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This Week in DPPA: 9 - 15 October

This Week in DPPA is a brief roundup of political and peacebuilding events and developments at UNHQ and around the world. 
DiCarlo introduces our latest reports on elections and Special Political Missions

Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo took part on 12 October in meetings of the General Assembly’s Third and Fourth Committees. At the Third Committee, she introduced the Secretary-General's biennial report on elections. The report highlights the electoral support provided to over 60 countries in the past two years, the impact of COVID-19, the role of political leaders and the use and misuse of social media. “Genuine elections give people a real say in governance. Democratic legitimacy and authority depend on credible, fair, transparent and participatory polls”, DiCarlo said in her remarks. At the Fourth Committee, she presented the Secretary-General's annual report on overall policy matters pertaining to Special Political Missions (SPMs) around three thematic issues: the women, peace and security agenda; promoting regional approaches to peace and security; and peacebuilding and sustaining peace.

Read more here

UN Field Leadership Workshop in Switzerland

On 14-15 October, Peace and Development Advisers (PDAs), part of the Joint UN Development Programme (UNDP) - UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) Programme on Building National Capacities for Conflict Prevention, gathered in Montreux for a workshop to reflect on advancing the prevention and sustaining peace agenda. Participating in the workshop, Assistant Secretary-General (ASG) Miroslav Jenča welcomed the participants and acknowledged PDA’s efforts to promote inclusive dialogue processes and social cohesion in diverse contexts. “The value added of the PDAs was evidenced once again as they engaged in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said ASG Jenča, noting the contributions made to the socio-economic impact assessments and response plans, monitoring of the impact of the pandemic on human rights and addressing misinformation. The Joint Programme now deploys 112 peace and development advisers, specialists and national officers based in 67 countries with 35 national PDAs and six regional programme specialists who undertake cross-regional analysis and provide surge support.  

Learn more about the Joint Programme here

Security Council

Grundberg: “A durable solution can only be achieved through a comprehensive negotiated political settlement”

Hans Grundberg, the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, briefed the Security Council on 14 October on his numerous consultations with Yemeni, regional and international actors. In all these discussions, he said he has focused on the question of how to move toward a sustainable political solution to end the conflict. He added that the Yemenis he spoke to have without exception stressed the necessity to end the war. “A comprehensive negotiated political settlement is needed to end the violence once and for all, restore state institutions, pave the way for economic recovery and development, provide for accountable governance and the rule of law, and protect Yemenis’ human rights,” stressed the Special Envoy.

Full remarks to the Security Council

Call for renewed commitment to persevere towards the consolidation of peace in Colombia   

Carlos Ruiz Massieu, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, in his briefing to the Security Council on 14 October, reiterated the Secretary‑General’s call to use the fifth anniversary of the adoption of Colombia’s Final Peace Agreement as an opportunity to take stock of what has been achieved in the peace process. He said that the collective effort to boost reintegration “had been crucial to instill hope among thousands of men and women who until this day continue to bet on peace.” He further called for greater efforts to integrate former combatants who are struggling with access to land and housing and finding sustainable incomes and security. He outlined what remains to be done, and to recommit collectively to the full implementation of this historic agreement.

Full remarks to the Security Council


Secretary-General holds press briefing 

Speaking to reporters at UN headquarters on 11 October, Secretary-General António Guterres stressed that the Taliban should uphold the rights of women and girls, including allowing girls to attend school. "Broken promises lead to broken dreams for the women and girls of Afghanistan," he said, asserting there "is no way" to heal the economy if the Taliban continues barring women from working. He stressed that ensuring a lifeline of help to all Afghan people, avoiding a total meltdown of the country’s economy and constant commitment to help move things in the right direction need essential action. "Engagement is not proclamation. Engagement is daily work. We might have difficulties. We might fail here and there, but one thing I can promise, we will not give up", the Secretary-General said. 

Watch his media stakeout

Central Asia 

Special Representative participates in Third Eurasian Women’s forum

On 13-15 October 2021, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) Natalia Gherman participated in the Third Eurasian Women’s Forum in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The forum discussed strengthening women’s participation in a variety of fields, including peace and security, ecology, health, digitalization, economy, industrial agriculture and social progress. In a video message to the Forum, Secretary-General Guterres welcomed the emphasis on coordinated global cooperation to strengthen women’s participation in the wide array of fields. The Special Representative spoke at the plenary session where she reiterated the critical importance for increased coordinated efforts between various actors in tackling international, regional and national challenges. “The time has come for decisive action, for global solidarity among women, for women to play a key role in post-pandemic recovery of our societies”, she noted.

