Bienvenidos a las Naciones Unidas

Reports and Policy Documents

2020

  • 31 Ago 2020

    A peace agreement between Sudanese authorities and key armed movements from Darfur could provide a path to national unity, the head of the joint UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) said on Monday. Secretary-General António Guterres later described it as an "historic achievement" towards lasting peace.

  • 30 Ago 2020
     

    Floods | FAO provides early warning alerts to communities...

  • 30 Ago 2020

    The ISG expresses its solidarity with the Lebanese people after the explosion that caused numerous victims and severe damages to residential and commercial infrastructures and sites of cultural and religious heritage in Beirut on 4 August and extends its most heartfelt condolences to the residents of Beirut.

    The ISG...

  • 29 Ago 2020

    Syrian opponents meeting in Geneva as part of efforts to find a peaceful end to nearly a decade of conflict in their country have found common ground on which to pursue further discussions, UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen said on Saturday.

  • 29 Ago 2020

    New York, 30 August 2020

    The crime of enforced disappearance is rife across the world.  We see new cases almost daily, including the disappearance of defenders of the environment, who are often indigenous peoples.  Meanwhile, the excruciating pain of old cases is still acute, as the fate of thousands of disappeared people remains unknown, making the crime a continuous presence in the lives of the loved ones of the...

  • 29 Ago 2020

    A group of 20 people from the La Plancha community, in Anorí Antioquia, who are preparing for reintegration, is carrying out a beekeeping project, with support from Paso Colombia, and Sena. The UN Verification Mission in Colombia is...

  • 29 Ago 2020

    Since quarantine was decreed in Colombia, numbers of gender-based violence have increased. Just in Nariño, between January and May 2020, 584 cases of violence against women have been reported, according to...

  • 29 Ago 2020

    The Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, is deeply concerned by the major fuel shortages in...

  • 29 Ago 2020

    TRIPOLI – Libya is witnessing a dramatic turn of events that underlines the urgent need to return to a full and inclusive political process that will meet the aspirations of the Libyan people for representative...

  • 28 Ago 2020

     

    22 - 28 August 2020

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

    COVID-19

    Interview with the Resident Coordinator in Chad
    In the video series “Building Peace During the Pandemic”, Violet Kakyomya, UN Resident Coordinator in Chad, spoke with Marc-André Franche, Chief, Financing for Peacebuilding Branch, Peacebuilding Support Office, about peacebuilding dynamics in Chad and bordering countries. Ms. Kakyomya explained how the security situation in Chad has been adversely affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic and how it has led to the displacement of thousands of people. Many young women and men are in a vulnerable condition as their livelihoods have been impacted due to border closures. The UN Country Team is working closely with the government authorities to support Chad in its peacebuilding efforts. Ms. Kakyomya commended the efforts of some 200 ‘listening groups’ in the Niger-Chad border area who work with communities on the matters of mediation and peacebuilding and how rapidly these groups incorporated the Covid-19 prevention activities in their work. She also highlighted the role of the civil society organizations who mobilized efforts to sensitize the public on measures for protecting themselves against the corona virus by circulating information through various mediums.
    Watch here

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

     

    Security Council

    Mladenov: “There is a moral imperative to end all militant activity in Gaza”
    Special Coordinator Nickolay Mladenov on 25 August briefed the Security Council on the Middle East Peace Process. “Recently, the security situation in Gaza has also deteriorated; a trend which soon may become irreversible,” Mr. Mladenov said. “There is a moral imperative to end all militant activity in Gaza, restore Palestinian national unity and lift Israeli closures,” the Special Coordinator concluded.
    Read his full remarks here
    Read more in UN News


     

     

    Hennis-Plasschaert: "An electoral reset could open a new and important chapter for Iraq”
    Special Representative Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert on 26 August briefed the Council on the situation in Iraq and the work of UNAMI in the country. “Restoring public trust is hard work. And within that context, free and fair elections will prove crucial. An electoral reset’ could open a new and important chapter for Iraq. But for this to happen, the elections must be credible,” Ms. Hennis-Plasschaert said. On corruption, the Special Representative noted that: “it continues to steal desperately needed resources from the everyday Iraqi, eroding investor confidence. Crucially, this scourge of corruption also drives many of Iraq’s security issues.”
    Read her full remarks here
    Read more in UN News

