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Reports and Policy Documents

2024

  • 1 juil 2024

    Remarks by Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo

    Press Conference following the Third Meeting of Special Envoys on Afghanistan

    Doha, 1 July 2024

     

    *The following is a near-verbatim transcript of today’s press conference by Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary Dicarlo.

     

    I want to first express our deep appreciation to the Government of Qatar for hosting this third meeting of Special Envoys on Afghanistan.

    This is the third Doha meeting, but it is also a first. Indeed, this is the first time such a broad cross section of the international community and the de facto authorities have had the opportunity to hold such detailed discussions.

    These discussions were frank and, I believe, useful.

    They were based on priority areas listed in the independent assessment the UN Security Council recognized last November.

    That assessment called for a more structured process, with clear conditions and expectations for all sides.

    So, we are pursuing a principled, step-for-step approach with a clear understanding of the outcomes and commitments from all sides.

    We are still at the beginning of this process.

    At the opening yesterday the special envoys and the de facto authorities aired their expectations. Today we looked at the private sector and counternarcotics.

    The Afghan private sector faces enormous obstacles to its development and growth, which adversely affects the economy and livelihoods. Afghanistan also needs support in building on progress made in curbing drug production.

    Running through all the discussions was the deep international concern - from special envoys and from me - about the ongoing and serious restrictions on women and girls. Afghanistan cannot return to the international fold, or fully develop economically and socially, if it is deprived of the contributions and potential of half its population.

    We also discussed the need for more inclusive governance and respect for the rights of minorities.

    There was broad agreement on the need to chart a clear way forward. And we at the UN are committed to continue to facilitate this process.

    Now, I am fully aware of the criticisms leveled at this meeting. And I understand. I would like to stress a few things:

    • The concerns and views of Afghan women and civil society were front and center. For the United Nations, the meaningful inclusion of women in political and peace processes is a guiding principle.
    • I raised these issues at all our sessions with the de facto authorities. And we will have focused discussions tomorrow with Afghan women and civil society. I will have a chance to brief you on those talks tomorrow.
    • This is part of a process. And while women and civil society were not sitting across the table from the de facto authorities the last two days, they made their voices heard. Civil society has a rightful role to play in shaping Afghanistan’s future.
    • We faced a very tough, maybe impossible, choice in organizing this meeting. We have a mandate to support this process. Our brief was to bring the de facto authorities and the special envoys together for direct talks. Regrettably, the de facto authorities will not sit across the table with Afghan civil society in this format. But they heard very clearly the need to include women and civil society in all aspects of public life.
    • I would also like to emphasize that this meeting and this process of engagement does not mean normalization or recognition.

    My hope is that the constructive exchanges on the various issues over the last two days have moved us a little closer to resolving some of the problems that are having such a devastating impact on the Afghan people.

    Above all, the discussion confirmed the international community’s unity in its resolve to continue engagement with Afghanistan.

    We agreed to continue this process and, again, I am really grateful to the Government of Qatar for their support. We are considering setting up working groups on various areas that are contained in the independent assessment.

    To conclude, I’d like to reiterate the United Nations commitment to continue to support this process of principled engagement for the benefit of all Afghans.

    Thank you.

     

    **Questions and Answers

    Question (Tolo News): As you mentioned that this meeting does not mean the recognition of the Government.  But the Taliban delegates just told us that we are the reality on the ground and there is no any other way of solution for the international community so just deal with us. What is the final decision for you and what will happen now?

    USG DiCarlo: Our goal is to engage with all Afghans right now and certainly with the de facto authorities on a range of issues. We do so, and we have a mission on the ground – the UN Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA) that works on a whole range of areas. The recognition is for Member States. It is not for the United Nations. We are an international organization, and we have 193 members. But it is their decision on whether they’d recognize the government or not, not ours. What we are doing is facilitating the interest of a quite a number of countries in the international community who feel that engagement with Afghanistan, principled engagement, will be to the benefit of the Afghan people, its neighbors and the international community.

