Bienvenidos a las Naciones Unidas

Reports and Policy Documents


  • 31 Mar 2018

    DPA’s mission is to help prevent and reduce violent conflicts and sustain peace through inclusive political solutions. The Department’s Theory of Change recognizes that a multitude of actors and variables affect achievement of the Department’s mandate. Therefore, deep and effective partnerships, within the United Nations system and outside it, are required to address root or immediate causes that lead to violent conflict. As conflict is complex and its dynamics are embedded in societal, economic, legal and political systems, conflict prevention and management require a non-linear and cyclical approach.

  • 31 Mar 2018

    This annual report shows how donor contributions allowed DPA to extend its assistance and expertise to help prevent or mitigate conflict and sustain peace in countries around the world, expand its network of regional presences, and to continue to work for more inclusion of women, minorities, indigenious peoples and marginalized groups in conflict prevention, peace processes and peacebuilding. 

  • 31 Mar 2018

    DPA’s Strategic Plan is also accompanied by a Results Framework to assist in the monitoring and evaluation of DPA’s performance in the period 2016-2019. A biennial Results Framework with the expected accomplishments and indicators was defined for the first two years (2016-2017). Following a mid-term review, the second (2018-2019) biennial Results Framework was developed for the remaining two years of the Strategic Plan.

    The objectives of the Results Framework are to: 1) Operationalize the priorities of the Strategic Plan (SP) into concrete and achievable results; 2) Support integrated planning across Divisions of the Department; 3) Support better and more regular monitoring and reporting of achievements; 4) Form the basis for the Annual Work Plans (AWPs) of the Divisions and Offices of the Department.

  • 30 Mar 2018
    Mr. President,
    Members of the Security Council,
    As you know, today’s Great Return March near the Gaza fence has unfortunately resulted in violence. Based on the information at our disposal, around 30,000 people participated in and around the march at various locations in Gaza. Soon after the demonstration started, the situation deteriorated in several locations. Late afternoon local time the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza confirmed that at least fifteen Palestinians had been killed, and more than 1,000 had been injured, including by tear gas suffocation.
    Several of the casualties were reportedly the result of live ammunition used by the Israeli Security Forces during the march, but also following armed clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces, including the shelling of a Hamas observation point. Reports indicate that most of the demonstrators stayed well away from the border fence and did not engage in violence.
    However, there are also reports that some protestors engaged in stone-throwing and violent behavior, some reportedly carrying weapons.
    According to Israeli Security Forces’ reports, militants tried to get through the fence in an attempt to plant explosives. Palestinians reportedly also sent a nine year old girl across the fence, but Israeli troops were able to send her safely back. Hamas leaders reportedly also were present at some of the gatherings.
    Prior to the march, Israel had increased its forces along the border, deploying snipers, special units and drones, and sent out warnings that it would act to prevent any breach of the border fence or violation of Israel’s sovereignty. Violence also broke out in the West Bank with an estimated 900 Palestinians demonstrating, mostly in central West Bank cities such as Ramallah and Hebron. According to the Red Crescent, 27 Palestinians were wounded during clashes near Nablus.
    Mr. President,
    In his Security Council briefing earlier this week, Special Coordinator Mladenov noted the developing Palestinian plans for today’s march and called on all to exercise restraint and to take the necessary steps to avoid violent escalation. In statements to the media he reiterated these calls and emphasized the need to ensure that civilians, particularly children, should not be put in harms way.
    UNSCO has also engaged with the Israeli Defence Forces and Palestinian factions, particularly in Gaza, to reinforce the same message. In order to ensure the safety and security of UN personnel, the UN Department for Safety and Security issued repeated security advisories to all staff. Throughout the day, UNSCO has been in contact with both Palestinian and Israeli security forces and will continue do so, as more demonstrations are expected throughout the next six weeks. There is fear that the situation might deteriorate in these next days.
    We will continue to underline that it is imperative that civilians, in particular children, not be targeted and that all actors refrain from putting children at risk at any time. Israel must uphold its responsibilities under international human rights law and humanitarian law. Lethal force should only be used as a last resort, with any resulting fatalities properly investigated by the authorities. We will therefore also continue to urge Israeli security forces to exercise maximum restraint to avoid casualties.
    Mr. President,
    The developments in Gaza today are again a painful reminder of the consequences of a missing peace between Israel and Palestine and the need to step up our efforts in support of a peaceful resolution of the conflict.
    As the Secretary-General and the Special Coordinator have repeatedly reminded this Council, the UN strongly urges Israelis, Palestinians and the international community to take concrete measures that will reverse the current course of the conflict and advance the goal of a just and sustainable peace based on the two-state solution.
    Thank you.
  • 29 Mar 2018

    Rosemary A. DiCarlo

    Secretary-General António Guterres announced today the appointment of Rosemary DiCarlo of the United States, President of...

  • 28 Mar 2018

    The 43rd round of the Geneva International Discussions has just concluded. In Working Group I, the participants reviewed the security situation on the ground. While the overall security situation was assessed as relatively calm and stable, the Co-Chairs reiterated their strong concern over the tragic death of Georgian citizen Archil Tatunashvili in February 2018. They emphasised the need to address properly this and similar cases to avoid repetition and raising tensions. In this context, the Co-Chairs stressed the need to avoid impunity and called for a thorough investigation into the case and for cooperation among relevant stakeholders, including in the framework of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism.

    Despite intensive engagement by all participants, it did not prove possible to finalise the draft joint statement on non-use of force. The Co-Chairs will continue their consultations in this regard. In Working Group II, the participants extensively discussed the humanitarian aspects of the Tatunashvili case, which also impacted on the rest of the deliberations. In addition, they exchanged views on missing persons, environmental challenges and how they affect livelihoods, obstacles to freedom of movement for the local population, healthcare, documentation and education. Unfortunately, it was again impossible to complete discussion of all agenda items given long-standing divergent approaches to the issue of IDPs/refugees. The participants agreed to hold the next round in June 2018.

  • 27 Mar 2018
  • 21 Mar 2018

    21 марта 2018 г., 54-aя встреча совместного Механизма по Предотвращению и Реагированию на Инциденты (МПРИ) была проведена в Гали под председательством Организации Объединённых Наций, с участием грузинских, российских, абхазских и МНЕС (Миссия Наблюдателей Европейского Союза) представителей.

    В своем вступительном заявлении Председатель выразил надежду, что встреча будет такой же конструктивной как и предыдущие встречи, и пройдет в атмосфере взаимоуважения и понимании позиций друг друга.

    В то время как участники оценили общую ситуацию на местах в области безопасности как спокойную и стабильную, была выражена обеспокоенность в отношении недавних задержаний за “незаконные пересечения”. В этой связи, были обсуждены три случая. Председатель призвал участников предпринять все усилия к тому, чтобы избежать ненужных задержаний и представить местному населению соответствующую информацию о правилах и практике относительно пересечений, как было согласовано на предыдущих встречах МПРИ.

    Случай об убийстве невооруженного грузинского гражданского лица, в мае 2016 г., в бывшей точке пересечения, был также поднят.

    Председатель поблагодарил участников за их положительный обмен мнениями по пунктам повестки дня и настоятельно призвал их к сотрудничеству для сохранения спокойной и стабильной ситуации на местах. Встреча прошла в конструктивной атмосфере.

    Было принято решение провести следующую встречу 25 апреля 2018 г.  


    Press Release in English

  • 21 Mar 2018

    On 21 March 2018, the 54th meeting of the joint Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) was held in Gali under the United Nations chairmanship, with the participation of Georgian, Russian, Abkhaz and EUMM (European Union Monitoring Mission) representatives. 

    In his opening remarks the Chair expressed hope that the meeting would be as constructive as the  previous ones and would take place in the atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding of each other’s positions.

    While the participants assessed the overall security situation on the ground as calm and stable, concerns were expressed about recent detentions for “illegal crossings”.  In this context, three cases were discussed. The Chair called upon the participants to do their utmost to avoid unnecessary detentions and provide the local population with relevant information on the rules and practices regarding crossings, as agreed at previous IPRM meetings.

    The murder case of an unarmed Georgian civilian, in May 2016, at a former crossing point was also raised.

    The Chair thanked the participants for their positive exchange of views on the agenda points and urged them to cooperate in order to keep the situation on the ground calm and stable. The meeting was held in a constructive atmosphere. 

    It was agreed to have the next meeting on 25 April 2018.

  • 17 Mar 2018

    Photo caption: The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNOCA, Mr. François Louncény Fall, and the Secretary-General of ECCAS, Mr. Ahmad...

  • 16 Mar 2018

    Mr President and Dear Karel,

    I am joining you by VTC from Brussels because I had very minor eye surgery on my right eye which had been affected in many missions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, and it was useful to do so.   The only consequence of it was that I am not allowed to fly until Sunday. My apologies for doing it from Brussels, that is why I am here with VTC. The good thing is that I have two eyes and I can speak and work. That is why we have been constantly, round-the-clock, in spite of this minor local surgery, in touch with the Secretary-General and my colleagues in the field and with all those with influence, because of the events (some of which are very worrisome) that have been taking place in the last few days.

    On 7 March, I briefed you in consultations on the status of the implementation of resolution 2401. At the time, I said that there had not been a sustained ceasefire and there had not been enough humanitarian access at that stage. On 12 March, the Secretary-General himself orally reported to this Council on the implementation of resolution 2401, including UN efforts to create those conditions by using its own good offices and his own teams, including ourselves. The Secretary-General also underscored that it is incumbent on the parties and all those with influence - in this Council, in Astana, in the broader ISSG - to act on the resolution, throughout Syria, without delay.

    Let me update, with your permission, on where we stand on these matters, since the Secretary-General made a comprehensive report – and on the very day after the sad anniversary of the beginning of this conflict. We are entering the eighth year. In everything we are doing in this horrific conflict, our compass, and I know you feel the same, has been, is and should be the Syrian people, wherever they are, who are telling us they are fed up with this conflict and the way civilians are being affected in the cross-fighting.  So whatever we do these days and whatever we suggest, including our current facilitation role, is constantly framed by the urgent need of the ordinary civilians – women, children and men.

    Further meetings have taken place between the Russian Federation and Jaish al-Islam, in the last few days, on the outskirts of Douma – the northernmost of the three opposition-controlled enclaves in Eastern Ghouta. As a result of this engagement, a tenuous, fragile ceasefire between the Government, the Russian military and Jaish al Islam forces has continued to largely hold, for 6 days now, and we hope it will continue so, notwithstanding engagement between government forces and Jaish al-Islam in other areas outside of Douma, such as the village of Reihan.  The ceasefire was effective and implemented with Jaish al-Islam in Douma, but not beyond that. But this is only one part of Eastern Ghouta. It is not being replicated in the rest of Eastern Ghouta or elsewhere and it is extremely fragile. As we are talking, I understand, at this very moment, some delicate meetings are taking place regarding the follow-up to this arrangement regarding Douma. Let us hope that this ceasefire holds, because it is at least one good news among very bad news.

    The UN has been proactively offering its own good offices, but efforts to facilitate meaningful contacts between the Russian Federation and Failaq al-Rahman or Ahrar al-Sham have not yet produced results. These are the dominant forces in the two other enclaves of Eastern Ghouta, in Harasta and around Kafr Batna/Ain Terma/Irbin/Zamalka/Jobar respectively. In those two other areas we have not seen any ceasefire to speak of. Rather, we have seen Government forces and their allies pursue a concerted escalation against these two enclaves, with rapid ground offensives, accompanied by shelling and airstrikes. Reports are just coming in a public market in Kafr Batna having been hit - we need to verify this of course because they are fresh reports - with numerous civilian casualties. And we have also seen continuous outgoing shelling from these areas of Eastern Ghouta inside civilian areas of Damascus. We are also hearing from people inside Eastern Ghouta asking the UN, this Council, and members states with influence to pressure AOGs to let civilians to leave and to pressure all parties for a ceasefire and protection for those who do not want to leave and want to stay.  The bottom line is too many civilians are suffering, too many have died in that area.

    But let me first say: it need not be this way. Negotiations in Douma in the last few days do show that there is a way to create the conditions to advance the implementation of your resolution 2401. The UN therefore stands ready to offer its own good offices, as we have done so far, to all parties, to facilitate further engagement of this kind, so as to make a concrete contribution to the realisation of resolution 2401, in all areas of Eastern Ghouta. What the UN is not ready is to facilitate ultimatums from any side to the other one. Rather, what the UN is ready to, is facilitate discussion, facilitate ceasefire, facilitate evacuations.

    Meanwhile, violence has escalated across many other parts of Syria, where there is no ceasefire to speak of. In Afrin, Turkish Government forces and their armed allies continue to take ground rapidly. We have also received reports of shelling on besieged Fouah and Kefraya, these two villages which have been for a long time besieged by opposition. And there have been airstrikes in Idlib, a new armed opposition offensive in Hama, and clashes and airstrikes in Daraa in southern Syria. Well, if this is a de-escalation moment, you better try to convince me that this is exactly a de-escalation. All what we are seeing on the map looks actually the opposite: escalation. Let me re-emphasise: resolution 2401 cannot be applied piecemeal. It is not a menu à-la-carte. It applies to all non-Security Council-listed terrorist groups, across all of Syria. Let me also re-emphasise, and I quote from the Secretary-General, that: “even efforts to combat terrorist groups identified by this Council do not supersede these obligations” under international law.

    On the humanitarian side, I am sure you will be having opportunity to hear a briefing from Mark Lowcock, but meanwhile, since I have this opportunity today, let me give some elements of information. On the humanitarian front, on 13 March, the UN observed the evacuation of 147 civilians (among them 10 critical medical cases), finally, mostly women and children from Douma to the Dweir collective shelter in Rural Damascus. On 15 March - and this was the outcome of discussions and meetings between Russian military and Jaish al-Islam, facilitated by the UN - United Nations colleagues also delivered a convoy of food assistance to Douma for 26,100 people in need. Additional medical cases were evacuated. These, let us be honest and admit it, positive efforts, which are long overdue, are welcome but they are still limited. These civilians need much, much more, including medical and health supplies, the restoration of water, commercial access and freedom of movement. You must have seen a report where Peter Maurer was meeting some of the people in Eastern Ghouta who were asking just water. Humanitarian colleagues who entered into these areas spoke of having seen hunger, dire want, poverty, haggard faces and despair all around, and even for experience people like my own and humanitarian colleagues it was an unsustainable situation, where people are, literally, at the tip of collapse. And that is in few kilometres, 20 minutes of drive from Damascus.

    And let me be clear: this is only in Douma, an area where we have seen a few days of ceasefire and some positive movement on humanitarian access. Can you imagine elsewhere? In the other two enclaves of Eastern Ghouta, further south, we have seen no ceasefire to speak of and, to borrow the words of the Secretary General, people are still living in a “hell on earth”: scores killed and the injured unattended because health workers could not reach them due to relentless airstrikes. We have seen fresh allegations of the use of incendiary weapons in these areas, urban areas, and the targeting of medical facilities since 12 March, as well as fresh and disturbing allegation of chlorine use in the area; as the Secretary-General said, we cannot independently verify these allegations but we also cannot nor should ignore them. We have also received reports of thousands displaced – some moving further into Eastern Ghouta and many others exiting en masse, in large groups, – as a result of Syrian Government advances in Hammouriyeh and in Saqba. Evacuations not observed by the UN staff are also reported to have taken place, including from Misraba and other areas.   The UN was not present to observe these evacuations so is unable to know the precise number.

    We urge all parties that any evacuations must take place in accordance with the highest protection standards under international humanitarian and human rights law. Whether civilians choose to stay or leave, they must be protected against attack and have access to the essentials to survive. Evacuations must be safe, voluntary and to a place of their choosing. The UN stands ready to provide assistance to people in need, both those who wants to stay and those who want to leave.

    We are also highly concerned at the situation for civilians across all of Syria.  This means:  those being displaced as well as the almost 3 million in besieged and hard-to-reach areas and those caught up in escalations in Idlib, Hama, Aleppo and Daraa. Resolution 2401 demands to “all parties to immediately lift the sieges of populated areas”.  We have not seen this as you know.

    The situation in Afrin is particularly worrying, according to my own colleagues: we have received reports of tens of thousands of people displaced within Afrin and to nearby Tal Refaat and surrounding villages, Nubul and Zahra and other areas of Aleppo governorate.  The UN has also received reports of civilian casualties, some restrictions on movement for many of the large numbers of civilians seeking to leave the city of Afrin, with violence on the main exit road.  I urge all parties to ensure that those civilians seeking to leave Afrin be given safe passage.  Since 6 March, people in Afrin city have also reportedly suffered from severe water shortages again as the source of water to Afrin city has reportedly been damaged by fighting.

    Allow me to add a point of particular importance, and this came out through recent report:  Syrian women face specific threats, particularly in this moment of evacuation and end of a siege and of a battle, to their security in areas of conflict, including widespread sexual and gender based violence, which has been widely documented as well as voiced by women’s groups. Their protection and needs must be forefront in our own response.

    On a separate humanitarian issue, Mr President:  On 14 March, my technical team participated in the first session of the Working Group on detainees and missing people in Astana. We have pressed the Astana guarantors, on that occasion and before, to make progress on this crucial issue, which to us is one of the main reasons to attend Astana, because there is an issue which has been on the forefront of our concern, and we have offered to host a Standing Secretariat so that they can be keeping the detainees file moving between one meeting and other of the Working Group. The Guarantors so far simply agreed to consider our proposal about the Standing Secretariat in Geneva to follow up on detainee issue, but no final decision, even this time, was taken. We will intensify our contacts with them and the parties in order to accelerate the work of this important humanitarian issue.   We should remind ourselves that the issue of detainees and missing people was first raised in Astana one year ago and sadly we are not seeing any concrete progress so far.  We owe it to the Syrian families who have been waiting for too long to know the fate of their relatives on all sides. 