     

    Women, Peace and Security

    New web page on inclusive mediation
    Our Gender, Peace and Security Unit launched a new web page dedicated to inclusive and gender responsive mediation this week. It offers resources and guidance on gender and inclusive mediation, and presents examples of the Department’s work to promote the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda, focusing, for example, on the valuable work carried out by DPPA’s gender advisers in the field. It also provides a comprehensive list of reading material and information on the normative background of the WPS agenda.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Gabon

    Special Representative meets with the Foreign Minister
    François Louncény Fall, Special Representative and Head of UNOCA, on 25 August met with Foreign Minister Pacôme Moubelet Boubeya of Gabon. They discussed issues of common interest, including the sociopolitical and security situation in Central Africa and COVID-19.

     

    Iraq

    Accountability for human rights violations during peaceful protests is key
    Despite promising steps by the current Government of Iraq concerning human rights violations and abuses committed in the context of recent demonstrations, accountability remains elusive, according to a UN report released on 27 August. The report details actions and omissions in handling the massive protests that took place between October 2019 and April 2020, highlights the human rights violations and abuses, calls for immediate action to achieve justice, recommends protection measures for demonstrators and urges redress for victims.
    Read more here


    Syria

    Press conference with the Special Envoy
    Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen held a press conference in Geneva on 27 August. The topic was the third session of the Constitutional Committee Small Body, that gathered in Geneva this week. Four members of the Committee tested positive for COVID-19, and the meeting was therefore postponed for a couple of days. The meetings resumed on 27 August.
    Watch here

     

    Colombia

    Special Representative briefed 40 community radio stations on the Peace Agreement
    At the invitation of Colombia’s Association of Community Radio Broadcasters, Carlos Ruiz Massieu, Special Representative and Head of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, took part on 26 August in a program broadcast by 40 municipal radio stations in the department of Antioquia, northwestern Colombia. The Special Representative gave an assessment of the implementation of the Peace Agreement. The radio stations reach nearly 1 million people in that part of the country, where there is no traditional or social media coverage. "For the United Nations, it is very important to be able to send our message to the communities living in remote areas about the advances and challenges in the implementation of the Peace Agreement," Ruiz Massieu said.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • 28 Ago 2020

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  • 28 Ago 2020

    New York – The UN Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2540 extending the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) until 31 August 2021. ...

  • 27 Ago 2020

    A new UN report launched on Thursday highlights human rights violations and abuses that were committed during recent demonstrations in Iraq and calls for immediate action for justice.

  • 26 Ago 2020

    The COVID-19 pandemic is aggravating deep-rooted economic, social and political challenges in Iraq, but elections in 2021 – if credible - could open a new chapter for the Middle East nation after years of conflict and strife, the UN’s top official in the country said Wednesday. 

  • 26 Ago 2020

    Achieving a nuclear-free world is the best way to honour lives devastated by these weapons, the UN disarmament chief told a virtual meeting held on Wednesday to commemorate the International Day against Nuclear Tests, observed annually on 29 August. 

  • 26 Ago 2020

    New York, 29 August 2020

    Commemorated annually since 2010 on the anniversary of the closure of the Semipalatinsk test site in Kazakhstan, the International Day Against Nuclear Tests takes on special meaning in 2020 in also marking 75 years since the first-ever nuclear test, code named Trinity,...

  • 25 Ago 2020

    The recent agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates has the potential to change dynamics across the Middle East, the UN’s top envoy in the region told the Security Council on Tuesday, urging Palestinian and Israeli leaders to re-engage in efforts to resolve their protracted conflict.

  • 24 Ago 2020

    UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay Visits Beirut to Mobilize the International Community and Make...

  • 24 Ago 2020

    With Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) and other terrorist groups attempting to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic for their own ends, the international community must respond with stronger collective action and cooperation,  the top UN counter-terrorism official said on Monday. 

  • 24 Ago 2020

     

    New York, 25 August 2020

    Tourism is one of the world’s most important economic sectors.

    It employs one in every ten people on Earth and provides livelihoods to hundreds of millions more.

    It boosts economies and enables countries to thrive.

    It allows...

  • 24 Ago 2020

    The rights to peaceful assembly, protest and freedom of expression are fundamental human rights and fall within Libya’s obligations under international human rights law.  UNSMIL calls for an immediate and thorough investigation...

