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This Week in DPPA: 7 - 13 May 2022

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

Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo addressed the Permanent Council of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), meeting in Vienna on 13 May. Speaking on behalf of Secretary-General António Guterres, the Under-Secretary-General conveyed the UN’s full support for all diplomatic initiatives to help bring an end to the crisis stemming from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The OSCE has historically played an instrumental role in promoting peace, stability and democracy in the region since its establishment, she said, adding that Europe is not immune to escalating tension and violence. “It is in our common interest to see an OSCE that is adequately equipped to continue meeting present and future challenges,” said Ms. DiCarlo.


Read full remarks here

Security Council

UN calls for complete and verifiable denuclearization of Korean Peninsula 

Briefing the Security Council on 11 May, Assistant Secretary-General for the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific Khaled Khiari reported on the continued development and launch of missiles by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. He echoed the Secretary-General's grave concern and asked for Member States’ strengthened efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons. “The unity of the Security Council in this matter is essential to ease tensions, overcome the diplomatic impasse and avoid a negative action-reaction cycle,” he said, underscoring the Secretary-General’s commitment to working with all parties for sustainable peace and the complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.


Read full remarks here


Special Representative Lyons calls for women’s and girl’s rights

Deborah Lyons, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), met this week with senior Taliban officials following the de facto authority’s latest proposals concerning women’s rights. Special Representative Lyons called for women’s rights to be expanded, not curtailed; for secondary schools to reopen to girls; and for women to be able to fully participate in work and public life. On 12 May, she briefed the Security Council in closed consultations.

Central Asia

Special Representative Gherman addresses Public Diplomacy Forum in Tashkent

Natalia Gherman, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) took part on 11 May in the Forum “Public Diplomacy – mutual understanding for development” jointly organized by the Parliament of Uzbekistan, the Government of Uzbekistan and the Center for Public Diplomacy of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Uzbekistan. She highlighted the importance of public diplomacy in restoring trust and mutual understanding between states and peoples. Noting the cooperation between UNRCCA and SCO, she underlined the potential role of public diplomacy instruments and institutions in strengthening regional cooperation and promoting implementation of the Women, Peace and Security and Youth, Peace and Security agendas.


Read more here

UNRCCA launches e-learning course on human rights and counter-terrorism in Central Asia

Ahead of the High-Level International Conference on Human Rights, Civil Society and Counter-Terrorism, which took place on 10 and 11 May in Spain, UNRCCA and the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) launched an e-learning course on the protection and promotion of human rights and the rule of law in the context of counter-terrorism in Central Asia. For this purpose, a side event with the participation of representatives from Central Asia and other member states as well as UN entities was organized in a hybrid format. The course was developed on the basis of the Joint Plan of Action and its newly updated version endorsed by the five Central Asian states in March 2022.



Read more here


Special Envoy Grundberg concludes visit to Aden

Hans Grundberg, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, concluded on 11 May a two-day visit to Aden where he met with the President of the Presidential Leadership Council, Rashad Alimi, Yemeni Prime Minister, Maeen Abdulmalik, and Vice President of the Presidential Leadership Council, Tareq Saleh. They discussed the status of the truce and the tangible benefits it has delivered so far to Yemeni civilians, particularly the significant reduction in civilian casualties. Discussions also explored ways to overcome challenges particularly with regards to opening roads in Taiz and other governorates and resuming commercial flights from Sana’a airport.


Read more here


Special Envoy appeals to not lose focus on Syria

Participating in the ministerial meeting of the Brussels VI Conference on 10 May, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General Geir O. Pedersen reiterated his recent message to the Security Council: don’t lose focus on Syria. “It is not secret…that recent international developments, the war in Ukraine, have made that even more difficult than it was before,” he acknowledged. “But as the UN envoy, I will continue to engage all key actors... on the importance of contributing not only to alleviating suffering but to confidence-building and a political path out of this crisis”.


Read his full remarks here


UNAMI’s For Iraq magazine spotlights UN activities across agencies 

The latest edition of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq’s (UNAMI) For Iraq Magazine, is out. This was published on 9 May and is available here in English and Arabic.

