Bienvenidos a las Naciones Unidas

Reports and Policy Documents


  • 3 Nov 2020

    The UN Deputy Secretary-General on Tuesday urged the Security Council to do more to encourage combatants across the world to put down their guns and focus instead on fighting “our common enemy” – the coronavirus.

  • 3 Nov 2020

    Independent UN experts criticized Belarus on Tuesday for persecuting women human rights defenders, who have been involved in the mass protests underway in the country since August’s controversial presidential election. 

  • 3 Nov 2020

    Inclusive dialogue is crucial to diffuse tensions across Ethiopia, said the UN Secretary-General on Tuesday, following reports of dozens killed and injured during brutal attacks in the west of the country over the weekend.

  • 3 Nov 2020
  • 3 Nov 2020

    Several thousand people have fled from election-related violence in Côte d'Ivoire to seek sanctuary in neighbouring Liberia, Ghana and Togo, fearing a repeat of the major conflict that followed the election in 2011, the UN refugee agency UNHCR said on Tuesday.  

  • 2 Nov 2020

    The UN Secretary-General has strongly condemned the violent attacks in the Austrian capital, Vienna, which left at least two people dead and several others wounded. 

  • 2 Nov 2020

    The Conceptual Approach provides a systematic way to understanding and addressing the linkages between climate change, peace and security. It was developed by the Climate Security Mechanism in collaboration with partners from across and beyond the UN system. It is meant to foster a shared approach to the analysis of climate-related security risks in the UN system and shape integrated and timely responses. 

  • 2 Nov 2020

    Indiscriminate attacks on education and health facilities during armed conflict is having a “dramatic impact” on children and humanitarian personnel, the UN envoy for Children and Armed Conflict said on Monday.

  • 2 Nov 2020

    As the COVID-19 pandemic continues its relentless global assault, the UN Secretary-General has urged countries not to let up on their support for peace efforts in conflict-affected countries. 

  • 2 Nov 2020

    The UN chief strongly condemned the “horrific attack” on Monday at Kabul University in Afghanistan. 

  • 2 Nov 2020

    UNOWAS Magazine spoke to Dr. Siga Fatima Jagne, Commissioner for Social Affairs and Gender of the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (...

  • 2 Nov 2020

    New York – On this year’s International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, the world, including the media...

  • 2 Nov 2020

    Rallying to vaccinate every child against polio Community mobilizers inform and prepare communities for vaccinators


    UNICEF Somalia



    02 November 2020


    Fahima Ahmed Hassan is a 25-year-old community mobilizer who goes the extra mile to ensure parents...

  • 2 Nov 2020

    Mogadishu – Despite its progress over recent years, Somalia remains a far from easy place for business and commerce, especially for women. 

    Mohamed Muse Hassan is spearheading efforts to...

  • 1 Nov 2020

    New York, 2 November 2020

    On this year’s International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, the world, including the media, faces an entirely new challenge: COVID-19.

    The pandemic has highlighted new perils for journalists and media workers, even as the number of attacks on their physical safety has grown. There were at least 21 attacks on journalists covering protests...

  • 1 Nov 2020

    29 October 2020 - Thank you also Dina, for the privilege of being in this meeting with UN Women this is a great privilege for all of us, and of course...

  • 31 Oct 2020

    The UN chief remains “deeply concerned” over reports that hostilities in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone are continuing to affect civilians, his spokesperson said on Saturday. 


  • 31 Oct 2020

    Mogadishu – As the world celebrates the 20th anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325, the Federal Government of Somalia and the United Nations today...

  • 31 Oct 2020

    Mogadishu – As the world celebrates the 20th anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325, the Federal Government of Somalia and the United Nations today...

  • 31 Oct 2020

     The 5+5 Joint Military Commission will meet from 2 to 4 November for a fifth round of talks and for the first time inside Libya, in the city of Ghadames.

    This round of talks comes after the...

  • 31 Oct 2020

    Livelihood Assistance | FAO’s e-Platform for Mobile Money and...

  • 31 Oct 2020

    Friends of Afghan Women Ambassadors’ Group

  • 30 Oct 2020

    The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Mohamed Ibn...

