Bienvenidos a las Naciones Unidas

Reports and Policy Documents

2020

  • 30 Dic 2020

    The people of the restive region of Darfur in Sudan have seen the joint United Nations and African Union peacekeeping mission (UNAMID) as a "saviour" according to a writer for UN News who grew up in Darfur.

  • 30 Dic 2020

    “I strongly condemn the attack at Aden airport upon the Cabinet's arrival and the killing and injury of many innocent civilians. My sincere condolences and solidarity to...

  • 30 Dic 2020
     

    Food Security | FAO provides aid to farmers in central Somalia...

  • 30 Dic 2020

    New York – United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today announced the appointment of Anita Kiki Gbeho of Ghana as his new Deputy Special...

  • 29 Dic 2020
    Secretary-General appoints Ms. Lynn Hastings of Canada as Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and United Nations Resident Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory  

    United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today announced the appointment of Lynn Hastings of Canada as Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, where she will also serve as the United Nations Resident Coordinator and...

  • 29 Dic 2020

    A group of independent UN human rights experts called on Ugandan authorities to end the arrest, detention and judicial harassment of political opponents, civil society leaders and human rights defenders.

  • 29 Dic 2020

     

    Dear Friends,

    2020 has been a year of trials, tragedies and tears.

    COVID-19 upended our lives and plunged the world into suffering and grief.

    So many loved ones have been lost — and the pandemic rages on, creating new waves of sickness and death.

    Poverty, inequality and hunger are rising. Jobs are disappearing and debts are...

  • 28 Dic 2020

    As the world enters 2021, after a “year of trials, tragedies and tears”, the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, has delivered a message of hope for the new year. 

  • 28 Dic 2020

    As the world enters 2021, after a “year of trials, tragedies and tears”, the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, has delivered a message of hope for the new year. 

  • 28 Dic 2020

    Some 25,000 Eritrean refugees, sheltering in two camps in the unsettled Tigray region of Ethiopia, have received desperately needed food aid for the first time since mid-October.

  • 27 Dic 2020

    The Secretary-General takes note of the verdict of 22 December by Lebanon’s Permanent Military Court convicting Mr. Mahmoud Bazzi and sentencing him to 15 years for the kidnapping and killing of two United Nations peacekeepers and causing serious injury to a third peacekeeper in April 1980.

    The Secretary-General welcomes the determination of the authorities of Lebanon to bring to justice those responsible for serious crimes, including attacks against United Nations...

  • 27 Dic 2020

    Mogadishu – The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia (SRSG), Nicholas Kay, welcomed the swearing-in of members of the parliament of the new Galmudug Interim...

  • 26 Dic 2020

    The United Nations Secretary-General has called on the security forces in Niger to “make every effort” to protect civilians as they take part in Sunday’s elections. 

  • 26 Dic 2020

    New York, 27 December 2020

    This first observance of the International Day of Epidemic Preparedness falls at the end of a year in which a scenario many had feared came tragically true.

    With COVID-19 having now killed more than 1.7 million people, devastated economies, upended societies and exposed the world’s vulnerabilities in the starkest ways, the value of health...

  • 26 Dic 2020

    On the eve of general elections in the Central African Republic (CAR), the United Nations Secretary-General has called on all stakeholders to ensure that the polls are held in a peaceful, inclusive and credible manner. 

  • 26 Dic 2020

    The United Nations Secretary-General has strongly condemned Friday’s attacks that killed three Burundian peacekeepers in the Central African Republic (CAR) and left another two wounded. 

  • 24 Dic 2020

    Days before Sunday’s election, armed clashes in the Central African Republic (CAR) have prompted the “serious concern” of the UN aid coordinator in the country. 

     

  • 24 Dic 2020

    24 December 2020 - The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) congratulates all Libyans inside the country and in the diaspora on the 69th...

  • 24 Dic 2020

    ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan

    Declaration of the Central Asia Women Leaders’ Caucus adopted at the first Women Leaders’ Dialogue in Central Asia, organized by the UN Regional...

  • 23 Dic 2020

    Just days before elections in the Central African Republic (CAR), an uptick in armed violence is threatening the safety of civilians and their right to vote, according to the UN human rights office.  

  • 23 Dic 2020

    ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan

    A prominent group of women leaders representing the Central Asian states and the United Nations launched a new platform, the...