    Mr President, Members of the Security Council,

    Even though the logic of war is clearly still prevailing, what we have just seen and said, and resolution 2401 is not being implemented as it must be - as the Secretary-General said -, we refuse to lose hope to see Syria rising from the own ashes. Syrian people deserve to be helped. Syrian people are proud, they love their country. We need to help them go back to having a normal country. There too, it is with the people of Syria in mind and their legitimate aspirations for the long-term shape of their own country that we continue our political efforts, in spite what we see on the ground, for a sustainable settlement of the conflict.  And there too, the voice of women across Syria conveying their wish to play a meaningful role, like we are having with our own web of civil society, in the next stage of the political process must be heard. 

    My team and I have therefore continued to consult, in the context of the political process, widely and intensively on the formation of the constitutional committee in Geneva, in an effort to advance the full and complete implementation of resolution 2254, within the framework of the UN-facilitated political process in Geneva – and to this end seeking to leverage the momentum produced by the Sochi Final Declaration, which emphasized the fact we should have a constitutional committee in Geneva with an assistance of the UN. We take note of the statement of the Astana guarantors in their ministerial meeting today, in which they reaffirmed “the results of the Sochi Congress, especially to form the Constitutional Committee and to facilitate the beginning of its work in Geneva with the assistance of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria as soon as possible.”

    However, I have to be frank, I must report that at this stage, which is more than two weeks after one month since the Sochi Congress, we have not yet received the complete inputs on the pool of candidates for a constitutional committee developed in Sochi, from the three guarantors. It is my intention, in close consultations with all concerned, to look carefully at this pool when we receive it and at others as required and consistent with resolution 2254 to facilitate the establishment of the constitutional committee.  I must also report, once again, that there is still some serious homework to be done regarding the Syrian Government’s readiness to engage on implementing the Sochi Final Declaration and carrying forward a constitutional committee in Geneva. I have impressed this on the relevant guarantors repeatedly in recent weeks, just as I continue to make clear the readiness of the UN to engage the Government of Syria on this matter. We need them to be part of it. We need to have a comprehensive participation of all Syrian parties.

    In the meantime, we have been proactive in offering creative suggestions as to how to expedite the formation of that constitutional committee. We continue to assess various options on how to advance discussions on all four baskets of the political process in Geneva. In particular, it is clear that there must be more serious talks with the Government, opposition and all Syrian and international stakeholders on what is required to establish a secure, calm, neutral environment, as per resolution 2254, in which a constitutional process and UN-supervised presidential and parliamentary elections pursuant to a new constitution could viably take place. We remained determined to engage everyone.

    As I said in my last briefing a month ago, conflict is increasingly spilling even over Syria’s borders, or at least has the danger of doing so. This month we have further incidents of international potential and real confrontation within Syria, that we cannot independently verify but which concern us. This risk is precisely why we need urgent action on the political front. Syrians need to see some positive movement on the political process.

    On Monday I will be attending a meeting of EU Foreign Ministers here in Brussels - so I do not need to fly, and by Tuesday I should be allowed by doctors to take a flight which would bring me back to Geneva - at the invitation of High Representative Mogherini - and in the context of the preparatory efforts by the EU and the UN, in their own joint Ministerial Conference in Brussels at the end of April. I hope the Conference will provide a significant opportunity to further the international support to the Syrian people though humanitarian commitments.  I also hope that the gathering of an important number of Foreign Ministers in Brussels in that occasion, will also represent a chance to reinvigorate the collective efforts by the international community towards a sustainable peace through the UN-led peace process in Geneva within the framework of resolution 2254 and other relevant resolutions.

    Mr President, in conclusion, let me finishing by cautioning: we are witnessing developments of substantial gravity on the ground, we have to recognise, that demand action, and the world is worried and watching. I remain concerned that concrete matters that we have been trying to advance - resolution 2401, detainees and a constitutional committee – need to move faster and with more meaningful impact than has so far proven possible. And de-escalation needs to replace what we are watching at the moment – escalation. I will continue creatively and determinedly to seek to facilitate the overall political process. As the Secretary-General said on Monday, the ultimate goal is the Syrian people, and the ultimate goal is to “see a united, democratic Syria able to avoid fragmentation and sectarianism with its sovereignty and territorial integrity respected and to see a Syrian people able to freely decide their future and choose their political leadership.”

    Thank you Mr. President and members of the Council.

  • 6 Mar 2018

    The Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) plays a central role in United Nations efforts to prevent deadly conflict and build sustainable peace around the world.

    DPPA monitors and assesses global political developments with an eye to detecting potential crises and devising effective responses. The Department provides support to the Secretary-General and his envoys in their peace initiatives, as well as to UN political missions around the world.

    DPPA is also an agile platform for crisis response, capable, with the assent of countries concerned, of rapidly deploying mediators and other peacemaking expertise worldwide and cooperating closely with regional organizations on the frontlines of conflicts.

    DPPA provides staff support to the UN Security Council, advises the UN Special Committee on Decolonization on the 17 remaining Non-Self-Governing Territories on the UN list through DPPA’s Decolonization Unit and services the Secretariat of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People through its Palestinian Rights Division. The Department also contributes directly to UN efforts to promote peace and prevent conflict by coordinating UN electoral assistance activities through its Electoral Assistance Division.

    The Department was established on 1 January 2019 following the reform of the United Nations peace and security infrastructure, which brought together the former Department of Political Affairs (DPA) and the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office. DPA and the former Department of Peacekeeping Operations (now the Department of Peace Operations, or DPO) also merged their previously parallel regional divisions to create a single structure to provide more coherent political analysis and strategic advice in the service of prevention, peacekeeping and peacebuilding after conflict.


    Peacebuilding Support Office

    The Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO) fosters international support for nationally-owned and led peacebuilding efforts. The Office assists the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC), manages the Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) on behalf of the Secretary-General, and works to enhance system-wide coherence and partnerships with UN and non-UN actors to back building and sustaining peace in relevant countries. PBSO was established in 2005.


    The Under-Secretary-General

    Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary A. DiCarlo heads DPPA. The Under-Secretary-General manages the department, advises the Secretary-General on matters affecting global peace and security, carries out high-level diplomatic missions and provides guidance to peace envoys and political missions in the field.


    Staff Worldwide

    In addition to its more than 500 personnel at UN headquarters in New York, DPPA draws from the work of political and peace-building missions under its supervision, which employ about 4,000 national and international staff in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. This field presence enriches DPPA’s political analysis and provides a forward platform for good-offices missions and other preventive initiatives. 


  • 6 Mar 2018

    The Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) plays a central role in United Nations efforts to prevent and resolve deadly conflict around the world. DPPA focuses primarily on five areas in international peace and security:

    • Ensuring sound analysis and early warning
    • Preventing conflict and engaging in peacemaking
    • Managing political crises and violent conflicts
    • Sustaining peace
    • Enhancing partnerships

    DPPA monitors and assesses global political developments with an eye to detecting potential crises before they erupt and devising effective responses. The Department provides support to the Secretary-General and his envoys, as well as to UN political missions deployed around the world to help defuse crises or promote lasting solutions to conflict.

    The Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO) within DPPA fosters international support for nationally-owned and led peacebuilding efforts. 

    The Department also coordinates UN electoral assistance activities and provides staff support to the UN Security Council and two standing committees established by the General Assembly: on the rights of the Palestinian people and decolonization.

    In many ways, the United Nations and regional organizations have unique and complementary capacities that, when properly coordinated, can contribute decisively to the prevention and management of armed conflict. In its core work in conflict prevention, preventive diplomacy and mediation, DPPA is in regular contact with its counterparts in regional organizations to ensure information-sharing and cooperation on regional or country-specific issues of mutual concern.

  • 2 Mar 2018

    President Lajčák officially initated his two-day visit at UNOAU office where he received a briefing from the Chief of Staff

    H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajčák, President of the 72nd Session of...

  • 1 Mar 2018
  • 1 Mar 2018

    In carrying out its crucial functions, the United Nations Security Council relies on staff of the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) for both substantive and secretariat support. DPPA provides similar staff support to two standing committees established by the General Assembly, concerning the Rights of the Palestinian People and Decolonization.

  • 28 Feb 2018

    Mr. President, members of the Security Council, Thank you for this opportunity to brief the Security Council after the comprehensive report from the ERC, Mark Lowcock. In two weeks, we will mark the beginning of the eighth year of the Syrian conflict.  There are no words to express our frustration over the collective failure of the international community to end this war. But that frustration is nothing compared to the suffering and destruction visited ceaselessly upon the Syrian people. We are here again today because the brief respite you unanimously demanded only days ago in resolution 2401 has not materialized. The airstrikes, shelling, and ground offensives continue. There are even reports of yet another chlorine gas attack. What we need is implementation of 2401, and that is not happening.

    Nearly seven years since the peaceful protests in Deraa and the reaction that set in motion what would eventually become all-out war, we are still grasping for a political solution, which is the only way to end the bloodletting. The Secretary-General has called Eastern Ghouta a “hell on earth”. The UN will continue to work with Syrians and the international community to help bring about a durable political solution. We will also continue to demand that all the parties involved in the conflict respect international humanitarian law – the rules of war – and protect civilians. We will continue to demand the release of those who have been arbitrarily detained and the end of enforced disappearances. And we will continue to call forcefully for justice and accountability. Those responsible for the catalogue of horrors that mark daily life in Syria –chemical and terrorist attacks; torture and sexual violence; sieges; and attacks on hospitals, schools and other civilian infrastructure – must be held accountable. These outrages continue in large part because the perpetrators have so far enjoyed impunity.


    Mr. President,

    As the Secretary-General said earlier this week, “Security Council resolutions are only meaningful if they are effectively implemented.” The UN acknowledges Russia’s announcement of a daily five-hour pause for Eastern Ghouta. And in addition to Mark Lowcock said quoting the ICRC, we respectfully remind all parties that resolution 2401 demands “sustained delivery of humanitarian aid” for a minimum of 30 consecutive days. The UN Secretariat and agencies are united, pulling in one direction, towards immediate and continuous cessation of hostilities that can be sustained beyond 30 days for unimpeded aid delivery.

    We also urgently need to get humanitarian aid and services in and the sick and critically wounded evacuated from besieged Eastern Ghouta and other locations. We are ready to deliver.

    The Secretary-General has repeatedly reminded parties of their absolute obligation under international humanitarian and human rights law to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure. Earlier this month, Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock told this Council in no uncertain terms that this is an obligation, not a favor. The ERC has updated you on the humanitarian situation and, provided an update on the UN’s readiness to deliver aid and services, and the tireless efforts of humanitarians to reach all in need, wherever they are. But right now, we must address the particular need of those in besieged Eastern Ghouta.


    Mr. President, members of the Security Council,

    Resolution 2401 affirms that the cessation of hostilities shall not apply to military operations against ISIL, Al Qaeda, Al Nusra Front “and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al Qaeda or ISIL, and other terrorist groups, as designated by the Security Council.” This rightly maintains the parameters set out in resolution 2254.

    But there must be a frank assessment of what this means in relation to the humanitarian tragedy we are witnessing in Eastern Ghouta.

    First, we condemn all violations of international law by all parties, including shelling from Eastern Ghouta that has injured or killed civilians in Damascus. The scale of the government’s indiscriminate military attacks against Eastern Ghouta, an area with a civilian population of 400,000, cannot be justified on the basis of targeting Jabhat al Nusra fighters. Efforts to combat terrorism do not supersede obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law.

    Second, the UN has not seen any confirmation by the Government of Syria of its commitment to implement resolution 2401, though at the resolution’s adoption Syria’s Permanent Representative to the UN said, “We bear the responsibility as a state for our citizens, and we have a right to counter terrorism.”

    Third, yesterday the head of the Syrian Negotiations Commission transmitted to the Secretary-General a letter on behalf of the three major non-state armed opposition groups—Jaish al Islam, Failaq al Rahman, and Ahrar al Sham—and civil groups in Eastern Ghouta regarding their full commitment to the implementation of resolution 2401. Specifically, they committed to ensuring the necessary environment for UN humanitarian access as well as “to expel all elements of Hay’at Tahrir al Sham, Jabhat al Nusra, and Al Qaida and all who belong to these groups from Eastern Ghouta.”

    Fourth, the UN has no independent verified reports that these three non-state armed opposition groups in Eastern Ghouta created a coordination center, as has been alleged, with Jabhat al Nusra. Nor has the UN seen any public announcement by these groups of such a center. Jaish al Islam has denied this claim. What the UN can verify is that non-state armed opposition groups in Eastern Ghouta, over the past 24 hours, have expressed their readiness in writing to evacuate Jabhat al Nusra fighters. Previous negotiations between these groups and key members of the ISSG humanitarian task force on this issue in Geneva and in Damascus have not resulted in success.


    Mr. President,

    Alleviating the tragic situation in Eastern Ghouta has this Council’s full attention. Yet, we cannot forget that resolution 2401 demands a cessation of hostilities throughout Syria. Violence continues in Afrin, Idlib, and in the east. You have heard about the humanitarian challenges and suffering of the people in these areas as well. I would just like to take this opportunity to emphasize that developments in these areas will undoubtedly render the situation in Syria even more complex. There will be no sustainable solution if the Council’s resolutions are not implemented. This will require that the parties step back from the brink and fulfill their obligations to end the fighting in Syria. And all our efforts will be in vain if there is no serious investment in a political solution. 


    Mr. President and members of the Security Council,

    As you know, resolution 2401 calls upon all Member States to use their influence with the parties to ensure implementation of the cessation of hostilities. The UN calls for a renewed commitment by all concerned Member States to seriously work to implement this cessation of hostilities. The UN also cautions against drawing the UN into monitoring exercises. This has been tried in the past without success – not for lack of trying, but in the absence of political will among Member States to underpin UN efforts. Member States, especially those working within the Astana and Amman arrangements, should use their resources and clear influence over the parties to ensure implementation of a sustained cessation of hostilities throughout Syria.


    Mr. President, members of the Security Council,

    The conflict in Syria continues to threaten regional and international stability because the warring parties believe there is a military solution. There is not.

    The UN remains convinced that a political solution is the only way forward. Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura is pressing forward on facilitating the establishment of a constitutional committee in Geneva, as part of the overall Intra-Syrian political process towards full implementation of resolution 2254, for which the UN requires the positive and constructive engagement of both negotiating delegations. Special Envoy de Mistura will need the full support of the Council and the international community as a whole if the UN’s efforts are to have a chance of reinvigorating a serious and meaningful political process. I trust that he will have that support.


    Thank you.

  • 28 Feb 2018
  • 27 Feb 2018

    On 27 February 2018, the 53rd meeting of the joint Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) was held in Gali town under the chairmanship United Nations, with the participation of Georgian, Russian, Abkhaz and EUMM (European Union Monitoring Mission) representatives. The meeting took place in a business-like atmosphere.

    The participants welcomed the release of one long-term detainee in early February 2018. They assessed the overall security situation on the ground, since the previous IPRM meeting, as calm and stable, and commended the effective use of the hotline. In this context, the Chair urged all participants to continue sharing information between each other as appropriate.

    At the 53rd IPRM meeting participants followed up the May 2016 murder case of unarmed civilian. They also discussed issues related to freedom of movement of the local population and challenges, including the crossings of children to attend schools of their choice. The exchange of views on those issues was extensive.

    The participants also discussed a maritime incident, which reportedly took place on 28 January 2018, and exchanged opinions on how similar incidents could be prevented in the future. Furthermore, the timely activation of hotline on this incident and one case of fire was once again highly commended by the participants.

    It was agreed to hold the next meeting on 21 March 2018.

  • 27 Feb 2018

    Сообщение для СМИ

    27 февраля 2018 г., 53-aя встреча совместного Механизма по Предотвращению и Реагированию на Инциденты (МПРИ) была проведена в городе Гали под председательством Организации Объединённых Наций, с участием грузинских, российских, абхазских и МНЕС (Миссия Наблюдателей Европейского Союза) представителей. Встреча прошла в деловой атмосфере.

    Участники приветствовали освобождение одного заключенного, задержанного на длительный срок лишения свободы, в начале февраля 2018 г. Они охарактеризовали общую обстановку на местах в плане безопасности, в период после предыдущей встречи МПРИ, как спокойную и стабильную; и высоко оценили эффективное использование горячей линии связи. Председатель призвал всех участников продолжить обмен информацией друг с другом, при необходимости.

    На 53-ей встрече МПРИ, участники продолжили обсуждение по делу об убийстве невооруженного гражданского лица, произошедшему в мае 2016 г. Они также обсудили вопросы, связанные со свободой передвижения местного населения, и трудности, включая пересечения школьниками для посещения школ по своему выбору. Состоялся обширный обмен мнениями по этим вопросам.

     Участники также обсудили морской инцидент, который, как утверждается, произошел 28 января 2018 г., и обменялись мнениями относительно того, как подобные инциденты могли бы быть предотвращены в будущем. Кроме того, своевременная активация горячей линии по этому инциденту и по одному случаю пожара еще раз была высоко оценена участниками.

    Было согласовано провести следующую встречу 21 марта 2018 г. 


    See also the English press release


  • 27 Feb 2018

    Photo caption: For one week, the National Police Force will strengthen its understanding of situations requiring respect for human rights, including in the...

  • 26 Feb 2018

    Monsieur le Président,

    Je me réjouis de l’opportunité que vous me donnez de briefer le Conseil, à l’occasion de l’examen du rapport du Secrétaire Général sur le Burundi. Mais auparavant, permettez-moi, Monsieur le Président, de vous féliciter pour votre accession à la présidence du Conseil pour ce mois et de saluer également tous les membres du Conseil.

    Nous espérions avoir parmi nous, le Président Benjamin Mkapa, Facilitateur du dialogue inter-burundais, dont la contribution aurait permis, à n’en point douter, non seulement d’approfondir la compréhension des enjeux de la situation politique au Burundi, mais aussi de dégager des perspectives pour la poursuite du processus. Il n’a malheureusement pas pu faire le déplacement, retenu par le sommet des Chefs d’Etat de la Communauté de l’Afrique de l’Est.


