Joint Communiqué: United Nations-African Union Joint Task Force on Peace and Security Holds its Twenty Second Consultative Meeting
New York, 18 September— The United Nations-African Union Joint Task Force on Peace and Security held its twenty second consultative meeting on 18 September 2023 in New York.
The meeting reviewed the status of the partnership between the United Nations (UN) and the African Union (AU) with an update on the implementation of the Joint UN-AU Framework for Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security. In this context, the meeting discussed peace and security developments in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Somalia, the Sudan and Central African Republic and Gabon, as well as discussions on unconstitutional changes of Governments in the Sahel region.
The AU Commission and the UN Secretariat were represented respectively by Commissioner Bankole Adeoye (Political Affairs, Peace and Security); and the Under-Secretaries-General Rosemary DiCarlo (Political and Peacebuilding Affairs), Jean-Pierre Lacroix (Peace Operations), Atul Khare (Operational Support), Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, Special Representative of the Secretary-General to the African Union and Assistant Secretary-General Martha Pobee (Africa). The meeting was also attended by other senior officials from the two Organizations.
The Joint Task Force took note of the considerable progress achieved in the UN-AU partnership including with Regional Economic Communities and Mechanisms in Africa, together with international partners. These include sustained collaboration on support to AU peace support operations, early warning, prevention initiatives and coordinated support to national authorities for the conduct of timely, peaceful, and inclusive elections, as well as for the promotion and protection of human rights. The meeting discussed the need for sustainable financing of Security Council-mandated AU-led peace support operations.
The meeting expressed concerns on the resurgence of Coup d’Etats and military takeovers on the Continent. The Joint Task Force welcomed efforts to deepen collaboration on operational support matters, including through the exchange of knowledge and expertise, and acknowledged the positive impact on mandate implementation in various operational contexts. Both Organizations emphasized the need to strength collaboration in mediation support and focusing more on their joint initiatives on the women, peace and security, and youth for peace and security agendas.
On Burkina Faso, Guinea and Mali, the Joint Task Force reiterated the African Union and United Nations’ commitment to support transitional authorities towards the return to constitutional order, in coordination with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The Joint Task Force strongly encouraged the transitional authorities and national stakeholders to pursue efforts towards peaceful and inclusive transitions respectful of human rights. The meeting also reiterated support for the efforts of ECOWAS to ensure restoration of constitutional order and a peaceful resolution to the crisis in Niger.
With regard to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Joint Task Force expressed deep concern over the deteriorating security situation in Ituri and North Kivu, which continues to affect the lives of thousands of civilians, mostly women and children, and worsen the already dire humanitarian situation.
The meeting urged all armed groups to disarm unconditionally and join the Disarmament, Demobilization, Community recovery and Stabilization Programme (PDDRCS) or return to their countries of origin, as appropriate. The meeting reaffirmed the continued support of the United Nations and the African Union to regional peace initiatives for the DRC, namely the Nairobi and Luanda processes.
The African Union reaffirmed its commitment to lead efforts of the Multilevel Coordination Working Group on coordination and harmonization of regional peace initiatives, established during the 27 June 2023 Quadripartite Summit, with the support of the UN and other key stakeholders. The meeting reiterated the importance of revitalizing the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the region.
Regarding Somalia, the Joint Task Force highlighted the strong partnership between the AU and UN in Somalia and the need for continued close cooperation to ensure support for Somalia in advancing state building priorities and in the security transition.
On Sudan, the Joint Task Force expressed grave concern about the escalation of violence in the Sudan, including the increasing intercommunal tensions and ethnicization of the fighting in Darfur. The JTF called on the warring parties and non-state armed actors to uphold their obligations under international humanitarian law and human rights law to refrain from attacks against civilians and civilian objects, and to respect the right to life. The meeting stressed the importance of reaching swiftly a permanent ceasefire, to be followed by an inclusive, peaceful and lasting solution to the crisis. Noting that the unity and preservation of the Sudanese state and the stability of the region are at stake, the Joint Task Force welcomed the efforts of the AU and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to ensure a strong and well-coordinated international support for a sustainable resolution of the conflict and for the transition to a fully civilian, credible, democratic government.
The next statutory meeting of the Joint Task Force will be hosted by the African Union Commission at a date to be convened by both Organizations.