    Question (Radio Free Europe Radio Azattyk):  I would like to ask if there were no presents of Afghan woman and civil society in this meeting. Wo what is the guarantee that the Taliban de facto government would listen and will implement the suggestions that you put in the meeting today?

    USG DiCarlo: First of all, I think they were a lot of issues that were raised. We talked about what’s hampering the private sector, what is needed more. Also on the whole issue of counter narcotics, which is a really a serious issue. I think there is genuine interest on the part of Afghans to move forward in this area. I also feel very much that it is incumbent on each member state to decide how they’re going to proceed, and the envoy were very clear and wanting to support the number of the efforts that were raised. However, as we mentioned many times, the independent assessment calls for a step for step approach to engagement, and I think this is something that we will see continuing going forward.

    Question: We’ve not heard any solid commitment from Taliban sportsman Mr. Mujahid about education. Did you hear anything, any solid commitment in the discussions and meeting from the Taliban representatives?

    USG DiCarlo: What I can tell you is it was raised in a number of times; a lot of times. I think it was a number one concern and request coming from special envoys from around the world, and it is certainly something that we raised, and have raised, and we are hoping indeed that we see some movement in this area. I was in Kabul a few weeks ago, about a month ago, and met with quite a number of ministers, de facto ministers, and made this case in every single meeting. And I hope they keep hearing our calls. It is about rights of women and girls, but it’s not only about rights and women and girls. If you prevent half the population of education, from being involved in the economy in various of the professions, it just means that it delays the development of Afghanistan.

    Question (News Afghanistan): As you mentioned there was not any commitment from de facto authorities of Afghanistan. Is there any other commitment, clear commitment about inclusive government and other issues that raises international community’s concerns?

    USG DiCarlo: We talked about inclusive governance. We talked about concerns about marginalization of minorities as well. I think they took note of it. It was very clear; they were listening very carefully. They were very engaged. And what we are hoping is that they will find a way forward in this area. Because it has been, I should say since 2021, one of the issues that we have heard from the international community about Afghanistan. Number one was inclusive government.

    Question (Voice of America): The UN assessment also called for a special UN-appointed representative for Afghanistan. Has the UN given upon that idea because the Taliban do not seem very warm about it? And, if to get them to come to the table this time, the UN was willing to not invite women’s rights activist, what would the UN be willing to accommodate next time from the Taliban when similar gathering is expected to happen?

    USG DiCarlo: I don’t know where the Taliban will be on the special envoy. I think that we demonstrated today, the engagement of the international community, the willingness to really sit down and work on quite a number of issues with the de facto authorities. What I can say is we will continue this process as best as possible. We do have a fairly large mission on the ground that can play a very important role. And of course, those of us who are based in New York are very engaged as well. When you say what will they ask further – I could not speculate on that. What I can say is that they did come today. They were very engaged and very sharing of information, both on the private sector, and very interestingly, on narcotics as well.

    Question (BBC News): You said that this was a near impossible decision to decide to have the Taliban authority here under these conditions, given the level of criticism. But you also said that, at the moment, we don’t seem to have some clear commitments at this stage. Do you feel the level of anger that has been brought about because of the conditions the UN accepted? Does that feel worth it for what has come out of these talks?

    USG DiCarlo: What we’re hoping is that given the conversations that took place, given that the engagement we saw on both from the special envoys and from the de facto authorities, that we’ll see progress in a range of areas. Obviously, this is, as I mentioned, the independent assessment step for step approach. We would hope that engagement and discussions would indeed move things forward in the way that Afghanistan becomes a more open, inclusive society, both in terms of governance, and even civil participation. We would hope that would be the case. I cannot speculate on future. All I can say is that I think the meeting was, by in large, productive, and I think we have way forward for continued engagement and we will do so. And we certainly are not going to decrease in anyway our involvement with women, civil society, minority groups on the ground. We have a mission that’s been there now for 22 years that are very engaged with civil society and a whole range of the population. They will continue their efforts.