    Monsieur le Président,

    Honorables membres du Conseil,

    Comme annoncé, le briefing concerne le rapport du Secrétaire Général, relatif à la situation au Burundi, publié le 25 janvier 2018.

    La première observation du rapport porte essentiellement sur la situation politique au Burundi qui demeure tendue et caractérisée par quelques mesures restrictives de libertés. En effet, l’on constate que seul le parti majoritaire et quelques autres formations politiques qui lui sont alliées, peuvent mener des activités politiques sans entrave.

    La conjoncture économique est loin de s’améliorer, en raison de la persistance de la situation politique. Or, un tel environnement ne peut être propice à l’organisation d’élections crédibles.

    La situation sécuritaire connait une amélioration notable sur toute l’étendue du territoire, même si des violations des droits de l’Homme et d’autres abus continuent d’être rapportés, en particulier depuis le lancement, le 12 décembre 2017, de la campagne de sensibilisation en vue du referendum constitutionnel.

    Pour ce qui est de la situation humanitaire, le rapport le mentionne bien, elle demeure toujours préoccupante.


    Monsieur le Président,

    Honorables membres du Conseil,

    La décision irrévocable du gouvernement Burundais d’aller à la révision constitutionnelle, sera tranchée par le referendum prévu, en principe, en mai 2018. A cet effet, il convient de préciser que la préoccupation soulevée par le Secrétaire Général dans son rapport, ne s’aurait être interprétée comme une ingérence dans les affaires intérieures du Burundi en lui déniant son droit souverain de réviser sa constitution. Au contraire, elle doit être comprise comme son souci de recherche du consensus autour d’une question aussi primordiale pour l’avenir, voire le destin du Burundi. C’est une évidence historique que la stabilité et le développement qu’a connus le Burundi, ces quinze dernières années, sont essentiellement le fruit du large consensus qui a prévalu aux négociations et à l’adoption de l’Accord d’Arusha.

    Au demeurant, cette recommandation du Secrétaire Général, ne fait qu’expliciter l’article 299 de la Constitution burundaise de 2005, toujours en vigueur, qui dispose que et je cite, «Aucune procédure de révision ne peut être retenue si elle porte atteinte à l’unité nationale, à la cohésion du peuple burundais…».

    Les Nations Unies sont, avec l’Union Africaine, la Communauté de l’Afrique de l’Est et l’Union Européenne, « les garants » de l’Accord d’Arusha dont la quintessence ne se limite pas uniquement aux équilibres ethniques et de genre, qui ont été retenus dans la nouvelle constitution. Le partage du pouvoir, la bonne gouvernance politique, la démocratie pluraliste basée sur le principe de large consensus et la protection des droits des minorités, restent au coeur de l’Accord d’Arusha qui, comme on le sait, a été à la base de la constitution burundaise de 2005, actuellement en cours de révision.


    Monsieur le Président,

    Honorables membres du Conseil,

    Tout cela aurait pu être possible si la volonté politique avait présidé au dialogue inter burundais, placé sous l’égide de la région d’Afrique de l’Est. Ce disant, je voudrais saisir cette opportunité, pour féliciter le Médiateur et le Facilitateur du dialogue inter burundais, pour les efforts déployés en vue de trouver une juste solution à la crise.

    Maintenant qu’à l’issue de son dernier sommet, la région a décidé de poursuivre le dialogue, il revient à l’Union Africaine, ensemble avec les autres partenaires dont les Nations Unies, de rester fortement engagés, en vue de l’aboutissement de la médiation.

    Pour les Nations Unies dont l’accompagnement du processus est, avant tout, d’aider au rapprochement des Burundais, dans l’espoir de parvenir à un compromis dynamique, le dialogue demeure indispensable.


    Monsieur le Président,

    Honorables membres du Conseil,

    Je viens de vous faire une synthèse très rapide du rapport du Secrétaire Général sur le Burundi, soumis à votre considération. Tout y indique que ce pays reste un sujet de préoccupation qui interpelle la communauté internationale.

    Je note que dans son communiqué sur ledit rapport, daté du 14 février 2018, le gouvernement du Burundi se dit prêt à ne «ménager aucun effort pour coopérer avec les Nations Unies dans le respect de sa souveraineté». De ce point de vue, j’atteste, en ma qualité d’Envoyé Spécial, que cette bonne coopération existe déjà entre les autorités burundaises et la mission des Nations Unies au Burundi. Je les remercie pour leur accueil et leur entière disponibilité, en ajoutant toutefois que, contrairement à certaines affirmations, la contribution de l’Envoyé Spécial au rapport du Secrétaire Général n’a guère outrepassé ses obligations, encore moins été guidée par une quelconque partialité. Un seul objectif a guidé son action: tirer la sonnette d’alarme pour que l’avenir en construction pour le peuple burundais soit l’apanage de tous les Burundais et éviter ainsi les éternels recommencements dont ce pays a tant souffert.

    Je vous remercie

  • 26 Feb 2018

    The Co-Chairs of the Geneva International Discussions have taken note with strong concern of reports of the death in custody in Tskhinvali on 22 February of Mr Archil Tatunashvili, and express their condolences to the family of the deceased. They also note that, according to reports, a post-mortem examination has already taken place, and therefore call on the authorities in control in Tskhinvali to hand over the body of Mr. Tatunashvili to his family without delay.

    The Co-Chairs also appeal that Mr Levan Kutashvili and Mr Ioseb Pavliashvili, who were apprehended by at the same time as Mr Tatunashvili, be permitted to cross to Tbilisi-administered territory immediately.

    The Co-Chairs express the hope and expectation that the forthcoming Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) meeting in Ergneti on 1 March will be an occasion to provide further information on the circumstances surrounding the detention of Mr Tatunashvili, Mr Kutashvili and Mr Pavliashvili and the subsequent death in custody of Mr Tatunashvili.

  • 26 Feb 2018

    The Co-Chairs of the Geneva International Discussions have taken note with strong concern of reports of the death in custody in Tskhinvali on 22 February of Mr Archil Tatunashvili, and express their condolences to the family of the deceased. They also note that, according to reports, a post-mortem examination has already taken place, and therefore call on the authorities in control in Tskhinvali to hand over the body of Mr. Tatunashvili to his family without delay.

    The Co-Chairs also appeal that Mr Levan Kutashvili and Mr Ioseb Pavliashvili, who were apprehended by at the same time as Mr Tatunashvili, be permitted to cross to Tbilisi-administered territory immediately.

    The Co-Chairs express the hope and expectation that the forthcoming Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) meeting in Ergneti on 1 March will be an occasion to provide further information on the circumstances surrounding the detention of Mr Tatunashvili, Mr Kutashvili and Mr Pavliashvili and the subsequent death in custody of Mr Tatunashvili.

  • 14 Feb 2018

    Mr. President, Distinguished Members of the Council,

    I thank you for this opportunity to introduce the Secretary-General’s report on the situation in Guinea-Bissau and the activities of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office (UNIOGBIS). As the report already presents a detailed outline of recent events in Guinea-Bissau, my intervention will focus on updating you on political developments since its issuance, analyzing present challenges and making proposals for the way forward.


    Mr. President,

    This briefing is taking place against the backdrop of a rapidly evolving political situation in Guinea-Bissau. In recent weeks, a series of key events have occurred with important ramifications. At the country level, President José Mário Vaz dismissed former Prime Minister Umaro Sissoco Embaló and replaced him with Artur Silva. The African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cabo Verde (PAIGC) finally held its Party Congress, despite attempts made by national authorities to block it and re-elected Domingos Simões Pereira as its leader.

    At the regional level, on 4 February, the ECOWAS Authority, pursuant to its decision of 27 January, imposed targeted sanctions on 19 individuals deemed to be obstructing the implementation of the Conakry Agreement.  These individuals and their family members are subject to travel bans and assets freezes. They have also been suspended from ECOWAS activities.  The ECOWAS Authority also requested the African Union, the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries, the European Union, the United Nations and other partners to support and facilitate the enforcement of the sanctions.

    Following the imposition of these sanctions, the reaction of national stakeholders has been mixed. Those upon whom the sanctions were imposed have described them as “unsubstantiated” and “unjust”, while those in favor of the sanctions have characterized them as a necessary measure to safeguard the country’s democratic course.  

    Meanwhile, national reactions to the appointment of Mr. Artur Silva as the new Prime Minister have been generally consistent. On 31 January, the PAIGC issued a statement denouncing Mr. Silva’s appointment as not being in conformity with the Conakry Agreement. Last week, the Party for Social Renewal (PRS), the second largest party in Parliament, and the Group of 15 dissident members of the PAIGC, also issued public statements stressing that they would only participate in a government formed under a consensual Prime Minister in strict compliance with the Conakry Agreement. Thus far, the Prime Minister’s efforts to consult with political parties represented in the National Assembly on the formation of an inclusive government have not borne fruit.


    Mr. President,

    Under my leadership, the “P5” group of regional and international partners, comprising representatives of the African Union, the Community of Portuguese Language Speaking Countries, ECOWAS, the European Union and the United Nations, has continued to harmonize efforts and messaging at opportune moments with the aim of creating a stable and enabling environment for dialogue among political leaders. So far this year, I have convened three meetings of the group. My efforts, together with the partners, have focused on engaging national authorities and key political stakeholders in Guinea-Bissau to defuse escalating tensions, encourage political dialogue to ease the political gridlock, call for protection and respect for the human rights of Bissau-Guinean citizens, and urge all aggrieved stakeholders to pursue their grievances through legal and constitutional means.  

    Furthermore, under my direction, UNIOGBIS continues to play a central role in supporting and facilitating the regional mediation efforts of ECOWAS by, inter alia, ensuring the participation of Bissau-Guinean stakeholders at the Summit of the ECOWAS Authority and Heads of State and Government in Abuja in December, providing substantive and logistical support to the ECOWAS high-level delegations during their missions to Bissau and regularly sensitizing regional leaders on ongoing political developments in the country, while encouraging them to exert their influence on protagonists towards compromises.


    Mr. President, Distinguished members of the Council,

    The absence of a functioning and stable Government for more than three years has limited the ability of UNIOGBIS to effectively and sustainably implement some of its mandated tasks. As recommended by the DPA-led Strategic Review Mission conducted in 2016, and endorsed by this Council last year, I have streamlined UNIOGBIS’ leadership and structure to promote better integration and complementarity with the UN country team and other international partners, while boosting the Mission’s political capacities, which has enabled me to exercise my good offices more effectively at the national level. These changes have also assisted the broader UN system in Guinea-Bissau in delivering more focused and integrated peacebuilding support to national authorities and civil society, including women and youth. In this regard, the support provided by the Peacebuilding Fund has been critical.

    Going forward, UNIOGBIS will need to focus its efforts on supporting national leaders in their efforts to appoint an acceptable Prime Minister, establish an inclusive Government, organize and conduct timely elections, and implement the priority reforms as outlined in the Conakry Agreement and the ECOWAS Roadmap.  Until the completion of the electoral cycle in 2019, more than ever, Guinea-Bissau remains a country that requires a dedicated United Nations presence to prevent a further deterioration in the political and security situation at the national level and avoid any negative consequences in the sub-region.  In this context, my good offices, political facilitation, advocacy and mediation roles, alongside my efforts to promote respect for human rights and the rule of law and carry out integrated peacebuilding support, will continue to be critical.

    As the Secretary-General has indicated in his report, it is vital that the United Nations remain engaged in peacebuilding efforts in the country while supporting ECOWAS’ intervention to resolve the political crisis for at least one more year. At the end of that period, the SG has expressed his intention to authorize an assessment of the current Mission, and to present options to the Security Council for a possible re-configuration of UN presence in the country.  It is my hope that the Council will give favorable consideration to this recommendation.


    Mr. President,

    The AU Peace and Security Council, through its communique issued on 13 February, has fully endorsed the measures taken by ECOWAS on 4 February, including sanctions against “political obstructionists”, requested the AU Commission to coordinate with the ECOWAS Commission in order to ensure the effective implementation of these measures and further requested that the United Nations Security Council endorse the PSC Communique endorsing the ECOWAS decision.

    At this critical juncture, it would be important for the UN Security Council to continue to reaffirm the centrality of the Conakry Agreement and to reiterate its full support to ECOWAS in its mediation efforts and for the measures it has taken against political stakeholders deemed to be obstructing the resolution of the political crisis.

    I would further seek the Council’s support in underscoring the importance of urgently organizing and holding legislative elections within the constitutionally-mandated timeline.

    Lastly, throughout the past year, ECOMIB’s presence has consistently acted as a stabilizing factor in the country. Therefore, I would call on members of the Council and international donors to support the continued presence of ECOMIB through to the holding of a presidential election in 2019, including by advocating for the renewal of its mandate and the provision of the financial support needed to maintain its deployment.


    Mr. President, Distinguished members of the Council,

    I would like to express my gratitude to the Council for its continued interest in promoting peace and stability in Guinea-Bissau.

    I would also like to commend ECOWAS and its current Chairperson, President Faure Gnassingbé of Togo, and the ECOWAS Mediator for Guinea-Bissau, President Alpha Condé of Guinea, for their tireless mediation efforts.

    Finally, I would like to express appreciation to all multilateral and bilateral partners, especially to AU, CPLP and EU for their commitment to promoting peace and prosperity in Guinea-Bissau.

    After several years of long-term investment in the stability of Guinea-Bissau, it is time to consolidate and reap the dividends of our concerted efforts. It is vital that we accompany this process to its completion. 

    Thank you for your attention.

  • 14 Feb 2018

    Mr. President, Members of the Security Council,  

    I have come to New York to convey in person, I could have done it by video as we have done many times, to the Security Council the Secretary-General’s grave concern at the escalation of violence in Syria – and to urge you to focus on de-escalating that violence and on the political path forward for the full implementation of Security Council Resolution 2254.

    We have seen a string of dangerous and worrying escalations, including inside the de-escalation zones established by the Astana guarantors and outside them. There has been a gradual return to back-and-forth competition over territory in Idlib and in Hama. We have seen heavy and sustained airstrikes across the northwest and in besieged Eastern Ghouta including today. Civilians have been killed and injured on a horrific scale - reports suggest more than 1,000 civilian casualties in the first week of February alone – and strikes have continued to hit hospitals, schools and markets. There have been several allegations of chlorine attacks, in Ghouta, in Idlib, and also now recently in Afrin. While we cannot independently verify these allegations but if confirmed, it is outrageous and should be having no impunity. At least 320,000 people have been displaced due to fighting in Idlib in just two months – an area that is already hosting over 1.2 million IDPs.  Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham - which is basically al Nusra - is active in Idlib. Meanwhile, we have reports of heavy mortar shelling falling even across residential Damascus, wounding and killing civilians and damaging infrastructure, embassies and even close to the hotel where the UN is.

    The conflict is also further spilling over Syria’s borders in more than one direction and there have been increased military intervention from multiple sources.  The last several weeks have seen a new cross-border conflict in Afrin with yet no clear end in sight. There are reports of exchanges of fire between Turkish and Syrian Government forces in Idlib, between the US-led Coalition and pro-Syrian Government forces in the Euphrates valley, with loss of life. We have seen a Russian aircraft shot down over northern Syria – with the loss of its own pilot. And now, over the last weekend, there have been Israeli reports of an Iranian drone entering Israeli airspace – those reports have been denied by Iran; Israeli jets striking targets inside Syria; an Israeli jet shot down by Syrian Government anti-aircraft fire; and what Israel calls large-scale strikes against the Syria Aerial Defence System and Iranian targets.

    In short, we see developments that raise questions as to the sustainability even of the Astana de-escalation arrangements, in which we have a lot of hope and we still continue having hope, and threaten wider regional stability. I have been now four years as the Special Envoy. This is as violent and worrying and dangerous a moment as any that I have seen in my time of tenure so far. Therefore, I strongly reiterate the appeal of the Secretary-General to all concerned in Syria and the region and beyond to de-escalate immediately and unconditionally, and urge all stakeholders, including the Astana guarantors, to use their influence to help reduce violence. I also urge continued attention to maintaining the Amman de-escalation arrangements in place in the south.


    Mr. President,

    Not only are Syrian civilians being killed and displaced in large numbers more than before - they are also being deprived of the humanitarian assistance they need.

    There has not been a single UN humanitarian convoy to any besieged area since the 28th of November - two and a half months. Last week, together with Senior Adviser Jan Egeland, I warned the Humanitarian Task Force of the International Syria Support Group in Geneva of a collective failure to enable effective humanitarian action. I urged at that time the two co-chairs -- the Russian Federation and the United States -- as well as other States, to promote urgent actions to ensure immediate and unfettered humanitarian access to besieged and hard-to-reach areas in particular. A series of urgent consultations are actually underway in Geneva while we are talking – so far, however, without concrete results except one convoy. We urgently need genuine de-escalation to protect civilians, evacuate the sick and the wounded, particularly children, and allow humanitarian aid to reach the 390,000 people in besieged areas and those who are also in the hard-to-reach areas. We just learned a few minutes ago - actually before coming here - that 7,200 people in besieged Nashabyeh received a partial delivery today, this morning. This is fine but let’s think about it - that is less than two percent of the 390,000 people which have been and are still in the besieged areas. We need much more and much more sustained.

    We must also never forget, because that’s what people in Syria tell us, the need for concrete steps on the release of detainees and abductees, and for the disclosure at least of information regarding persons missing in Syria since March 2011. The UN will leave no stone unturned to press this issue, in accordance with resolution 2254. We also remind the Astana guarantors of their own commitment agreed last December to form a Working Group, and. we urge them to move ahead on this important issue when they meet next.  


    Mr. President,

    What we are seeing in Syria today not only imperils de-escalation arrangements and regional stability - it also undermines the efforts for a political solution. Yet we will not be deterred from pursuing the Geneva process, which is the only, the only sustainable path towards a political solution, and which is mandated by yourselves, by this Council.