  • 23 Dic 2020

    Baidoa -- Becoming a doctor had been Yusuf Barre Mohamed’s dream throughout his school years in the 2000s and early 2010s. 

    Since then, the 31-year-old’s dream to...

  • 22 Dic 2020

    Although the landmark Iran nuclear deal could improve regional stability if fully implemented, increased tensions have highlighted the risks posed by escalation, the UN’s Political and Peacebuilding Affairs chief told the Security Council on Tuesday. 

  • 22 Dic 2020

    Security Council Briefing on Non-Proliferation (Implementation of resolution 2231 (2015), Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo

     

    Thank you, Mr. President, for convening today’s meeting on non-proliferation.

    United Nations’ non-proliferation efforts seek to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and technology, to promote co-operation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament.

    These efforts can have a bearing on the prevention and peaceful resolution of conflict at both regional and international levels. Full implementation of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and resolution 2231 (2015) can contribute to regional stability.

    Regrettably, however, regional tensions have increased. In the last several years, we witnessed attacks on critical infrastructure, heated rhetoric and the heightened risk of miscalculation.  

    Such actions deepen the differences related to the Plan, and render efforts to address other regional conflicts more difficult. We call on all concerned to avoid any actions that may result in further escalation of tensions. 

    The Secretary-General has consistently underscored the importance of the JCPOA and has encouraged all States to support it.

    He also believes that Iran should address concerns raised about its activities in relation to the restrictive measures in Annex B.  As we have stated before, issues not directly related to the Plan should be addressed without prejudice to preserving the agreement and its accomplishments.

     

    Mr. President,

    In the preparation of our latest report, we have taken careful note of the developments in the Security Council following the receipt of letters from the United States on 20 August and 23 September respectively.

    We note the view of the United States that, as of 20 September, all provisions of prior resolutions that had been terminated by resolution 2231 apply in the same manner. The United States is also of the view that the measures contained in paragraphs 7, 8 and 16 to 20 of resolution 2231 (2015) were also terminated.

    The majority of Security Council members and Iran have written to the Security Council stating that, among other things, the 20 August letter from the United States did not initiate the process set forth in paragraph 11 of resolution 2231. These States also expressed their strong support for the Plan and the continued implementation of the resolution. 

    Similarly, the President of the Security Council for the month of August (Indonesia), and the President of the Security Council for the month of September (Niger), indicated that they were not in a position to take any action with regard to the letter from the United States dated 20 August.  The President of the Council in October (Russia) also took note of these developments.

     

    Mr. President,

    We regret the steps taken by the United States (since May 2018) when it withdrew from the Plan, as well as the steps taken by Iran (since July 2019) to reduce some of its nuclear-related commitments under the Plan.

    The reimposition by the United States of all its national sanctions that had been lifted or waived pursuant to the Plan are contrary to the goals set out in the Plan and in resolution 2231 (2015). Further, steps taken by the United States not to extend waivers for the trade in oil with Iran and certain non-proliferation projects may have impeded the ability of Iran and other Member States to implement certain provisions.

     

    Mr. President

    In the reporting period, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) informed the Security Council that Iran had decreased its stockpile of heavy water. Iran has also stayed within the JCPOA’s limits of no more than 5,060 IR-1 centrifuges installed in 30 cascades at the Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant.

    However, the Agency verified that Iran had installed a cascade of IR-2M centrifuges at Natanz and begun feeding uranium hexafluoride (UF6) into them.  Iran had also enriched uranium up to 4.5 percent U-235 and its total enriched uranium stockpile was 2,442.9 kg – surpassing JCPOA stipulated limits in both areas.  We also note the 4 December report of the IAEA regarding Iranian intentions to install additional cascades of IR-2M centrifuge machines at Natanz.

    Iran has stated its intention to remain in the Plan, and that the steps that they have taken are reversible. It is essential that Iran refrains from further steps to reduce its commitments and returns to full implementation of the Plan.

    The Secretary-General calls on all participants to work constructively to address their differences within the dispute resolution mechanism outlined in the Plan.

    He also underscores the importance of all initiatives in support of trade and economic relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran, especially during the current economic and health challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

     

    Mr. President,

    I will now turn to the measures set out in annex B to the resolution, as outlined in the Secretary-General’s tenth report on the implementation of resolution 2231 (S/2020/1177).