  • 22 Ago 2020

    New York, 22 August 2020

    The right to freedom of religion or belief is firmly trenched in international human rights law and is a cornerstone for inclusive, prosperous and peaceful societies.  

    Yet across the world, we continue to witness deep-seated discrimination against religious minorities, attacks on people and religious sites, and hate crimes and atrocity crimes...

  • 22 Ago 2020

    “Culture is the fountain of our progress and creativity and must be carefully nurtured to grow and develop,” according to the World Commission on Culture and Development – and it is a view ...

  • 22 Ago 2020

    In a message published on the International Day Commemorating the Victims of Violence Based on Religious Belief, which falls on 22 August, UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned of a rise in racism since the spread of COVID-19 across the world.

  • 21 Ago 2020

     

    15 - 21 August 2020

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

    COVID-19

    Peacebuilding -  Interview with the Resident Coordinator in The Gambia
    In the “Building Peace during the Pandemic” video series, Seraphine Wakana, UN Resident Coordinator in The Gambia, spoke with Marc-André Franche, Chief, Financing for Peacebuilding Branch, Peacebuilding Support Office, DPPA. The Gambia is currently in a democratic transition and has embarked on a strong reform process including transitional justice and a constitutional review process supported by the UN. Ms. Wakana highlights how the UN used new technology to help the people and communities impacted by the pandemic. The UN worked together with the government to keep the courts operational during COVID-19 through virtual courts. The UN also helped the returnees and migrants reintegrate peacefully within communities. These migrants are now working as actors of peace and raising awareness to help communities comply with COVID-19 measures. 
    Watch here

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

     

    Security Council

    Syria Envoy calls for immediate nationwide ceasefire to combat COVID-19
    Syria Envoy Geir O. Pedersen, speaking to the Security Council on 19 August, called for a complete, immediate nationwide ceasefire in the country to enable an all-out effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. “I remain acutely conscious of the deep suffering of the Syrian people, who in this decade experienced death, injury, displacement, destruction, detention, torture, terror, indignities, instability, de-development and destitution on a massive scale – and who are now also grappling with COVID-19 and economic collapse,” Mr. Pedersen said.
    Read his full briefing here
    Read more in UN News


     

    Swan: "Progress in Somalia requires a long-term commitment to governance, justice, respect for human rights"
    James Swan, Special Representative and Head of UNSOM, on 20 August briefed the Council on the situation in Somalia. “We hope the new Government and Prime Minister – once appointed – will continue and indeed accelerate Somalia’s reform agenda for national development,” he said. “We remain mindful that progress in Somalia requires a long-term commitment to governance, justice, respect for human rights, and inclusion of women, youth, and minorities to build the nation,” the Special Representative concluded.
    Read his full briefing here
    Read more in UN News


    Multi-Year Appeal

    New quarterly report 
    DPPA has released its second Quarterly Report under the Multi-Year Appeal (MYA) covering activities from 1 April to 30 June. The quarterly report reflects on the impact of COVID-19 on our operations at UN Headquarters and in the field. This new report is packed with examples and shows that DPPA has adapted its operations and tools in order to continue providing support to Member States and partners. Our Special Envoys and Representatives are engaging with conflict parties, including through virtual platforms, to encourage conflict actors to move towards ceasefires and amplify the Secretary-General’s appeal made on 23 March. While the priorities and commitments outlined in DPPA’s Strategic Plan remain unchanged, our activities under the Multi-Year Appeal are constantly re-assessed to respond to the changing needs on the ground. As the competition for resources continues to intensify, the MYA is indispensable in helping DPPA carry out its work.
    Read the report here

     

     

     

    World Humanitarian Day

    Iraq
    “With serious humanitarian needs having re-emerged in the country in recent years, I wish to give special recognition today to the humanitarian staff working across the country to assist the 4.1 million Iraqis currently in need of assistance. I thank them for their dedication and service, especially in the face of the operational difficulties imposed by COVID-19,” Irena Vojáčková-Sollorano, Deputy Special Representative and Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, said in a statement on World Humanitarian Day on 19 August. This day was designated in memory of the 19 August 2003 bomb attack on the Canal Hotel in Baghdad, Iraq, which killed  22 people, including Special Representative Sergio Vieira de Mello.
    Read more here

     

    African Union
    “Today, on World Humanitarian Day, let’s celebrate and support the work of our humanitarian heroes, medical professional, first responders and aid workers, many of whom have been in the frontline of the fights against the pandemic, saving lives and supporting others. Thank you so much,” Hanna Tetteh, Special Representative and Head of UNOAUtweeted on 19 August.