  • 30 Oct 2020

    On Friday, the eve of the presidential election in Côte d'Ivoire, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for all Ivorians to ensure that the polls are “conducted in a peaceful manner”.  

  • 30 Oct 2020

    New York, 31 October 2020

    On this World Cities Day, we recognize the extraordinary contribution made by grassroots communities in our cities and towns.

    The value of communities has been brought into sharp focus during the response to COVID-19.

    Cities have borne the brunt of the pandemic.

    Urban areas are already home to 55 per cent of...

  • 30 Oct 2020

    The international community must answer a “grave” breach of international law with “more than mere criticism”, an independent UN expert said on Friday after the Israeli Government announced its approval of nearly 5,000 new settlement homes in occupied Palestinian territory.



  • 30 Oct 2020

    24 - 30 October 2020

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

    Women, Peace and Security

    Guterres: “Recognize women who step up every day”
    The Security Council on 29 October held its annual debate on Women, Peace and Security. “We must recognize these women as the peacebuilders they are, at the local level, in communities around the world. We must also recognize women who step up every day in conflict zones to help those at risk, mediating between groups to enable access by civilians and humanitarian aid, building trust and strengthening social bonds,” Secretary-General António Guterres said in his opening remarks. He also stressed that women are playing a crucial role in the response to the pandemic, stating that: “Women at all levels are on the front lines of the COVID-19 response, dominating sectors of the economy that are critical to daily life.”
    Read the Secretary-Generals remarks here
    Read more in UN News


    DiCarlo: "We need to elect more women"
    Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo stressed the need to elect more women at the event 'Beyond the Pandemic: Opening the Doors to Women's Meaningful Participation' on 28 October. She was joined by Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Special Representative for Iraq and Head of UNAMI, Kaavya Asoka, Executive Director of the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security, Huda Ali, Member of MANSAM, a Sudanese coalition of 13 women’s rights civil society bodies, and Erika Brockmann, former member of the Bolivian national parliament (1997-2005) and currently a master trainer for the National Democratic Institute. “Women’s full, equal and meaningful participation in peacemaking and political life is essential. Research has shown that inclusive societies are more stable and peace processes that include women at the table have a greater chance of promoting peaceful societies,” Ms. DiCarlo stressed.  
    Read her remarks here
    Read DPPAs new publication on WPS here
    Watch the event here


    Pitches for Peace
    At the online event 'Pitches for Peace: Rethinking Inclusive Peace Processes' on 26 October, Miroslav Jenča, Assistant Secretary-General for Europe, Central Asia and the Americas, highlighted the need for creative and innovative ways to tackle persistent barriers to women’s full and equal participation in peace and political processes. The event was organized by the Association for Inclusive Peace.
    Watch here

    Griffiths: “Yemeni women’s activism, persistent efforts and initiatives to end this war provide hope and inspiration”
    At the online event 'Stronger Together: Advancing Yemeni Women’s Meaningful Engagement in Building Peace' on 29 October, over 50 representatives from Yemeni women’s organizations, mediation support organizations, Track II partners, and diplomatic missions called for embedding and implementing the resolution into the peace process in Yemen. Special Envoy Martin Griffiths affirmed his full focus on women’s representation in any formal talks and the importance of gender perspectives across all policy issues. He noted that: “Yemeni women’s activism, persistent efforts and initiatives to end this war provide hope and inspiration. My Office continues to engage the parties on the need to represent all Yemenis and include women in their delegations and gender concerns in their deliberations”. The Envoy’s Office continues to explore ways in which women’s perspectives are more actively considered by the conflict parties and is committed to actively consulting women including through forthcoming digital discussions.
    Read more here


    Security Council

    Parties in the Middle East must work together to contain COVID-19
    Special Coordinator Nickolay Mladenov on 26 October briefed the Security Council on the Middle East peace process. In order to contain COVID-19, Mr. Mladenov urged the parties to “work together to mitigate risks, save lives and avoid unilateral actions that undermine these efforts.” “On the 20th anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325, I want to acknowledge the efforts made by civil society and the Palestinian Government, in partnership with the UN, on advancing the Women, Peace, and Security agenda despite the challenging political and humanitarian context,” he said.
    Read his remarks here
    Read more in UN News