    Question (Amu TV): My question is that there are three people that were invited to tomorrow’s meeting. The Afghanistan representatives for civil society and women. They refused, they denied to come. So what is the effect of this on the credibility of the third Doha meeting.

    USG DiCarlo: I think, first of all, I respect their decision. I think it’s a decision whether you participate or not participate. I regret that they won’t be there because, my understanding is that, I don’t know them personally, but I understand that we had some fabulous people on our list to come as those three were. We do have others who will be participating .We will engage. We will hear their views. We will share with them our views how we think we can help going forward and work together; basically explain this is a process. We are involved in the process now that is going to be a long-term process. This is not easy going forward, and we will continue to try to do the best we can. It won’t make everybody happy, but we really want to do the best for the Afghan people overall.

    Question:  Just to confirm that two of the representatives from civil society and women will join tomorrow’s meeting from Afghanistan?

    USG DiCarlo: We will have women, we will have women and men at tomorrow’s meeting, yes. We are part of the civil society, too.

    Question (AFP): We saw messaging from the Taliban authorities today that they wanted to talk about sanctions relief. Is that something that you.. what messages you received from them on that? Is it something that you would be looking at with international partners, under what conditions? And very quick other question on the absence of women and civil society groups. Did you feel, in your discussions you said you talk to the Taliban about this, did you feel that they might move on this position or they standing firm where they are?

    USG DiCarlo: First on the sanctions issue. It was raised. Obviously, it was a raised. It’s a concern for the Taliban. We didn’t really elaborate on it. Again, on sanctions, it’s a member state issue whether they’re going to continue certain sanctions or not. The sanctions are on people. Not on the country at large, so, again, not an in-depth discussion. And your second question again was…

    Question: You said you spoke about women’s participation and civil society. Do you think they might want to move from this?

    USG DiCarlo: I cannot say. All I can tell you is that I have had many discussions, not today in this process, but many discussions where I have been told that officials, many officials, are supportive of girls’ education. It’s under consideration, under discussion. All I can say is I sure hope so that they’ll be a reconsideration of this policy. It is absolutely essential. Imagine, I mean I’m looking at the women in particular in this audience. Imagine if you are only allowed to go through to the sixth grade, where would you be today? You wouldn’t be sitting here being a journalist. I wouldn’t be here being a UN official. Heartbreaking, frankly. But let us let us see and let’s keep at it. That’s all I can say. We have to make very clear how important it is, and how it’s gonna be better for Afghanistan. Thank you.

    Question (Al Jazeera English): You’ve been saying in the past that this process is not necessarily a step towards a formal recognition of the Taliban. Now, from the talk that you had yesterday and today with the delegation of the Taliban, the way they’ve been answering some of your concerns, do you see a potential change of heart from the key western players in the future as far as dealing with the Taliban is concerned?

    USG DiCarlo: I think, what I could say is that what they want engagement. I think both sides want engagement. They want engagement because, if you look at Afghanistan, OK, let’s look at it from a selfish perspective. There is the issue of narcotics trade, devastating for the neighbors and it goes far. I learned a lot about narcotics in Afghanistan today. The issue of terrorism. Again, it’s a security issue for Afghanistan and for its neighbors. It could be broader. And I think there is a real concern. But there’s also the human concern. Our policy, the UN’s policy since 2021 since the Taliban came in, was a people centered approach. We want to help people. We may not feel that certain things are right in the governance of the country, but it’s about the people. We cannot have suffering people. It’s one of the reasons from day one we were absolutely insistent, humanitarian assistance had to continue, absolutely had to continue. And then we decided we had to move to basic services. It’s more than humanitarian assistance. We need to have a functioning bank. We needed to be, the society needed to function. We could not leave people in such dire straits, and I think that is a sentiment that many, many countries feel. It’s about people, and in that it's everywhere. It’s not just Afghanistan. And I would just hope indeed we can see progress going forward. As I said, this is not an initiative about recognition, and recognition is not for the UN. It’s for member states. But apart from that, let’s also support people. Thank you.

