DiCarlo: “Sudan is at a critical juncture”
Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo on 8 December briefed the Security Council on the transition in Sudan, together with Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, and Atul Khare, Under-Secretary-General for Operational Support. “Sudan is at a critical juncture. It can move forward decisively in its transition, but that progress can still be derailed by the many challenges it faces. It is incumbent on all of us to support Sudan in its efforts to achieve democratic governance, economic prosperity and an inclusive society for all Sudanese,” Ms. DiCarlo said.
Read her full remarks here
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Special Representative encourages inclusive and meaningful political dialogue in Central Africa
Special Representative François Louncény Fall on 9 December briefed the Counil on the situation in Central Africa and the work of UNOCA in the region. “As election preparations continue in the months ahead, I would like to encourage national authorities and all political stakeholders to promote continued dialogue and consensus on the conditions governing the elections, using political dialogue frameworks where they are in place, as is the case for instance in Chad and the Republic of the Congo, or through ad hoc arrangements,” Fall said.
Read his full remarks here
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Call for an end to violence against women in Afghanistan
As part of a series of interactive radio programmes marking 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, participants from Afghanistan’s central provinces called for urgent measures to help prevent the crime. "Violence against women is inhumane and un-Islamic," said Sarah Seerat, a women's rights defender, speaking on Radio Sada e Nijrab in Kapisa "but unfortunately, it remains prevalent in our society." The radio series was organized by the UNAMA field office Kabul.
Read more here
UN calls for improved access to justice for crimes of violence against women and girls
Afghan women and girls are being failed by the country’s justice system with their access to justice for crimes of violence remaining tenuous, according to a new report released on 7 December by UNAMA and the UN Human Rights Office. The report, titled “In Search of Justice for Crimes of Violence Against Women and Girls,” examines the response of the justice system and the redress provided to survivors in reported cases of violence against women and girls in the period between September 2018 and February 2020.
Read more here
Meeting of Deputy Ministers of Foreign Affairs
The tenth annual Meeting of Deputy Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Central Asian states and Afghanistan, organized by UNRCCA in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, took place on 10 December. The event brought together Deputy Ministers from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan. Addressing the meeting, Special Representative Natalia Gherman underlined that “despite the current challenging situation countries of the region maintained regular contacts at different levels, including at the highest political level, to secure cooperation in the socioeconomic and other fields”.
Read more here
Mosul rapper launches new song on Human Rights Day
Mosul rapper “The Golden Nenous” jumped at the chance to record a rap song about standing up for human rights during the global pandemic. The result is “New World (COVID-19)”, a song commissioned by the UNAMI Human Rights Office and launched on UNAMI social media to mark Human Rights Day 2020 on 10 December. The Golden Nenous casts a lyrical spotlight on the importance of protecting each other from COVID-19, ensuring health care is provided to all Iraqis without discrimination, and enabling marginalized and vulnerable communities to participate in decision making on the response to the virus. This song highlights the creative talents of Iraq’s youth and the importance of putting human rights front and centre as Iraq responds to the pandemic.
Webinar on COVID-19 media coverage in Yemen
Yemen Envoy Martin Griffiths on 10 December opened a webinar on COVID-19 media coverage in Yemen, organized by the French Agency for Media Development (CFI), with support from the EU. “The digital world in this time of trouble is, for somebody like me, a new discovery”, he said. “The United Nations, almost certainly belatedly, but finally is picking up on this, and on the way in which digital engagement can bring inclusion at a level which has not been imagined before. So, we do not rely only on people physically going to a meeting to be involved in a discussion”.
Read more here
Meeting with representatives of civil society working on issues related to prisoners and detainees
Representatives of civil society working on issues related to prisoners and detainees, met virtually on 10 December with the Office of the UN Special Envoy for Yemen (OSESGY) and shared their views and recommendations on ways to move the file of detainees forward. The meeting discussed priorities, efforts and ways to keep the momentum and evaluated the current status and situation of detainees in different areas in Yemen.
Read more here
Personal Envoy concludes work in Bolivia
The Secretary-General on 11 December paid tribute, through his Spokesperson, to Jean Arnault, his Personal Envoy for Bolivia, who has concluded his mandate following the peaceful culmination of the electoral process in that country. The Secretary-General expressed his gratitude for the work and steadfast dedication of his Personal Envoy, carried out during a challenging year.
Watch noon briefing here
Lights, Camera, ¡Peace Actions!