    Pedersen: “A wider and more credible and effective process is plainly needed”
    Special Envoy Geir Pedersen on 27 October updated the Council on the political situation in Syria. He noted a narrowing of differences between the parties and expressed hope to resume Syrian Constitutional Committee meetings in November.
    “A wider and more credible and effective process is plainly needed,” he said.
    Read his full remarks here


    Côte d'Ivoire

    Preparations for presidential election
    Côte d’Ivoire is preparing for presidential election on 31 October amid political and intercommunity tensions. The UN is intensifying support for a peaceful, inclusive and transparent electoral process. Electoral assistance through the UN Development System is focusing on fostering dialogue and preventing electoral violence; strengthening communication around the electoral process and building the capacity of national actors in charge of organizing the election. Other activities, funded through the Peacebuilding Fund, are dedicated to the fight against hate speech, which has recently triggered violence. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNOWAS, has undertaken good offices missions to the country to foster dialogue between the Government and the opposition. Mr. Ibn Chambas also participated in a joint African Union (AU), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), UN visit to Côte d’Ivoire from 4 to 7 October.



    First virtual meeting of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum
    Stephanie Williams, Acting Special Representative and Head of UNSMIL, on 26 October convened the first virtual meeting of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF). “Libyans want peace, security and a decent life for them and their children; Libyans want respect and justice; they want unified and fair governance; and most importantly they want national unity, national sovereignty and a coherent social fabric. What matters to the Libyan people is "what?" not "who?", Ms. Williams said addressing the meeting. The Libyan parties agreed to an immediate ceasefire on 23 October.
    Read more here



    On Dhusamareb visit, international representatives urge Somali leaders to continue collaboration
    James Swan, Special Representative and Head of UNSOM, on 27 October visited Dhusamareb, the capital of Galmudug State. He was part of a delegation consisting of representatives from the UN, the European Union, the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). “We urge all of Somalia’s leaders to continue to collaborate in this manner with the preparations for the national elections so that they are underpinned by transparency, fairness and inclusivity,” Mr. Swan said.
    Read more here



    “Iraqi Youth: Pioneers for Dialogue and Stability” virtual workshop held in Muthanna
    Under the theme “Iraqi Youth: Pioneers for Dialogue and Stability”, twenty-nine young men and women from Muthanna Governorate had the opportunity to discuss the challenges facing their communities at a three-day virtual workshop on 22, 23 and 27 October. This was the seventeenth in a series of workshops organized by UNAMI, in cooperation with the Committee for Coexistence and Societal Peace in the Prime Minister’s Office and the Iraqi Al-Amal Association. Due to the ongoing health crisis, it was the third workshop in the series to be held online.
    Read more here













    Natalia Gherman concludes mission to Kyrgyzstan
    Special Representative and Head of UNRCCA Natalia Gherman on 26 October concluded her mission to Kyrgyzstan. Ms. Gherman underlined that the next elections had to be transparent and inclusive, ensuring meaningful participation of women and youth, and with strong oversight of the electoral process.
    Read more here


    Papua New Guinea/Bougainville Peace Process

    Youth forum in Bougainville
    The DPPA Liaison Officer in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, together with the Bougainville House of Representatives and the Department of Community and UN partners, organized a two-day Youth Forum on 27 and 28 October. The aim was to bring together a group of 30 youth leaders from all three regions of Bougainville to create an avenue for youth to engage on their priorities with their elected representatives. Bougainville President Ishmael Toroama opened the Forum and announced that his government would make funds available for youth to start their own small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Moving the peace process forward, Bougainville President Toroama and the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, James Marape, have agreed to hold a Joint Supervisory Body (JSB) meeting on 30 November (the JSB is the highest-level body overseeing implementation of the Bougainville Peace Agreement). The JSB meeting would be expected to agree on the timeline and process for the post-referendum consultations which are expected to launch in early 2021.



    Special Representative visits Tashkent
    Special Representative Natalia Gherman visited Tashkent on 27 October. Ms. Gherman met with Sherzod Asadov, Deputy Foreign Minister of Uzbekistan, and Eldor Aripov, Director of the Institute for Strategic and Regional Studies under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan. They discussed implementation of activities in the key priority areas of UNRCCA, as outlined during the last meeting of the Deputy Foreign Ministers of Central Asia and Afghanistan in June 2020. The Uzbek interlocutors expressed strong support to UNRCCA initiatives aimed at closer interaction and cooperation in the region.