    First, on the nuclear-related provisions, we have not received any reports on the supply, sale or transfer to Iran of nuclear and nuclear-related dual-use items contrary to paragraph 2 of annex B.

    The Security Council continued its consideration of requests for the supply, sale or transfer of nuclear and nuclear-related dual-use items to Iran through the procurement channel. Four new proposals were submitted through the channel during the reporting period, bringing the total to 52 proposals received since 16 January 2016.

    The Council has received five notifications, submitted pursuant to paragraph 2 of annex B, for certain nuclear-related activities consistent with the Plan.

    We also note that the 90-day extension of the United States waiver -- covering activities related to the existing unit at the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant -- expired at the end of August 2020. The United States did not announce any further extension of this waiver.

    Second, the Secretariat did not receive any official information alleging action inconsistent with the ballistic missile-related provisions of the resolution.

    Third, on arms transfers, Israel provided information to the Secretary-General and the Security Council regarding the continued proliferation of advanced weaponry by Iran contrary to resolution 2231. Iran categorically rejected such claims in its own letter addressed to the Secretary-General. 

    Further, the Secretariat provided updates on two arms-related cases from our last report. Regarding Israeli information concerning four alleged Dehlavieh anti-tank guided missiles in Libya, the Secretariat was able to ascertain that one of the four missiles has characteristics consistent with the Iranian-produced Dehlavieh. Nevertheless, we were not able to determine if this missile was transferred to Libya and/or whether its transfer was inconsistent with the resolution (i.e. whether it was transferred from Iran after the 16 January 2016).

    Regarding the Australian June 2019 weapons seizure off the Gulf of Oman, we are of the view that the seized ammunitions were not of Iranian manufacture. During this reporting period, Australian authorities also provided the Secretariat with photos of documents collected from the crew in the course of this arms seizure. The Secretariat has shared relevant details with Iran and the other concerned Member State to verify the authenticity of the issued documents.

    Fourth, regarding the asset freeze provisions, the Secretariat continued its review of a case involving an academic institution which signed memoranda of understanding with an entity on the 2231 list. We were informed that such MOUs are not legally-binding and do not involve any financial commitment or activities.

    In addition, the Secretariat received information from a Member State that an entity on the 2231 list had transferred some of its assets to another entity not subject to the asset freeze provision of the resolution. We are still analysing available information and will report back, as appropriate.

     

    Mr. President,

    In this reporting period, the Secretariat also received information pertaining to individuals and entities on the 2231 List. Iran notified the Secretary-General and the Security Council that Mr. Moshen Fakhrizadeh  had been “assassinated in a terrorist attack” on 27 November in Tehran province. Council members will recall that Mr. Fakhrizadeh is an individual on the 2231 list.

    Also, the Secretariat received information from a Member State that a listed entity shipped “valves, electronics, and measuring equipment suitable for use in ground testing of liquid propellant ballistic missiles and space launch vehicles” to Iran.  The Secretariat is seeking further clarification from the Member State and will report back accordingly.

     

    Mr. President,

    The Iranian nuclear issue is an important non-proliferation subject, with consequences for regional and global peace and security. In achieving the JCPOA, the concerned countries had shown that their dialogue and diplomacy, supported by a united Security Council, could forge a path to resolving this issue. We hope that these countries and the Council can do so again.

    Let me conclude by acknowledging the leadership of His Excellency Mr. Philippe Kridelka, and his predecessor His Excellency Mr. Marc Pecsteen de Buytswerve, in their role as Facilitator for the implementation of resolution 2231 (2015).  As Belgium leaves the Security Council at the end of the year, we look forward to providing our full support to the next Facilitator.

    I would also like to thank the Coordinator of the Procurement Working Group of the Joint Commission for our continued cooperation.

    Thank you, Mr. President

  • 22 Dic 2020

    Reports of artillery strikes on civilians and mass killings of non-combatants in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, must be investigated and full access granted to independent investigators, UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet said on Tuesday. 

  • 22 Dic 2020

    22 December 2020 - The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) congratulates the citizens of Ar-Rajban and Al-Zawiya Al-Gharbia on the conduct of peaceful and democratic municipal council...

  • 22 Dic 2020

    ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan

    On 21-22...

  • 21 Dic 2020

    21 December 2020 – The Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General (ASRSG) of the United Nations in Libya, Stephanie Williams launched...