    You will recall that in December, when I briefed you, I laid out a number of parameters and observations regarding baskets 2 and 3 of the agenda of the political process, which mean the constitutional and electoral baskets. Then, on January 25 and 26, I convened a special round 9 meeting of the intra-Syrian Talks in Vienna focused specifically on the constitutional basket. After intensive consultations with the Syrian parties and key states, I made a statement regarding any constitutional committee to be formed and stressed that final agreement on the composition, mandate and terms or reference of a constitutional committee would need to be reached in Geneva. 

    For its part, the Russian Federation, which had invited the Secretary-General also on behalf of Turkey and Iran to a Congress of National Dialogue in Sochi, affirmed that the outcome of Sochi would be brought to Geneva as a contribution to the UN-led intra-Syrian talks in accordance with resolution 2254. There were intensive consultations between the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and the Secretary-General and myself regarding such an understanding. I also maintained, on that occasion in Vienna and beyond, close consultations with a number of other states at that time.

    Accordingly, the Secretary-General asked me to attend Sochi. The Congress took place over one day on 30 of January. I attended the opening address by Foreign Minister Lavrov, as did the senior representative of Turkey and Iran and others. Afterwards, all internationals left the gathering to enable the discussion to proceed among Syrians. Only Russian Presidential envoy Lavrentiev remained in the room as host to facilitate the debate – and he did so very effectively – alongside with senior Syrian figures and a presidium of Syrians. I was later officially informed by the hosts that the Final Statement had been adopted, and was made aware of its content - you can see it published on the website of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Arabic, Russian and English as Foreign Minister Lavrov publicly confirmed yesterday after his meeting in Moscow with the Belgian Foreign Minister.

    As Secretary-General has publicly noted, Final Statement embraced a vision of the future Syria for all Syrians – as reflected in the 12 living intra-Syrian essential principles that came out of the UN-led talks in Geneva in November last year. The Final Statement, which took place in Sochi, affirmed that a Constitutional Committee should be formed and stated that it should at the very least comprise of  Government, Opposition representatives in the intra-Syrian talks – which means those which are facilitated by the UN in Geneva -- Syrian experts, civil society, independents, tribal leaders and women. The Final Statement noted that care should be taken to ensure adequate representation of Syria’s ethnic and religious components. And it made clear that final agreement on the mandate, terms of reference, powers, rules of procedure, and selection criteria for the composition of the Constitutional Committee is to be reached in Geneva, and appealed for the UN, in Geneva, assistance in that regard.

    Given this important Final Statement, I joined the closing of the Congress to welcome it and to affirm the UN’s intention to proceed speedily accordingly, so as to assist in finalizing all aspects of a constitutional committee, thereby enabling its establishment in Geneva. And I noted to the Congress publicly as I note to you that the mandate given by this Council to the UN in Geneva is indeed to set, in the context of resolution 2254, a schedule and process for drafting a new constitution.

    We’ve been assured by the Russian Federation that it will endeavour to ensure that the Government of Syria fully supports the official outcome of the Sochi Congress, at which many Syrian government officials were present.  I also take note that the Syrian Negotiating Commission – that is the Opposition embracing all components specifically mentioned by name in resolution 2254 -- has issued a public statement by and large positive towards moving ahead on a constitutional committee under the auspices of the UN in Geneva.  


    Mr. President, 

    Since the Vienna and Sochi meetings, both of them important, I have been consulting intensively on the establishment of a constitutional committee. I have had initial discussions so far in Geneva with representatives of the Government of Syria, Syrian Negotiating Commission, and with a number of Governments. My team continues to be in touch with a wide array of Syrians – women and men. And I continue to look carefully at the candidates for a constitutional committee developed in Sochi and other relevant inputs.

    I also continue to pursue the convening, naturally, of the further formal intra-Syrian talks and advancing on all the four baskets of the political process in Geneva in accordance with resolution 2254. I am particularly aware of the need to focus now more than ever on the establishment of a secure, calm, neutral environment if any constitutional process is to unfold – and if UN-supervised presidential and parliamentary elections pursuant to a new constitution as envisaged in resolution 2254 are to take place.

    I am proceeding from here to Munich, God willing, where I will be consulting the Secretary-General and engaging a number of Ministers and other senior officials present for the Munich Security Conference.

    Here is therefore Mr. President, the bottom line of my intervention: I intend to strike while the iron is hot and try to move the Geneva process ahead in consultation with all concerned. To do this, I need all the members of this Council, indeed the Council as a whole, and all who have influence on the Syrian parties, including the Astana guarantors and others, to push hard on three main points: 

    First: to work urgently for de-escalation, civilian protection, and humanitarian access;

    Second: to support the UN in Geneva to give effect in Geneva to the Sochi Final Declaration within the framework of 2254;

    Third: to support the UN in convening the political process for the full implementation of 2254, in particular advancing real issues in the baskets to promote a safe, calm and neutral environment.


    Mr. President,

    The Syrian people and the United Nations need this Security Council’s support now more than ever.

    Shukran Jazilan (شکراً جزیلاً) 

  • 13 Feb 2018

    Mr. President,

    We are discussing the crisis in Myanmar in this Chamber for the first time in 2018. It is now five months since the start of the violence that has forced 688,000 Rohingya across the border.  And the outflow of people continues, although at a lower rate. As of 5 February, between 1,000 and 1,200 people were reportedly waiting on a beach in Maungdaw planning to leave for Bangladesh. Since the last briefing by Under-Secretary-General Feltman on 12 December 2017, the General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/72/248 on the human rights situation in Myanmar by vote.


    Mr. President,

    The Secretary-General has laid out three priorities that provide an important framework for assessing the situation. Regrettably, while there has been certain progress, not all have been implemented thus far.

    First, the need to end violence and improve the security situation. Although large-scale acts of violence have subsided, concerns about threats and intimidation against the remaining Rohingya population from Bamar and Rakhine communities, as well as from militia and security forces in Rakhine State, persist. Bamar-Rakhine tensions remain high, further fueled by incidents such as a clash between the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) and the military on 7 January. Or the incident in Mrauk-U on 16 January, in which police shot and killed seven Rakhine nationalist protestors, and later imprisoned two noted Rakhine leaders. We remain concerned about the protection of future returnees.

    On 14 November 2017, the Government of Myanmar reportedly transmitted to the Bangladesh authorities a list of 1,300 of what it calls suspected “terrorists” and asked for their extradition. The Government also published in the official newspaper the names and photos of hundreds of suspected “terrorists”. These steps have raised questions about due process, and possible intimidation of potential returnees.

    Second, the immediate granting of humanitarian access in the affected areas of Rakhine.  Such access continues to be severely curtailed.  The majority of humanitarian organizations that previously worked in Rakhine are simply not allowed to enter the area. A handful of organizations are given travel authorizations but in a short-term and unpredictable manner that impedes the systematic delivery of assistance. The UN does not have sufficient access to make a meaningful assessment of the humanitarian or human rights situation. Thus, there is little sense of whether the full range of humanitarian needs of the population are being met or about the state of protection of the human rights of all people of the region.

    Third, voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable return of refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) to their places of origin or choice. Let me acknowledge the fact that the Governments of Bangladesh and Myanmar had signed a Memorandum of Understanding and established a Joint Working Group which reached agreement (on 16 January) on a number of issues to facilitate the return process.  It is also important to note that Myanmar had made progress in its logistical preparations to receive returning refugees.  

    On the issues related to repatriation, I will defer to the High Commissioner Grandi to provide more details on these issues.


    Mr. President,

    The Secretary-General has underlined the importance of implementing the recommendations of the Rakhine Advisory Commission as a key element of creating conditions for a safe and dignified return.  The Government has taken some high-level steps to advance this process, including convening an Advisory Board led by Dr. Surakiart Sathirathai with distinguished national and international participants.  At the end of its mission, the Board offered preliminary recommendations to the Implementation Committee, including: the inclusion of the UN at an early stage, soonest full humanitarian access, wider media access, and the formation of an independent fact-finding commission. In this context, I wish to reiterate that we urge the Government to cooperate with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and all UN human rights mechanisms, in particular the Fact-Finding Mission mandated by the Human Rights Council and with the Special Rapporteur for human rights in Myanmar. It is important that the work of UN human rights mechanisms not be undermined by other mechanisms.

    As suggested by the final report of the Rakhine Advisory Commission, we urge the Government to take a leadership role in promoting inter-communal cohesion, create an environment conducive for dialogue, foster values of tolerance and respect for basic human rights between Rakhine and Rohingya communities, and to accelerate and align the citizenship verification process in alignment with international standards and treaties.

    Overall, addressing the root causes is fundamental to ensuring a durable, genuine solution to this crisis. We have consistently said the problem is statelessness. This must be addressed.

    In line with the Council’s Presidential Statement of 6 November 2017, Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict Pramila Patten concluded her first official visit to Myanmar from 14 to 17 December 2017, to address reports of conflict-related sexual violence.  In her consultations, she advocated for the swift adoption of a Joint Communiqué of the Government of Myanmar and the United Nations on the prevention and response to conflict-related sexual violence, in accordance with Security Council resolution 2106 (2013).


    Mr. President,

    While we discuss Rakhine, we also take this opportunity to note other developments in Myanmar, in particular the ongoing fighting, as well as peacemaking efforts between the Government and diverse Ethnic Armed Organizations.  

    We are concerned that fighting in Kachin and northern Shan states has escalated in recent months.  This has cast a shadow on peace negotiations, and provoked a number of serious human rights and humanitarian concerns. Such concerns include the situation in Tanai, Kachin, where many civilians have been killed or injured, and as many as 5,000 civilians are reportedly unable to leave the area where fighting is ongoing. And as in Rakhine State, the Government has severely restricted humanitarian access in many of the most critical areas. The UN is therefore unable to verify the numbers of people affected.   

    On a more positive note, two Ethnic Armed Organizations, the New Mon State Party (NMSP) and the Lahu Democratic Union (LDU) signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) in Nay Pyi Taw today. The signing is the first of its kind for the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) government and brings the total number of ethnic armed groups that have signed the NCA to ten out of sixteen.

    Finally, let me address the unfortunate arrest of two Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo. The Secretary-General has called in clear terms for the release of the journalists and urged the authorities to respect the right to freedom of expression and information. Allow me to reiterate those calls here today. The ability to exercise the right to freedom of expression and information is a barometer for respect for human rights more broadly. Reuters has now published the story these journalists were working on, a deeply disturbing account of the execution of ten Rohingya men in Inn Din village (Maungdaw) in northern Rakhine State. The Associated Press has also published a report of five mass graves in Gudar Pyin village in Buthidaung. These and other shocking reports of grave abuses demand our attention and action, for the sake of lasting peace and justice.

    Thank you

  • 31 Ene 2018
  • 17 Ene 2018

    On 17 January 2018, the 52nd meeting of the joint Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) was held in Gali town under the chairmanship United Nations, with the participation of Georgian, Russian, Abkhaz and EUMM (European Union Monitoring Mission) representatives.

    The overall security situation on the ground, since the previous IPRM meeting of 27 November 2017, was assessed as calm and stable. The participants have again highlighted the importance of the hotline for information exchange purposes, and most essentially for prevention of incidents. The Chair and participants welcomed the recent release of several detainees, whose cases had been discussed at the previous IPRM meetings.

    In line with the provisional agenda, the participants followed up on matters discussed earlier, including the murder case of May 2016 and one detention case of April 2017. In addition, they discussed new agenda points - the issues of “borderization” and military exercises. In relation to the military exercises, the participants were urged to be transparent and to implement one of the agreed measures of voluntary exchange of advance notice on sensitive activities for confidence building purposes, which is a standing agenda point. Furthermore, the participants discussed in detail several other issues, including patrolling along the line of control and previously agreed “code of conduct” of patrols.  

    The 52nd IPRM meeting took place in a constructive and business-like atmosphere. Discussions on all agenda points were useful and substantive.

    It was agreed to hold the next meeting on 27 February 2018.

  • 17 Ene 2018

    Сообщение для СМИ

    17 января 2018 г., 52-aя встреча совместного Механизма по Предотвращению и Реагированию на Инциденты (МПРИ) была проведена в городе Гали под председательством Организации Объединённых Наций, с участием грузинских, российских, абхазских и МНЕС (Миссия Наблюдателей Европейского Союза) представителей.

    Общую обстановку на местах в плане безопасности, начиная со встречи МПРИ от 27 ноября 2017 г., охарактеризовали как спокойную и стабильную. Участники снова подчеркнули важность горячей линии связи в целях обмена информацией, и главным образом для предотвращения инцидентов. Председатель и участники приветствовали недавнее освобождение нескольких задержанных, случаи которых обсуждались на предыдущих встречах МПРИ.

    Согласно предварительной повестке дня, участники продолжили дискуссию по ранее обсужденным вопросам,  включая по делу об убийстве, произошедшему в мае 2016 г., и по одному случаю задержания от апреля 2017 г.  Кроме того, они обсудили новые пункты повестки дня – вопросы по “укреплению границы” и военным учениям. Относительно военных учений, к участникам был обращен убедительный призыв обеспечить транспарентность  и проявить усилия по осуществлению одной из согласованных мер по добровольному обмену заблаговременными извещениями о значимой деятельности с целью укрепления доверия, что является постоянным пунктом повестки дня. Кроме того, участники подробно обсудили несколько других вопросов, включая патрулирование вдоль линии контроля и ранее согласованный “кодекс поведения” патрулей.  

    52-я встреча МПРИ прошла в конструктивной и деловой атмосфере. Обсуждение всех пунктов повестки дня было полезным и по существу.

    Было согласовано провести следующую встречу 27 февраля 2018 г.   


    The English press release is available here.

  • 17 Ene 2018

    Сообщение для СМИ

    17 января 2018 г., 52-aя встреча совместного Механизма по Предотвращению и Реагированию на Инциденты (МПРИ) была проведена в городе Гали под председательством Организации Объединённых Наций, с участием грузинских, российских, абхазских и МНЕС (Миссия Наблюдателей Европейского Союза) представителей.

    Общую обстановку на местах в плане безопасности, начиная со встречи МПРИ от 27 ноября 2017 г., охарактеризовали как спокойную и стабильную. Участники снова подчеркнули важность горячей линии связи в целях обмена информацией, и главным образом для предотвращения инцидентов. Председатель и участники приветствовали недавнее освобождение нескольких задержанных, случаи которых обсуждались на предыдущих встречах МПРИ.

    Согласно предварительной повестке дня, участники продолжили дискуссию по ранее обсужденным вопросам,  включая по делу об убийстве, произошедшему в мае 2016 г., и по одному случаю задержания от апреля 2017 г.  Кроме того, они обсудили новые пункты повестки дня – вопросы по “укреплению границы” и военным учениям. Относительно военных учений, к участникам был обращен убедительный призыв обеспечить транспарентность  и проявить усилия по осуществлению одной из согласованных мер по добровольному обмену заблаговременными извещениями о значимой деятельности с целью укрепления доверия, что является постоянным пунктом повестки дня. Кроме того, участники подробно обсудили несколько других вопросов, включая патрулирование вдоль линии контроля и ранее согласованный “кодекс поведения” патрулей.  

    52-я встреча МПРИ прошла в конструктивной и деловой атмосфере. Обсуждение всех пунктов повестки дня было полезным и по существу.

    Было согласовано провести следующую встречу 27 февраля 2018 г.   


    The English press release is available here.

  • 16 Ene 2018

    The UNOAU Chief of Staff, Ms. Nathalie Ndongo-Seh, attended the inauguration ceremony of the African Standby Force (ASF) Continental Logistics Base on  5th January, 2018. This base is located in Douala in the...

  • 5 Ene 2018

    Mr. President,

    As requested, I would like to brief the Security Council on ongoing developments in the Islamic Republic of Iran under the Agenda Item: The Situation in the Middle East.

     As this is the first public meeting of the Security Council in 2018, I would like on behalf of the Department of Political Affairs, to congratulate the six new elected members of the Council on the assumption of their important responsibilities. I also wish the Security Council a successful year. 


    Mr. President,

    The protests in the Islamic Republic of Iran started on 28 December 2017 when hundreds of Iranians gathered, in a largely peaceful manner, in Mashhad, the country’s second-largest city, chanting slogans against economic hardship.

    Over the following several days, protests occurred in other urban areas, including Tehran, as well as many rural areas. Some of the slogans also expressed disappointment at slow or limited change in social strictures and political freedoms, and criticized what demonstrators decried as the privileged position of the clergy and elements of the country’s security establishment. In some cases, demonstrators demanded that Iran cease costly involvement in the region.

    As the protests escalated, some turned violent. Videos posted on social media platforms, several of which remain largely blocked by the Government, and footage broadcast by state TV channels showed the beating of protesters, as well as the burning of government offices, banks and religious centres.

    According to reports carried by official Iranian media, more than 20 Iranians, including a teenage boy and a policeman, have died during the protests. Iran’s Ministry of the Interior stated that over 1,000 protesters have been detained, although many may have since been released.

    With very limited presence on the ground, the Secretariat cannot confirm or deny the authenticity of these images that have been broadcast nor the extent of violence. However, we have received reports that the police, rather than military forces, were responding to the protests.

    On 3 January Iran's Revolutionary Guards announced the end of the anti-government protests. Recent reports indicate smaller and scattered demonstrations. Meanwhile, from 3 to 5 January, large pro-government rallies were reportedly held across the country, with participants expressing support for the Supreme Leader and condemning violence.


    Mr. President, Members of the Security Council,

    On 31 December 2017, President Rouhani told a Cabinet meeting that the Iranian people should be allowed “space” to protest and criticize the government. At the same time, he stressed that violence would not be tolerated.

    Two days later, on 2 January, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei accused Iran’s enemies, without naming them, of “stirring” the unrest.

    On 3 January, the Permanent Representative of Iran to the United Nations wrote to the Secretary-General, accusing the United States of stepping up “its acts of intervention in a grotesque way in Iran’s internal affairs under the pretext of providing support for sporadic protests” in Iran.


    Mr. President,

    The outbreak of violent protests in Iran has focused attention to events in the country. A number of world leaders have expressed support for the Iranian protesters. Others, including the European Union, have called on the Iranian authorities to respect the right to peaceful demonstration and freedom of opinion. Yet more have supported the Government of Iran calling the protests an internal matter.  