    Former women combatants opens market in Medellín
    A group of 32 women in the reintegration process from different regions of Colombia opened the "Market of Women Building Peace" in Medellín on 29 October with the support of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia and UNDP. The market sells family-oriented products, many of them produced by people in the process of reintegration. The purpose, beyond providing a livelihood and bringing the products from the Reintegration Areas to the city, is to generate gender links, guarantee distribution channels, and - as Ledys Restrepo, one of the project's members, explains - "open the doors of this new world for us who come from the countryside and want to work together to get ahead."

    Restaurant in Quibdó city run by former combatants
    After overcoming some difficulties caused by the pandemic, the restaurant "La Rancha de mi Pueblo" opened its doors to the public in Quibdó, Chocó, on 26 October. The opening complies with safety measures to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. The project is led by women in the process of reintegration and members of the local community, and is supported by the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, UNDP, and other partners.



    Peacebuilding Commission meeting on Guinea-Bissau
    The Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission’s (PBC) Guinea-Bissau Configuration, Ambassador Ronaldo Costa Filho, Permanent Representative of Brazil to the UN, on 27 October convened a virtual meeting to discuss Guinea-Bissau’s peacebuilding priorities and socio-economic challenges. PBC members welcomed the briefings by Rosine Sori-Coulibaly, Special Representative and Head of UNIOGBIS, and Ambassador Emmanuel Ohin, ECOWAS Special Representative to Guinea-Bissau, and emphasized the importance of inclusive dialogue regarding the reform processes in country. Members underscored their support for the Commission to continue to provide a platform for furthering system-wide coherence between the UN, Guinea-Bissau and its partners during and after the UN transition. They underlined the importance of partnerships and the country’s cooperation with international financial institutions, particularly in the context of COVID-19. PBC members welcomed the briefing by Ana Turé, Coordinator for the Women’s Council of Guinea-Bissau, stressing the importance of the full, effective and meaningful participation and representation of civil society, including women and youth at all levels in peacebuilding processes. In that regard, they welcomed the additional support that the PBF is currently considering for youth dialogue with community leaders. 

    Interview with the Director of the Quaker United Nations Office
    In the latest “Building Peace during the Pandemic” video series, Andrew Tomlinson, Director of the Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO) spoke with Marc-André Franche, Chief, Financing for Peacebuilding, Peacebuilding Support Office. Mr. Tomlinson highlighted the main challenges brought by the pandemic on the community of peacebuilders globally. He explained how the governments at both local and national level are struggling to find the resources needed to respond to the crisis and offset the damage done to their economies. A big opportunity now, he said, is to connect the global short-term response to the pandemic to the long-term insights of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development and to create the possibility of achieving an effective humanitarian response while contributing to long term peace and development goals for more robust and resilient societies.
    Watch the interview here


    UN Day

    Great Lakes region
    “As Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes region, I will spare no effort to ensure the Future of a peaceful, inclusive, prosperous, and resilient region becomes a Now for all the people and communities in the Great Lakes region,” Special Envoy Huang Xia said in a statement marking the 75th Anniversary of the signing of the UN Charter on 24 October
    Read more here

    On the occasion of UN Day, James Swan, Special representative and Head of UNSOM highlighted the long-running partnership between the UN and Somalia and reaffirmed the organization’s support for Somalis now and into the future. “The United Nations, though we are focused on it today because it’s UN Day, is here in a supporting role. It’s here in a collaborative role – fundamentally to assist Somali institutions, the Somali national government, Federal Member States and other entities in addressing the needs of the people,” he said.
    Read more here

    “My message to all Iraqis on the 75th anniversary of our organization is that you belong to these United Nations as we belong to you. Let us continue our shared journey, stepping up our joint efforts to live up to the ideals and principles enshrined in the UN Charter. Let us reaffirm our commitment to these shared values and remain unwavering in our determination to deliver a brighter, more just and prosperous future for all Iraqis,” Special Representative Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert said in a statement for UN Day.
    Read more here


    The Work of Peace

    Virtual exhibit
    Remember to check out our virtual exhibit: The Work of Peace. It highlights the UN’s key role in preventive diplomacy, good offices, mediation and elections over the past 75 years, and looks ahead at what the future may hold for this work.
    Enter here

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  • 30 Oct 2020

    ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan

    On 27-29 October 2020, the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) took part in the first conference of the...