USG Rosemary DiCarlo's Remarks at the
Peacebuilding Commission Ministerial-Level Meeting on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace
New York, 22 September 2023
It is a great honor to be among you to speak on the Secretary-General’s policy brief, “A New Agenda for Peace” and the role of the Peacebuilding Commission.
I would like to thank you for this opportunity and commend the Chair of the Commission, Croatia, for initiating this meeting. This high-level gathering could not be more opportune.
In his opening address to the General Assembly on Tuesday, the Secretary-General’s message was clear: the multilateral peace and security architecture is under unprecedented strain, and we need a new and innovative approach, based on current political realities.
Indeed, we are witnessing the highest level of tensions and major power competition in decades, coupled with a persistent and growing loss of trust between the global North and global South. Meanwhile, a series of massive threats – from the climate emergency to the weaponization of new technologies and rising inequalities – demand urgent and united action.
A New Agenda for Peace is the fruit of a deep and broad reflection on how Member States can arrest deepening divisions and find avenues for cooperation and collective action. Our goal is to present a unifying vision for peace and security – one that is clear-eyed about the magnitude of today’s challenges, and which addresses the concerns and priorities of different constituencies.
For these reasons, A New Agenda for Peace offers an extensive narrative of the current global moment, the transition towards a more multipolar global order, and what it means for multilateral action for peace.
The Secretary-General’s vision for a more effective collective security system is grounded in a recommitment to multilateralism, based on the UN Charter and international law, and in line with the principles of trust, solidarity, and universality.
At the center of this vision is a call on Member States to re-engage in diplomacy and to prioritize conflict prevention and peacebuilding. Comprehensive approaches, political courage, effective partnerships, sustainable resources, and national leadership are required.
Above all, greater trust – among Member States, among people and in the institution of the United Nations itself – is essential.
A New Agenda for Peace makes the case for a new approach to conflict prevention and peacebuilding consisting of three parts:
First, it recognizes that the scourge of violence affects lives and livelihoods not only within but also outside of armed conflict settings. Drawing on SDG 16.1, A New Agenda for Peace calls on Member States to reduce all forms of violence in their societies.
Second, the Agenda approaches prevention as a universal goal in which all Member States should engage. Every country – not just conflict-affected or “fragile” States – faces its own risks of violence and conflict. The Agenda calls on all Member States to develop national prevention strategies and invest in national peace infrastructures.
Third, the Agenda underlines that prevention can only be effective if it is nationally led and owned. Yet prevention is often conflated with intervention and undercut by a lack of trust. A renewed commitment to prevention must address that lack of trust, respond to national priorities, and reflect the concerns and aspirations of all sections of society, with the support of the international community, when requested.
A New Agenda for Peace recognizes that the current structures of global governance have become anachronistic and must be updated to reflect 21st century political realities.
It proposes a series of reforms to United Nations intergovernmental bodies, including the Security Council and the General Assembly. As part of this vision for a more effective collective security machinery, it also calls for a stronger role for the Peacebuilding Commission.
Allow me to recall the key elements of the Secretary-General’s proposal regarding the Peacebuilding Commission:
I look forward to a successful conclusion of the Fifth Committee deliberations on assessed contributions for the Peacebuilding Fund in its next session.
The 2025 review of the peacebuilding architecture will be a vital opportunity to act on the recommendations contained in A New Agenda for Peace, and the outcome of the Summit of the Future.
Your participation in today’s proceedings – as Commission members and countries on the Commission’s agenda - is further demonstration of your strong commitment to investing more in prevention and peacebuilding, as called for in A New Agenda for Peace.
You have a unique opportunity to discuss proposals for strengthening the Commission as a critical convener for effective and sustainable peacebuilding action.
I wish you successful deliberations. I pledge the support of my department (DPPA) and the United Nations Secretariat to help you realize your ambitions.
Following the UN chief’s appeal this week for a fresh approach to global peace and security, UN Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) countries convened on Friday to discuss the best way forward.
The UN and Ghana jointly announced on Friday that December’s UN Peacekeeping Ministerial meeting will be hosted in Accra, at a time when some African nations are questioning the value of having ‘blue helmets’ on their soil.
In eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), increasing armed violence, forced displacement and devastating floods have fuelled deadly disease outbreaks and jeopardized healthcare, the UN health agency (WHO) said on Friday.
