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This Week in DPPA: 6 - 12 January 2024

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

USG DiCarlo warns "we are on the brink of the third year of the gravest armed conflict in Europe since the Second World War—with no end in sight"

On 10 January, Under Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo, briefing the Council on Ukraine, said that the country had suffered some of the worst attacks since the beginning of the illegal war, with the Russian Federation’s missiles and drones targeting numerous locations across the country. She pointed out that the Council has already met more than 100 times in various formats to discuss the war and had heard numerous testimonies about the horrors endured by Ukrainian civilians. “We have consistently voiced clear warnings about the risks of further escalation and spill-over outside Ukraine’s borders and even beyond,” she said, warning: “And yet, here we are, on the brink of the third year of the gravest armed conflict in Europe since the Second World War — with no end in sight”.   

Full remarks

Head of UNOWAS highlights concerns over security situation and governance in West Africa and the Sahel

On 11 January, Leonardo Santos Simão, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), briefed the Security Council on peace consolidation in West Africa. Simão evoked the persistence of socio-political tensions, the growing insecurity in the Sahel alongside a worsening of the humanitarian situation, as well as the negative impact of climate change on peace and security in the sub-region. "Despite the significant progress that has been made in consolidating democracy, the security situation and governance challenges remain major concerns," he said.

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Special Representative Ruiz Massieu tells Security Council of opportunity to "broaden the scope of peace" in Colombia

On 11 January, Carlos Ruiz Massieu, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and the Head of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, briefed the Council on recent developments in the country. "The year that just passed showed the clear linkages between the implementation of the Agreement and the dialogue initiatives with other armed actors undertaken by the Government”, he said, adding that “recent developments also illustrate the need to move forward coherently in these processes, which, if conceived holistically, have the potential to address persistent challenges and to broaden the scope of peace.”

Full remarks

Special Coordinator Wronecka pushes for de-escalation on Blue Line

This week, Special Coordinator of the Secretary-General for Lebanon Joanna Wronecka held meetings with Lebanese political and security officials to encourage de-escalation between Israel and Hizbullah along the Blue Line. In separate meetings with Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati and caretaker Foreign Minister Abdallah Bouhabib, she noted the need for diplomatic efforts to reinforce security and stability. She discussed with the Director of Lebanon’s Internal Security Forces Imad Othman, the Acting Director of General Security Elias Bayssari and the head of military intelligence Tony Kahwagi the need for robust security apparatus, and with former Minister Tarek Mitri feasible ways to further the implementation of Resolution 1701. Wronecka also exchanged views with caretaker Minister of Interior Bassam Mawlawi on his ministry’s priorities for 2024. 

Special Coordinator Wronecka joins USG Lacroix in Beirut meetings

This week, Special Coordinator Joanna Wronecka joined Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix in his meetings with Lebanese officials to stress the importance of shielding Lebanon from an expansion of the war in Gaza and the importance of implementing Resolution 1701. In addition to the meetings with the caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati, Speaker Nabih Berri and Foreign Minister Abdallah Bouhabib, the Special Coordinator attended a meeting with USG Lacroix and UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) troop-contributing countries. 

UNAMI supports Iraq-Iran border security dialogue

On 10 January, in coordination with Iraqi federal and Kurdistan Region authorities, the Deputy Special Representative for Iraq for Political Affairs and Electoral Assistance, Claudio Cordone, visited three camps for Iranian Kurdish opposition groups in the Kurdistan Region. Their representatives affirmed commitment to civilian status and requested assistance. The UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) support continues regarding the Iraq-Iran dialogue on border security.

UNAMI Deputy Special Representative Cordone meets officials on Kurdistan region elections

Deputy Special Representative Cordone met in Erbil with Kurdistan Regional Government Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani. They discussed relations with Baghdad and the regional parliamentary elections in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). Cordone also met with the KRI President’s Chief of Staff Fawzi Hariri and discussed the holding of the Kurdistan Region Parliament's elections. In a meeting in Baghdad on 11 January, DSRSG Cordone congratulated Judge Omar Mohammed, Iraq High Electoral Commission Chair, on the successful conduct of the Governorate Councils elections, while waiting for final certification of the results.

UNAMI Human Rights Office holds workshops on climate change and human rights

On 9 and 10 January, the UNAMI Human Rights Office organized two workshops in Sulaymaniyah and Halabja on climate change and its impact on human rights. The workshops were attended by journalists, volunteers, activists, and representatives of civil society organizations. Participants discussed the relationship between human rights and climate change, and proposed actions to address environmental concerns in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

UN Verification Mission in Colombia helps promote indigenous connectivity in Cauca

On 6 January, the UN Verification Mission in Colombia participated in a dialogue between the incoming and outgoing indigenous authorities in the San Andrés de Pisimbala reservation, municipality of Inzá, department of Cauca, in the framework of its mandate to verify the Ethnic Chapter of the Peace Agreement. At the meeting, the Mission gave communication equipment to the community, in order to increase their connectivity and to help with emergencies and other situations that could impact the local population.

Next Week

On 16 January, the Council will hold consultations on Yemen.

On 15 January at 10 am, the Peacebuilding Commission will hold an Ambassadorial-level meeting on Peace Consolidation in São Tomé and Príncipe in Conference Room 1.