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This Week in DPPA: 9 - 15 May 2020


9 - 15 May 2020

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


Stockholm Forum - DiCarlo calls on influential countries to do more to help silence the guns
Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo participated on 13 May in the Stockholm Forum, a yearly event …. The Under-Secretary-General spoke on the subject of 'Sustaining Peace in the Time of COVID-19'. She said 110 countries and 24 armed groups have backed Secretary-General António Guterres’ appeal for a global ceasefire. This broad support has not always led to results, she said, adding that to help silence the guns, countries with influence on warring parties, or supplying them with weapons, must do their part too.  
Watch the event here 


Afghanistan – Calls for solidarity amid concerns of rising domestic violence during COVID-19 
Solidarity and compassion are crucial for families affected by domestic violence during COVID-19 pandemic, said participants in a recent series of UNAMA-backed radio programmes broadcast across Afghanistan. In the pre-recorded interactive shows, which have so far aired in twelve provinces, experts and radio hosts answered questions posed by local residents about the pandemic’s impact on their families and talked about ways to cope with the situation. 
Read more here 

Great Lakes – Advisory Board for Women, Peace and Security mobilize support in the fight against the pandemic  
The 12th session of the Advisory Board for Women, Peace and Security in the Great Lakes region was held via video on 12 May to mobilize regional and international support in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and help advance the women, peace and security (WPS) agenda. Special Envoy Huang Xia attended the meeting, and said that the global health emergency had hit the world and the Great Lakes region at a time his office was preparing to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Platform and the 20th anniversary of Security Council Resolution on Women, Peace and Security. 
Read more here 


West Africa - COVID-19 tests the region’s resilience  
Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative and Head of UNOWAS, participated on 13 May in The Debate, a discussion programme on French broadcaster France 24. What has West Africa learned since the Ebola outbreak, when is the moment to ease lockdown, and what are the conditions for staging elections during the current crisis were among the issues discussed. Mr. Ibn Chambas said that this was not the ideal time to go to the polls, but he backed Benin’s decisions to stage local elections on 17 May.  
Watch the debate here


New report on impact of COVID-19   
DPPA has prepared a new report on the impact of COVID-19 on its work, showing how the Department has adapted, in the field and at UN Headquarters, in order to continue providing support to Member States and partners. Our Special Envoys and Representatives are engaging with conflict parties, including through virtual platforms, to encourage reluctant conflict actors to move towards ceasefires and amplify the Secretary-General’s appeal made on 23 March. Request for our services – political analysis, mediation and electoral support – will remain high in the coming months, as we witness the full scale of COVID-19’s impact on the global economy and its social and political implications. While the priorities and commitments outlined in DPPA’s Strategic Plan remain unchanged, our activities under the Multi-Year Appeal (MYA) are constantly re-assessed to respond to the changing needs on the ground. While the competition for resources continues to intensify, the MYA is more important than ever for DPPA’s work since all crises – even this pandemic – have political ramifications and ultimately call for political solutions. 
Read the report here

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


Security Council

Hennis-Plasschaert: “Iraq must move away from endless crisis management towards a more productive approach” 
Special Representative Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert briefed the Security Council on the work of UNAMI in Iraq on 12 May. “Iraq must move away from endless crisis management towards a more productive approach, building resilience at both the state and society level. Short-term political and private calculations do not serve Iraq’s long-term interests, on the contrary. And yes, the challenges are many; but so are the opportunities,” Ms. Hennis-Plasschaert said. “I remain convinced that a more just, prosperous and resilient Iraq can emerge from the current compounded crises. But for that to happen, political will is fundamental,” she concluded.  
Read her full remarks here 
Read more in UN News  


Griffiths expresses hope instead of reporting success  
Special Envoy Martin Griffiths updated the Council on the situation in Yemen on 14 May. “I am coming to this Council yet again to express hope, instead of to report success. And this is frustrating, at a time when the spread of COVID-19 and a global economic downturn threaten to cause even more adversity in a country that has already experienced more than nearly any other,” Mr. Griffiths said. The Special Envoy was “extremely encouraged” that both the Yemeni Government and opposition Houthi rebels, have positively engaged with UN proposals, calling them “important indications” of their willingness to make the needed compromises for peace. 
Read his full remarks here 
Read more in UN News 