    Question: (The question was about the date of the next Doha meeting)

    USG DiCarlo: We don’t know yet. Thank you very much.

     

  • 1 juil 2024

    Tripoli, 1 July - The United Nations in Libya is now accepting applications for the second cohort of its annual Ra’idat training programme which opens today. Young Libyan...

  • 1 juil 2024

    Continued violence and instability in Haiti has resulted in the displacement of over 300,000 children, with an estimated one child being displaced every minute since March, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Tuesday.

  • 1 juil 2024

    Ongoing heavy fighting in northern Gaza has now forced an estimated 84,000 people to flee eastern Gaza City in a matter of days, while also cutting off access to a key aid distribution hub, UN humanitarians said on Monday.

  • 1 juil 2024

    UN-led efforts to nudge Afghanistan towards a more peaceful and inclusive future with a more equal role for women and girls continued Monday at international talks, which for the first time included the Taliban de facto authorities.

  • 30 juin 2024

    Mogadishu – The Acting Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia, James Swan, congratulates the people and government of Somalia on the 64th...

  • 29 juin 2024

    Dhusamareb – Continuing his first round of visits to Somalia’s Federal Member State, the Acting UN Special Representative James Swan today visited...

  • 29 juin 2024

    (As delivered)

    Mr. President, honorable members of the Cabinet, and members of the press, good afternoon.

    ...
  • 29 juin 2024

    The UN Secretary-General on Saturday praised the adoption of a “strong outcome document” at the end of a conference dedicated to combatting illicit small arms and light weapons worldwide, saying it was an important sign of progress.

  • 28 juin 2024
    A brief roundup of United Nations-related political and peacebuilding events and developments globally.

    USG DiCarlo: Restoring the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and Council resolution 2231 remains "unfortunately elusive"

    On 24 June, Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo said that restoring the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and Council resolution 2231 to their full, effective implementation “remains, unfortunately, elusive.” She reiterated the call for participants to the Plan and the United States to pursue all possible avenues for dialogue and cooperation. She also expressed concerns about the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) estimations on the total stockpile of enriched uranium in Iran - 30 times the amount allowable under the Plan. “Such a stockpile of enriched uranium and level of enrichment remain very concerning,” she stressed.

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    “There is a deal on the table and it should be agreed,” Special Coordinator Tor Wennesland tells Security Council

    On 25 June, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland highlighted the devastating impact of hostilities on the civilian population in Gaza and reiterated the need for a two-State solution. “Palestinians and Israelis can no longer wait to establish a viable political horizon. Efforts to address security and humanitarian challenges that ignore or sidestep fundamental political questions are doomed to fail,” he said during his briefing to the Security Council. He called for an immediate and unconditional release of all hostages and an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, adding that “there is a deal on the table and it should be agreed – and fast.” The Special Coordinator also warned that the ongoing hostilities in Gaza are fueling regional instability, pointing, in particular, to recent escalations between Israel and Hezbollah along the Blue Line.

    Read more

     

    Acting SRSG for Somalia James Swan condemns Al-Shabaab terrorist attacks

    On 24 June, Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) James Swan said that Somalia continues to pursue its key national priorities, including the constitutional review process, the electoral framework, and the fight against Al-Shabaab. "Al-Shabaab remains determined to continue terrorist attacks with little regard for the loss of civilian life,” he said, condemning the attacks. The Acting SRSG also informed the Council that climate change is outpacing the support for adaptation and humanitarian response in the country, and risks intensifying social tensions and conflicts. "To address these challenges, investments to strengthen the longer-term resilience of communities, infrastructure, and economic recovery are essential.”

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    7.2 million Syrians are now internally displaced, says Deputy Special Envoy

     

    “Syria is in grave crisis and none of its myriad problems can be sustainably addressed without a political solution,” Deputy Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria Najat Rochdi told Security Council members on 25 June. She reported that many Syrians live in a climate of fear as numerous security incidents continued to take place in the recent months, including airstrikes, clashes and terrorist attacks. Humanitarian conditions remain in sharp decline, compounded by the profound economic crisis, she warned, highlighting that 7.2 million Syrians are now internally displaced. “None of these challenges can be sustainably addressed without a meaningful UN-facilitated political process to implement resolution 2254,” she emphasized.