    Colombia

    Former combatants approve assessments for humanitarian demining 
    Seventeen former combatants of the civilian humanitarian demining organization HUMANICEMOS DH received certification to assist in the identification of the first areas to be the subject of humanitarian demining in Montañita, Caquetá, southern Colombia. The certification event took place on 15 August, an achievement that is part of the project "Reintegration of former combatants through mine action," financed in its second phase by the European Union through the European Trust Fund for Peace, with technical assistance from UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) Colombia. This achievement shows concrete progress towards the reparation of victims, the reconstruction of territories, and peace contributions by former combatants. The UN Verification Mission in Colombia accompanies the reintegration process and the security guarantees for former FARC-EP combatants in the country.
    For more Information, contact us

     

    Great Lakes

    Event to explore ways of ensuring women’s effective participation in peacebuilding
    The Office of the Special Envoy for the Great Lakes convened a virtual meeting on 20 August to explore ways of ensuring women’s effective participation in peacebuilding efforts in the region. The meeting was the third of its kind in a series of roundtable consultations on Women, Peace and Security that started in July of this year. In his statement at the meeting, Special Envoy Huang Xia noted that the year 2020 marks several significant anniversaries, including the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, the 20th anniversary of Security Council Resolution 1325, and the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action for gender equality. These events, he said, “should serve as a compass to reflect and act together to preserve and increase the gains in the promotion of women's rights.”
    For more Information, contact us

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • 21 Ago 2020

    The impact of terrorism on victims can “last a lifetime and reverberate across generations”, the UN chief said on Friday during a virtual commemoration for International Day of Remembrance of and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism.

     

     

  • 21 Ago 2020

    New York, 21 August 2020

    Today, we remember and honour all victims of terrorism. We stand by those who grieve and those who continue to endure the physical and psychological wounds of terrorist atrocities.

    The impact of terrorism on victims can last a lifetime and reverberate across generations. Traumatic memories cannot be erased, but we can help victims and survivors...

  • 21 Ago 2020

    Over 20 civil society organizations and networks in Guinea-Bissau, on 18 June, have approved a common agenda to promote for peace and sustainable development in...

  • 21 Ago 2020

     TRIPOLI - The Acting SRSG to Libya Stephanie Williams warmly welcomes  the points of agreement in the declarations issued today by President...

  • 21 Ago 2020

    The UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) has strongly condemned the killing of two activists and attacks against others in the southern city of Basra, urging increased efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice. 

  • 21 Ago 2020

    With elections slated for November delayed due to COVID-19, Somalia is at a critical juncture, the top United Nations official in the country told the ...

  • 20 Ago 2020

    Nairobi, 20 August 2020 – The Office of the UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes convened a virtual meeting on 20 August 2020 to explore ways of ensuring women’s...

  • 20 Ago 2020

    The UN on Thursday called for the “constitutional and democratic order” to be restored as soon as possible across Mali, following the military coup, and reiterated a call to respect the rule of law, and refrain from violence.

  • 20 Ago 2020

    Lebanon Humanitarian Fund Gives $8.5 Million to Support Vulnerable Communities Affected by Beirut Explosions

    ...
  • 20 Ago 2020

    Mr. President, Members of the Council,

    Thank you for this opportunity to brief on the situation in Somalia.  You have received a detailed written update in the latest report of the Secretary-General.  So, I...

  • 20 Ago 2020

    Mr. President, Members of the Council,

    Thank you for this opportunity to brief on the situation in Somalia.  You have received a detailed written update in the latest report of the Secretary-General.  So, I will...

  • 20 Ago 2020

    Mr. President, Members of the Council,

    Thank you for this opportunity to brief on the situation in Somalia.  You have received a detailed written update in the latest report of the Secretary-General.  So, I will...

  • 20 Ago 2020

    New York –  The UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, James Swan, will brief the Council on latest developments.