    On 3 January, the Secretary-General issued a statement deploring the loss of life in the protests, and urging respect for the rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression and that demonstrations take place in a peaceful manner. The same day, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights called on the Iranian authorities “to handle the wave of protests that have taken place around the country with great care so as not to further inflame violence and unrest,” and to investigate all deaths and serious injuries that have occurred so far.

    On 5 January, four United Nations Special Rapporteurs stated that “[t]he Iranian authorities should take immediate action to ensure that all citizens can exercise peacefully the right to freedom of expression and assembly, and should ensure that these and other fundamental rights are not met with violence.”


    Mr. President,

    As of today, the United Nations’ development work in the Islamic Republic of Iran has not been significantly affected by the recent events.

    The Secretariat will continue to monitor developments on the ground and engage Iranian authorities with a view to contributing to efforts that address, as the Secretary-General underscored in his statement of 3 January, the legitimate concerns of the population through peaceful means and avoid violence or retribution against peaceful protestors.

    Thank you.


  • 30 Dic 2017

    The end of year publication features some of the highlights of our online magazine Politically Speaking in 2017.

  • 26 Dic 2017

    The Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) and Benin hosted the second meeting of the Joint Steering Committee (JSC) on the African Union (AU) Additional Support to...

  • 20 Dic 2017

    UNOAU hosted the UN Liaison Team in Ethiopia in its premises in December.

    In this meeting, key issues of common concern in relation to the work of the UN and the African Union were discussed. 

  • 20 Dic 2017

    Members of the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) visited Addis Ababa from 7-8 December, 2017.

    The objective of the visit was to further strengthen cooperation with the African Union (AU) in the...

  • 19 Dic 2017

    Mr. President, Members of the Security Council, Ladies and Gentlemen,

    Almost two years after Implementation Day of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, we are at a critical crossroads.  Today’s meeting is an important opportunity to reflect carefully on what has been achieved and the challenges that lay ahead. Since 16 January 2016, the International Atomic Energy Agency has reported to this Council nine times that Iran is continuing to adhere to its nuclear-related commitments.

    Against this positive story of JCPOA implementation, on 13 October, the President of the United States decided not to certify to Congress that the suspension of its national sanctions pursuant to the agreement is "appropriate and proportionate to the specific and verifiable measures taken by the Iran with respect to terminating its illicit nuclear program"[1].  This decision has regrettably created considerable uncertainty about the future of the JCPOA.  The Secretary-General is reassured that the United States, during the recent 7th meeting of the Joint Commission, together with other participants, expressed its continued adherence to its commitments and stressed the need to ensure the full and effective implementation of the agreement in all its parts in good faith and in a constructive atmosphere.

    The support of this Security Council for the agreement is vital to ensure the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme, as well as regional and international stability.  The agreement is in the interest of the global non-proliferation regime, and of regional and international peace and security. It is also the best way to realize the aspirations of the Iranian people through an opportunity for greater economic engagement with the world.  The international community will be following carefully what the participants to the agreement, and this Council, will do in the coming months and years – and will certainly calibrate its own actions accordingly. 

    For these reasons, the Secretary-General encourages the United States to maintain its commitment to the agreement and to consider the broader implications for the region and beyond before taking any further steps.  Similarly, he encourages the Islamic Republic of Iran to carefully consider the concerns raised by other JCPOA participants.  The Secretary-General also encourages the international community to continue to support the full implementation of this historic agreement and welcomes the affirmative statements by numerous other Member States in support of the Plan.


    Mr. President,  

    Thank you for the opportunity to brief the Security Council on the Fourth Report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of resolution 2231 (S/2017/515).  This report was submitted to the Council on 8 December 2017 pursuant to annex B to resolution 2231 (2015) and the Note by the President of the Council issued on 16 January 2016 (S/2016/44).   

    As guided by the Security Council, the report of the Secretary-General focuses on the implementation of the provisions contained in annex B to resolution 2231 (2015).   I now turn to the main findings of the fourth report. 

    First, the Secretary-General has again not received any report regarding the supply, sale or transfer to Iran of nuclear-related items undertaken contrary to the provisions of the resolution. Meanwhile, Member States are making greater use of the procurement channel.  Eight additional nuclear-related proposals were submitted to the Security Council for approval, bringing to 24 the total number of proposals submitted since Implementation Day.  These proposals were processed in accordance with the timelines established by resolution 2231 (2015), with due regard for information security and confidentiality.   I wish to take this opportunity to acknowledge once again the excellent cooperation we have with the European External Action Service, especially its Coordinator of the Procurement Working Group of the Joint Commission.

    Second, regarding the implementation of ballistic missile-related provisions, the report reflects official information provided by Member States on the launch of the Simorgh Space Launch Vehicle in July 2017 by the Islamic Republic of Iran and on several ballistic missile launches by the Islamic Republic of Iran.

    In October and November, the Secretariat was requested to travel twice to Saudi Arabia to examine the debris of the ballistic missiles launched at Yanbu and Riyadh on 22 July and 4 November 2017, respectively.  Saudi authorities assessed that Iran had a role in manufacturing these missiles used in the July and November attacks.  We take note of the information presented in the recent press conference by Ambassador Haley on 14 December and Iranian statement(s) in response. At this time, the Secretariat is not yet in a position to confirm whether those missiles were Iranian Qiam-1 missiles (a variant of the Scud missile) transferred contrary to resolution 2231 (2015), as assessed by Saudi authorities.   However, the report contained preliminary observations indicating that (1) the two missiles had similar features which suggested a common origin; (2) the missiles contained features that are consistent with missiles of the Scud family; (3) the missiles also had features known to be consistent with the Qiam-1 missile; and (4) one of the missile bore castings similar to that of an Iranian entity on the list maintained pursuant to resolution 2231 (2015).  The Secretariat is still analysing the information available and will report to the Council in due course.  The Secretariat recommended a joint meeting of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 2140 (2014) and of the “2231 format” to be jointly briefed by the Panel of Experts on Yemen and the Secretariat on their respective findings at the appropriate time.  It is important that the Security Council is able to consider this issue holistically, and coherently, on the basis of all the information available to it.

    Third, in terms of restrictions on arms-related transfers, the Secretariat was requested to examine the arms and related materiel seized by the United States in March 2016.  The Secretariat also received information on an unmanned surface vessel (USV) laden with explosives allegedly used against the Saudi-led coalition and had the opportunity to examine parts of its guidance and detonation systems.  The Secretariat was also requested to examine two unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), reportedly recovered in Yemen after Implementation Day.

    The Secretariat is confident that close to 900 of the assault rifles seized by the United States are identical to those seized by France also in March 2016, which the Secretariat had assessed were of Iranian origin and shipped from the Islamic Republic of Iran.  The Secretariat is also confident that half of the 200 rocket propelled grenade launchers had characteristics similar to Iranian-produced RPG launchers.  We are still analysing the remaining weapons found in the shipment and will report back in due course.

    The Secretariat could also observe that the guidance and detonation systems of the USV included a computer terminal with a dual English/Farsi keyboard and characteristics similar to those of Iranian-produced terminals.  It was also observed that the detonation system included items identical to items found on board the dhow Adris by the United States in March 2016, and that the electrical cables within the detonation mechanism and in the guidance system bore markings indicating Iranian manufacture.  An update will be provided in due course.

    The Secretariat observed that one of the UAV – which Saudi authorities ascertain was similar to that of the Iranian-made Ababil-II – is similar to other drones reportedly seized in Yemen brought to our attention by the United Arab Emirates.  We look forward to the opportunity to examine these other unmanned aerial vehicles, in order to independently ascertain their origin.

    Fourth, the report also highlights the participation of the Defence Industries Organisation in another foreign exhibition, the International Aviation and Space Salon held in the Russian Federation in July 2017.  The issue was raised with the Russian Federation and we were informed that an investigation into the issue found no action inconsistent with resolution 2231 (2015).  The Secretary-General report also provides information on additional travels by Major General Qasem Soleimani, noting that the Security Council should call upon the government of relevant Member States to take the necessary steps to ensure the proper implementation of the travel ban and other provisions of annex B to resolution 2231 (2015).

    Before concluding, I wish to underline that the Secretariat carefully considered the information that the Islamic Republic of Iran conveyed in its letter dated 28 August 2017 which stated that the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, signed into law on 2 August 2017, violated the terms of paragraphs 3, 4 and 5 of annex B to resolution 2231 (2015).  It is our assessment that this information does not fall within the scope of this report, unless guidance to the contrary is provided by the Security Council.


    Mr. President,

    In closing, I would to thank H.E. Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi (Italy) for his successful tenure as Facilitator for the implementation of resolution 2231 (2015) during this challenging year. I would also like to take this opportunity to wish well to H.E. Ambassador Karel Jan Gustaaf van Oosterom (Netherlands) as he will assume the role of Facilitator on 1 January 2018 and to assure him of the Secretariat’s full support.  Thank you.



    [1] Note: quote is taken from speech by President Trump on 13 October, itself based on the language of the U.S. Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015. 

  • 13 Dic 2017

    Mr. President, Distinguished Members of the Council,

    It is my honour to present to you the latest Report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Central Africa and the activities of the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA). The report covers the latest peace and security developments in the sub-region as well as the activities of UNOCA that have been undertaken since my last briefing to this Council in June 2017.

    I am pleased to report on some positive developments in the sub-region, particularly regarding regional integration and capacity-building of the General Secretariat of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS). However, the overall situation in Central Africa remains marked by tense socio-political situations, economic difficulties, and continued attacks and horrific abuses carried out by armed groups against civilian populations, all of which necessitate concerted national, regional and international action to prevent a further degradation. In this context, I have maintained continuous contact with stakeholders and leaders across the sub-region to facilitate the search for a peaceful resolution of the conflicts through inclusive dialogue.

    Mr. President,

    In Chad, the Republic of the Congo and Gabon, continuing, serious economic difficulties combined with political and social tensions between the respective Governments and opposition movements remain a cause for concern. In Chad, I have encouraged the Government and opposition leaders to discuss the modalities and timeframe for an inclusive dialogue in order to reach consensus on proposed solutions to the governance and economic issues facing the country and agree on meaningful governance reforms that will create an environment conducive to the holding of legislative elections. In the Republic of the Congo, though several political leaders who were arrested following the 2016 presidential election were released on humanitarian grounds to seek medical treatment abroad, prominent opposition leaders such as Jean-Marie Michel Mokoko and André Okombi Salissa, remain detained without trial. The security situation in the Pool region also remains unresolved, although it has relatively improved and internal political consultations have begun regarding the region’s stabilization. During my visits to the country, I have stressed the importance of stabilizing the Pool region and operationalizing the platforms for political and social dialogue. I have also highlighted the need for a timely and fair trial for the detained opposition leaders, who deserve humane detention conditions.

    Meanwhile, in Cameroon, half of the country’s regions are affected by either Boko Haram (Far North), the crisis in the Central African Republic (the Eastern part of the country), or the Anglophone separatist movement (North-West and South-West regions). We must remain alert and redouble our prevention efforts to ensure that prevailing tensions do not deteriorate in the context of the 2018 elections. The situation connected to the grievances of the population in the English-speaking regions of the country is of particular concern. I have maintained close contact with the Cameroonian authorities and continued to underline the need for genuine and inclusive dialogue. While the Government took a number of measures to address these grievances, including reforms in the judicial and education sectors and the release of a number of English-speaking leaders detained in connection with the crisis, there have been calls for a more fundamental dialogue to overcome the marginalization that is felt by much of the population there. At the same time, clashes have continued between radicals and government forces resulting in the death of security officers in the North-West and South-West regions likely to further inflame tensions.

    M. le Président,

    Au Gabon, le contexte national est caractérisé par la persistance du ralentissement économique et des mouvements de grève, ainsi que le débat sur un projet controversé de réforme constitutionnelle. L’opposition et une partie de la société civile critiquent tant la méthode utilisée, qu’elles considèrent comme non-inclusive et illégitime, que la substance de la réforme constitutionnelle qui, selon elles, représente un recul démocratique. Il est attendu que la réforme soit adoptée par le parlement, où le parti au pouvoir détient une majorité de deux-tiers. La voie référendaire, quoique possible selon la constitution, ne semble pas envisagée. Le candidat malheureux à la dernière élection présidentielle M. Jean Ping et ses alliés ont continué à contester la réélection en 2016 du Président Ali Bongo Ondimba. En particulier, M. Ping continue d’encourager ses partisans à organiser des manifestations publiques en faveur de sa prise de pouvoir, et persiste dans son refus de participer à un dialogue avec le Président Bongo Ondimba.

    La situation en République centrafricaine (RCA) demeure une source de préoccupation, avec la persistance d’attaques et d’abus graves perpétrés par des groupes armés, y compris le meurtre de casques bleus de la MINUSCA ainsi que de travailleurs humanitaires déployés pour venir en aide à la population civile. Il est urgent que le processus de paix progresse, dans le cadre de l’Initiative africaine, avec la mise en oeuvre des actions concrètes prévues par la feuille de route adoptée lors de la réunion organisée par l’Union africaine (UA) à Libreville le 17 juillet. Cela devrait déboucher sur une cessation immédiate des hostilités et éventuellement le désarmement et la démobilisation de tous les groupes armés actifs dans le pays. Je salue le lancement des activités du Panel des Facilitateurs de l’Initiative africaine en RCA à la fin du mois de novembre dernier, suivi de ses premiers contacts avec les groupes armés en décembre. Il est maintenant important de ne pas perdre cet élan pendant la période cruciale à venir. La réunion de haut niveau sur la RCA tenue en marge de la session de l’Assemblée Générale de cette année ainsi que la visite qu’a entreprise le Secrétaire général dans le pays en octobre ont joué un rôle critique pour attirer à nouveau l’attention de la communauté internationale sur la RCA. Dans ce contexte, l’engagement entier de la région dans le processus de paix demeure vital, pas seulement pour soutenir politiquement l’Initiative africaine, mais aussi en vue d’apporter des réponses collectives aux dynamiques transfrontalières qui ont un impact sur le conflit en RCA, notamment la transhumance et les trafics. UNOCA, en étroite coopération avec la MINUSCA, continuera de travailler avec la CEEAC et les pays de la sousrégion afin qu’ils jouent un rôle actif dans la résolution de la crise en RCA.

    En dépit des efforts considérables déployés aux niveaux national, régional et international pour lutter contre Boko Haram, ce dernier maintient sa capacité à perpétrer des attaques et des abus horribles, aggravant la situation humanitaire, économique, sociale et sécuritaire dans les zones affectées. Il est donc crucial que toutes les parties prenantes et les partenaires redoublent d’efforts pour régler de manière holistique la crise causée par Boko Haram. A cet effet, les conclusions de la récente conférence régionale pour la stabilisation du bassin du Lac Tchad, organisée par la Commission de l’UA et la Commission du Bassin du Lac Tchad, sont des initiatives à saluer et qui méritent le plein soutien de la communauté internationale pour leur mise en oeuvre.

    Mr. President,

    Concerning the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), in addition to its abuses committed against local populations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Central African Republic and its poaching activities, along with the increased security vacuum following the withdrawal of Ugandan and U.S. forces from the zone, it is important to recall that the areas in which the LRA operates face a myriad of security challenges, including issues related to transhumance, lack of state authority, and cross-border movements of poachers and a variety of armed groups. Furthermore, it is important for AU and troop-contributing countries to the AU Regional Task Force to quickly agree on the reconfiguration of the Task Force and to an increase in support for the training of the Central African Armed Forces. We also encourage the international community to support the AU’s Regional Cooperation Initiative for the Elimination of the LRA.

    Mr. President,

    The United Nations welcomes the advancements in regional integration, particularly regarding the free movement of persons throughout the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) zone, which is now a reality. UNOCA has continued to place emphasis on support to the overall process of regional integration, including through advocacy for institutional reform of the ECCAS Secretariat and the rationalization of ECCAS and CEMAC. In this connection, UNOCA organized multiple activities designed to strengthen the capacity of the ECCAS Secretariat in mediation, early warning, collaboration with civil society, and gender mainstreaming. UNOCA and UNOWAS strengthened their cooperation in facilitating an enhanced interregional partnership between ECCAS and ECOWAS, which has culminated in plans to sign a memorandum of understanding between the two Regional Economic Communities. Overall, UNOCA and ECCAS continue to enhance their cooperation through the establishment and execution of a joint workplan and the holding of regular meetings at the senior and working levels. 

    With regard to Women, Peace and Security, the Government of Cameroon launched its National Action Plan for the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) on 16 November. This will contribute to solidifying the Regional Action Plan for Resolution 1325 in Central Africa, which is in the process of being developed with the support of UNOCA. It will also encourage other countries to follow suit. 

    UNOCA, in cooperation with UNESCO and ECCAS, presented their joint three-year programme on youth at a Pan-African Youth Forum held in Libreville on 30 November and 1 December. The Forum aimed at engaging young people in promoting a culture of peace and non-violence and involving them in the prevention of radicalization and the management of conflicts by creating an early warning system.

    Mr. President,

    Before travelling to New York, I participated in the 45th ministerial meeting of the United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa (UNSAC), held in Kigali, from 4 to 8 December. For the first time, UNSAC held a closed-door ministerial session, which focused on the situation in CAR, including the report from the October visit of the UNSAC Bureau to Bangui, organized by UNOCA, as well as the reform of the Peace and Security Council of Central Africa (COPAX). A side-event for youth and civil society was also organized to ensure greater visibility by leaders of the region on the issues youth face as well as their interest and capacity for involvement in conflict prevention and peacebuilding.

    Mr. President,

    UNOCA continues to place emphasis on efforts to enhance the coherence and coordination of overall UN activities in the sub-region. This includes collaborating with UN Resident Coordinators and Country Teams to engage national authorities on sensitive political issues as well as on longerterm efforts to formulate national and cross-border peacebuilding plans, with the support of the Peacebuilding Fund (PBF).

    I thank you for your attention.