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    UNAMI welcomes announcement of new date for Kurdistan Region Parliament elections

    On 25 June, Claudio Cordone, Deputy SRSG for Political Affairs and Electoral Assistance and acting Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), met separately with Deputy Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region Qubad Talabani (pictured on the left) and President of Diwan, Kurdistan Region Presidency, Fawzi Hariri, in Erbil. UNAMI’s electoral team met separately with civil society. On 26 June, UNAMI welcomed the announcement by Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani of the new and final date for the elections of the Kurdistan Region Parliament, set for 20 October 2024. Following the announcement, on 27 June, the Deputy SRSG met in Baghdad with the Chairman of the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC), Judge Omar Mohammed, and IHEC board members (pictured on the right). UNAMI reiterates its readiness to work with the Independent High Electoral Commission and all other relevant institutions, as mandated by Security Council resolution 2732 (2024), to ensure inclusive, free and fair elections, with the full participation of women and all other components of the Kurdistan Region society.

    UNOAU and the African Union hold workshop on gender-responsive elections for civil society organizations

    On 18- 20 June, the UN Office to the African Union (UNOAU) and the African Union Commission, Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security, jointly organized a training workshop aimed at building the capacity of civil society organizations in Africa to enhance the achievement of gender-responsive elections. In 2024, 19 African countries are slated for presidential or general elections.

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    Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission, chaired by SRSG Simão, makes steps forward on outstanding areas of disagreement

    As Chairman of the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission (CNMC), SRSG and Head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) Leonardo Santos Simão chaired on 26-27 June the 6th Extraordinary Session of the CNMC in Yaoundé, Cameroon. The session included the participation of Minister Michel Zoah (pictured on the left) and Minister of Justice Abdullateef Fagbemi (pictured on the right), who led the delegations from Cameroon and Nigeria, respectively. Positive outcomes of the meeting include the decision not to refer back to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for the resolution of three outstanding areas of disagreement; the adoption of a Roadmap for the achievement of the demarcation process by the end of 2025; the mobilization of resources to assist affected communities.

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    Scoring for peace in Colombia

    On 25 June, in the former Territorial Training and Reincorporation Area of El Oso in the rural area of Planadas, southern Tolima, the UN Verification Mission in Colombia backed a soccer championship between the community, the indigenous reservation, and former combatants, including an all-female team. The activity aimed at strengthening social coexistence in the region, which saw the birth of the extinct FARC-EP in the 1960s.

    Children tell stories of peace

    The UN Verification Mission in Colombia is carrying out a training on communication for peace for the students of La Julia Educational Institution in the municipality of Uribe, in the department of Meta. The initiative, which began in 2023, aims to strengthen the skills of children writing stories that contribute to social transformation and peacebuilding in their territory in their student newspaper. The initiative, which is now carried out with the alternative media outlet El Cuarto Mosquetero, promotes dialogue between students on the importance of developing peace narratives in one of the municipalities most affected by armed conflict.

    Peacebuilding Commission 2024 Retreat

    On 27-28 June, the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) and the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation co-hosted an Ambassadorial-level retreat for the members of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) to discuss the ambitions and expectations for the 2025 Review of the Peacebuilding Architecture (PBAR). PBC members discussed progress made so far in the work of the Commission, examined developments affecting the Peacebuilding Architecture, and assessed areas where the work of the Commission can be further enhanced. The participants highlighted the importance of advancing the Commission’s impact on the ground, including by improving its working methods, strengthening its advice to other UN intergovernmental bodies, promoting inclusivity, and advocating for adequate and sustained financing for peacebuilding - particularly in transition settings.

    Debating AI and peace: enemies or friends?