  • 21 Dic 2020

    NEW YORK - Ramiz Alakbarov was appointed as the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan with UNAMA, serving also as the United Nations Resident and...

  • 21 Dic 2020

    Addressing the UN Security Council on Monday, the UN envoy for the Middle East Peace Process urged Israelis, Palestinians, regional States and the broader international community to “take practical steps to enable the parties to re-engage” in the peace process. 

  • 20 Dic 2020

    United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced today the appointment of Georgette Gagnon of Canada as his new Assistant Secretary-General, Resident Coordinator and...

  • 20 Dic 2020

    Secretary-General appoints Tor Wennesland of Norway as  United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO)

    United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today announced the appointment of Tor Wennesland of Norway as his new Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative to the Palestine Liberation...

  • 20 Dic 2020

    With a week to go until elections are scheduled to take place in the Central African Republic (CAR), the UN is concerned about an escalation of armed attacks, amid reports that armed groups have taken control of towns near the capital, Bangui.

  • 20 Dic 2020

    Kismayo – The reasons behind Halima Farah Godane’s decision to start the Somali Women Solidarity Organization (SWSO) in 2006 stem from her own direct experience of Somalia’s past...

  • 18 Dic 2020

    The UN chief on Friday welcomed the release of more than 300 schoolboys forcibly taken from their school in northwest Nigeria a week ago, although others reportedly remain missing.  

  • 18 Dic 2020

    Mogadishu – The United Nations in Somalia condemns in the strongest terms the attack today at Galkaayo's stadium, which reportedly killed and injured many people who had gathered ahead of a visit by...

  • 18 Dic 2020

    18 December 2020 - The UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, welcomes the positive developments in the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement, including the formation of the new Cabinet. He...

  • 18 Dic 2020



    12 - 18 December 2020

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

    Security Council

    Pedersen: “Key players would need to be ready to come to the table together”
    Special Envoy Geir Pedersen on 16 December briefed the Security Council on the situation in Syria. “With five international armies operating in Syria, the country remains a tinderbox for a major international incident, with potential implications across the region,” Mr. Pedersen warned the Council. “Much more can be done to safeguard international peace and security while also looking at practical and concrete ways to safeguard and restore Syria’s sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity in the context of the 2254 process. To achieve this, key players would need to be ready to come to the table together,” he said. 
    Read his full remarks here
    Read more in UN News



    Lyons: “The international community still stands with you.”
    Special Representative Deborah Lyons on 17 December updated the Council on the Afghan peace process and the work of UNAMA in Afghanistan. The 2020 Afghanistan Conference, a pledging event held in Geneva in November, sent a clear signal to the people of Afghanistan, Ms. Lyons told the Council. “The international community still stands with you.” She also called for an inclusive peace process, stating that: “Any sustainable peace will need to be owned by Afghanistan’s very diverse society. This is only possible if the process is inclusive from the outset, with meaningful participation by all constituencies, including women, youth, minorities, victims of conflict and religious leaders.”
    Read her full remarks here
    Read more in UN News

     

    Afghanistan

    Meeting with the President
    Special Representative Lyons met on 15 December with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to discuss the ongoing peace process and need for an urgent reduction in violence, as well as strengthened UN support to the national COVID-19 response.


    Afghans remain hopeful in peace process, despite many challenges
    Panelists in a series of UN-backed radio programmes across Afghanistan’s central provinces remain hopeful, despite the many challenges and obstacles, that the latest peace efforts will result in a final settlement ending decades of war. Organized by the UNAMA Central Region field office, the radio series seeks to promote greater understanding of the ongoing peace process, as well as provide platforms for Afghans, particularly young people and women, to discuss and make their recommendations to the negotiations in Doha.
    Read more here

     

    Iraq

    Safeguarding minority languages 
    The preservation and protection of Iraq’s minority languages, enduring testimony of Iraq’s rich cultural heritage, was the main topic at a workshop on 15 December that brought together representatives of the country’s diverse components, government and activists. Organized by JSSOR (“Bridge”) Youth Organization and jointly facilitated with the UNAMI Human Rights Office, the meeting comprised about 70 participants, including 28 women, from the Faili Kurd, Arman, Sabean Mandean, Zaradashti and Chaldean components. Also present were representatives of the Ministries of Education, Planning and Culture, Tourism and Heritage, the Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights, civil society, as well as Members of Parliament and with online participation by Dr. Fernand de Varennes, the UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues. 
    Read more here 


     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Colombia

    "Seeds of Peace" in Huila department
    With the support of donor contributions, the UN Verification Mission in Colombia is backing a community garden project - "Seeds of Peace" - to promote peace and reconciliation among a group of 25 former combatants and victims of the armed conflict in the department of Huila in southeastern Colombia. On 12 December, and after weeks of community work, the project was completed and now everyone will produce their own seedbed of carrots, lettuce, onions and other vegetables in their plots.