  • 30 Oct 2020

    Chief Inspector Doreen Malambo, Gender Adviser at the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), has won 2020 UN Woman Police Officer of the Year Award, in honour of her work supporting vulnerable groups, such as women, girls, children, and people with disabilities.

  • 30 Oct 2020

    The UN deputy chief has underscored the importance of the full and comprehensive implementation of Colombia's historic 2016 peace agreement, to enable sustainable and resilient communities in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. 

  • 30 Oct 2020

    KANDAHAR – Peace, development and humanitarian assistance go hand in hand, said participants at a coordination meeting this week between United Nations agencies and provincial...

  • 29 Oct 2020

    TASHKENT, Uzbekistan

    On October 27, Natalia Gherman, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General  for Central Asia,...

  • 29 Oct 2020

    Women continue to be under-represented in key decision-making over the battle against COVID-19, the chief of the UN gender empowerment agency said on Thursday, addressing the Security Council, adding that the situation is even “worse for women in conflict areas”.

  • 29 Oct 2020

    The UN Secretary-General on Thursday strongly condemned a knife attack inside a French church in the southern French city of Nice, which reportedly left three worshippers dead.

  • 29 Oct 2020

    The text of the following statement was released by the Government of the United States and the Office of the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon     

     Building on progress from their October 14 meeting, on October 28 and 29 representatives from the governments of Israel and Lebanon held productive talks mediated by the United States and hosted by the Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon (UNSCOL). The United States and UNSCOL remain hopeful...

  • 29 Oct 2020

    The text of the following statement was released by the Government of the United States and the Office of the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon     

     Building on progress from their October 14 meeting, on October 28 and 29 representatives from the governments of Israel and Lebanon held productive talks mediated by the United States and hosted by the Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon (UNSCOL). The United States and UNSCOL remain hopeful...

  • 29 Oct 2020

    UN Women Photo

    29 October 2020 – The Office of the Special Envoy for Yemen (OSESGY) and UN Women Yemen...

  • 28 Oct 2020

    Mogadishu – The United Nations in Somalia strongly condemns the murder of two humanitarian workers, who were reportedly killed yesterday in the capital, Mogadishu, by suspected Al-Shabaab...

  • 28 Oct 2020

    Opening Remarks by Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo at the DPPA Event: "Beyond the Pandemic: Opening the Doors to Women’s Meaningful Participation"

    Thank you, Akila. I am very pleased that you could be here today.

    I also want to acknowledge our distinguished panelists Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, Jeanine Plasschaert, Kaavya Asoka, Executive Director of the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security, Huda Ali, Member of MANSAM –  a Sudanese coalition of 13 women’s rights civil society bodies; and Erika Brockmann, former member of Bolivia’s national parliament.

    Thanks also to everyone joining us for this discussion.


    Ladies and Gentlemen

    One year ago, Alaa Salah went from leading peaceful protests in the streets of Khartoum to briefing the UN Security Council on her concerns for the future of Sudan.

    There she issued a clarion call: “if [women] are not represented at the peace table, and if we do not have a meaningful voice in Parliament, our rights will not be guaranteed, discriminatory and restrictive laws will remain unchanged, and the cycle of instability and violence will continue.”

    At the same time, across the world, thousands of women, tired of political inaction, have taken peacefully to the streets – protesting sexual violence in Chile and across Latin America; pressing for transparent elections in Belarus; and demanding an end to excessive use of state force in Nigeria.

    But despite this political mobilization, the divide between women’s activism on the ground and male-dominated political power has stubbornly persisted.

    Women’s full, equal and meaningful participation in peacemaking and political life is essential. Research has shown that inclusive societies are more stable and peace processes that include women at the table have a greater chance of promoting peaceful societies.

    History has shown, however, that people who benefit from existing power structures rarely cede space and influence willingly to others. Rather, for women to take up their rightful place at the decision-making table, smart, deliberate, and concerted efforts are needed to create opportunities and open doors.