    The meeting will start at 5:00 p.m. (...

  • 19 Ago 2020

    The United Nations continues to monitor the ongoing situation in Mali, where soldiers arrested the President and several members of his cabinet in a military coup on Tuesday. 

  • 19 Ago 2020

    Constitutional reform talks between Syria’s Government and opposition leaders next week in Geneva, offer an opportunity to reconcile differences and establish a social contract with people across the country, who are desperate for progress after more than nine years of war, the Special Envoy told the Security Council on Wednesday. 

  • 19 Ago 2020

    New York, 19 August 2020

    On World Humanitarian Day we honour the work of humanitarians who overcome huge challenges to save and improve the lives of millions of people.

    These real-life heroes are doing extraordinary things in extraordinary times to help women, men and children whose lives are upended by crises.

    This year, humanitarian...

  • 19 Ago 2020

    UN-led efforts to address serious rights violations in Libya, received a boost on Wednesday with the appointment of three independent investigators to document abuses in the war-torn country.
     

     

  • 19 Ago 2020

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

     

    Thank you so much Mr. President

    As I brief you today, I remain acutely conscious of the deep suffering of the Syrian people, who in this decade experienced death, injury, displacement, destruction, detention, torture, terror, indignities, instability, de-development and destitution on a massive scale – and who are now also grappling with COVID-19 and economic collapse.

    It was with a heavy heart that I learned that many Syrians were among those killed or injured in the tragic explosion in Beirut. Many more Syrians in Lebanon have lost their livelihoods, or been left homeless and hungry. And the ramifications for Syria’s humanitarian and economic supply chains and revenue from transit trade will doubtless be significant, given the already collapsing Syrian economy.

    Let me take this opportunity to inform you with deep sorrow that, among the UN personnel injured in the explosion was Deputy Special Envoy Khawla Mattar, who was on her way to Damascus as part of consultations to prepare the upcoming session of the Constitutional Committee. However, I am pleased to say she is on the road to recovery and I am sure you all join with me in extending to her our sincere good wishes for her full return to health and to vigorous pursuit of our shared mission.

     

    Mr President,

    As I brief you today, preparations are being made to convene this Monday, 24 August, the third session of the Small Body of the Syrian-owned, Syrian-led, UN-facilitated Constitutional Committee in Geneva.

    Convening the Small Body is obviously challenging, given the global COVID-19 pandemic. We have been closely monitoring the spread of the virus in Syria, in Geneva, and indeed across the globe. And we have been following the health advice of our host country, Switzerland – whose generous support I deeply appreciate -- and the guidance from the United Nations Office at Geneva, where the committee meetings take place.

    In light of all the information and expert advice available to us, and barring any further developments in the coming days related to the pandemic, and with the agreement of the Co-Chairs and the positive response of Committee members, we are planning to move ahead. We are in contact with the Co-Chair nominated by the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic and the Co-Chair nominated by the opposition Syrian Negotiations Commission, as well as members of the Middle Third, to make the necessary arrangements. And we will of course be implementing strict health and safety protocols to mitigate risks.

    After a hiatus of nine months – caused by differences over the agenda until March this year and then by COVID restrictions – it is worth reminding ourselves that the Constitutional Committee meets on the basis of an agreement between the government and the opposition that guides its work. This was, let us recall, the first political agreement between the parties to begin to implement a key aspect of Security Council resolution 2254, which called for setting a schedule and process for drafting a new constitution.

    That agreement reflects some key principles – including respect for the United Nations charter, Security Council resolutions, Syria’s sovereignty, unity, independence and territorial integrity, the Syrian-led and owned nature of the process and the role of the United Nations as a facilitator. The agreement calls on the Co-Chairs to promote gender mainstreaming in the work of the Constitutional Committee, which builds on the achievement of the representation of women at nearly 30%. The agreement also recalls wider objectives. Let me remind you UN supervised elections as envisaged in resolution 2254 based on a new constitution, and the need for a broader political process to implement resolution 2254. And the agreement mandates the Committee, within the context of the UN-facilitated Geneva process, to, and I quote: “prepare and draft for popular approval a constitutional reform as a contribution to the political settlement in Syria and the implementation of resolution 2254.”

    This is a momentous task - to establish a foundational act, a social contract for Syrians - after a decade of conflict and amidst deep divisions and mistrust.