  • 12 Dic 2017

    Mr. President,

    Thank you for the invitation to brief on recent developments in Myanmar.  I welcome the participation of Ambassador Hau Do Suan as well as Ambassador Masud Bin Momen.  I also welcome being joined by Ms. Pramila Patten, Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict.

    Mr. President,

    The estimated number of refugees who entered Bangladesh since 25 August now exceeds 626,000.  As the Secretary-General underlined in his 2 September letter to the Council, we need collectively to encourage the adoption of policies to end the vicious cycle of discrimination, violence and displacement in Rakhine. 

    The Council’s 6 November Presidential Statement (PRST) reaffirming the sovereignty, political independence, territorial integrity and unity of Myanmar noted that the Government holds the primary responsibility to protect its population, through rule of law and the respect, promotion and protection of human rights. 

    During my October visit, I explored with the authorities potential United Nations support in these key areas. 

    My visit followed shortly after State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi’s 12 October address responding to the humanitarian concerns in Rakhine and the return of refugees from Bangladesh.  We welcome the State Counsellor’s decision to establish the Union Enterprise Mechanism as well as the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on returns between Myanmar and Bangladesh. 

    We are also encouraged by the announcement that the new Advisory Commission comprising of international experts and the Committee for Implementation of the Recommendations on Rakhine State will meet in early January to finalise action plans to rehabilitate and develop the region.  We hope plans will swiftly be followed by action.

    The State Counsellor’s visit to Rakhine on 2 November was an important step.  We urge all Myanmar leaders, including in the military, to condemn incitement to racial hatred and violence. We encourage them to adopt measures to defuse tensions between communities and create an environment for safe and dignified repatriation, including through interfaith initiatives.

     We have highlighted to the authorities that the capacities, best practices, and extensive experience of the United Nations can help in implementing their stated intentions in a timely and effective manner.

    Mr. President,

    Although violence has subsided, new refugees continue to arrive in Bangladesh, albeit at slower rates. These refugees arrive exhausted, destitute and traumatized. The Government of Bangladesh estimates that more than 36,000 unaccompanied children arrived with no immediate family support system.  During November, arsons in Rakhine State appeared to lessen, but recent satellite imagery revealed renewed fires and related destruction in different villages.

    Humanitarian access to Rakhine State remains insufficient. Although Myanmar permitted some ICRC and more recently WFP assistance, access by other UN agencies and partners to northern Rakhine is still highly restricted. Issuance of travel authorizations has eased in central Rakhine, but large numbers of staff still lack these permits due to cumbersome procedures.

    We are all grateful for the continued generosity of the Government and people of Bangladesh, and we call on the international community to continue to support these efforts.  But the origins and solutions to the Rohingya crisis rest in Myanmar. Repatriation and reconciliation policies will fail without accountability and non-discriminatory rule of law and public safety measures to address the fears and distrust among communities in Rakhine.


    Mr. President,

    On 23 November, Myanmar and Bangladesh reached a bilateral agreement on the issue of returns. The agreement recognizes the need for a ‘comprehensive and durable solution’ through the ‘safe, dignified, and voluntary return’ in accordance with international law.

    In this regard, I would like to present some key considerations:

    1. Returns must be supported by reconciliation efforts, and the time frame must allow for this and other measures to ensure that return is sustainable. Central to this is the implementation of the Rakhine Advisory Commission recommendations;
    1. Returns should be to the ‘original place of residence’ or to a safe, secure place near to their destination of choice, as envisaged by the Arrangement.  It should not be to camps, however temporary; experience shows that camps lead to prolonged segregation;
    1. The reference to freedom of movement in the arrangement is positive, but the qualifier ‘in conformity with existing laws and regulations’ which are currently extremely restrictive, is a serious limitation. Expanding freedom of movement is essential to achieving stated commitments on access to basic services and livelihoods.
    1. Eligibility criteria for return must be applied in the broadest possible manner.  The current requirements (including documentary proof of residence) would be difficult for many refugees to meet;
    1. Finally, experience on voluntary repatriation movements over the decades, underscores the important role that the UN, through UNHCR, can play in all aspects of a return operation.

    We encourage including UNHCR in the Joint Working Group aimed at overseeing all aspects of return. 

    We appreciate the role of neighbouring countries, particularly China, in constructively engaging both Bangladesh and Myanmar to facilitate the bilateral agreement.  During his recent visit to Myanmar, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi pointed out the importance of finding a long-term solution, including by addressing the chronic underdevelopment in Rakhine state.  Strengthened regional cooperation with Myanmar will be essential.  We welcome Myanmar’s engagement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for humanitarian assistance, which led to an initial delivery of 80 tonnes of relief material for Rakhine.

    The recently established Union Enterprise for Humanitarian Assistance, Resettlement and Development in Rakhine aim to support cooperation between the Government and all sectors, including the UN, in the implementation of development projects.  Meetings between the government, donors and the UN have started.  In addition, the Implementation Committee for the Rakhine Advisory Commission has begun meeting and identified priority interventions in specific sectors.

    These are welcome developments, but we again urge tangible action and implementation of these commitments.  Plans alone are not sufficient.  We hope Myanmar will draw upon the wealth of expertise the UN can offer.    


    Mr. President,

    As Kofi Annan highlighted, the complex challenges in Rakhine require civilian-military coordination.  Council members have underlined the importance of effective partnership with the Myanmar authorities, especially the military.  Close neighbors like China and Indonesia can help through their military-to-military engagement.  We appreciate the recognition by these regional and other Member States for the role of the UN in helping Myanmar address areas beyond Rakhine issues including the peace process, to help advance the country’s democratic consolidation efforts.  The 2020 national elections will stand as an important test in the consolidation of the nation’s democratic institutions. 

    The effort to achieve peace between the Government and various Ethnic Armed Organizations is a cornerstone of this transition.   All eight signatory parties have shown a sustained commitment to upholding the October 2015 Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement.  Momentum in the peace process is slowing, however, with the majority of Ethnic Armed Organizations still not among the signatories.   

    Finally, I note that the General Assembly is expected to approve the Third Committee Resolution on Myanmar, requesting the Secretary-General to appoint a Special Envoy.  We want this initiative to strengthen our partnership with Myanmar, in close consultations with interested Member States in the region and beyond.  We believe we have much to offer in working with Myanmar on a number of challenges the country faces, in full respect of Myanmar’s sovereignty.                                

    Thank you.


  • 11 Dic 2017

    Mr. President,

    Members of the Security Council,

    This Security Council meeting on the human rights situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is timely and again demonstrates that it is not just the nuclear issue that deserves international attention and action.

    While it is difficult to obtain up-to-date and comprehensive information about human rights developments in the DPRK, the information gathered reveals a continuing pattern of serious human rights violations and lack of progress on issues such as family reunions and the abduction issue. There are no indications that the situation has significantly improved since the finding in the Commission of Inquiry’s 2014 report that, on balance of probability, crimes against humanity had been and were being committed in the DPRK. In keeping with its obligations under international law, the DPRK has a responsibility to protect its population from crimes that are considered the most serious in international law. And the international community has a collective responsibility to protect the population of the DPRK, if the State does not protect its own citizens, and to consider the wider implications of the reported grave human rights situation for the stability of the region.

    During the past year, the security environment has had a negative impact on human rights in the DPRK. The country’s continued nuclear and ballistic missile activities have led to its further isolation from its neighbours and the international community. The country has imposed more severe restrictions on freedom of movement both within the country and on the border with China. People pay a heftier price and take riskier routes to leave the DPRK, and women continue to be the primary targets of human traffickers who help them escape if they accept to be sold into the sex industry. 

    The situation of prisoners and foreign detainees continues to be a cause of concern, with reports about abject detention conditions in holding centres and labour camps throughout the country. In June, student Otto Warmbier died a few days after he was released from detention in Pyongyang and repatriated to the United States. His case highlighted the situation of foreign detainees, who risk being cut off from the outside world and are unable to enjoy basic entitlements such as access to medical treatment and to consular assistance. Today three citizens of the United States and six citizens of the Republic of Korea remain in custody. We continue to advocate for their release.


    Mr. President,

    The past year witnessed a surge in forced repatriations of DPRK nationals in China, particularly in the months of December 2016, April, July and November 2017. Reports of DPRK escapees being sent back are regularly received by the United Nations and civil society groups. Many of these are women victims of human trafficking who leave their children in China. As we speak, dozens of DPRK nationals remain detained in China and scheduled for refoulement back to the DPRK, where they are at risk of torture and ill-treatment.


    Mr. President,

    The United Nations has taken a number of steps this year to address the human rights situation in the DPRK. The Special Rapporteur presented his report (A/72/394) to the General Assembly in September, and in August, the Secretary-General also issued his report (A/72/279) to that body. The Third Committee has agreed on a draft resolution (A/C.3/72/L.40*) that is to be adopted by the General Assembly this month. In response, the DPRK has maintained its strong objections to country- specific resolutions and mandates, though is open to non-country specific cooperation on human rights.

    The pursuit of accountability continues to be an urgent priority on the DPRK human rights agenda. In 2016 the Human Rights Council appointed a group of independent experts on accountability who recommended in their report to the council in March this year that steps be taken to strengthen current monitoring and analysis efforts by OHCHR, including through the recruitment of additional staff and the setup of a central repository to be used in any future accountability mechanism.


    Mr. President,

    While emphasis is placed on the political and security situation, the DPRK is a forgotten crisis on the global humanitarian agenda. An estimated 18 million people (70 per cent of the population) are suffering from food insecurity, and 10.5 million people (41 per cent of the population) are undernourished. The situation is even more critical with the current lack of funding.

    In response to the accelerated nuclear and ballistic missile testing, the Security Council has strengthened its DPRK sanctions regime with three additional resolutions since the last briefing. The Special Rapporteur on human rights in the DPRK alerted in his latest report of the possibility that sanctions may have a detrimental impact on livelihoods and medical care, requesting that human rights be given due consideration when drafting and assessing sanctions resolutions. Humanitarian partners operating in the country have reported increasing operational challenges including custom clearances of life-saving items, procurement of humanitarian supplies, transport of goods, rising food prices (up 160% since April). In addition, the banking channel for the international organizations working in the country has broken down for the third time in the last seven years.


    Mr. President,

    The Security Council, in its latest resolution (OP 26 of resolution 2375 (2017)), reaffirmed that the measures imposed by the relevant resolutions are not intended to have adverse humanitarian consequences for the civilian population of the DPRK or to affect negatively or restrict the activities of the work of international and non-governmental organizations carrying out assistance and relief activities for the benefit of the civilian population of the DPRK. I take note of the 8 December communication from the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1718 (2006) to all Member States offering clarifications on this point and highlighting mechanisms to seek exemptions for humanitarian activities.


    With this in mind, I would like to make four requests: 

    • First, I encourage all international and non-governmental organisations who are facing operational challenges to use the established process to inform or seek the necessary guidance or exemption from the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1718 (2006). Doing so helps to remove ambiguity and provide reassurance for the relevant entities and partners to facilitate the work of such organizations in the DPRK.
    • Second, I urge the 1718 Committee to continue to expeditiously review these requests to ensure that the already fragile humanitarian situation does not deteriorate further.
    • Third, I urge all Member States to support the life-saving activities in the country. Funding for relief activities is essential. Some USD 114 million are required to address the critical humanitarian needs in the DPRK.
    • I echo the 1718 Committee’s communication to Member States which emphasizes each Member State’s obligation to comply with sanctions obligations and exemptions including by clarifying to public/private sector entities that humanitarian activities should not be unduly restricted.
    • Finally, I call on financial institutions to exercise their corporate social responsibility and provide the life-saving banking services for humanitarian organisations in the country. The channel would be sent to the Security Council for approval.


    Mr. President,

    The United Nations remains committed to contributing to furthering efforts to reach a peaceful, negotiated solution of the outstanding issues, and to ensure genuine and meaningful improvement of the human rights and humanitarian situation in the DPRK. The United Nations system is ready to assist with the General Assembly’s call on the DPRK to – QUOTE: “engage constructively with international interlocutors with a view to promoting concrete improvements in the human rights situation on the ground, including through human rights dialogues, official visits to the country that include adequate access to fully assess human rights conditions, cooperation initiatives and more people-to-people contact as a matter of priority”. END QUOTE.

    To conclude, let us use all the tools at our disposal — the Human Rights Council, the General Assembly, the Security Council and United Nations and other international entities — to work towards a better future for the people of the DPRK.

    Thank you, Mr. President.

  • 30 Nov 2017

    The Multi-Year Appeal 2018-2019 lays out the priorities for the biennium, taking into account the Secretary-General’s vision and focus on prevention, and in line with DPA’s Strategic Plan for 2016-2019. Under the overarching priorities of the Strategic Plan, the MYA 2018-2019 puts emphasis on inclusive processes as part of setting the agenda for conflict prevention and as a cross-cutting theme in all areas of our work. The MYA continues investments in sustaining peace and further strengthening of partnerships and common agendas with regional and sub-regional organizations.

  • 29 Nov 2017

    Mr. President,

    Members of the Security Council,

    According to the official news agency of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and various governmental sources, at approximately 02:48 am local time on 29 November 2017, the DPRK launched a ballistic missile, which it termed an “intercontinental ballistic rocket Hwasong-15”. The missile was reportedly launched from an area north of Pyongyang, covering approximately 950 km and reaching an apogee of around 4,500 km, before impacting into the sea in Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

    These parameters indicate that, if flown on a standard trajectory, the missile as configured would have a range in excess of 13,000 km. This is the DPRK’s third test of a ballistic missile of apparent intercontinental range in less than six months and its twentieth ballistic missile launch this year. The DPRK again did not issue any airspace or maritime safety notifications.

    The official media claimed the DPRK was now – quote – “capable of striking the whole mainland of the U.S.” – end quote. The official media also claimed that the DPRK had – again I quote - “finally realized the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force, the cause of building a rocket power” end quote.

    Mr. President, this is the thirteenth time the Council has met to discuss the DPRK in 2017. The DPRK’s repeated nuclear and missile tests over the past two years have created great tension on the Korean Peninsula and beyond. This dynamic must be reversed. The solution can only be political.

    Given the grave risks associated with any military confrontation, in exercise of its primary responsibility the Security Council needs to do all it can to prevent an escalation. Unity in the Security Council is critical. Security Council unity also creates an opportunity for sustained diplomatic engagement – an opportunity that must be seized in these dangerous times to seek off-ramps and work to create conditions for negotiations.

    Mr. President, the Secretary-General strongly condemns this latest launch. This is a clear violation of Security Council resolutions and shows complete disregard for the united view of the international community. The Secretary-General urges the DPRK to desist from taking any further destabilising steps. The Secretary-General reaffirms his commitment to working with all parties to reduce tensions. I called a meeting this morning with the DPRK Permanent Representative to deliver the Secretary-General’s message in person. During the meeting, I stressed that there is nothing more dangerous to peace and security in the world than what is happening now on the Korean Peninsula.

    Mr. President, the Secretary-General discussed the situation on the Korean Peninsula with all concerned parties in the margins of the high-level week of the General Assembly. During the Secretary-General’s meeting with Mr. Ri Yong Ho, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the DPRK on 23 September, he expressed concern over the tensions on the Korean Peninsula and appealed for de-escalation and full implementation of relevant Security Council resolutions. The Secretary-General emphasized the need for a political solution.

    Mr. President, amidst the heightened tensions, the United Nations and other humanitarian actors play a critical role in saving the lives of the most vulnerable in the DPRK. The needs are increasing and food security remains a critical concern for 70 per cent of the population. Member States are again reminded of the need to support the life-saving activities carried out by humanitarian organisations in the country.

    We will continue to closely follow the developments and remain in close coordination with the concerned international organisations, and with Members of this Council, as well as other governments concerned.

    Thank you.

  • 28 Nov 2017

    On 28 November 2017, the 51st meeting of the joint Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) was held in Gali town under the United Nations chairmanship with the participation of Georgian, Russian, Abkhaz and EUMM (European Union Monitoring Mission) representatives. The overall security situation on the ground since the previous IPRM meeting of 25 October 2017 was assessed as calm and stable. The positive assessment of value and important contribution of the hotline was reiterated, and the participants were encouraged to continue using this information-sharing tool effectively.

    According to the agenda, the participants exchanged views and shared additional information on the previously discussed, but not yet resolved, issues. They also discussed new agenda points, including the issues related to freedom of movement and crossing documents. In this connection, an update was provided on the issuance of permanent residence permits to the local population. A new trend of cases linked to the crossings by foreign citizens to Abkhazia at uncontrolled locations was also discussed in details, and the participants expressed readiness to follow up on the matter.

    The participants once again touched upon the necessity of voluntary exchange of advance notice on sensitive activities for confidence building purposes, which is a standing agenda point. As usual, the meeting took place in a constructive and business-like atmosphere.

    It was agreed to hold the next meeting on 17 January 2018. 

  • 28 Nov 2017

    Сообщение для СМИ

    28 ноября 2017 г., 51-я встреча совместного Механизма по Предотвращению и Реагированию на Инциденты (МПРИ) была проведена в городе Гали под председательством Организации Объединённых Наций, с участием грузинских, российских, абхазских и МНЕС (Миссия Наблюдателей Европейского Союза) представителей. Общая обстановка на местах в плане безопасности, начиная со встречи МПРИ от 25 октября 2017 г., была оценена как спокойная и стабильная.  Была подтверждена положительная оценка важности и существенного вклада горячей линии связи, и участникам рекомендовалось продолжить эффективно использовать этот инструмент для обмена информацией.

    Согласно повестке дня, участники обменялись взглядами и представили дополнительную информацию относительно ранее обсужденных, но еще нерешенных, вопросов. Они также обсудили новые пункты повестки дня, включая вопросы, связанные со свободой передвижения и документами для пересечения. В этой связи была представлена обновленная информация касательно выдачи разрешений на постоянное место жительства местному населению. Новая тенденция случаев, связанных с пересечениями иностранными гражданами в Абхазию в неконтролируемых местах, была также подробно обсуждена, и участники выразили готовность продолжить рассмотрение этого вопроса.