     

    Libya

    Technical meeting on critical reforms of the Libyan economy
    Stephanie Williams, Acting Special Representative and Head of UNSMIL, and the co-chairs of the Economic Working Group of the Berlin Process - including Egypt, the United States and the European Union - convened on 14 December a technical meeting of representatives of Libya’s main financial institutions at the UN Office in Geneva to reach an agreement on critical policy reforms. These efforts are being undertaken to address the needs of the Libyan people and to establish a more durable and equitable economic arrangement
    Read more here
    Read Williams’ remarks here




    New Assistant Secretary-General and Mission Coordinator
    Secretary-General António Guterres on 16 December announced the appointment of Raisedon Zenenga of Zimbabwe as Assistant Secretary-General and Mission Coordinator of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL). This position is established pursuant to Security Council resolution 2542 (2020). Mr. Zenenga has over 30 years of UN, Government and Diplomatic Service experience, 21 of which serving with the Organization in field offices including in Liberia, Iraq-Kuwait, Sierra Leone, Somalia and South Sudan.
    Read more here

     



    Next Week 

    Security Council
    Special Coordinator Nickolay Mladenov will update the Security Council on the Middle East peace process on 21 December.
    Updated Council programme of work 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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    Contact DPPA at dppa@un.org

  • 18 Dic 2020

    UNHCR PHoto

    (Beirut, LEBANON) 18 December 2020 – UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), and the United Nations...

  • 18 Dic 2020

    18 December 2020 - UNSMIL condemns the recent threats made by armed groups against the National Oil Corporation (NOC) and its subsidiary, the Brega Petroleum Marketing Company based in Tripoli.  The NOC is and must remain a unified, independent, and apolitical institution that works for the benefit of all Libyans.  These actions may constitute a violation of UN Security Council Resolutions and those responsible could be subject to sanctions.

    Libya's oil production has...

  • 17 Dic 2020

    New York, 18 December 2020

    On this International Migrants Day, we reflect on a year in which,...

  • 17 Dic 2020

    Although Afghanistan is coming to the end of a monumental year, authorities will still require international support as they assume greater responsibility for national security while battling COVID-19 and other challenges, UN Special Representative Deborah Lyons told a virtual meeting of the Security Council on Thursday. 

  • 17 Dic 2020

    17 December 2020 - Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for Libya (ASRSG) Stephanie Williams convened today a...

  • 16 Dic 2020

    Thank you so much, Mr. President,

    Let me brief you today on the Constitutional Committee, the situation on the ground, and the search for a wider process towards a political solution that implements resolution 2254.

    As you know, the Fourth Session of the Small Body of the Syrian Constitutional Committee convened in Geneva from 30 November to 4 December. Given the major COVID-19 challenges in Switzerland, it took the dedication of Swiss authorities, UN staff, and the Committee members themselves to hold the session safely – and I thank all for playing their part.

    During the session, Committee members continued their dialogue on the agenda – which was, in line with the mandate, Terms of Reference and Core Rules of Procedure, discussing national foundations and principles. They discussed a wide range of topics and, towards the end of the week, the Government and Opposition nominee positions were also reflected in overview presentations in writing.

    The delegation nominated by the Syrian Government presented eight principles related to combatting terrorism and condemning terrorist ideologies and support to terrorists, condemning unilateral coercive measures, condemning occupation of Syrian territory, rejecting separatism and separatist projects, supporting the Syrian Arab Army, promoting national identity, protecting cultural diversity, encouraging and guaranteeing refugee returns and addressing humanitarian issues. These were presented as national foundations and principles, and, as the delegation emphasized, were not explicitly linked to a future constitutional text.