ASG Miroslav Jenča’s Remarks at the Security Council
“Letter dated 13 September 2022 from the Permanent Representative of Armenia to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/2022/688)”
New York, 21 September 2023
Mr. President, Esteemed members of the Council, Excellencies,
On 19 September, Azerbaijan announced that it had launched “local counter-terrorism activities in the Karabakh economic region” in response to the tragic deaths of two civilians and four police officers in incidents involving landmines, allegedly placed by Armenian armed forces.
According to official statements, Azerbaijan had informed the Russian peacekeeping force and the Joint Russian-Turkish Monitoring Center of its activities as intended to prevent large-scale provocations by the Armenian armed forces, neutralize their military infrastructure, and ensure their withdrawal and the restoration of the constitutional order of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Developments indicated a serious escalation in military operations with reports of Azerbaijani forces breaking through the Line of Contact. There were casualties reported, including among the civilian population as well as evacuations of some thousands of people within the region. The Russian peacekeeping force, which itself suffered casualties, documented numerous ceasefire violations.
The United Nations, which is neither present along the Line of Contact, nor in other areas under the mandate of the Russian peacekeepers, is not in a position to verify or confirm these various claims and allegations.
Allow me nonetheless to recall the Secretary-General’s extreme concern over the recent resumption of hostilities that resulted in the tragic loss of civilian lives, including children.
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk also expressed concerns about the impact of the renewed use of armed force on civilians. He noted that it is critical to return to the peace process and work on an agreement grounded in the respect for human rights.
The Secretary-General urges all concerned to strictly observe the 2020 ceasefire in accordance with the 9 November joint statement, and to continue implementing their obligations, notably as they relate to international humanitarian law and international human rights law.
The escalations occurred following the much-needed delivery, on the previous day, the 18th of September, of shipments of wheat flour and essential medical items simultaneously through both the Lachin corridor and the Aghdam road.
Members of the Council will recall that, over the past months, the issues of freedom of movement of civilians and humanitarian access have been major sources of tension and sharp exchanges between Baku and Yerevan.
The Secretary-General remains deeply concerned about the impact of the escalation on the fragile humanitarian situation and calls on all parties to urgently facilitate unimpeded access of humanitarian relief to civilians in need.
We also note the International Committee of the Red Cross’ concerns about the humanitarian impact of the latest events on the already vulnerable population in the region. Recalling the extremely limited access to basic commodities and healthcare over the past few months, the ICRC assesses that the situation was likely to deepen their suffering.
The developments of the past few days should be seen in the context of the broader pattern of regular ceasefire violations which have continued to persist.
We note yesterday’s announcement of a cessation of hostilities, with the situation on the ground remaining fluid. We also understand that, in a positive step, representatives of the local population and the Government of Azerbaijan met earlier today for an initial exchange.
In conclusion, we call for a credible and durable cessation of all hostilities. Any renewed escalation would lead to further loss of life and human suffering and further set back internationally supported peace efforts.
The protection and essential needs of the civilian population, including their human rights, must be the overriding priority. A genuine dialogue between the Government of Azerbaijan and representatives of the region, together with full engagement in the normalization process by Armenia and Azerbaijan, are the only sustainable way forward.
The Secretariat will remain in close contact with all relevant actors and the concerned parties and stands ready to support ongoing peace efforts, as needed. The Secretariat is also ready and prepared to conduct humanitarian needs assessments, if given access, and provide assistance as needed.
Thank you for your attention.
USG DiCarlo’s Remarks at the Ministerial Breakfast of the United Nations
Group of Friends of Mediation
“Inclusion and Ownership of Peace Processes”
New York, 21 September 2023
Minister Valtonen (Finland),
Minister Fidan (Türkiye),
I would like to extend my gratitude to the co-chairs of the Group of Friends of Mediation, Finland and Türkiye, for convening today’s Ministerial meeting. We greatly appreciate your commitment to supporting UN prevention and peacemaking efforts.
Full inclusion and ownership of peace processes has never been more vital. As the Secretary-General underscores in his A New Agenda for Peace policy brief, we are living in a moment of geopolitical transition marked by increased competition and fragmentation.
Conflicts are ever more complex and intractable.
This inflection point requires a re-assessment of our traditional mediation practices. Today, effective mediation and conflict prevention requires comprehensive approaches, political courage, genuine regional and international partnerships, and national ownership. Above all, it requires greater trust – among Member States, and with the United Nations.
