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This Week in DPPA: 8 - 14 July 2023

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

Security Council

Special Envoy Grundberg briefs Council on “positive steps” in Yemen

On 10 July, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen Hans Grundberg said that, despite the expiration of the truce, the people of Yemen continue to feel the benefits from the longest period of relative calm since the beginning of the conflict. More progress is needed, however, he said, condemning the recent mortar attack last week that injured five children in Hays district, south of Hudaydah. “For more than a year, we have seen some important and positive steps that have de-escalated violence and helped to improve the lives of Yemenis,” he said. Read full remarks here

Dialogue helps progress of Colombia’s peacebuilding process, SRSG Massieu tells Council

On 12 July, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, Carlos Ruiz Massieu, briefed the Council on the progress made in the implementation of the Final Peace Agreement, as well as efforts to engage in dialogue with armed groups. These two efforts, said Ruiz Massieu, are complementary and mutually reinforcing. Ruiz Massieu stressed that dialogue is an opportunity to achieve concrete commitments to reduce the suffering of civilian victims of the conflict and to reduce violence against former combatants and social leaders. Read full remarks here

ASG Khiari briefs Council on non-proliferation, echoes Secretary-General's condemnation of DPRK missile launch

On 13 July, Assistant-Secretary-General for Middle East, Asia and the Pacific Khaled Khiari briefed the Council on the launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on 12 July. He underscored that the Secretary-General strongly condemned the launch. The Secretary-General also reiterated his call on the DPRK to fully comply with its international obligations under all relevant Security Council resolutions and to resume dialogue to bring about the complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Read full remarks here

Security Council renews BINUH mandate, encourages support for the deployment of a “specialized force” in Haiti

On 14 July, the Council renewed the mandate of the UN Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) for one year, and also encouraged Member States “to provide security support to the Haitian National Police (HNP) in response to the appeal from the Prime Minister of Haiti and the Secretary-General, including through the deployment of a specialized force, upon consultation with Haitian stakeholders” in order to bring about a safer and more stable security situation in the violence-ravaged country. Read more here  

UN marks 75 Years of Universal Declaration of Human Rights, special political and peacekeeping missions

On 12 July at UN Headquarters in New York, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) and the Department of Peace Operations (DPO) held a joint event marking the 75th anniversaries for the Declaration of Human Rights, special political missions and peacekeeping operations. All three are essential tools that the United Nations uses in conflict prevention efforts. ASG for Human Rights Ilze Brands Kehris, ASG Khaled Khiari, and ASG Martha Pobee all gave opening remarks. Panelists Georgette Ganon, ASG/RC/HC of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), DSRSG Anita Kiki Gbeho of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), and DSRSG Guang Cong of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) all provided examples of best practices and lessons learned from special political and peacekeeping missions. Watch here

PBF Group of Friends Meeting

The Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) Group of Friends convened for the second quarterly meeting on 13 July. Sweden and the UK co-chaired. The Hon. Pia Philip Michael, Undersecretary for Peacebuilding in South Sudan, briefed on the PBF's support towards his country’s peacebuilding priorities. He shared examples of catalytic effect and emphasized how the recently established PBF Joint Steering Committee, co-chaired by the Minister for Peacebuilding and the UN DSRSC/RC/HC, was crucial to ensure complementarity of efforts from governmental, UN, donor and civil society partners. PBSO announced that it had to reduce the Fund’s programming target for 2023 to $200 million due to insufficient resources. PBSO further briefed on its global programming pipeline; UN-IFI partnership; and outlined the concept of PBSO’s new Peacebuilding Impact Hub initiative.


DSRSG Isaczai marks first International Day of Combating Sand and Dust Storms

On 12 July, the Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq, Ghulam Mohammad Isaczai, marking the first-ever International Day of Combating Sand and Dust Storms on 12 July, said: "We urgently need robust technical collaboration at the local, national and regional levels to effectively address this escalating threat".