    The delegation nominated by the Syrian Negotiations Commission presented 23 points which addressed a range of principles including Syria’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, international relations and commitment to international law, national identity, cultural diversity, democracy, political pluralism, rule of law, separation of powers, corruption, terrorism, citizenship, refugee returns, rights and freedoms and social and economic principles. These points were framed by the delegation as grounded in the 12 living intra-Syrian essential principles affirmed in Sochi and in the Committee’s mandate – and were presented by the delegation as points for development to form part of the basic principles within a new constitution.

    Some civil society members of the Middle Third presented points on conditions for safe, voluntary and dignified refugee returns, and related issues such as the restitution of housing, land and property, restorative justice and relevant independent and impartial constitutional mechanisms. Meanwhile, other members made interventions on a range of themes, such as the need to address terrorism, sanctions, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

    The impact of conflict on lives of Syrian women, and the importance of their role in political life and of ensuring equality between men and women was raised on many occasions during the session – by members from all three delegations.

     

    Mr. President,

    There were many stark differences among the positions and narratives presented within the Committee. And there were a few tense moments. I was not surprised by this. But it is positive that some positions were put forward concretely. And I was somewhat encouraged that members listened to each other’s narratives with attentiveness and even respect … with fewer interruptions and points of order than before … and with some genuine attempts to engage with each other’s positions. My team and I listened carefully to all that was said, and it is possible to see, in our opinion, potential common ground in the discussions … potential that can be explored.

    Consistent with the package agreed between the Co-Chairs, they and the Committee members have agreed that the Fifth Session of the Small Body will convene in Geneva between 25 and 29 January 2021 – COVID-19 conditions permitting. Without any preconditions and as agreed, the agenda will focus, in line with the mandate, Terms of Reference and Core Rules of Procedure, on constitutional principles or basic principles of the Constitution.

    I will be engaging both Co-Chairs before the next session on how to ensure that the Committee moves, as its mandate says, from ‘preparing’ a constitutional reform to ‘drafting’ one. As the Co-Chairs affirmed during the session, the Committee is mandated and empowered to do this by the agreement of the Syrian Government and the Syrian Negotiations Committee.

    The Constitutional Committee does, however, need to improve its working methods. I would like to see the Co-Chairs find a consensus on working methods that can promote the good functioning of the Committee and organize and structure its work, enabling it to consider specific constitutional items and draft provisions. In addition to a clear method for the Fifth session, I believe we also would need a workplan beyond that, so that the Committee works expeditiously and continuously to produce results and continued progress, without foreign interference or externally imposed timelines.

    I will continue to involve and consult Syrian women, and met virtually with the Women’s Advisory Board twice during the session of the Constitutional Committee. I continue to be impressed by their commitment to supporting the political process and arriving at inclusive proposals and solutions in the interest of all Syrians, men and women. I am encouraged by their recent engagement with women’s groups in different areas of Syria and the region to test some of their ideas on the constitution and to hear of the priorities and concerns of Syrian women.

     

    Mr. President,

    This past month, I also continued to engage civil society through the Civil Society Support Room. Just yesterday, I resumed consultations with a diverse group who are experts in their respective fields. I did so using dedicated online virtual tools, allowing us to connect with a wide range of Syrian civil society actors, from different parts of Syria and the diaspora. I heard from them strong concerns at what many feel is a lack of tangible political progress, including within the Constitutional Committee. They described the suffering in many parts of Syria, the economic meltdown and the impact of sanctions and of growing criminality. They demanded progress on the detainee file and protection guarantees for refugees and their land and properties, and they called for greater civic space and protection of civil society. We will continue this dialogue -- I will meet with them again tomorrow -- and [continue] to convey the voices and messages of civil society to the parties.

    These messages remind us that a credible constitutional process is important. And they also remind us that there are a range of issues beyond the constitution, of urgent concern to ordinary Syrians and identified in resolution 2254, that need to be addressed.

    Violent conflict and terrorism are still very much a reality for Syrians. Thanks to existing arrangements, including those involving Russia, Turkey and the United States, a fragile calm continues, and there are ongoing efforts to address listed terrorist groups, including ISIL and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. But this still falls well short of the nationwide ceasefire envisioned in resolution 2254. Shelling, airstrikes and IED attacks continue to kill and injure civilians. Dangers of renewed conflict are ever-present - in the northwest, the southwest and even in the northeast, where there were troubling signs of tensions this month. And much more can and should be done to address terrorist groups in a manner that is consistent with international humanitarian law and which ensures the protection of civilians.