The Secretary-General’s A New Agenda for Peace puts the concept of national ownership and national action at its centre. Member States have the primary responsibility to prevent and resolve conflict and steward the implementation of resulting peace agreements.
This does not mean that State actors can implement these initiatives alone – inclusion and all of society approaches are necessary for the success of mediation and prevention initiatives. For this, there must be sufficient civic space to enable the meaningful participation of all societal groups, including women, in peace and political processes.
In A New Agenda for Peace, the Secretary-General committed to deploy his good offices to support prevention of conflict and to undertake diplomatic efforts for inclusive peace.
[Role of Women in Peace Processes]
More than 20 years since the adoption of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) on Women, Peace and Security, women’s direct participation in peace processes remains one of the least implemented goals of the WPS agenda.
The full, equal, and meaningful participation of women is imperative. Women bring unique perspectives, experiences, and skills to the table that might be otherwise overlooked. They can ensure that the impact of conflict on women as well as men is taken into account.
As A New Agenda for Peace affirms, transforming gendered power dynamics, and to quote the Secretary-General “dismantling the patriarchy”, is essential to prevent and resolve conflict.
This requires the political will to ensure women are well-represented in negotiating delegations. There must be serious and substantial representation of women’s civil society, including by the creation of advisory boards and consultative bodies. Mediation teams must include gender experts and appoint women as lead mediators. Only then can mediation processes be truly inclusive and effective.
[Role of Youth in Peace Processes]
As noted in A New Agenda for Peace, young people, are essential to identifying the political solutions that our world urgently needs, particularly in how challenges such as the risks posed by the malicious use of digital technologies on social media and in cyberspace. An inter-generational perspective is critical to the legitimacy and durability of political solutions and peace agreements.
The powerful impact that young people have on peace processes go well beyond the negotiating table. Youth activists are leading public movements and using digital tools to change national political dynamics.
Allow me to share with you some recent UN experiences and approaches with inclusive peace processes, as well as some of the challenges we have faced.
First, the power inequalities and the under-representation of women are particularly stark in negotiations on ceasefires, where militaries remain male-dominated.
In 2021, my department launched the annual Women in Ceasefire Negotiations Course. Through this initiative, we are building a cadre of women negotiators and local mediators from dozens of conflict-affected countries that possess specialised skills to participate in complex ceasefire negotiations. Some graduates of this Course are already involved in inclusive ceasefire design and advocacy in their home countries, including Sudan and Yemen.
A New Agenda for Peace warns of a global backlash against women’s meaningful participation in political life. We have witnessed this in our mediation work. Notably, even when women have had a key place and role in peace negotiations, new challenges have arisen to sustaining their participation.
For example, in Colombia, the participation of women was critical for the 2016 Peace Agreement between the Government and the FARC movement. However, some seven years on, the implementation of the agreed gender provisions remains slow, and the protection of women leaders is a serious concern.
With new ceasefire talks underway between the Government of Colombia and the ELN armed group, we must ensure that women have leading roles in the monitoring and implementation of the new bilateral ceasefire agreement.
In Sudan, the reversals are even more stark. Women were prominent signatories to the December 2022 Framework Agreement facilitated by the AU, IGAD and UN. They managed to secure important gender provisions in the agreement. But following the outbreak of conflict last April, diplomatic efforts have reverted to being dominated by men and belligerent parties.
Promoting youth participation in peace processes raises distinct challenges. UN Special Political Missions in Iraq and Sudan have grappled with the challenge of including popular protest movements led by a diverse set of young leaders into formal constitutional review and political transition negotiations. UN Resident Coordinators in Bolivia and Ecuador have been asked by national authorities to help promote dialogue with mass movements at moments of crisis when many thousands - and especially young people - had taken to the streets.
These experiences have shown us that being serious about promoting youth participation requires new approaches. For governments and other traditional elites to engage with “leaderless” youth-led protests and online movements, new national peace infrastructures and the patience to develop structured plans that go beyond crisis diplomacy are needed. At the United Nations, we have developed and deployed tools to help national actors meet this challenge, including using artificial intelligence to hold inclusive digital consultations among governments, wider groups in society, and youth in countries such as Bolivia, Libya, Tunisia, and Yemen.