Middle East

UN Report calls for more strategic approach to addressing Palestinian situation

On 7 May, the Office of the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO) highlighted the urgency of adopting a more strategic approach to address the economic and fiscal crisis the Palestinian Authority (PA) is facing. In a report prepared for an Ad-Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) meeting in Brussels on 10 May, UNSCO urged a coordinated and integrated response to resolve the current situation. While the report notes some improvements since the last AHLC meeting in November 2021, it also stresses that economic steps alone, while essential and desperately needed, will not sustainably address the multiple crises affecting the PA.


Read more here


Special Adviser Williams witnesses aftermath of human rights violations in Tarhouna

On 10 May, Stephanie Williams, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Libya, visited Tarhouna, the city 90 km southeast of Tripoli that saw mass and targeted killings under the capture of a local militia from 2012 to 2020. Thanks to the facilitation of the Association of Tarhouna Victims at the Azzaytuna University, Special Adviser Williams met with the families of the victims and survivors of gross human rights violations perpetrated by the Kaniyat armed group. She stressed the importance of ensuring full documentation of the human rights violations in Tarhouna and pledged to amplify demands for justice and accountability.


Read more here

Central Africa

UNOCA discusses women’s participation in elections in Gabon

On 10 and 13 May, the UN Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) held a joint workshop with other UN offices in Gabon, including UN Women and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). Participants discussed opportunities for strengthening the participation of women in elections in Gabon, for a more egalitarian, peaceful and inclusive process. 


Geospatial World Forum

DPPA and UNAMI awarded Geospatial Excellence Award

The 2022 Geospatial World Forum awarded a Geospatial Excellence Award to DPPA and UNAMI for the Iraq Water Security Project. The project was developed by DPPA's Middle East Division, Innovation Cell (IC) and UNAMI. It collected data from hard sensors on 25 earth orbiting satellites to measure water diminishment in Iraq at a sub-district level. The IC presented the project at the Forum, which is sponsored by the European Space Agency, the British Cartographic Society and other public and private entities and was held in Amsterdam from 9-13 May. 

New Appointment

Secretary-General announces new Deputy Special Representative for BINUH

On 12 May, the Secretary-General appointed Ingeborg Ulrika Ulfsdotter Richardson of Sweden as his Deputy Special Representative for the UN Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH). With more than 30 years of hands-on development, humanitarian and political experience, Ms. Richardson brings to the position an in-depth understanding of the Organization’s mission through her latest engagement with the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). She will also be serving as Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Haiti.



Read more here


Youth, Peace and Security  

The Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) organized an ambassadorial-level meeting on Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) on 10 May, calling for more action to place young people at the center of strategies for peacebuilding and conflict prevention. The Commission welcomed the perspectives shared by the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, the UNFPA Deputy Executive Director, youth representatives from El Salvador, Indonesia, Kenya, and Liberia, and the Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support. The Commission took note of a written update prepared by the Department’s Peacebuilding Support Office on the implementation of the Commission’s Strategic Action Plan on youth and peacebuilding and the second report of the Secretary-General on youth, peace and security. PBC members expressed concern about the negative effects of compounded risks, including conflict and climate change, on youth. 


Full recording of the YPS meeting can be accessed here

ASG Spehar visits London 

Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support Elizabeth Spehar held meetings in London this week with officials of the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and NGO and think tank leaders. She discussed peacebuilding priorities and partnership approaches with Nick Dyer, the new FCDO Director General for Humanitarian and Development and directors of the Office for Conflict, Stabilisation and Mediation. Key areas of interest included peacebuilding impact on the ground; economic dimensions of conflict and UN-International Financial Institutions partnerships; gender responsiveness; supporting and sustaining peace processes; and ensuring integrated humanitarian, peace and development approaches. The ASG also participated in a roundtable hosted by the FCDO and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) that brought together leaders of the UK and other international NGOs and think tanks. The discussion focused on conflict prevention, response and how to keep the SDGs on track when war throws them off. The ASG was the guest of a podcast, How can we stop wars before they start, after the roundtable.  

Next Week

On Tuesday, 17 May, the Security Council will hear from Special Representative Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert on the situation in Iraq. The Council will then hold a briefing on peace and security in Africa (G5 Sahel) on Wednesday, 18 May, and have an open debate on the maintenance of international peace and security: Conflict and food security on Thursday, 19 May. 

The Peacebuilding Commission Ambassadorial-level meeting on Liberia (in-person) will take place on Thursday, 19 May, 10am. 




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