    On 24 June, participants of the Preventive Diplomacy Academy of the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) took part in an online session dedicated to the topic of Innovations and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the Service for Peace. The session was presented by Martin Waehlisch, Head of the Innovation Cell in the Policy and Mediation Division in DPPA, and sparked a critical conversation about AI and its effects on peace and security around the world. During the session, the participants took part in an exercise to judge the pros and cons of AI when analyzing political speeches. This activity showed the need for future regulation and development of existing AI tools, and opened up a debate about deepfakes and biases.

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    Students learn about youth engagement and the Youth2030 Strategy

    On 27 June, representatives of the UN Youth Office (UNYO) addressed the participants of UNRCCA's Preventive Diplomacy Academy about the latest UN strategies in the field of youth engagement. Sudha Balakrishnan, Chief of the UN System Coordination and Accountability at UNYO opened the lecture by unpacking the priorities of the newly established UNYO office in mainstreaming youth across the UN. She underlined the pivotal role of the first Assistant Secretary-General for Youth Affairs Felipe Paullier. Emilia Hannuksela, Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) Lead, continued the presentation introducing the YPS Agenda and explained how to integrate it during the students' advocacy and activism. Continuing the lecture, Bianca Liu Herzog talked about the Youth2030 Strategy, explaining its main pillars and priorities. The session concluded with an interactive exercise where the participants learned about youth-led initiatives in their countries.

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    Next Week

    On 1 July, the Russian Federation will assume the monthly presidency of the Security Council. On 30 June - 1 July, USG Rosemary DiCarlo will chair the meeting of the Special Envoys on Afghanistan in Doha. On 2 July, the Special Envoys are set to meet with representatives of Afghan civil society members.

  • 28 juin 2024

    From 17-29 June 2024, UNOAU, in collaboration with the British Peace Support Team, supported ECOWAS in the development and delivery of a Military Pre-Deployment...

  • 28 juin 2024

    Dakar, 28 June 2024 - The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Leonardo Santos...

  • 28 juin 2024

    Over and above the difficulty of actually getting into Gaza, aid teams now face the crushing realization that with a shortage of fuel and dwindling supplies, there is a limit to what they can do to help all those in need, UN aid worker Louise Wateridge told UN News on Friday.

  • 28 juin 2024

    Any relationship that any country has with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), including Russia, “must entirely abide” by Security Council sanctions, Izumi Nakamitsu, UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs said on Friday, as she briefed ambassadors.

  • 28 juin 2024

    ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan

    On 27 June, during regular online session, participants of the Preventive Diplomacy Academy were joined by representatives of the UN Youth office (...

  • 28 juin 2024

    Dakar, 28 June 2024 - The annual conference of the West African Bar Association (WABA) concluded...

  • 27 juin 2024

    Kismayo – Starting his initial round of in-person meetings with the leaders of Somalia’s Federal Members States, Acting UN Special Representative James Swan today...

  • 27 juin 2024

    Yaounde, on 27 June 2024 - The Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission established pursuant to the Joint...

  • 27 juin 2024

    In a landmark art project for the Austrian capital Vienna, the UN building there has become a giant canvas representing the challenges of forging peace in a world that is still all too prone to conflict.

  • 27 juin 2024

    The UN peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic (CAR) has expanded its presence in the country’s southeast to prevent further violence in areas heavily affected by conflict and systemic issues.

  • 27 juin 2024

    Police chiefs and government leaders convened at UN Headquarters on Thursday for the opening session of UNCOPS 2024. 

  • 27 juin 2024

    The UN Security Council on Thursday demanded that Houthi rebels in Yemen immediately cease all attacks against merchant and commercial vessels in the Red Sea.

  • 27 juin 2024

    Delivery of humanitarian aid in Gaza remains a difficult and frustrating task for UN and partner agencies as the conflict there grinds on amid intense civilian suffering.

  • 26 juin 2024

    The 61st round of the Geneva International Discussions (GID) took place on 25-26 June 2024 in accordance with the six-point agreement of 12 August 2008 and implementing measures of 8 September 2008. 