     

    Mr. President,

    With five international armies operating in Syria, the country remains a tinderbox for a major international incident, with potential implications across the region. Much more can be done to safeguard international peace and security while also looking at practical and concrete ways to safeguard and restore Syria’s sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity in the context of the 2254 process. To achieve this, key players would need to be ready to come to the table together. Mr. President,

    The humanitarian situation of millions of Syrians remains precarious and even catastrophic for some. As we have just heard from [Emergency Relief Coordinator] Mark [Lowcock], and as he told you, much more must be done to ensure the necessary access and resources to meet their needs, with food insecurity a particular concern.

    Indeed, Syrian civilians continue to suffer profound economic hardship, particularly with fresh currency depreciation, and shortages of bread, fuel and medicine in the middle of what is set to be a hard winter, with the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to spread. I continue to believe that more can and should be done to address these conditions, including through ensuring that any sanctions avoid aggravating the plight of Syrian civilians.

    There has still been no meaningful action on detainees, abductees and missing persons, especially of late. Frankly, I am disappointed at where this file stands. It is not moving. Yet when we look at other examples in the region – take Yemen for instance – it must be possible to unblock it. There is a need for meaningful action at scale -- including access to prisons and detention facilities; the release of women, children, the sick and the elderly; and information on the missing. This is a humanitarian imperative – and also essential to build confidence and infuse the entire political process with muchneeded hope.

     

    Mr, President,

    The millions of Syrians who are refugees or internally-displaced persons are not returning to their homes at any meaningful scale. I believe that much more can be done to address the range of conditions that should be in place for refugees and IDPs to return, in a safe, voluntary and dignified manner.

    Ultimately, following the adoption of a new constitution and the creation of a safe, calm and neutral environment, resolution 2254 calls for free and fair elections, administered under UN supervision, to the highest standards of transparency and accountability, and with the participation of all eligible Syrians, including the diaspora.

     

    Mr. President,

    Let’s be honest: after nearly a decade of conflict, the political process has not delivered for the Syrian people, and they continue to suffer deeply – both inside and outside Syria. Only a political solution can end this suffering, and prevent renewed conflict and instability, protecting Syria’s civilians and the region from further grave danger.

    As we look back on 2020, we have two elements to build on – a relative calm with no shift in frontlines since March 2020, and a Constitutional Committee. As we look to 2021, we need a deeper and broader process: a nationwide ceasefire, substantive constitutional drafting, and a wider effort to address the full range of issues, with actions to build confidence and movement, step for step. This needs a new form of international cooperation on Syria, with key players at the table and key issues on the table.

    Given the deep divides in Syria, in the region, and internationally, forging a consensus on exactly how to bring about mutual and reciprocal steps and a truly constructive Syria diplomacy is proving very difficult. But, Mr. President, I am convinced it is possible, and that there are common interests that make it so. I will be continuing – as I have started in recent weeks – to take stock, engaging the Syrian parties and key international stakeholders, and seeking to identify new and additional ways to move the process forwards. Obviously, we cannot do this alone. We need the strong and united support of this Council in charting such a path towards the implementation of resolution 2254. I count on your support.

    Thank you.

  • 16 Dic 2020

    The ceasefire that halted Libya’s civil war in October has begun to pay economic dividends that should improve living standards for ordinary Libyans, with a first central bank board meeting in five years and a full resumption of oil production helping to build momentum for political change.

  • 16 Dic 2020

    As the end of another year of war looms, “families in Syria remain without respite after almost a decade of conflict”, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council on Wednesday.

  • 16 Dic 2020

    The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) applauds the Board of Directors of the Central Bank of Libya for the decision taken in this morning’s long-awaited...

  • 15 Dic 2020

    The head of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), has appealed for the international community to remain focused on the country as it continues to make gains on the political and peacebuilding fronts.   

  • 15 Dic 2020

    United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced today the appointment of Raisedon Zenenga of Zimbabwe as Assistant Secretary-General and Mission...

  • 15 Dic 2020

    15 December 2020 - On 14-15 December 2020, With the generous support of the Government of Switzerland, UNSMIL’s Acting Special Representative of the Secretary General Stephanie Williams, together with the co-...