Interview with the Resident Coordinator in Gabon
In the latest installment of the video series, “Building Peace during the Pandemic”, Stephen Jackson, the UN Resident Coordinator in Gabon, spoke with Marc-André Franche, Chief, Financing for Peacebuilding, PBSO, DPPA, about how lockdown measures in response to COVID-19 have exerted strains on a close-knit society like Gabon. The pandemic has also led to an increase in stigmatization faced of refugees and migrant workers. He highlighted how the UN Country Team in Gabon reoriented its programming to focus on frontline health response. Mr. Jackson emphasized that the real challenge ahead is working on the nexus of social cohesion in terms of sustaining peace in Gabon, the most urbanized country in Africa.
Watch the video here
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Meeting on cooperation between Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie and the United Nations
The Security Council on 8 September were briefed on the cooperation between the “Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie”, or OIF, and the United Nations. Bintou Keita, Under-Secretary-General for Africa, said that, as the OIF marks its fiftieth anniversary, the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the need for strengthened and renewed multilateralism to face challenges of our times. She reminded members of the Council that cooperation within and between international organizations is one of the pillars of multilateralism, adding that the close partnership between the UN and the OIF is fully in line with that logic.
Read her full remarks here (French)
DiCarlo warns against the erosion of trust in public institutions due to COVID-19
Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo on 9 September briefed the Council on Resolution 2532 regarding COVID 19. The resolution demands cessation of hostilities in conflicts on the Council´s agenda. She highlighted, among other things, the erosion of trust in public institutions. “Such erosion increases fragility and has the potential to drive instability in settings where people perceive authorities have not addressed the pandemic effectively or have not been transparent about its impact,” the Under-Secretary-General warned. “To mitigate COVID-related risks in situations of armed conflict and prevent the possible deterioration of other situations into instability and violence, the collective and individual engagement of members of this Council is indispensable,” Ms. DiCarlo concluded. Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, and Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, also briefed during the meeting.
Read her full remarks here
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Peacebuilding Commission meeting on Lake Chad Basin
In a meeting on 9 September convened by Mr. Bob Rae, Peacebuilding Commission Chair and Permanent Representative of Canada to the UN, Member States discussed the impact of COVID-19 in the Lake Chad Basin, which, even before the pandemic faced serious security, humanitarian and development challenges. The Commission recognized the importance of the regional strategy for the stabilization, recovery and resilience of the Boko Haram affected areas and encouraged strong multi-partner support for its implementation, particularly in the face of the pandemic. It welcomed linkages with other strategies and initiatives, including the UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel, the Peacebuilding Fund projects, and south-south cooperation initiatives. The Commission committed to promoting such efforts, including by helping to amplify the voices of women peacebuilders from the region, who suffer disproportionally from the impact of COVID-19. As a follow-up, the Chair plans to submit a written statement to the 17 September open debate of the Security Council on ‘humanitarian effects of environmental degradation and peace and security, which will also focus on Lake Chad Basin.
Watch the meeting here
Secretary-General presents report on peacebuilding and sustaining peace
The Secretary-General on 11 September presented his 2020 Report on peacebuilding and sustaining peace to the membership in a virtualinformal meeting of the General Assembly and Security Council, followed by statements by Member States. The Report underscores that multidimensional, coordinated responses and whole-of society approaches are required to address the world’s complex challenges. Peacebuilding and sustaining peace are more of an imperative than ever. Member States appreciated the evidence presented in the report on the progress made in recent years and reaffirmed the central role of prevention, peacebuilding and sustaining peace in the UN’s work. They also recognized the importance of financing. The United Nations has prioritized prevention, supporting national governments and actors to address the root causes of vulnerability and provide pathways to sustainable development and peace. The next phase of the 2020 peacebuilding architecture review, which formally began on 1 September, will be led by the appointed co-facilitators, New Zealand and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. It is expected that the review will be concluded by the end of the main session of the General Assembly.