    In Working Group I, the participants engaged in active, at times tense, exchanges of views on the practical implementation of the 2008 six-point agreement, with a particular emphasis on non-use of force and international security arrangements. 

    In Working Group II, discussions were also challenging, but participants managed to address several humanitarian issues, such as crossings, documentation, detentions, missing persons and health. 

    The participants welcomed the smooth cooperation in the framework of the Ergneti Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM), including on irrigation water sharing. The Co-Chairs reiterated the importance of resuming the Gali IPRM meetings without further delay.

    Unfortunately, the issue of internally displaced persons and refugees again could not be discussed due to a walkout by some participants.

    All participants reiterated their commitment to the GID process as a unique platform and agreed to hold the next round before the end of this year.

  • 26 juin 2024

    UN aid teams and partner organizations remain deeply committed to delivering lifesaving supplies to Gazans in need, despite the increasing dangers of working there, the Organization’s top aid official said on Wednesday.

  • 26 juin 2024

    The UN Security Council on Wednesday heard powerful and personal testimony from a former child soldier who recounted harrowing experiences of being abducted and forced to join an armed group in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

  • 26 juin 2024

    Foreign banks are allegedly helping Myanmar’s military junta acquire weapons and military supplies, facilitating a “campaign of violence and brutality” as the civil war there grinds on, according to an independent UN human rights expert on Wednesday.

  • 26 juin 2024

    Dakar, 26 June 2024- The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel, Leonardo Santos Simão, was...

  • 25 juin 2024
  • 25 juin 2024

    Gaza remains on famine alert after food security experts warned on Tuesday that more than one in five households “go entire days without eating”.

  • 25 juin 2024

    The release of Julian Assange “is a very good outcome” to the long-running case, the UN independent expert on torture said on Tuesday after reports that the WikiLeaks founder had struck a plea deal with the United States.
     

  • 25 juin 2024

    While the situation in Gaza remains catastrophic, ongoing Israeli settlement expansion and escalating violence in the occupied West Bank is ratcheting up tension across the whole region, the UN’s Middle East envoy said on Tuesday.

  • 25 juin 2024

    Syria continues in a state of “grave crisis” with civilian suffering on the rise, the UN Security Council heard during a briefing on Tuesday.

  • 25 juin 2024

    ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan

    On 24 June, participants of the Preventive Diplomacy Academy took part in an online session dedicated to the...

  • 24 juin 2024

    On the occasion of “Women in Diplomacy Day”, marked on 24 June, Politically Speaking talked to Special Coordinator Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert and Special Envoy Hanna Tetteh, who are leading diplomatic efforts in Lebanon and the Horn of Africa, respectively, to learn more about their work.

    “The UN does not have a magic wand and we do not pretend to have a solution for every ill — be it here in Lebanon or anywhere else,” Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, newly appointed Special Coordinator for Lebanon, told Politically Speaking on the occasion of the International Day of Women in Diplomacy.

    “At the end of the day, both conflict and peace, poverty and prosperity hinge on the political will of the world’s states. But if we can make a difference in the lives of people, it is worth stepping up and continuing to try,” she added.

    Hennis-Plasschaert assumed her role as 1 June 2024, after serving almost 6 years as Special Representative and head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).

    In Lebanon, her work includes trying to de-escalate tensions between Israel and Lebanon, which have intensified the exchange of fire across the Blue Line in recent months, and return to a cessation of hostilities.

    “Once a cessation of hostilities is reached, we’ll need to move, swiftly and decisively, on working with all parties toward sustainable solutions, in line with Security Council resolution 1701.”

    In practice, the Special Coordinator’s work involves talking to various actors to seek common ground and encourage compromise. “Diplomacy means leaving no stone unturned to help find solutions to problems or conflicts that appear to be unsolvable,” she said.

    Confidence building

    One key aspect of such diplomatic work is building trust between the UN, governments, conflict parties, civil society and other stakeholders.

    “Without trust you cannot achieve much,” explained Hanna Tetteh, who is serving as Special Envoy to the Horn of Africa since 2022, after working three years as Special Representative to the African Union.