Inclusive mediation approaches are needed to tackle complex root causes of contemporary conflict. Sustainable mediation and prevention outcomes require leadership and ownership by national actors.
Thank you once again to the co-chairs of the Group of Friends of Mediation, Finland and Türkiye, for your leadership in advancing this crucial agenda.
USG Rosemary Dicarlo’s Remarks to the Informal Interactive Dialogue
between the Members of the Security Council and Representatives of the Arab Summit Troika
and the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States
New York, 21 September 2023
Thank you, Mr. President.
It is a pleasure to address the Security Council once again on the cooperation of the United Nations with the League of Arab States. It is a privilege to be speaking alongside His Excellency, Mr. Aboul Gheit, Secretary-General of the League.
Today’s geopolitical landscape is marked by the highest levels of tensions, fragmentation, and power competition in decades, coupled with a growing loss of trust between the global North and global South. Meanwhile, a series of threats – from the changing nature of armed conflict and the weaponization of new technologies to the climate emergency and rising inequalities – demand our urgent and united action.
The magnitude of today’s challenges demands greater international cooperation and collective action, as the Secretary-General’s policy brief, A New Agenda for Peace, stresses.
The longstanding and constructive collaboration between the United Nations and the League of Arab States is exemplary. And around the region, there is no shortage of crises requiring joint, coordinated responses.
The deadly conflict in Sudan, now entering its sixth month, continues to inflict unimaginable suffering on Sudanese women, men and children. Sudan’s neighbors have been generous in receiving those able to flee the violence, and we are grateful to them. But there is no sign that the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces are ready to silence their guns. Growing ethnic violence in Darfur remains alarming, while cross-border mobilization and the movement of fighters, alongside the flow of weapons and ammunition from the outside the country, pose growing risks for the entire region.
We are working with the League of Arab States, the African Union and IGAD to resolve this crisis.
I reiterate the calls we have made in this Chamber and beyond to the warring parties in Sudan to agree a true ceasefire leading to a durable cessation of hostilities and ultimately a political settlement. This will require political will, a robust monitoring and verification mechanism, and the ability to hold the parties to account. The role and influence of the League and its membership are critical in this regard.
We remain alarmed by the situation in the occupied West Bank and Israel, where the violence has reached levels not witnessed in decades.
We urgently need constructive steps by the parties – supported by the international community – to break the cycle of violence and restore a political horizon.
Only a legitimate political process will lead to a resolution of this conflict. Our shared goals remain the same: ending the occupation and achieving a viable two-State solution, with Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security, with Jerusalem as the shared capital, in line with international law, relevant United Nations resolutions, and bilateral agreements.
The Peace Day event convened by Saudi Arabia, the League of Arab States and the European Union, in cooperation with Egypt and Jordan, is testament to the international community’s commitment to the two-State solution.
In the immediate term, international cooperation and solidarity is urgently needed to confront the funding shortages plaguing key UN agencies serving the most vulnerable Palestinians.
In Syria, enhanced diplomatic attention from the region is welcome. Our Special Envoy is coordinating with the Arab Contact Group and key regional and international stakeholders towards a series of precise, verifiable, and mutual steps to unlock incremental progress toward the implementation of Security Council resolution 2254 (2015). The aim remains: to achieve a political solution that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people.
In Yemen, renewed regional momentum is encouraging, but will require sustained collective support to enable the resumption of an inclusive, Yemeni-owned political process under UN auspices. The continuation of concerted and coordinated regional support will remain critical to ending the conflict.
Turning to North Africa, the devastating effects of Storm Daniel in eastern Libya and the earthquake in Morocco require urgent humanitarian attention from the international community, as called for by the League. The United Nations has been delivering aid and support, to those in need, including in Derna, Libya. OCHA has launched a $71.4 million flash appeal to provide immediate life-saving assistance to over 250,000 people affected by the floods.
The disaster in Libya also highlights the urgent need for national institutions to unite in order to respond effectively to the mounting needs of the population. We must continue to work together to support Libyan leaders in the finalization of the electoral laws and the formation of a unified government to lead the country to elections. We are grateful to the League for its engagement, through the Libya Quartet and other processes to help find a lasting Libyan-led and -owned solution to the political impasse.
The United Nations and our special political mission, UNSMIL, will continue to intensify efforts with Libyan, regional and international stakeholders, to move beyond the roadblocks preventing progress towards elections.
