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This Week in DPPA: 8 - 14 August 2020


8 - 14 August 2020

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


Afghanistan – Access to information more urgent than ever during COVID-19
The importance of public access to information is even more critical during the time of COVID-19, said participants in a series of radio discussions held in Afghanistan’s  northeastern and southeastern provinces. Organized by UNAMA’s field offices in Gardez and Fayzabad, the radio series concluded with calls for Afghans to work together in fighting the pandemic by avoiding misinformation, ending stigma and staying away from large gatherings. They urged everyone to follow the WHO guidelines, including on social distancing, washing hands and wearing face masks in public places.
Read more here


Great Lakes – Roundtable on prevention of violence against women
The Office of the UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region on 11 August organized a virtual meeting to discuss challenges women face in dealing with domestic violence, especially in the current context of COVID-19. The event was part of a series of three consultative round-table discussions on Women, Peace and Security in the Great Lakes region. These meetings are held in line with the 20th anniversary of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325. The session discussed ways to address impunity and reparations for victims of violence, and keynote speakers included Special Envoy Huang Xia, Pramila Patten, Special Representative on sexual violence in conflict, and Denise N. Tshisekedi, First Lady of DR Congo. The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified gender disparities, mainly because of unequal power relations between men and women in the households. Participants noted that although the lockdown restrictions are necessary to curb the spread of the virus, women and girls have found themselves trapped with their abusers, with no access to help.
Read more here


Peacebuilding - Interview with the Resident Coordinator in Colombia
In a new episode of the video series, “Building Peace during the Pandemic”, Marc-André Franche, Chief, Financing for Peacebuilding Branch, Peacebuilding Support Office, speaks with Jessica Faieta, the UN Resident Coordinator a.i in Colombia. Ms. Faieta explains how the virus has impacted the efforts of building peace in the country, especially among the indigenous communities and the former combatants. She highlights the priorities of the UN Country Team in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, and also commendes the initiatives taken by the local communities, civil society and the organizations working at the grassroots level in promoting the dynamics to support the recovery efforts during the pandemic.
Watch here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRU9fSh0E1A

For up-to-date information on COVID-19 and its impact, please visit:   
WHO website  
UN coronavirus website 


Security Council

Sori-Coulibaly: “The people of Guinea-Bissau deserve a country with stable, transparent and independent State institutions”
Special Representative Rosine Sori-Coulibaly on 10 August briefed the Security Council on the situation in Guinea-Bissau and the work of UNIOGBIS. The Special Representative warned that the entrenched political divisions pose a serious threat to stability in Guinea-Bissau. “Recent political developments in the country have led to a politically charged atmosphere with mounting mistrust among stakeholders,” she said. “The people of Guinea-Bissau deserve a country with stable, transparent and independent State institutions that adhere to the principles of separation of power, accountability and the rule of law,” Ms. Sori-Coulibaly concluded.
Watch the briefing here
Read more in UN News

Closed briefing on Lebanon
Ján Kubiš, Special Coordinator for Lebanon, and Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, on 11 August briefed the Council in a closed session that discussed the UN Secretary General’s latest report on the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1701.
Read more here

Guterres: Impact of COVID-19 can be mitigated by the choices we make
Secretary-General António Guterres on 12 August briefed the Security Council on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace: Pandemics and the Challenges of Sustaining Peace. COVID-19 threatens not only hard-won development and peacebuilding gains, but also “risks exacerbating conflicts or fomenting new ones,” Mr. Guterres reminded the Council. “COVID-19 is a human tragedy - but we can mitigate the impacts by the choices we make. More than ever, multidimensional, coordinated and conflict-sensitive responses and whole-of-society approaches are crucial,” he concluded.   
Read his full remarks here
Read more in UN News




International Youth Day

Northeast Asia - youth perspectives on peace, disarmament and non-proliferation
To mark the International Day of Youth on 12 August, DPPA, in close collaboration with the UN Office of Disarmament Affairs (ODA), conducted a webinar with young leaders from China, Japan, Mongolia and the Republic of Korea (ROK) to discuss youth perspectives on peace, disarmament and non-proliferation in the region. The youth leaders presented their project ideas to further strengthen innovation, arts and research in exploring links between human security and positive peace, the role of weapons of mass destruction, cyber security and disarmament education. The project will convene a youth-focused workshop in conjunction with the UN-ROK annual conference on disarmament later this year. This engagement is taking place in the context of DPPA’s initiative to promote the Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) agenda, including the UN Security Council Resolution 2250 (2015), in Northeast Asia.
Read more here about DPPA’s work in Northeast Asia



Lebanon – Role of youth in rebuilding Beirut after devastating blast  
“On International Youth Day, I salute the youth of Lebanon for bringing energy to Lebanon streets, showing conscious awareness of their role and asserting youth, civic engagement and leadership in helping Lebanon recover fast from the heartbreaking Beirut blast,” Najat Rochdi,  Deputy Special Coordinator, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Lebanon, tweeted on 12 August.

The youth of Iraq – highlighting the engine of change
Young people in Iraq are facing constant hurdles. A lack of livelihood opportunities and limited possibilities hinder their ability in striving to lead the development process in their country. In conjunction with International Youth Day, the United Nations family in Iraq celebrated individual initiatives by young women and men, to support communities through the pandemic.
Read more here


Ruiz Massieu: the persistence of violence in the territories is a challenge for peace consolidation
In a virtual meeting, Special Representative Carlos Ruiz Massieu presented the Secretary-General's latest report on Colombia to the country’s Catholic bishops. Ruiz Massieu reviewed the impact that the implementation of the Peace Agreement was having during the pandemic and reaffirmed that the three priorities of the Secretary-General for 2020 were still valid: security for former combatants, social leaders and human rights defenders, the sustainability of reintegration, and the importance that communities, and especially victims, be at the center of all peacebuilding efforts. The Special Representative highlighted the importance of the Comprehensive System of Truth, Justice, Reparation, and Non-Repetition as a model for the transition to peace and reconciliation. To conclude, Ruiz Massieu affirmed that "the persistence of violence in the territories is a challenge for peace consolidation."
For more Information, contact us


Female ex-combatants lead agricultural projects
This week, the Verification Mission in Colombia accompanied female ex-combatants in the departments of Chocó and Risaralda working on sustainable productive initiatives. In the new collective reintegration area in Santa Cecilia-Risaralda, in the west of the country, female ex-combatants are developing the "Generous Gardens" initiative, with the support of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), to grow vegetables for consumption and generate a new source of income. Also, in the area of reintegration in Brisas-Chocó, western Colombia, the female ex-combatants prepared a 4-hectare plot of land to cultivate medicinal and aromatic plants on a large scale, with the support of the Alterpaz Corporation. Both initiatives recognize the importance of women's participation in the rural economy and the strengthening of the social fabric of the community for peace sustainability.
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