Special Coordinator for Lebanon meets with religious leaders

This week, Special Coordinator Joanna Wronecka met with two of Lebanon’s top religious leaders to discuss the political and socio-economic situation and the importance of maintaining the country’s social cohesion. With Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros El-Rahi, the Special Coordinator expressed her profound concern at the prolonged presidential vacuum that has left the country without a head of state for over nine months. They agreed on the need for intensified efforts to break the political stalemate. The Special Coordinator also met with Grand Mufti of the Republic Sheikh Abdel-Latif Derian. They discussed the need to prioritize the effective functioning of State institutions and the interests of citizens. The Special Coordinator emphasized the important role that religious leaders can play in reducing tensions and promoting social cohesion among Lebanon’s different sectarian communities.

Special Coordinator Wronecka meets with political leaders on breaking political impasse

This week, Special Coordinator Wronecka continued her round of meetings with political leaders and parliamentarians in Lebanon ahead of her briefing to the UN Security Council next week. While underlining the urgent need to break the political impasse in Lebanon, the Special Coordinator listened to their views on how to bridge the gaps and promote dialogue towards solutions. Wronecka met with Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea and discussed the need to approach challenges with a responsible vision for the country. The Special Coordinator also spoke with Kataeb party leader Samy Gemayel on the presidential vacuum and the need for a consensual approach to move national priorities forward.

West Africa and the Sahel

Special Representative Simão reaffirms UN support to ECOWAS 

On 9 July, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG)and Head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Leonardo Santos Simão, participated in the 63rd Ordinary Summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) held in Bissau. In his address, the Special Representative reaffirmed the UN's support to ECOWAS and called for concerted efforts at national, regional, and international levels to address the many challenges facing West Africa. Read more here

Special Representative Simão co-chairs the Annual West African and Sahel Youth Forum

On 12 and 13 July, Special Representative Simão visited Cabo Verde as part of his regional familiarization tour following his recent appointment. He met with the President of Cabo Verde, José Maria Neves. SRSG Simão and Prime Minister Ulisses Correia e Silva co-chaired the Annual West African and Sahel Youth Forum, which was organized by United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), in partnership with the Economic Community of Western African States (ECOWAS) and Cabo Verde, under the theme: “Empowering Young Women and Men through Quality Education, Decent Work and Innovative Solutions to make Conflict Prevention more effective for Sustaining Peace and Security in the Region. Watch the meeting here

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Creating a brighter future for young people in Sarajevo

A conference on 12 July with decision-makers, government representatives, NGOs, academia and youth launched the development of Sarajevo Canton's Youth Strategy for 2024-2028. The Youth Strategy will enhance the quality of life for young people in Sarajevo Canton by focusing on the actual needs of youth and facilitating their growth and development through support mechanisms and initiatives. UNFPA is supporting the Youth Strategy development in cooperation with the Ministry of Science, Higher Education and Youth of Sarajevo Canton and the Prime Minister of Government of Sarajevo Canton. This cooperation is part of the regional UN initiative ‘Youth 4 Inclusion, Equality & Trust’, financially supported by the UN Secretary-General’s Peacebuilding Fund. Collaboratively, UNDP, UNFPA, UNESCO, UN Women, and relevant partners from the public sector, media, civil society, academia and culture – are working together with youth to increase comprehension and respect for diversity in the region.


Celebrating Love, Diversity, and Inclusion in Albania

In Albania on 10 July, residents gathered in a public square in the Kamza municipality to inaugurate a mural with a call for ‘More love, not hate’ and a celebration of diversity, inclusion and trust. The striking artwork was conceptualized and realized by three young people – Artjola Koka, Samanta Haka and Holdion Hodo – to raise awareness through visual art on the need to fight prejudice and hate speech based on ethnicity, race and religion. The innovative idea was selected as a winner at a youth boot camp organised within the joint UN regional initiative “Youth 4 Inclusion, Equality & Trust”, supported by the Peacebuilding Fund. UNDP and UNFPA Albania are supporting youth innovative ideas on countering hate speech through art, fashion, theatre, social experiments, music, videos and documentaries, podcasts, and more.

Next Week

On 17 July, Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo will address a Security Council ministerial-level meeting on Ukraine. On 18 July, the Council will hold an open debate on the maintenance of international peace and security: artificial intelligence.


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Contact DPPA at dppa@un.org