Read more here

West Africa and the Sahel

Special Representative calls for an inclusive dialogue in Sierra Leone

Mahamat Saleh Annadif, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), was in Sierra Leone on 11 October, where he met with President Julius Maada Bio and former President Ernest Bai Koroma, among others. The discussions focused on the need to maintain an inclusive dialogue to ensure peaceful general elections in 2023. He commended the work accomplished in strengthening democratic institutions, human rights and development, including the enactment of the law on the abolition of the death penalty. He also renewed the United Nations commitment to support the government and people of Sierra Leone in their efforts for national reconciliation, democracy and development.

Read more here


Special Representative discuss political situation post elections

Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), met on 14 October in Erbil with Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government Masrour Barzani. They discussed the political situation in Iraq following the early elections. On 13 October, she met with Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi to discuss the electoral process, including the ongoing tabulation of the results. Urging patience as the results are still coming in, the Special Representative reiterated the UN’s technical advice to Iraq's Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) and stressed the importance of ensuring a transparent and credible count that reflects the will of the Iraqi voters. On 10 October, Iraq held parliamentary elections where hundreds of UN staff were deployed in every governorate. 


Peacebuilding Commission discusses women, peacebuilding and sustaining peace

On 13 October, the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) held a meeting on the role of women in peacebuilding and sustaining peace, identifying areas in need of PBC support. Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo, as well as the new Executive Director of UN Women Sima Sami Bahous and representatives of women civil society and academia delivered remarks which were followed up by negotiations and submissions of advice to the Security Council open debate on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) next week. “There are no quick fixes to entrenched power politics, patriarchal attitudes and unequal social structures. Much more needs to be done, and we are committed to doing our part in enhancing women’s meaningful participation in public life”, said USG DiCarlo. The Commission recognized the importance of continuing to create space for women peacebuilders from around the world to share their experiences, and to following up on their recommendations made during the discussions.

Full recording of the meeting here

Full remarks of the USG here

Role of multilateral and bilateral partnerships in peacebuilding and prevention discussed

Assistant Secretary-General Oscar Fernandez-Taranco met on 13 October with United Kingdom Minister of Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office for Africa Vicky Ford and Director-General for Africa and Conflict Moazzam Malik. The discussion centered on the role of multilateral and bilateral partnerships and the “business case” for peacebuilding and prevention. The Minister agreed that a lot of important work was done by the UK with UN partners, but a perennial problem remained, exemplifying to taxpayers at home how and why this mattered. Fernandez-Taranco illustrated challenges and achievements especially in transition contexts in Africa and highlighted the importance of regional approaches to prevent spillover of conflicts across borders. He also underlined the UN’s efforts to address social cohesion dimensions of the pandemic and emphasized the Secretary-General’s priorities for a ‘New Agenda for Peace’ as articulated in “Our Common Agenda”.

Peacebuilding Fund downgrades approval target for 2021

The Peacebuilding Fund’s Group of Friends met on 14 October, hosted by Sweden with the majority of the Fund’s current 36 donors participating. Chief of Peacebuilding Support Office’s Financing for Peacebuilding branch Brian Williams provided the latest update on the Fund’s status, where he said the approval target for 2021 needs to be downgraded from $245 million to $200 million in view of uncertainty about contribution levels. After a comparatively strong start in contributions and pledges early in the year following the Secretary-General’s Replenishment Conference, additional contributions had stagnated since the summer and now stood at $130 million ($158 million including pledges), leaving a gap of US $90 million against the $220 million target for 2021. Williams reiterated key messages from the Secretary-General’s report on “Our Common Agenda” concerning the UN’s ‘new agenda for peace’ and the required resourcing. Member States underlined interest in thematic reviews on gender and local peacebuilding, and continued emphasis on results communication. Larger donors underlined the need for other Member States to step up more and underscored the importance of the forthcoming high-level General Assembly event on peacebuilding financing in 2022.

Next Week

Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland will brief the Security Council on Tuesday, 19 October. Special Envoy Huang Xia will brief the Council on developments in the Great Lakes region on Wednesday, 20 October. The Security Council will hold an open debate on Thursday, 21 October to discuss Women, Peace and Security. 





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