The United Nations and the League have also deepened and harmonized our approach on climate, peace and security, particularly as the region grapples with the multiplying threats posed by climate change. The outcome of the upcoming COP28 in the United Arab Emirates will put the region squarely at the center of the world’s efforts to combat climate change.
We are also looking ahead to the launch of the new Arab Regional Youth, Peace and Security Strategy, which is premised on the importance of investing in Arab youth, who – as 60% of its population – are the region’s future. I encourage Member States – and young people themselves – to make use of this strategy and bring it to life. The United Nations proudly supported the League in this endeavor and is exploring ways to help implement it, including through our special political missions and other UN offices in the region.
The contributions of Arab women to peace and stability in the region are fundamental, yet more needs to be done to ensure their full, equal and meaningful participation in decision-making and political processes.
In that vein, we are expanding our support to the Arab Women’s Mediators Network, which was established by the League in cooperation with UN Women in 2020. The network can help operationalize Security Council resolution 1325 (2005) and the broader Women, Peace and Security agenda in the region.
We continue to look for opportunities to expand our growing collaboration with the League to promote this agenda.
The merits of deepening the partnership between the United Nations and the League are clear. Cooperation and solidarity are indispensable in these challenging times.
At the sixteenth biennial United Nations-League of Arab States General Cooperation Meeting in Geneva next July, we will have the opportunity to take stock of our joint accomplishments and agree on our overarching priorities for the future.
The United Nations Liaison Office to the League of Arab States, based in Cairo, has been spearheading our efforts to develop and strengthen our cooperation and will continue to play a key role.
Allow me to conclude by underscoring that regional frameworks and organizations remain critical partners for the multilateral solutions envisaged in A New Agenda for Peace.
In the Middle East and North Africa, building on our decades-long partnership, we have a head start.
Peace requires strong mobilization for human rights, sustainable development and the environment, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on the International Day of Peace observed on Thursday.
The head of the UN agency that assists Palestine refugees across the Middle East, UNRWA, on Thursday appealed for consistent and sustainable financing to keep its operations running and avert chronic shortfalls.
A senior UN official told the Security Council on Thursday that the wellbeing of civilians caught up in the long-running conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan should be the “overriding priority” following renewed fighting.
USG Rosemary DiCarlo’s Opening Remarks at the
UNGA78 High-Level Ministerial Side Event “The Cost of Inaction in Sudan” on the
Humanitarian Response in Sudan and the Region
New York, 20 September 2023
I would like to thank the co-hosts for the opportunity to address the crisis in Sudan.
More than five months have passed since the outbreak of the conflict between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces. Neither warring party is close to victory, yet they continue their brutal fight. Civilians have paid a heavy price for this senseless violence.
Homes, businesses, and UN premises have been destroyed and looted. Over 5,000 women, men, and children have been killed, and millions displaced. Sudan is now home to the highest number of internally displaced people (IDPs) in the world, with at least 7.1 million people — including an estimated 3.3 million children — uprooted from their homes. More than 6 million Sudanese are one step away from famine. These numbers will keep growing, as long as the guns keep talking.
I strongly condemn the ethnic violence in Darfur. Warring parties continue to systematically violate international humanitarian and human rights law. Civilians and civilian infrastructure, including health facilities, places of worship, water and electricity installations have been targeted, damaged, and destroyed.
There have been shocking accounts of widespread rape and sexual violence. There must be accountability for these crimes, as well as medical and psychosocial support for survivors. The parties must also put in place mechanisms to prevent recurrence of such violence.
As the outbreak of fighting in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan regions shows, the conflict is spreading and leading to the increased fragmentation of the country.
The warring parties are not operating in a vacuum. The conflict is being fuelled by cross-border mobilization, including along tribal lines, as well as the movement of fighters and the flow of weapons and ammunition from outside the country. This risks plunging the region into wider conflict.
All communities and regional actors must refrain from taking sides. Instead, they must focus their efforts on preventing further escalation and ending the violence.
Despite the challenges of recent weeks and months, our special political mission, UNITAMS, has maintained a presence of national and international personnel in Sudan, and continues to carry out critical work. This includes field-based and remote human rights monitoring and verification, as well as support to de-escalation activities through the Darfur Permanent Ceasefire Committee.