    In the 1990s, during the all-party talks in Northern Ireland, it took a cross-party coalition of women forming their own political party to capitalize on a procedural opening in the process for women’s voices to formally be heard. Braving mockery and worse, they successfully consulted women across the Protestant-Catholic divide and secured successes on victims’ rights, reconciliation and other key issues.

    In Colombia, activism by women’s groups, together with pressure from international actors, and encouragement from facilitators, saw women’s participation during the 2012 peace talks grow from one woman among 20 negotiators at the start of the process to women representing nearly one-third of delegates later on.

    Their participation led to the establishment of a landmark Gender Sub-Commission and to a final peace agreement regarded as a model for gender inclusion.

    Twenty years since the adoption of Security Council resolution 1325, we can point to an abundance of normative milestones, and important but incremental progress to implement them. But it is also clear that if we are to fully realize the women, peace and security agenda, we have a lot of work to do.

    All partners must be galvanized to engage in sustained efforts to take on structural obstacles, tackle power politics, confront entrenched patriarchal attitudes, overcome socio-economic inequalities and create conditions conducive to inclusive peacemaking.

    As we look to this challenge, I would like to focus on five critical steps we all must take.

    First, if we are to credibly press others about the importance of women’s leadership, we ourselves must demonstrate the advantages of inclusivity. This includes nominating and appointing women to senior posts and recruiting women to peace and security roles at all levels to create a pipeline of women’s talent.

    The United Nations is committed to this objective. As of last month, 54 per cent of senior leaders in Special Political Missions were women.

    It also involves strengthening gender responsive peacemaking across the board. In 2019, my Department deployed more gender advisers to missions than ever before. We also introduced a policy embedding women, peace and security considerations into all our work.

    Second, those of us who occupy seats of power need to use our influence to support grassroots women’s civil society and bring their concerns to the decision-making table. Such efforts are especially critical in the face of global backlash against women’s rights, shrinking civic space, and targeted attacks against women leaders and human rights defenders.

    Currently, all UN Special Political Missions consult regularly with women’s civil society organisations and are supplementing these efforts with a range of innovative, context-specific methods to engage diverse women and elevate their voices.

    In Afghanistan, the UN mission supported radio discussions in which thousands of listeners participated in discussions on the criticality of women’s engagement to the success of any future peace deal. In Yemen, we undertook a similar large-scale virtual consultation with over 500 women and civil society representatives.

    And in Syria, Iraq and Yemen in the face of fierce opposition to women’s direct participation, our Special Envoys have used indirect inclusion mechanisms to engage women and ensure their priorities inform discussions.  In Syria, the Women’s Advisory Board has served as a springboard for women’s inclusion, with several members of the Board now serving as delegates to Syria’s Constitutional Committee.

    Third, put very simply, we need to elect more women. Today, women make up less than 19 per cent of national parliamentarians in conflict-affected areas. My Department has made gender a key guiding principle in providing UN electoral assistance.

    Just this year, the UN has supported efforts to increase women’s electoral participation in Bolivia, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Kyrgyzstan and elsewhere.

    In Mali, such support saw women candidates for legislative elections rise to around 30 per cent up from 14 per cent during the 2013 elections, with 41 women elected compared to 14 in 2013.

    Fourth, our efforts need to be underpinned by adequate, predictable and sustained financing. This includes support to the work of women’s civil society on the ground.

    This is why the UN Peacebuilding Fund has allocated 40 per cent of its investments to gender-responsive initiatives, why we have scaled up the Peacebuilding Fund’s Gender and Youth Promotion Initiative from $2.7 million in 2016 to $20.4 million in 2019, and why my department has allocated 17 per cent of its multi-year appeal to women, peace and security initiatives.

    And fifth, we must all work together as long-term strategic partners to drive change.

    Under our Joint Framework for Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security the UN and the African Union supported several initiatives to enhance women’s political engagement, including the African Women Leaders Network and the Network of African Women in Conflict Prevention and Mediation (FemWise).  Together we provided training on mediation for over 100 members of FemWise to date.

    In short, such efforts cannot be achieved alone.