Twenty young people from the Reintegration Area of Tierra Grata in Cesar department, and Pondores in La Guajira department, along with young people from their neighboring communities, completed three months of virtual training in strategic and digital communication on 7 December. According to Anna Pont, head of the UN Verification Mission's regional office: "In this case, within the framework of the Mission's youth strategy and with support from the Public Information Office, we have worked to strengthen the relationship between the children of former combatants and young people in the process of reintegration, and the community. To promote their productive projects, improve their capacity to disseminate information, and support the consolidation of the reintegration areas”. The UN Verification Mission and UNDP backed the workshop.
Closing ceremony for UNIOGBIS
A ceremony marking the closure of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS) was held in the capital Bissau on 11 December. The mandate of the Mission ends on 31 December. The UN Country Team, the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) and regional organizations will continue supporting the country. Bintou Keita, Assistant Secretary-General for Africa, attended the ceremony, and in her remarks, she conveyed the Secretary-General’s deep gratitude and appreciation to Special Representative Rosine Sori-Coulibaly and UNIOGBIS staff, past and present, for their tireless efforts and dedication to the mandate.
Watch the ceremony here
Somalia Partnership Forum takes stock of country’s progress
The Federal Government of Somalia and its international partners gathered on 7 December for a high-level meeting dedicated to taking stock of the progress made by the country in various areas, as well as agree on priorities ahead of it. As occurred last year, the Somalia Partnership Forum (SPF) was held in Mogadishu, and the topics covered included the country’s elections, the fight against Al-Shabaab and security transition planned for 2021, economic development and more. In his remarks, James Swan, Special Representative and Head of UNSOM, called for dialogue to solve Somalia’s challenges with the current elections, and highlighted the need for a practical roadmap with clear benchmarks that would lead to ‘one person, one vote’ elections in the next electoral cycle.
Read more here
Group of Friends of the Peacebuilding Fund meeting
The fourth quarterly meeting of the Group of Friends of the Secretary-General’s Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) took place on 11 December, convened by Group co-chairs Sweden and the United Kingdom. The Peacebuilding Support Office briefed partners on the status of the Fund, notably the $134.9 million of initiatives approved so far, including $36.9 million for this year’s Gender and Youth Promotion initiative. Nearly half of ongoing PBF projects have made COVID-19 related adjustment. Partners were also briefed on the Fund’s high-level Replenishment Conference to be held on 26 January. The conference aims at mobilizing commitments in support of the Fund’s strategy for the next 5 years.
Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) meeting on Sierra Leone
The Peacebuilding Commission met on 10 December to discuss its future engagement with Sierra Leone. Traditionally, the PBC’s work with with Sierra Leone has centered around mobilizing and sustaining international attention and support to peace consolidation and peacebuilding efforts. The discussion built on Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed’s visit to Sierra Leone on 14 November and considered a roadmap for future engagement with the PBC prepared by the Government, stressing the need to further promote peace and national cohesion, including through the implementation of the 2019-2023 National Development Plan and by fast-tracking the establishment of a Commission for Peace and National Cohesion. The Commission expressed full support for the government’s efforts to invest in human capital development, economic diversification, and enhanced institutional governance, while at the same time ensuring effective COVID-19 response and recovery. The Commission recognized the critical role of the PBF, which has buttressed in the last decade national efforts to rebuild State institutions, improve security, and promote inclusive governance and reconciliation. The Commission encouraged stronger action to ensure meaningful participation of women in decision-making processes and promote youth employment and empowerment and stressed the importance of concluding the Constitutional review process, which would enable the inclusion of ethnic minority groups into governance structures.
Recording available here
Final session of “Talking Peace” Series
The DPPA-Shared_Studios Talking Peace series concluded on 10 December with a final conversation about speculative design and the future of peace. Co-hosted by UNESCO’s High-Level Futures Literacy Summit, the 90-minute interactive event saw close to 50 participants, including local peacebuilders from Afghanistan, Bolivia, Iraq and Rwanda; foresight experts and enthusiasts, and DPPA-DPO and other UN colleagues. The discussion focused on new means and opportunities to advance the inclusion of women and youth in the future. The Design Futures Initiative (DFI) and DPPA Innovation Cell introduced aspects related to foresight methodology for peace and security, drawing on the recent DPPA-DFI call for speculative artefacts that evoke novel ways to better sustain peace.
Special Envoy Martin Griffiths will brief the Security Council on 14 December on political developments in Yemen. On 16 December, Syria Envoy Geir Pedersen will update the Council on the work of the Constitutional Committee. Special Representative Deborah Lyons will brief on Afghanistan and the work of UNAMA on 17 December.
Updated Council programme of work here
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.