Risaralda department establishes a reintegration board for former FARC combatantsThe UN Verification Mission in Colombia on 8 September participated in the establishment ceremony of the Risaralda Departmental Reintegration Board, which aims to coordinate efforts in favor of cultural transformation for reconciliation, coexistence, and non-stigmatization of FARC-EP former combatants. This body will follow up on social plans and programs intended to help people in the reintegration process, their families, and local communities. The Governor's Office committed to managing resources to support the productive projects of the former combatants based in the community of Santa Cecilia. The UN Mission, together with representatives of the group of former combatants, the Governor's Office of Risaralda, the Mayor's Office of Pereira city, and the Agency for Reintegration and Normalization (ARN) will be active members of the Board.
DiCarlo: "It is vital that we all use our political will and leverage to press for the full, equal and meaningful participation of women"
Under-Secretary-General DiCarlo on 9 September addressed the ASEAN Ministerial Dialogue on Strengthening Women's Role for Sustainable Peace and Security. “The COVID-19 pandemic has only highlighted how fragile the progress we have made actually is. Existing gender inequalities in conflict-affected countries have been exacerbated, and women are at risk of further marginalization from education, economic and political life. As we look ahead to the next 20 years of the women, peace and security agenda, and to the efforts needed to realize a world of sustainable peace, development and equality for all, we must focus on implementation. It is vital that we all use our political will and leverage to press for the full, equal and meaningful participation of women – from political decision-making to peacemaking, from pandemic response to peacebuilding,” Ms. DiCarlo said.
Radio series highlights link between communal solidarity and peace
Participants of UN-backed radio programs in Afghanistan’s central and southeast provinces highlighted strong connections between solidarity in communities and peace. Speaking during radio programs in Bamyan, Daikundi and Ghazni provinces, participants said that peace and social harmony are interlinked. Speakers, many of them influential community and religious leaders, underscored the power of harnessing social bonds underpinned by kindness, brotherhood and unity to get Afghanistan out of a cycle of conflict. UNAMA works with various institutions and individuals, including media stations, religious leaders, provincial councils, community leaders, youth groups and women to create platforms – using radio, social media, and television – for Afghans to engage in dialogue on pressing issues affecting their communities.
Read more here
Meeting to discuss intra-Afghan negotiations
Special Representative Deborah Lyons on 7 September met with Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Chair of the High Council for National Reconciliation, to discuss upcoming intra-Afghan negotiations. “An inclusive peace process is crucial to Afghanistan's stability and prosperity. UN stands with Afghans on the road to peace,” UNAMA tweeted after the meeting.
UNRCCA announce winners of essay contest
This week, UNRCCA announced the winners of its “Youth Voices from Central Asia – UN75 and Regional Peace and Security” essay contest. This was a contest for young people across Central Asia and Afghanistan and part of UNRCCA´s Preventive Diplomacy Academy project. The winners will represent their countries at the upcoming second Government-Youth Dialogue for Central Asia and Afghanistan.
Read more about the winners here
Special Coordinator stands with the young people of Lebanon
“I am with you, students and generally young generation of Lebanon in your despair and frustration with the authorities, including the banking sector, that so blatantly ignore your rights and needs. Together with my UN colleagues I will continue urging the responsible to quickly find fair and just solutions that will make possible for you to study at home and abroad. You are the future of Lebanon,” Ján Kubiš, Special Coordinator for Lebanon, tweeted on 7 September.
Special Representative visits NigerMohamed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative and Head of UNOWAS, undertook an official visit to Niger this week. He participated at the 57th Summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), held in Niamey on 6 September, and had a series of meetings with authorities, political actors, civil society organizations representatives, as well as representatives of the United Nations system. “The UN encourage concerted national, regional and international efforts to address decisively the several other challenges facing West Africa, including those related to governance, climate change, security, growing ethnic and religious profiling laced with hate speech, security sector reform, maritime piracy, drug trafficking and other forms of transnational organized crime, " Mr. Ibn Chambas said in his address to the ECOWAS Summit.