     

    Mr President,

    As you know, constitutions express the sovereignty of the nation and concern fundamental rights, political, cultural, social and economic rights; rule of law and good governance; the people’s relation with their government; how political representatives are elected and what their powers and responsibilities are.

    During and between sessions I have been ready to support the Co-Chairs and Committee members to help bridge differences by exercising my good offices, and I have sought to facilitate in a manner that ensures the Committee’s continuing credibility, balance and inclusivity, in accordance with my mandate and the agreement that brought the Committee to life.

    This forthcoming session has been made possible by the Co-Chairs agreeing an agenda, which is, and I quote: “In line with the mandate, the Terms of Reference and Core Rules of Procedure of the Constitutional Committee, discussing the national foundations and principles.” Let me reiterate my appreciation to the Co-Chairs for reaching this agreement. I recall the pragmatic and business-like way in which they chaired proceedings, particularly during the first session when there also was an agreed agenda. I therefore look forward to meeting them on arrival in Geneva and to their positive chairing of the next session.

     

    Mr President,

    In the same spirit, I continue to encourage all committee members to come to Geneva ready to engage in earnest on the substance, on the basis of the agenda that the Co-Chairs have agreed, without of course any preconditions.

    And, consistent with prudent mitigation measures relevant to the pandemic, I believe we should work together now to move this process forwards in a business-like manner, with a series of regular meetings in the months ahead, including an agenda for the next meeting.

     

    Mr President,

    This is important, because millions of Syrians continue to face immense suffering and do not have the luxury of time to await a political breakthrough of some kind.

    Civil society interlocutors often tell us that they know a single meeting of the Constitutional Committee will not bring immediate changes on the ground. But substantial and serious engagement by all parties would give them hope that a meaningful process is on the horizon, that could have a long lasting and positive impact on the lives of the Syrian people.

    Frustration with the lack of progress on the political process has been continuously impressed upon me by members of the Women’s Advisory Board, who continue to meet virtually, and I will be consulting with them later this week, on Friday and again next week during the Constitutional Committee’s work. The WAB themselves are working together to support the constitutional process and promote gender and women's rights. And they continue to draw attention to the spread of COVID-19 in already vulnerable communities, the economic suffering of Syrians and the urgent humanitarian needs of the most vulnerable of society – female-headed households, Syrian refugees and internally displaced, and families struggling to cope with extreme poverty.

     

    Mr President,

    Our concern for the impact of the pandemic on the Syrian people remains acute and is growing. As of 18 August, the total number of COVID-19 cases in Syria is 2114, including 1844 confirmed by the Ministry of Health in Government-held areas, 51 cases in northwest Syria – including the first cases in two IDP camps - and 219 in the northeast.

    Of course, overall testing capacity has increased but remains vastly insufficient. Therefore, as Under-Secretary-General Lowcock told this Council late last month, the true number of cases is probably much higher and the pandemic’s impact may be far more serious than these numbers suggest. We already see that all areas are experiencing significant shortages of medical and personal protective equipment and there are concerns about the effect of COVID-19 on health workers.

    The UN family is leading preparedness and mitigation measures across the country, but the needs are immense and resources insufficient. We need your continued support, including in securing humanitarian access for all those in need of relief, in accordance with international humanitarian law. And we need to sustain the provision of waivers of sanctions that can undermine the capacity of the country to ensure access to food, essential health supplies and COVID-19 medical support to respond to the pandemic.

     

    Mr. President,

    We also need a complete, immediate nationwide ceasefire – as called for in resolution 2254, and to enable an all-out effort to combat the pandemic.

    In the northwest, the calm brought about by Russian and Turkish efforts continues to largely hold. But the last month has seen reports of sustained mutual rocket attacks, artillery strikes, ground clashes and sporadic airstrikes, including reports of civilians being injured and killed in these incidents. Meanwhile, earlier this week the Turkish Ministry of Defense stated that an IED targeted a joint Russian-Turkish patrol, damaging a Turkish vehicle. Subsequently, yesterday there was a brief uptick in pro-government airstrikes in northern Idlib. Throughout August we have heard of both sides reinforcing, or even establishing new military positions along front-lines. We urge in particular Turkey and Russia to contain all escalatory incidents and dynamics, restore the calm, and continue cooperation. And we appeal for all relevant actors to ensure that any actions taken to address Security Council-listed terrorist groups are effective, targeted and in line with international humanitarian law, ensuring the protection of civilians.