The Mission has also continued its political efforts, in close coordination with the African Union, IGAD, the League of Arab States and other regional actors. It also provides support to civilian political actors in their efforts to coalesce around a common platform to resolve the conflict.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Political inaction on Sudan has already exacted a heavy cost, with thousands of civilians killed, injured, and displaced. In addition to essential humanitarian action, we also need an increase in effective diplomacy. The international community can — and must — do more to help stop the fighting and find a path to a political settlement.
Sudanese warring parties must end the fighting and return to Jeddah to advance a meaningful ceasefire that will lead to a durable cession of hostilities. This will require political will, a robust monitoring and verification mechanism, and the ability to hold the warring parties accountable. I also urge the sides to avoid taking unilateral actions that may intensify the fighting.
We must increase pressure on the warring parties to end attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure, including heath centres and hospitals, and grant the safe and unfettered access of humanitarian actors to those in need.
The United Nations supports all efforts to end the fighting and advance a political solution.
The war in Sudan has shattered the hopes and aspirations of Sudanese women and men whose determination and sacrifices led to the December Revolution in 2018, which inspired all of us across the world. Many now worry that the conflict will take the country back to the dark days of the old regime. The international community – including all of us here today – must stand with the Sudanese people to prevent this from happening and end the war as a matter of urgency.
Afghanistan’s de facto authorities have been using torture as a tool to extract confessions from prisoners, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said on Wednesday.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday called for expanding the UN Security Council and reforming the right of veto granted to its permanent members, in his first in-person address around the iconic horseshoe table.
Civilians continuing paying a heavy price as the “senseless violence” between rival militaries continues in Sudan, the UN’s political affairs chief said on Wednesday.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday called for expanding the UN Security Council and reforming the right of veto granted to its permanent members, in his first in-person address around the iconic horseshoe table.
USG Rosemary DiCarlo’s statement for the
UNGA 78 High-level event on
‘Global Solidarity with Afghan Women and Girls’
Co-hosted by Ireland and Women’s Forum on Afghanistan
New York, 19 September 2023
I welcome and thank you for the opportunity to join you today at this timely high-level event on the rights of Afghan women and girls.
Two years since the Taliban takeover, Afghanistan is facing unprecedented challenges: one of the world’s largest and most severe humanitarian crisis, acute discrimination against Afghan women and girls, a collapse of the human rights situation, and dire economic conditions.
Despite early pledges, the Taliban authorities have yet to take concrete steps to comply with international normative frameworks regarding human rights, representative and inclusive governance, and international collective security.
The governance system imposed by the Taliban leaves little space for the realization of a range of civil and political rights. Dissent is effectively silenced.
Our special political mission, United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), has documented arbitrary arrests and detention of journalists, media workers and activists, many of them women. It has also reported disproportionate use of force by the de facto security forces against women-led peaceful demonstrations. There have been restrictions on the registration of civil society organizations and recently a ban on political parties. The Mission has also documented extrajudicial killings, torture, and arbitrary detentions of officials of the former Republic in violation of the general amnesty.
Economic, social and cultural rights are equally under assault, undermined especially by the violation of the fundamental principles of non-discrimination and gender equality. Women and girls remain banned from pursuing education beyond grade sixth and confined to their households. Employment opportunities are also severely restricted, which not only violates the fundamental rights of Afghan women, but negatively impacts the country’s prospects for development.
Indeed, marginalizing over half the country’s participation from economic, social, and political life is not only wrong, but it also undermines the Taliban’s stated objective of economic self-reliance. Afghanistan cannot develop without the economic, political and intellectual contributions of over half of its population. Any progress on the Sustainable Development Goals will depend on the inclusion of women as beneficiaries and contributors in all sectors.
Consultations conducted by UNAMA and UNWOMEN in the country revealed the cumulative, dire impact of the current situation on the lives and health of Afghan women. Most worryingly, there has been a marked increase in exposure to domestic violence.
In particular, conditions for Afghan women are so severe that, according to some experts, they may be considered as persecution on gender grounds, which may amount to a crime against humanity. Afghanistan is State party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and several international human rights treaties, and the de facto authorities have to comply with their obligations to protect and fulfil the human rights of all Afghans.
The Spotlight Initiative, which is Chaired by the Deputy Secretary-General, continues to support community dialogues and trainings on preventing violence against women and early marriage. It is paramount to build support for these and other such initiatives that address protection needs.