    Участники еще раз затронули необходимость добровольного обмена заблаговременными извещениями о значимой деятельности с целью укрепления доверия, что является постоянным пунктом повестки дня. Как обычно, встреча прошла в конструктивной и деловой атмосфере.

    Было решено провести следующую встречу 17 января 2018 г.


    Press Release in English

  • 27 Nov 2017

    Mr. President, Members of the Security Council, 

    I am briefing you from Geneva, as we are preparing for round 8 of the UN-convened intra-Syrian talks. Let me explain how we got here over the past month, and the approach to the talks at the moment.

    Last month, you remember, I said: after Raqqa, after Deir-ez-Zor -- and let us perhaps now also say after the Government of Syria defeated ISIS recently in its last stronghold of Abu Kemal -- the operation to combat and defeat ISIS’ territorial foothold in Syria would have completed its main tasks, and there would be a moment of truth for bringing about a real political process. I still believe that a moment of truth has arrived; although I want to register at the moment my serious concern at the tremendous escalation of violence in Eastern Ghouta in these last weeks and on-going restrictions on humanitarian access to that area. As ISIL is being defeated, neither side should turn their guns back towards de-escalation zones, and I therefore would like to urge, together with you, the Astana guarantors to address these challenges in order to avoid these problems for the de-escalation areas.

    To prepare for real talks in Geneva, I called for real diplomacy. My messages were essentially the following:

    1. the Government delegation should come ready to negotiate;
    2. we need a united opposition delegation with common positions that comes ready to negotiate;
    3. negotiations should take place in Geneva [repeats: in Geneva] without any, any preconditions;
    4. they should negotiate on a workplan initially focussing on the 12 living essential principles and the constitutional and election baskets, towards the implementation of SCR 2254;
    5. all other initiatives [repeats: all other initiatives] should support the UN mediation process that you, this Council, mandated the United Nations to conduct - and no one else.

    We have seen signals on all these points, and we will now see what happens in Geneva. I do note with great interest that in DaNang, Sochi, and Riyadh, important meetings have taken place that might help us, I believe, to begin a genuine negotiation process in Geneva. International players are clearly looking for some common ground based on the implementation of Security Council resolution 2254, and are urging Syrians to begin to find some common ground too.

    In DaNang, Russian President Putin and US President Trump affirmed that the political process, and I quote, “must include full implementation of UNSCR 2254”, end of quote. They also noted that this included, and I am quoting again, “constitutional reform and free and fair elections under UN supervision, held to the highest international standards of transparency, with all Syrians, including members of the diaspora, eligible to participate” – end of quote. This statement of the two Presidents followed a taking note by them of what they termed, and I quote, “President Assad’s recent commitment to the Geneva process and constitutional reform and elections as called for under UNSCR 2254”, end of quote. As the mediator, I also noted that President Assad said in Sochi after meeting President Putin on 24 November, and I quote, “we do not want to look back. We will accept and talk with anyone [repeats: anyone] who is really interested in a political settlement”, end of quote.

    Notwithstanding these potentially interesting and important signals, when my deputy, Ambassador Ramzy, held consultations in Damascus with the Government over the weekend, the Government did not yet confirm its participation in Geneva, but indicated that we would be hearing from them soon. Last night, we received a message that the Government would not travel to Geneva today. Naturally we hope and indeed expect that the Government will be on its way shortly, particularly in light of President Assad’s commitment to President Putin when they met in Sochi.

    Turning to the opposition: last week, over three intensive days, and I witnessed one and a half of them, an expanded opposition conference was convened in Riyadh. Participants reflected the main components of the Syrian mosaic and the ideological diversity within the Syrian opposition and the Syrian society. Resolution 2254 mentions by name three groupings -- those who met in Riyadh 1, the Cairo Platform and the Moscow Platform -- and they were all there. Armed groups controlling territory inside of Syria, including those involved in Astana and the various de-escalation arrangements, were active participants in Riyadh. There was a strong participation – finally – by women. There was a strong presence of independents including activists, business people, and tribal figures. Several parties based inside Syria were actually represented through their own political umbrellas, including representatives based inside Syria.

    As this Riyadh 2 initiative was clearly designed within the framework of advancing resolution 2254 and the Geneva process, which speaks clearly of three by name, and “others”, I was glad to attend it to urge the participants to move ahead. I also took note of other international attendees at the opening of the conference, including Russian Presidential Envoy Lavrientev. After I left to travel to Moscow for useful consultations, Foreign Minister Lavrov and I were both active in assisting the efforts of Saudi Foreign Minister Jubeir, whose determined efforts in order to obtain the outcome that we saw we really should be appreciating. The Syrian Negotiations Commission formed in Riyadh is now in the process of arriving in Geneva while we are talking -- I expect this process will be completed by tomorrow morning coming from various locations.

    I publicly noted that the participants in Riyadh unequivocally rejected terrorism and affirmed that the solution to the crisis is political, not military. I have noted that they formed a united opposition delegation reflecting the full diversity of the participants to the conference. And I have noted that the delegation was tasked to negotiate in Geneva without any, repeat any, preconditions, to discuss all issues on the agenda, and to have the implementation of relevant United Nations resolutions as the sole reference for the negotiation.


    Mr. President,

    Assuming that both parties arrive in Geneva, we will be looking to move them into beginning serious discussions and hopefully negotiations. Let me make one thing clear: we will not accept any preconditions from either party.

    And let us be clear what a precondition is: it is when one party says: “I will not begin to negotiate with the other side unless they do or say the following”. I hope both parties hear this message. I will also assess, as a mediator should be doing, the parties’ engagement by what they do in the room, and how positively they engage on a workplan and show a genuine readiness to discuss, negotiate, regardless of their stated public positions on any issue.  We know that there are always differences. That is what negotiations are really, and each side has the right to express its own opinion, which might not be pleasant for the other one as long as they don’t put preconditions and refuse to talk to the other side. That is what negotiations are all about. Resolution 2254 is a guideline for this.

    What can therefore that workplan more or less look like? We can do this by looking at the end goal of resolution 2254 and then working backwards.

    Resolution 2254, if we all remember, culminates in an end-goal of free and fair elections held under UN supervision [repeats: under UN supervision], to the highest standards of accountability and transparency, with all Syrians, including members of the diaspora, eligible to vote – no exclusion, refugees included of course. They must also be preceded by the popular ratification of a new constitution, and the draft constitution should be produced according to an inclusive schedule and process that, as resolution 2254 says, is set via a process in Geneva. Clearly, the drafting and approval process must be all-inclusive and a national dialogue and/or a national conference would be important components of this overall process.

    Serious engagement and negotiations on these matters should proceed on the basis of resolution 2254 and guided by the living 12 principles developed during the process which can paint a clear vision for the future of Syria that can be shared by all. I believe, with goodwill, Inchallah, it should be possible to narrow the differences on these principles.

    If possible, we would also begin to explore issues pertaining to baskets 1 and 4 – namely governance and counter-terrorism, security governance and confidence-building measures.

    I will be discussing all this with all who are coming to Geneva, and I will share with them thoughts and a workplan for the negotiation process. And as I do so, I will be reminding them that the time has come to demonstrate, not to us, not even to you, but to the Syrian people that they care about their survival, their lives and the lives of their loved ones -- through immediate, unhindered and sustained humanitarian access and medical evacuations from besieged areas, and in willingly addressing the plight of detainees, abductees and missing people - and believing concretely in a negotiation on a political process.


    Mr. President,

    Throughout the process various ideas have emerged for a wider gatherings of Syrian stakeholders. Indeed, the Geneva process itself does require such a gathering of Syrians and I have been building the foundation for it by inviting Syrians from all walks of life, from inside and outside, to participate.

    In this context, let me also stress that more than 200 civil society actors will be engaged here in Geneva now in the UN-led political process in Geneva over the next weeks as part of the intra-Syrian talks. In the coming days, the Women Advisory Board will be fully engaged, once again, and in the real negotiations. I will engage a group of Syrian legal and constitutional experts and hear their advice and expertise. I will be engaging with civil society organizations with human rights expertise including detainees, abductees and missing persons; aided by technology we will be able to get in touch with refugee community leaders, in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey; and with civil society actors working in hard-to-reach and besieged areas. All that from Geneva. I count on their commitment to the political process, sense of citizenship, and real contact with the real problems on the ground and their own insights and ideas in order to strengthen our on-going mediation efforts.

    I note the initiative of France to bring together representatives of the five permanent members of this Council here in Geneva, for a preparatory meeting tomorrow at which I was invited to participate to elaborate on the agenda of this round.  I am looking forward to any expression of support by the international community, including the Security Council, to the efforts of the United Nations to implement resolution 2254 -- through a UN-led political process in Geneva. 

    As you are aware, the Russian Federation has continued to pursue plans for a large gathering related to Syria, in the relatively near future but with no date set as yet. I should report that the Presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey met recently in Sochi. The Russian Federation has sought the United Nations support for this conference. I have been in continuous and open consultations with them. I have also continued to assess the views of Syrians, and the wider international community, including all members of the Security Council, bearing in mind the mandate given to the United Nations by you in this Council – by you. Therefore, it is, as far as I can see, premature for me at this stage to say anything regarding this initiative. And I will continue to view this proposal and all other initiatives through the same prism: does it contribute to effective UN-led intra-Syrian negotiations in Geneva to implement resolution 2254? Yes or no?


    Mr. President,

    Syria has been at war for the last 6 years. Half of its population have fled their homes. Reconstruction will cost at least 250 billion US dollars. There have been myriad of obstacles to a settlement: a constellation of actors; a variety of shifting agendas, and a real danger, still there, of soft but concrete fragmentation of the Syria’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence. And then we have had history’s largest and wealthiest terrorist group bringing in terrorists from over 100 countries; the use of force against civilians on a horrific scale. All this has been in front of our eyes for the past 6 years.

    This crisis, one of the worst in the history of the United Nations, now has the potential to move towards a genuine political process. A clearer map of de-escalation, ceasefire and de-confliction arrangements has emerged, largely enabled by Astana and Amman. We see the emergence of international consensus, and we must begin to stitch the process into concrete results, enabling Syrians to determine their own future freely. The united support of the international community, centred on this Council, will be vital if negotiations are to move forward in a concrete way.

    Thank you, Mr. President.

  • 20 Nov 2017

    Monsieur le président, Permettez-moi, tout d’abord, vous féliciter pour votre accession à la présidence du Conseil pour le mois de novembre. Profitez de cette occasion, je salue les membres du Conseil.


    Mesdames et Messieurs les membres du Conseil,

    Mon exposé se propose, d’une part, de vous rendre compte des activités que j’ai menées depuis le dernier examen par le Conseil, de la question du Burundi et, d’autre part, de faire le point sur les derniers développements en la matière.

    La mission assignée à l’Envoyé Spécial au Burundi est très claire: appuyer les efforts de la région, en d’autres termes, le médiateur et le facilitateur, pour faire avancer les négociations dont la finalité, je le rappelle est le dialogue inclusif inter burundais.

    C’est ce que j’ai fait, en entreprenant les démarches suivantes:

    • rencontre avec les autorités et les acteurs politiques burundais;
    • rencontre avec l’opposition burundaise et représentants de la société civile, y compris ceux qui sont en exil;
    • rencontre avec des chefs d’Etat africains et partenaires du Burundi;

    Mes premiers entretiens avec le médiateur, le Président Museveni, ont eu lieu en août 2017, à Entebbe. Ils ont porté sur la nécessité et l’urgence de convoquer un mini-sommet régional, aux fins d’évaluer les avancées des négociations et, si possible, les assortir de décisions. A l’issue de nos échanges, le médiateur m’a informé de son intention de rencontrer le Président Pierre Nkurunziza. Je sais que récemment il a dépêché un émissaire spécial porteur d’un message à son homologue du Burundi.

    J’ai également rencontré un certain nombre de leaders africains toujours dans le but de les sensibiliser et solliciter leur soutien, compte tenu de leurs affinités avec les autorités burundaises.

    Ma rencontre avec l’opposition burundaise de l’extérieur s’est déroulée à Bruxelles, le 14 octobre 2017 et a regroupé les responsables du CNARED ainsi que ceux de la société civile, en exil. Pour cette première entrevue, je leur ai surtout expliqué le sens de ma mission qui est essentiellement une mission de bons offices, cherchant, en appui aux efforts de la sous-région, à rapprocher les positions du gouvernement et de l’opposition en vue d’un dialogue inclusif inter- Burundians. Ma visite à Bruxelles m’a aussi donné l’opportunité d’avoir des échanges avec le Ministre des Affaires étrangères de Belgique et quelques représentants de l’Union Européenne sur la situation qui prévaut au Burundi.

    Mon retour à Bujumbura a été l’occasion de recueillir les vues de deux autorités morales de l’église catholique du Burundi, très influentes, en l’occurrence les évêques de Bujumbura et de Gitega.

    Ma rencontre le 2 novembre 2017 avec l’Ombudsman a essentiellement porté sur les échanges avec les opposants de l’extérieur, à Helsinki et l’adoption par le gouvernement de la nouvelle constitution révisée.

    L’Ombudsman m’a assuré qu’en dehors de la non-limitation relative et la durée de 7 ans du mandat présidentiel, prévue par la nouvelle constitution, le gouvernement a respecté toutes les autres dispositions de l’Accord d’Arusha.

    Toutes ces activités que j’ai eu à mener, ont fait l’objet d’un compte-rendu au Facilitateur, avec qui je me suis entretenu le 3 novembre dernier à Dar-Es Salam.

    De la synthèse d’ensemble, le Facilitateur, en accord avec le Médiateur et le gouvernement burundais, a décidé de la convocation, le 27 novembre prochain, à Arusha, d’une session de dialogue entre les représentants du gouvernement et toutes les autres parties prenantes burundaises, y compris l’opposition en exil. Ces assises se dérouleraient du 27 novembre au 8 décembre 2017 comme je l’ai dit à Arusha. Nous avons été informés que le CNARED ne serait pas prêt à y participer.

    Un sommet des Chefs d’Etat de la Communauté des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Est serait prévu en janvier 2018, qui entre autres, aurait à évaluer les conclusions de ces assises. Concernant la situation même au Burundi, il y a deux semaines, j’étais à Bujumbura et tout était apparemment calme, en dehors des manifestations de colère contre la décision de la CPI d’ouvrir des enquêtes sur les crimes contre l’humanité commis depuis 2015 au Burundi.

    Les manifestations ont également dénoncé les rapports sur les abus et violations des droits de l’homme, dont les allégations portent sur les cas d’arrestation ou emprisonnement, les disparitions forcées, traitements inhumains et dégradants ou restrictions de liberté d’association, d’intimidation, et discours de haine.

    Les autorités burundaises, s’attèlent déjà, à la préparation des prochaines élections, bien que la question du dialogue inclusif n’ait pas encore trouvé une juste solution.

    En conclusion, les Nations Unies ont l’obligation, quelles que soient les difficultés qui persistent, de continuer leur mission de bons offices, aux côtés de la sous-région, afin d’aider le Burundi à sortir de la crise. Nous restons persuadé que le processus politique demeure la seule voie pour le dénouement de la crise burundaise.

    S’agissant enfin des relations Nations Unies – Burundi, elles me semblent aller dans le bon sens. En effet, le Secrétariat des nations unies et le gouvernement poursuivent les négociations sur le projet d’Accord de siège. On notera, cependant, que le gouvernement n’a pas encore concrètement satisfait à sa décision de coopérer pleinement avec le Conseil des Droits de l’Homme et le Haut-Commissariat des Nations Unies pour les Réfugiés. Les négociations se poursuivent également avec le Bureau du Haut-Commissaire aux Droits de l’homme.

    Mesdames et Messieurs les membres du Conseil, tell sens les principaux faits, que j’ai noté depuis mon dernier briefing au conseil. Je vous remercie de votre attention.  

  • 15 Nov 2017

    Good afternoon.

    I wanted to make a few remarks publicly as I conclude this visit, which is the fifth time that I have been to Colombia over the past two and half years. As always, I appreciate the warm reception received by everyone who gave of their time to meet with me and to share their insights on the peace process and their recommendations for the United Nations.

    Since arriving on Monday night, I have had meetings with President Santos and members of his cabinet and peace team, including the High Commissioner for Peace, the High Counsellor for Post-Conflict and the Minister of Defense. In addition, I remain in close contact with the Foreign Minister, who was away from Colombia this week, and with Colombia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York. I also met here with senior leaders of FARC, Ivan Marquez and Pastor Alape, as well as with the ambassadors of the guarantor countries, Cuba and Norway, with the European Union and several other countries who have a strong interest in the peace process. I spoke with delegates of the International Committee of the Red Cross, with the Organization of American States and with representatives of civil society on the National Commission for Security Guarantees. And of course, I relied in particular on discussions with SRSG Arnault and his team in the Verification Mission, as well as with UN Resident Coordinator Martin Santiago and the representatives of a number of UN agencies, funds and programmes.

    When I was last in Colombia, toward the end of June, it was a different moment in the peace process. The laying down of arms of the FARC to UN monitors was well underway in the zones and points where the group had concentrated its forces in observance of the cease-fire agreement. I visited the zone in Pondores, in La Guajira, where I witnessed the storage of FARC arms in UN containers. I also saw those same FARC combatants receiving the certification of having laid down their weapons, which qualified them for the opportunities of reinsertion into civilian life.

    The successful completion of this laying down of arms just three months later was, without doubt, a major milestone in Colombia’s transition from war to peace. This was an achievement that signaled to the country and to the world that the armed conflict with the FARC was over.

    I stated at that time that I was “profoundly impressed” by what had been achieved by the parties. This was not just a personal assessment. I was reflecting the admiration of the United Nations as a whole, and in particular of the Secretary-General and the Security Council, for all that has been achieved thus far.