    Meanwhile, ISIL attacks continue to grow in frequency and impact.

    The northeast has seen ongoing skirmishes and security incidents in and around Tell Abiad and Ras al-Ain, resulting in civilian casualties, as well as protests in Deir-ez-Zor, following the killing of prominent tribal figures there. Yesterday an IED targeted Russian forces in Deir-ez-Zor, killing a Russian General and injuring two officers. Earlier this week we also saw reports of an altercation between Syrian Government and United States forces: Syrian state media accused the United States of opening fire, from the air and ground, on a Syrian Government checkpoint, killing one solider and injuring two others. The US-led coalition says it had come under fire from individuals in the vicinity, responded in self-defence and denies that aircraft were used.

     

    Mr. President,

    This incident is another stark reminder of the need for a sustainable arrangement for the northeast, inclusive of all actors, that respects and ultimately restores Syria’s sovereignty, unity, independence and territorial integrity, in line with resolution 2254.

    The southwest has seen recurring tensions as well as protests and several violent incidents, some resulting in fatalities. Geopolitical tensions remain acute too. Earlier this month, Israel stated that it carried out airstrikes on military targets, killing four men who Israel claims were planting explosives at the perimeter of the occupied Syrian Golan Heights. The Syrian Government stated that these missiles caused “material damage.”

     

    Mr. President,

    Some of these developments remind us that many of the tensions and incidents taking place across Syria are international in scope, that Syria’s sovereignty remains compromised, and that the presence of five foreign armies creates a serious risk of threats to international peace and security.

    This is one reason why the Constitutional Committee’s work can be a door opener, but it cannot in and of itself resolve the conflict. There is a real need for constructive diplomacy among key international players if all aspects of my mandate, as enshrined in resolution 2254, are to be moved forward.

    I hope that forthcoming opportunities for direct contacts among key players will enable them to deepen their conversations and bridge the often-significant gaps between their stated positions, and also enable united support behind the UN effort. I see ample scope for key internationals players to make a difference, working together and with Syrians, step by step, on a range of issues critical to realising my mandate, resolution 2254: ensuring the release of detainees, abductees and clarifying the fate of missing persons; creating a safe, calm and neutral environment in which refugees can return safely, voluntarily and with dignity, reaching a final political settlement that meets the Syrian people’s legitimate aspirations, built around a new constitution and inclusive, free and fair elections under UN supervision; addressing the presence of the five foreign armies and fully restoring Syria’s sovereignty, unity, independence, territorial integrity. There are also other issues where there remains ample room for constructive diplomacy, such as sanctions and working towards Syria’s economic recovery and prosperity.

    But for now, for next week, let us focus on supporting the members of the Constitutional Committee to deepen their work, and to build some confidence in a political route out of the Syrian conflict.

    Thank you, Mr. President.

  • 19 Ago 2020

    Mogadishu – Somalia’s international partners (listed below) welcome the arrival of the Federal Government leadership and that of several Federal Member States in...

  • 18 Ago 2020

    UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for the immediate restoration of constitutional order and the rule of law in Mali, after mutinying troops arrested the country’s leader and other senior officials on Tuesday.

  • 18 Ago 2020

    The UN Secretary-General took note on Tuesday of the guilty verdict delivered by a special UN-backed court, in the case of one of the defendants accused of killing former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, in a bomb attack 15 years ago. Three other defendants, also reportedly members of militant group, Hezbollah, were acquitted. 

  • 18 Ago 2020

    Tripoli 18 August 2020 - The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) welcomes the determination of the citizens of the city of Ghat to exercise their democratic rights to...

  • 18 Ago 2020

    Mounting violence in Burkina Faso has forced more than one million people to flee their homes: 453,000 so far this year alone, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, reported on Tuesday, citing government figures.

  • 18 Ago 2020

    Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL Photo)

    The Secretary-General takes note of today’s delivery by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) of the judgement in which Mr. Salim Jamil...

  • 18 Ago 2020

    Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL Photo)

    The Secretary-General takes note of today’s delivery by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) of the judgement in which Mr. Salim Jamil...