We face a dilemma today. The Taliban leadership have made it increasingly difficult for the international community to engage in Afghanistan, imposing or tightening restrictions that go against the fundamental principles of the United Nations and its Charter. Yet, this is when the Afghan people, especially women and girls, need our support the most.
In all interactions with the de facto authorities, our Mission advocates for women’s and girls’ rights, including the right to work, the right to education and freedom of movement.
Today’s meeting is an important opportunity to hear directly from Afghan women. I say to Afghan women here today and those following the discussions remotely that we really do value your insights about how the UN – and the international community – can best advocate for women’s fundamental rights and promote your political participation. The international community must all act as one in supporting you.
I look forward to the discussion, and to ensuring that our collective actions support you in the best way possible.
The President of Türkiye showcased his country as an active partner on both the regional and global levels¸ and called for reform of the international institutions, during his speech at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.
In war-torn Sudan, more than 1,200 children under five have died in camps in the space of four months from a combination of measles and malnutrition, UN humanitarians said on Tuesday.
USG Rosemary DiCarlo’s statement for the
“Peace Day Effort: An Effort for Middle East Peace”
on the margins of UNGA78 High Level Week
New York, 18 September 2023
His Highness Prince Faisal bin Farhan, [Kingdom of Saudi Arabia]
Secretary-General Aboul Gheit [the League of Arab States],
High Representative Borrell [European Union]
Minister Safadi [Jordan]
Minister Shoukry [Egypt]
I would like to thank the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the League of Arab States, and the European Union, in cooperation with Egypt and Jordan, for convening today’s meeting on our efforts to reinvigorate the Middle East Peace Process and help forge a path forward toward a viable two-State solution.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has endured too long. It is the longest standing issue on the United Nations peace and security agenda, despite many collective efforts throughout the years. But we cannot give up.
Today’s meeting – a Peace Day Effort – is testament to the international community’s continued engagement and investment in helping end the occupation and resolve this conflict.
We have an opportunity today to hear about possible steps to build on existing initiatives, particularly the Arab Peace Initiative. There is no doubt that the potential peace dividend is vast – for Palestinians, for Israelis, and for the broader region. We must galvanize our collective efforts to achieve a just and comprehensive peace.
As we look to the future, we must also address pressing, immediate concerns.
The situation on the ground is bleak. We are alarmed by the intensification of violence in the occupied West Bank and Israel. This year alone, 190 Palestinians and 30 Israelis have been killed. This is a level of violence not seen in decades.
Unilateral actions, including Israel’s relentless settlement expansion and demolitions, the Palestinian divide, and the growing incitement to violence and hateful rhetoric on both sides, continue to undermine our collective efforts for a viable two-State solution.
We urgently need the parties to take constructive steps – supported by the international community – to de-escalate tensions, end the cycle of violence, and re-establish a political horizon. Political leadership is required to this end.
The UN continues its intensive engagement with all parties to address both the immediate crises and work toward meaningful political solutions that advance our shared goal.
The acute financial and institutional challenges facing the Palestinian Authority need to be addressed. Immediate financial support is crucial to help stabilize basic service delivery to millions of Palestinians and to strengthen Palestinian institutions so they can better engage on the way forward.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is a lifeline for millions of Palestine refugees in the region. It continues to face critical funding shortfalls. Sustained financial support to UNRWA is an essential part of our collective efforts to prevent further deterioration of the situation on the ground.
I commend Jordan and Sweden for once again co-hosting the ministerial meeting in support of UNRWA later this week, which I hope will help address the Agency’s immediate and long-term funding challenges.
There is no substitute for a legitimate political process to resolve the core issues driving this conflict. Through incremental but tangible steps, we can steadily create the conditions necessary for a peaceful resolution of the conflict.
I am hopeful that today’s meeting will help further our shared goal of supporting Israelis and Palestinians to end the occupation and resolve this conflict in line with international law, relevant United Nations resolutions, and bilateral agreements.
Only then can we achieve our long-sought and commonly agreed goal of two States – Israel and an independent, democratic, contiguous, viable, and sovereign Palestinian State – living side by side in peace and security, within secure and recognized borders, on the basis of the pre-1967 lines, with Jerusalem as their shared capital.
The United Nations remains committed to supporting Palestinians and Israelis to resolve the conflict and end the occupation
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