    High hopes and expectations continue to be placed on Colombia’s peace process. There is immense goodwill in the international community. This said, I arrived this week, at the request of the Secretary-General, to convey a sense of growing concern about how the peace process has been evolving over the past several months. These are concerns of which Colombians working within the peace process and those following it internationally are well aware. They relate in particular to three key issues that are central to the early implementation of the peace agreement and to the mandate of the UN Verification Mission:

    • First, the state of reintegration of former FARC members. Reintegrating former fighters is a difficult prospect in any post-conflict situation. Success in the context of Colombia demands the development and implementation very quickly of opportunities that provide former fighters, including women, with an alternative that is attractive and distinct from that which may be on offer from illegal economies and other armed groups that could pull some number of them back into illegality. However, despite a range of commendable activities underway from the Government, the FARC itself and the international community, we are concerned at the lack of an overall strategy for reintegration matched by concrete plans and resources to enable its success. We believe efforts on a larger scale are needed, including by providing land for productive projects. The drifting of a number of FARC members out of the zones, for a range of reasons that include joining the so-called “dissidents”, is a troubling sign of what could be the result on a wider scale if reintegration efforts are not very substantially accelerated.
    • Second, the situation of security in the former conflict zones, particularly those areas that have been vacated by FARC in the course of their laying down of arms and conversion to an unarmed political movement. We share the deep concern about the reported vacuums of authority in many of these areas and the resultant insecurity for communities as other illegal groups move in to fill the void. This is the context in which we continue to see killings of social leaders and some former FARC members, and where authorities have themselves confirmed rising levels of violence. We saw this tragically last month in Tumaco, and I was saddened to learn of the killing, just in the past several days, of a former FARC member in Antioquia and of two community leaders, one in Nariño and the other in Cauca. We do recognize the effective operations to secure the areas around the ETCRs and the many responsibilities resting on the shoulders of the state security forces; however, we believe that more needs to be done very quickly to assert effectively state authority, by public security forces and civilian state institutions alike, in the former conflict zones. The experience globally in peace processes shows that it is vital in the immediate aftermath of an agreement to establish basic security in the post-conflict, to bring visible improvements to communities, and to get the reintegration of former combatants right. The consequences of failure to achieve those basic objectives are very high. In Colombia, such a failure would make it extremely difficult to achieve the broader objectives of the Final Peace Agreement in terms of developing the countryside, improving governance and respect for human rights, assisting and ensuring the rights of victims, broadening participation, especially by women, and combatting the illicit economies.
    • A third point of concern has been the legal uncertainties, particular as they affect members of the FARC, resulting from delays in approval of key legislation and the ongoing judicial review of a number of previously adopted measures -- especially the Special Peace Tribunal and the Amnesty Law, which was adopted nearly a year ago. We hope that following yesterday’s decision by the Constitutional Court on the Tribunal, Congress can now move quickly to adopt the implementing legislation and other important measures while fast-track powers remain in effect. This would only be consistent, in our view, with the decision of the same Parliament to ratify the peace agreement one year ago.

    In this context, I would like to stress something that President Santos spoke of in his address to the nation last night. We, too, have been particularly concerned about talk of the closing off of the avenue provided in the peace agreement to political participation by FARC. What I can say, from the United Nations’ extensive experience in the settlement of internal armed conflicts globally, over many decades, is that the decision by insurgents to forego armed violence in order to pursue peaceful democratic politics is the very heart of the matter. It is the deal, and it is at the center of the peace agreement. The failure, following the laying down of arms, to deliver on this essential compromise would have very serious repercussions for the process and would not be understood or accepted by the international community.

    We recognize that the peace process is subject to legitimate debate in the country. However, our appeal to all of Colombia’s institutions, parties and to the public at large is to appreciate that, independently of one’s views about different aspects of the Peace Agreement, all surely can see the interest in ensuring that former combatants are absorbed productively into legal civilian life. All surely can also see the national interest in ensuring that regions which for more than five decades have been besieged by lawlessness, violence and under-development are now stabilized and integrated fully into the economy and governance. It is our strong view that this can be achieved by the robust implementation of the Peace Agreement.

    My discussions over the past two days confirmed that these concerns are not only of the UN, but rather are shared widely. There is a common assessment that more must be done to ensure that the remarkable gains of the first phase of the peace process are maintained. I heard calls across the board to invigorate the reintegration process and to move more decisively to stabilize the former conflict zones with a mixture of a greater preventive presence of the security forces and of civilian state institutions.

    I appreciate the very clear statements I heard from President Santos and officials of the government and other state authorities, as well as by the FARC, of their commitment to overcoming obstacles. We listened carefully to, and were encouraged by, the President’s address last night. 

    Let me also state how strongly we welcome the initial assessments that the ceasefire with the National Liberation Army (ELN) has been broadly complied with to this point. We hope that the parties can come to a timely decision on its extension past the 9th of January, and to communicate that as soon as possible to the Security Council.

    I return to New York tomorrow, and will have the opportunity to share the observations from this visit with the Secretary-General. He and the Security Council are following closely what is happening in the peace process. The next report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council on the mandate of the Verification Mission is due on the 26th of December. That is still more than a month from now, and it is our hope that by the time that report is finalized it can include the most positive assessment possible. This would be a sign that the next stages of the peace process are resting on solid ground, and would therefore give further confidence to the international community that has been so optimistic until now, and so committed to seeing that it succeeds.

    In conclusion, as is often said, implementation is even more difficult than negotiation. Our call is for Colombians to stay the course set out in the Peace Agreement.  

  • 31 Oct 2017

    Mr. Chairman, Distinguished delegates, Ladies and gentlemen,

    I have the pleasure to address the Fourth Committee on behalf of Under-Secretary-General Feltman and introduce the Secretary-General’s latest report on “Overall policy matters pertaining to special political missions”, requested by the General Assembly in resolution 71/100. USG Feltman regrets that his schedule did not allow him to be here today.

    Let me express DPA’s appreciation to the delegations of Finland and Mexico for their continued leadership on this agenda item, and their close cooperation with the Secretariat.


    Mr. Chairman,

    The current debate is the fifth the General Assembly has held on special political missions. The debate is a critical part of the ongoing discussion between Member States and the Secretariat on the key role played by special political missions in promoting international peace and security, as well as on the challenges they face in implementing their mandates safely and effectively, and the actions that need to be  taken to strengthen and support them.

    This debate, and the Secretary-General’s report submitted in advance of it, provides an opportunity to discuss the various policy issues reflected in GA resolution 71/100, as well as the priorities and concerns voiced by Member States in May this year during the annual interactive dialogue on special political missions.

    Since USG Feltman briefed the Fourth Committee on the SPM agenda item last year, the global operating environment has continued to face uncertainty, volatility and rapid transformation. Today’s conflicts are enormously diverse in nature, involving competition over state institutions, natural resources, and territory. The regionalization of the causes and consequences of conflict adds layers of complexity to our efforts to resolve them, as has been the case with respect to Syria, Libya and Yemen, to name but a few. Within some conflicts, we have seen the rise of political narratives and actors such as ISIS/ISIL and Boko Haram that reject the modern conception of the state.

    Against this backdrop, special political missions continue to play a wide variety of peace and security functions, demonstrating their versatility and flexibility. At national and regional levels, SPMs have played vital roles in advancing political transitions; in supporting governance, strengthening institutions and enabling democratic processes; and in identifying early risks and crafting effective preventive responses.

    The report of the Secretary-General details a wide variety of developments for SPMs, from the completion of the initial mandate in Colombia, where the mission supported the remarkable progress made by the Government and the FARC-EP towards the implementation of their peace agreement, and the establishment of the follow-up Verification Mission; to the expansion of the mandates of several panels of experts; to the strategic assessments and subsequent adjustments to the missions in Libya and Somalia.

    It also addresses a number of policy issues that arise from, or are made more urgent by, these trends in the mandates and operating environments of SPMs. Many of these issues were also raised by Member States during the interactive dialogue in May. Let me highlight four such issues.

    The first is the effectiveness of SPMs in preventing conflict and sustaining peace. The Secretary-General has called for a reorientation of the work of the Organization around a universal agenda for prevention. This has injected renewed energy into our efforts to strengthen the efforts of the UN to prevent conflict, as conceptualized in the Sustaining Peace resolutions, which call for a focus on “preventing the outbreak, escalation, continuation and recurrence” of conflict.

    With their diverse mandates and operational orientations, special political missions are a critical part of any effort to strengthen the Organization’s work on conflict prevention. The integration of a broad range of disciplines into the work of SPMs, including DDR, SSR, human rights and institutional capacity development, serves as a strong example of the three pillars of the Organization working effectively as one in support of prevention. The research conducted by panels of experts provides an invaluable source of information to the Security Council that underpins the effectiveness of sanctions regimes as a key preventive tool.

    The recommendations of the High-level Panel on Peace Operations and the Advisory Group of Experts on the Review of the Peacebuilding Architecture provided a detailed technical agenda for increasing the effectiveness of SPMs, while the recent announcement by the Secretary-General of a surge in preventive diplomacy and the establishment of a High-level Advisory Board on Mediation have put new wind in their sails.

    A second important policy area is the strengthening of partnerships between SPMs and regional and sub-regional organizations, another priority for the Secretary-General. The case for close collaboration between SPMs and regional organizations on early warning and analysis, preventive diplomacy and conflict resolution has been thoroughly and convincingly made. We must now work to strengthen our links to these organizations and find innovative ways to collaborate, based on the principles of transparency, mutual accountability and comparative advantage.

    Over the past year we have taken major strides forward in the relationship between the African Union and the United Nations on peace and security cooperation, guided by decisions of the UN Security Council and the AU Peace and Security Council. The signing this April of the Joint UN-AU Framework for Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security, in particular, provides a strengthened basis for collaboration and technical exchange. We are also enhancing our collaboration with other regional organizations including the European Union, OSCE and League of Arab States. At the sub-regional level, our regional offices have made significant progress in building operational relationships with their counterparts.

    A third area of focus is the Women Peace and Security Agenda, where DPA’s efforts to deploy more gender expertise to special political missions has met with some success. The impact of these capacities on the work of the missions is tangible, with evidence of a gender-disaggregated approach to planning, executing and monitoring of the implementation of SPM mandates reflected in reports to the Security Council. DPA will continue to provide targeted support to help missions foster the roles of women in mediation and peacemaking efforts and to encourage women’s increased political participation.

    With respect to the fourth area of focus, as the focal point for electoral assistance, DPA has continued to respond to requests for support to electoral processes, including through SPMs. Increasingly, such support is targeted at medium-to-long term objectives of increasing the capacities of electoral bodies and addressing structural challenges that affect the success and credibility of electoral processes. A critical element of sustaining peace and preventing conflict over the long term, electoral support delivered by SPMs will need to continue to evolve to respond effectively to such demand.


    Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee,

    In addition to these four key areas, the Secretary-General’s report addresses our ongoing efforts to improve geographical distribution and gender representation in SPMs as well as to advance transparency, accountability and efficiency in the execution of our mandates. In particular, the report highlights the continued efforts that the Secretariat has made in ensuring that our missions are broadly representative of the United Nations membership.

    While some progress has been made to improve the representation of women in SPMs, progress is far too slow and will need to be accelerated to meet the Secretary-General’s goals for achieving gender parity across the Organization. Improving both the geographic distribution and representation of women in SPMs will continue to be priorities that DPA and its leadership take very seriously. The report also addresses in some detail the safety and security challenges faced by special political missions in an ever-more volatile global environment, and highlights some of the impediments to mandate implementation that missions operating in difficult security environments face.

    The real and serious nature of the security threats UN personnel face every day was laid bare in March 2017 with the murder of two members of the Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as of the four Congolese citizens accompanying them, who were killed while researching arms trafficking, armed group activity, and human rights abuses in the DRC. We pay tribute to the two brave young professionals, as well as their Congolese aides, and to all personnel of SPMs who similarly put their safety on the line to implement Security Council mandates.


    Mr. Chairman,

    We look forward to the consideration by the governing bodies of the various reform proposals put forward by the Secretary-General over the last few months. While Member States deliberate on the reforms, special political missions will continue to play a critical role in the UN peace and security toolkit. It is therefore vital that we retain a sharp focus on SPMs and the conditions required for their success, including international and regional political backing, relationships and entry points, and effective backstopping and support. We appreciate the support Member States have continued to demonstrate to this crucial tool, both in the General Assembly and in the Security Council.

    We will continue to work closely with the Fourth Committee to take stock of the progress achieved and challenges faced by special political missions, and seek your guidance and advice on the way forward.

    Thank you, Mr. Chairman

  • 26 Oct 2017

    Thank you for the opportunity to brief the Security Council on progress in the implementation of Resolution 2046 which is concerned with outstanding bilateral issues between Sudan and South Sudan, and, the conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile States.


    Mister President,

    As relations between the two countries have continued to be tense, it was hoped that the meeting between Presidents Bashir and Kiir that was planned to take place in Khartoum during the reporting period would provide guidance on the way forward, at best on the stalled implementation of the 2012 Cooperation Agreements, but this did not materialize- at least during the reporting period.

    The internal conflicts in Sudan and South Sudan, coupled with mistrust between the two countries, have continued to impede the full implementation of the Agreements and the normalization of their bilateral relations. At the extraordinary meeting of the Joint Political and Security Mechanism (JPSM) held in Addis Ababa from 14 to 15 May, both governments recommitted to the resumption of regular meetings and to the implementation of the decisions taken at the last JPSM held in Khartoum in June 2016. However, the ordinary JPSM meeting agreed to be held in Juba by the end of June did not, take place after both governments exchanged, once again, accusations of harbouring each other’s rebels. An extraordinary JPSM meeting, convened by the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel(AUHIP), is expected to take place on November 1st. In my engagement with the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan, I have reiterated that the agreements on Security Arrangements cannot be implemented without regular meetings of the JPSM, the main bilateral mechanism empowered to take decisions regarding security and the border.

    The monitoring of the border remains critical to peace efforts as border violations have the potential to be a flashpoint of military confrontation between the two countries. In line with the July 2011 “Agreement on the Border Monitoring Support Mission”, both sides acknowledge the importance of border monitoring. If fully implemented, the JBVMM can help them prevent violations and cross-border incursions by armed groups, contain the cross-border circulation of weapons and assist in building mutual trust, particularly in the light of mutual accusations of harboring rebels. It can also serve to protect the flanks of the Abyei area.

    While there has been limited progress on security and border issues, the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan have continued to show more appetite for sustained bilateral cooperation in the oil sector. In September, the Ministers of Petroleum of the two countries agreed, in Khartoum on the resumption of oil production in the Unity State oilfields, which had stopped with the outbreak of the war in 2013. Sudan would provide technical assistance and electricity, and accommodate oil workers at its base camp in Heglig. 

    In line with “The Agreement on Trade and Trade Related Issues”, the two Governments agreed in September to boost border trade and approved the export of 54 Sudanese products to South Sudan through five border crossing points yet to be identified. It is expected that a meeting of customs and immigration officials will be organized to operationalize the agreement, while the branch of Sudan’s central bank at Kosti has been identified to facilitate transactions. The contemplated JPSM meeting at the end of this month is intended to expedite the establishment of the first crossing points.

    Sudan also continued to facilitate the provision of humanitarian aid to South Sudan by allowing the World Food Programme to deliver food assistance on 5 October to Aweil.

    With the lifting of U.S. sanctions on Sudan, South Sudan has expressed interest in a joint approach to the international community, including a creditor outreach strategy arrangement as contemplated in the “Agreement on Certain Economic Matters”, which has not been implemented so far. In my future engagement with the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan, I will encourage them to build on their sustained cooperation on oil, and their interest in enhancing their economic and commercial cooperation to implement, in a timely manner, the Agreements on Security Arrangements and Border Issues.


    Mister President,

    Since the independence of South Sudan, the most prominent outstanding territorial issue between Sudan and South Sudan has been the question of sovereignty over the Abyei Area. After an interval that followed the upsurge of violence in 2011 in Abyei resulting in the displacement of the population, and following the independence of South Sudan later in the year, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2046 in May 2012. This urges the parties to cease all hostilities and withdraw their forces. The main concern of the members of the Security Council was to avoid the risk of greater conflagration and, in the words of the Resolution, “returning to the horrors of the past, taking the entire region with them”.

    Today, thanks notably to UNISFA’s sustained and fruitful efforts for which Ethiopia should be commended, the risk of relapse into conflict between Sudan and South Sudan is low. The stabilizing role of UNISFA, described in detail by my colleague ASG Alexander Zuev in his briefing, should inform any decision the international community is considering taking regarding Abyei and the JBVMM.  The conflict prevention and mitigation strategy adopted by UNISFA and its engagement with both communities to foster dialogue and reconciliation have also been critical in averting an escalation of tensions.                                 

    This enabling role of UNISFA is, in my view, crucial for any future progress on the implementation of the transitional agreements and the arrangements on the border, as well as the resumption of talks about the final status of Abyei. In my continuous engagement with the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan, I have urged them to build on the relative improvement in their relationship, including through bilateral meetings between President Omar al-Bashir and President Salva Kiir, to take concrete measures to achieve progress on the joint administration of Abyei and resume discussions about its final status. 


    Mister President,

    Turning my attention to the conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, the Roadmap Agreement brokered by the AUHIP last year can, if fully implemented, lay the ground for lasting peace in Sudan as it contemplates a comprehensive solution to the conflicts in Darfur and the Two Areas through peace negotiations and national political dialogue- resulting in a new inclusive social contract.

    Humanitarian aid delivery to the territories under SPLM-N’s control remains a major contentious issue, a road block, between the Government of Sudan and SPLM-N. The Government of Sudan has reiterated readiness to implement the US proposal on humanitarian access which consists of the US undertaking the delivery of medicines from within Sudan to South Kordofan and Blue Nile by air. The new SPLM-N leadership stated that the position of the movement on this matter has not changed and that it sticks to the delivery of some percentage of the humanitarian assistance directly from a neighboring country to the areas under its control.  In my future engagement with the parties, I intend to urge them to build on the current unilateral cessation of hostilities declared by both sides in the Two Areas, to resume talks on the basis of the US proposal on humanitarian assistance, under the auspices of the AUHIP.

    Thank you for your attention.