    As we look ahead to the next decade of the women, peace and security agenda, we must all do our part to elevate women and amplify their priorities as fundamental to inclusive peace.

    I look forward to today’s discussion and to continuing our collaborative efforts to achieve peace that works for all women and all people.

    Thank you.

  • 28 Oct 2020

    Demonstrations by anti-slavery activists in Nouakchott, Mauritania. Photo: Reuters


  • 27 Oct 2020

    The UN’s special envoy for war-torn Syria is hoping that a fourth round of talks on a new constitution will take place in November in Geneva, after Government and opposition negotiators failed to agree on the agenda.

  • 27 Oct 2020

    NEW YORK - The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the atrocious and cowardly terrorist attack that took place at the Kabul Education Center, Afghanistan, on...

  • 27 Oct 2020

    KABUL - The number of Afghan civilians killed and injured in the conflict has failed to slow since the start of intra-Afghan peace talks, although the overall...

  • 27 Oct 2020

    Security Council Briefing on the Situation in Syria, Special Envoy Geir O. Pedersen


    Thank you, Mr. President,

    Today, I am briefing you from Beirut.

    As we mark this month twenty years since the passage of Security Council resolution 1325, let me recall the central role that Syrian women must play and are indeed playing in the political process mandated by resolution 2254 – as members of the Constitutional Committee, as advisors to me and my office, as members of technical bodies, and within wider civil society.

    Syrian women’s rights leaders have said to me that further efforts for the full, direct and meaningful participation of Syrian women are essential, and reminded me that the process and its outcomes must serve the interests, priorities and aspirations of Syrian women in their diversity of needs and experiences.

    I have heard from the Women’s Advisory Board and other women leaders that what is needed above all is a credible and inclusive political process that ends the conflict and the deep suffering of the Syrian people, and that brings about a sustainable peace with the meaningful participation of Syrian women, and that has women’s safety, basic needs, dignity, rights and equality at its core. I will continue to do everything I can to help facilitate this.


    Mr. President,

    I have said from the outset of my mandate, nearly two years ago, that the conflict cannot be resolved solely by constitutional reform or a new constitution. But progress in the Constitutional Committee could be a door opener to a deeper and wider process, if two things happen:

    • first, if the Committee work continuously and credibly in accordance with its mandate;
    • and second, if that work is accompanied by other steps by the Syrian parties and international players to build trust and confidence, step by step, and gradually develop a wider political process to implement resolution 2254.

    It is particularly important for the Constitutional Committee to proceed in accordance with the agreement that established it, which was circulated, and let me remind you, by the Secretary-General to the Security Council as document S/2019/775 and that guides the Committee. In particular, the Co-Chairs should in consensus proceed with agendas and workplans in a way that enable all issues to be considered, without making consideration of issues dependent on agreement on other issues and without preconditions. And the Committee should work expeditiously and continuously to produce results and continued progress without foreign interference, including externally imposed timelines; and focus exclusively on its mandate: to prepare and draft for popular approval a constitutional reform.

    As you know, we were not able to convene a Fourth session of the Small Body in October as we had hoped, and as you know, there was no agreed agenda for it. The Co-Chair nominated by the Syrian government took the position that the Third Session agenda – focusing on national foundations and principles – should remain the agenda for a Fourth Session. The CoChair nominated by the opposition SNC took the position that the agenda for the Fourth Session should focus on the preamble, constitutional principles, rights and freedoms, the rule of law, or the structure of the constitution.

    As facilitator, I proposed over a month ago a bridging compromise, which the Co-Chair nominated by the SNC accepted but the Co-Chair nominated by the Government did not. However, in my discussions in recent days in Damascus there was some valuable narrowing of the differences, with a variant explored that, if properly clarified, could provide a way out and enable consensus between the Co-Chairs on the agenda for the next two meetings. I have been in communication with both Co-Chair Kuzbari and Co-Chair Al-Bahra today as finer points are clarified. We have no agreement yet and of course nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. But if we are able to find an agreement within the next two days, it should be possible to meet in Geneva sometime during the month of November this year.