Meeting with new Prime Minister 
Special Representative Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert congratulated Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi on the formation of his government in a meeting on 12 May. Ms. Hennis-Plasschaert expressed hope for the speedy completion of the remaining posts, and underlined UNAMI’s support and readiness to work closely with the new government for the benefit of Iraq and its people. 
For more Information, contact us 

Central Asia

Conference on preventive diplomacy 
Natalia Gherman, Special Representative and Head of UNRCCA, took part in the video conference “Preventive Diplomacy: A Case of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and UNRCCA”, on 14 May. The aim of the conference was to share academic knowledge and practical examples of preventive diplomacy, taking into consideration the regional developments. In her presentation, the Special Representative spoke about the creation of UNRCCA and presented preventive diplomacy actions taken by the Centre since 2008. Ms. Gherman also focused on the current priority areas and activities of UNRCCA in the field of counter-terrorism, transboundary water management and promoting preventive diplomacy tools among youth, making special reference to the Preventive Diplomacy Academy initiative.        
Read more here 



Special Representative meets with President  
François Louncény Fall, Special Representative for Central Africa and Head of UNOCA, met with President Paul Biya of Cameroon on 13 May. They discussed the situation in Cameroon and Central Africa, region integration, and the fight against COVID-19. President Biya shared his analysis and advice on how to address the challenges to peace and security in the sub-region.  
For more Information, contact us


Women leaders and human rights defenders meet with UN Mission and UN Women in Colombia 
The UN Verification Mission and UN Women in Colombia convened a meeting on 14 May with women leaders and human rights defenders from different departments affected by the conflict to discuss the challenges they are currently facing in their territories. Special Representative Carlos Ruiz Massieu recognized their commitment to representing the interest of their communities, and for continuing to advance in peacebuilding. "I recognize the territorial efforts of Putumayo, Montes de Maria, and Magdalena to maintain the functioning of the Territorial Forums for the Security of Women Leaders and Defenders. I call for no effort to be spared to guarantee the security of women leaders and human rights defenders, to avoid impacting the progress made so far on the agenda of Women, Peace, and Security in Colombia,” he said.  The women highlighted critical issues they faced on lack of connectivity, security threats and the increase of gender-based violence as main challenges to advance their work and participation in the current context for the implementation of the peace process. Also participating in the meeting were Alberto Brunori, representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Colombia; Jessica Faieta, UN Resident Coordinator a.i. in Colombia, and Ana Guezmes, UN Women's Representative in Colombia, along with representatives of the Public Ministry. 
For more Information, contact us


Online consultations in Somalia 
In Somalia, the UN Peacebuilding Fund on 14 May concluded an online consultation process on peacebuilding priorities to guide the PBF’s support for the next five years. The consultation targeted the general public through a social media-based platform that engaged close to 400 Somalis across the country. Input from the public informed a closed phase for 70 participants from government, civil society, diplomatic community, and the UN who engaged using an online learning platform called Canvas and by two live calls using Zoom. Reconciliation, justice, governance, and security emerged as the top priorities for peacebuilding. 
For more Information, contact us 


PBC meeting on Papua New Guinea 
A Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) Ambassadorial-level meeting was convened on 12 May to discuss Deputy Secretary General (DSG) Amina J. Mohammed’s visit to Papua New Guinea (PNG) in March and recent developments in the country, including in light of COVID-19. Member States from the region, the Chairman of the Bougainville Referendum Commission, UN Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS), Assistant Secretary-General for Middle East, Asia and the Pacific and Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support also attended. The DSG highlighted the UN-EU spotlight initiative, which fights violence against women and girls, and stressed the role of gender equality in building peace, achieving sustainable development, and fighting climate change.  
For more Information, contact us 















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