caused by over nine months of a presidential vacuum and a protracted economic and financial crisis. She also stressed the importance of the full implementation of UN Resolution 1701 for the security and stability of Lebanon.

Special Coordinator Wronecka meets with Lebanese officials to discuss presidential vacuum and reforms

Special Coordinator Wronecka held a round of meetings with Lebanese officials and other stakeholders this week on the need to end the prolonged presidential vacuum in Lebanon and place the country on a path of recovery. In separate meetings with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri and the head of Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, MP Fadi Alameh, the Special Coordinator emphasized the role of Parliament in the election of a new President and in the adoption of necessary laws to advance reforms. She also met with Aram I. Kishishian, Catholicos of Cilicia of the Armenian Orthodox Church, to discuss the role of religious leaders in promoting tolerance and harmony in an increasingly polarized society. In addition, she exchanged views with the Saudi Ambassador Waleed Bukhari and with the Kuwaiti Charge D’Affaires Abdallah Sleiman Al-Shaheen on the challenges facing Lebanon.


UNAMI supports meetings between UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and civil society representative

The UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) supported the four-day visit of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, this week, as he met with a broad range of civil society representatives, human rights defenders, lawyers, journalists, environmental activists, and representatives of diverse ethno-religious communities, throughout the country. The High Commissioner heard concerns about issues of inequality, discrimination, continued impunity for human rights violations and crimes against activists, journalists, and demonstrators, as well as human rights in the digital space. 

Read more here

DSRSG Claudio Cordone holds meetings in Kuwait

On 7 August, the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq for Political Affairs and Electoral Assistance, Claudio Cordone, met with Sheikh Jarrah Jaber Alahmad Alsabah, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of the State of Kuwait. The discussion focused on the work of the mechanism dealing with the Kuwaiti missing persons and missing property, UNAMI’s overall role and other related Iraqi-Kuwaiti issues. DSRSG Cordone also met with Ambassador Rabea Al-Adsani, Assistant Foreign Minister for Prisoners of War and Missing Affairs. 


Special Envoy Grundberg meets with political leaders in Riyadh

The Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, concluded a two-day visit to Riyadh on 9 August, where he met with the President of Yemen’s Presidential Leadership Council, Rashad al-Alimi, along with other Council members in Riyadh. They discussed ongoing mediation efforts to agree on measures to improve living conditions, implement a nationwide ceasefire, and resume an inclusive, Yemeni-owned political process under UN auspices to reach a sustainable political settlement. In Riyadh, Special Envoy Grundberg met with Saudi Ambassador to Yemen, Mohamed al Jaber, to explore ways to enhance cooperation between regional and international stakeholders to support Yemen’s progress towards a political solution.

Read more here


Head of Verification Mission accompanies Swiss President to observe reconciliation and peace efforts 

Accompanied by Carlos Ruiz Massieu, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and Head of the Verification Mission in Colombia, President Alain Berset of Switzerland visited Buenaventura, in the department of Valle del Cauca, and the former TATR of Dabeiba in Antioquia this week. In Buenaventura on 8 August, he met with the representatives of civil society, local authorities and communities to learn about the efforts to consolidate peace in the territories. In Antioquia on 9 August, they visited the former TATR of Llano Grande, where the Swiss President learned about the history of the "Llano Grande Family", a model of reconciliation between the community, victims and former combatants. During the meeting with the community of the former TATR, the SRSG highlighted the messages of hope and the voices of the children of Dabeiba as an example for Colombia and the world.

Great Lakes region

Workshop held in Zambia to empower women and youth in mining sector 

The Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General (SESG) for the Great Lakes Region convened a workshop on strategic minerals in Zambia’s capital, Lusaka, on 8-10 August. Organized in partnership with the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and the Government of Zambia, the meeting brought together participants from the Great Lakes region, including women and youth from mining associations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zambia. The workshop raised awareness about the inclusion of women and youth in the mining sector and discussed existing regional and national policies in the minerals value chains. It also served as an opportunity for the Great Lakes region to continue in its plans to solidify its position in the global mining landscape and to promote sustainable and inclusive growth.

Read more here


Head of UNOCA meets with Gabonese opposition ahead of elections

On 8 August, Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and Head of the UN Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) Abdou Abarry met with members of the Gabonese opposition from the “Alternance 2023” coalition. The opposition figures requested the meeting to share their views on the situation in Gabon ahead of the presidential, legislative and local elections scheduled for 26 August. The Special Representative took note of their concerns as well as the steps already taken with the competent institutions to advocate for an electoral process that considers their grievances on political and electoral governance. He also reiterated his availability to offer the good offices of the Secretary-General to promote a climate of peace and security before, during and after the election.

Read more here

African Union

UNOAU calls for nominations to recognize African women advancing the WPS agenda in next edition of She Stands for Peace  

The UN Office to the African Union (UNAOU) is accepting nominations to be included in the latest edition of She Stands for Peace, a publication that aims to amplify the voices of women who made outstanding contributions to the promotion of peace and security in Africa, jointly to be published with the African Union Commission. Criteria for nomination include those women who have actively participated in peace processes, or who have made significant contributions towards the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence. The deadline for submission is 31 August 2023.

Find out more here

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