    Mr President,

    Beyond the Constitutional Committee, there are positive elements on which we could build a wider process. Some key stakeholders have signaled that they see the military phase of the conflict as ending, renewing attention and focus on the political process. Front-lines have not shifted in around 8 months. And the number of civilians killed in recent months has, according to monitoring groups, been at lowest levels since 2011.

    A political deal to implement 2254 is indeed the way to restore Syria’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and meet the legitimate aspirations of all Syrians. Without that, dangers will only accrue – and the last month reminds us of this.

    Monday saw a targeted airstrike on a training camp of Failaq al-Sham in the north-west - an armed opposition group represented in the SNC, the Constitutional Committee, and the Astana meetings, who are reported to have suffered a very large number of casualties.


    Today, Mr. President, armed opposition groups and listed terrorist group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham have retaliated with shelling and rocket fire into Syrian Government-controlled areas, claiming to have inflicted casualties. These dynamics can unravel the precious calm achieved through positive Russian-Turkish cooperation - cooperation which already faces challenges, given that joint patrols have remain stalled for over a month. I appeal to both Russia and Turkey to work to contain the situation.

    Incidents in Northern Rural Aleppo continue, including a truck bomb in al-Bab that reportedly killed more than a dozen civilians and injured more than 60 civilians, as well as an attack on a fuel market in Jerablus that some media attributed to a missile attack, causing civilian casualties.

    We have also seen recurring kidnappings and assassinations in the southwest, targeting a broad spectrum of political, military and civic actors and underscoring the ongoing fragility of the reconciliation agreements brokered over two years ago.

    Tensions have continued among the five foreign militaries active in Syria, that have regularly resulted in confrontations, including further airstrikes attributed to Israel this month.

    Security Council-listed terrorist groups remain a significant danger across Syria and have stepped up their attacks of late - in particular in the central desert region where fighting between ISIL and Syrian Government forces resulted in multiple casualties on both sides.

    This month saw the mufti of Damascus killed by an explosive device on 22 October – an attack that remains unclaimed.

    Yet despite all these incidents, front lines are not changing, and it ought to be possible to work towards a nationwide ceasefire while ensuring that the significant continuing dangers posed by proscribed terrorist groups are addressed cooperatively and effectively, and in line with international humanitarian law.

    Syrians remained displaced in their millions. A serious and cooperative effort is needed involving all key players to create the conditions that UNHCR has indicated are important for safe, dignified, informed and voluntary return – and indeed, an effort to create a safer, calmer, more neutral environment in Syria.

    And, frankly, now is precisely the time when one of my key priorities – addressing the fate of tens of thousands of detained, abducted or missing Syrians -- should be energetically acted upon.

    USG Lowcock will brief you on the dire humanitarian situation. But let me also note that ordinary Syrians are paying a bitter and unprecedented price given the economic devastation resulting from a decade-long conflict and its repercussions – internal and external. A recent spate of agricultural fires and fuel price hikes have only added to the many factors causing suffering, and to unprecedented food insecurity. The backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and the imminent winter will no doubt augment these challenges. At a time of severe economic stress, it remains important to continue to avoid and mitigate effects on ordinary Syrians of targeted sanctions measures.

    And let us recall – as 2254 does, and as the agreement to launch the Constitutional Committee explicitly affirmed – that the culmination of a political process would be free and fair elections, pursuant to a new constitution, administered under UN supervision, to the highest international standards, with all Syrians including in the diaspora eligible to participate.


    Mr President,

    In short, a wider and more credible and effective process is plainly needed. Relative progress in establishing the building blocks of a ceasefire came about because of the concerted efforts of some key international stakeholders, demonstrating that reaching compromises is indeed possible. We need a process that extends this cooperation and is inclusive of all issues, and all players a process that can address the range of elements contained in 2254. This needs to be underpinned by mutual and reciprocal measures, pursued and supported meaningfully by all.

    I had substantial and wide-ranging discussions on all of these issues when I met with Syrian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Walid Moallem in Damascus. We discussed the need to take stock of where we are in the implementation of resolution 2254 and explore whether new and different approaches can be taken. I have also discussed this with opposition SNC President Al-Abdeh today. I will seek to deepen my dialogue with the Syria parties and key players in the months ahead in reviewing where we stand on resolution 2254, seeking to identify how best to develop a wider process.

    Thank you, Mr. President.

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