    But building trust is no easy task, especially in vulnerable regions like the Horn of Africa.

    “Within fragile contexts it is even more difficult because of the high level of suspicions and mistrust between the actors,” she explained, pointing for instance to peacebuilding efforts between the Misseriya and Dinka ethnic groups living in the contested area of the Abyei Box.

    Similarly, the Special Coordinator for Lebanon said that fostering trust in the UN can at times be challenging.

    “To be candid, not everyone we meet has always nice things to say about the UN,” said Hennis-Plasschaert. “Sometimes this is justified, sometimes not. But meeting those who understand its value, what it stands for, and what it has managed to achieve or, indeed, to prevent, is the most rewarding part of our job.”

    Seeking a coordinated approach

    Both the Special Coordinator and the Special Envoy work in complex contexts which are often affected by multiple crises at the same time. Lebanon, for instance, is facing not only a political, but also financial and socio-economic crises, which require collective efforts to be addressed.

    In the Horn of Africa, the Office of the Special Envoy plays a key role in addressing cross-cutting issues with a regional lens. Since it was established in 2018, it has been working with the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to support the region in conflict prevention and mediation and in addressing the interrelations between climate change and peace and security or women and youth participation.

    Tetteh said working closely with other political and peacekeeping missions, other UN entities and the African Union is key to “ensure the UN work is less siloed, more coherent and consistent.”

    Tetteh’s office worked closely with the African Union, IGAD, the US, EU and the conflict parties in the Ethiopian peace process that led to the signing of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (COHA) in November 2022.

    Looking back at that achievement, the Special Envoy said the coordinated efforts put an end to two years of conflict, but more should have been done to ensure women’s leadership in peace efforts. She also expressed concerns about the “less than optimal” participation of women in the ongoing Sudan peace process, adding that more work needs to be done in this area.

    Adopting a flexible approach

    Both the Special Coordinator and the Special Envoy also highlighted the importance of being surrounded by a network of peers to rely on and who can provide a comprehensive picture of the context and developments of specific countries or regions.

    At the same time, according to Hennis-Plasschaert, it is important to make sure such a group of people is diverse, to enrich decision-making. “While the easiest thing to do is to surround yourself with people who look and think the same as you, strong decision-making, strong leadership comes from working with colleagues from diverse backgrounds,” she said.

    Overall, diplomatic work in conflict and peacebuilding settings requires a certain degree of flexibility, as new issues can arise at any moment.

    “But the same is true for opportunities,” Hennis-Plasschaert pointed out.

    “Working in a position like this, you need to be hands-on, and ready to jump on a call, into a car or onto a plane at any moment,” she concluded.

  • 24 juin 2024

    UNDER-SECRETARY-GENERAL ROSEMARY A. DICARLO’S

    REMARKS TO THE SECURITY COUNCIL ON NON-PROLIFERATION

    (IMPLEMENTATION OF RESOLUTION 2231 (2015))

    New York, 24 June 2024

     

    Thank you, Mr. President, for the opportunity to brief the Council on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and the implementation of resolution 2231 (2015).

    As the Secretary-General stated in his report, restoring the Plan and resolution 2231 (2015) to their full and effective implementation remains, unfortunately, elusive.

    The United States has not returned to the Plan, nor has it lifted or waived the unilateral sanctions it reimposed after its withdrawal from the Plan in May 2018, or extended waivers regarding the trade in oil with the Islamic Republic of Iran.  

    The Islamic Republic of Iran, also, has not reversed any of the steps inconsistent with its nuclear-related commitments that it has taken since May 2019.  

    During the reporting period, the Secretary-General received several letters from JCPOA participants conveying their diverging views on the current impasse.

    In a joint letter dated 3 June, the Permanent Representatives of France, Germany and the United Kingdom stated that Iran’s nuclear escalation had [quote] “hollowed out the JCPOA, significantly reducing its non-proliferation value” [end quote].

    These countries restated their concerns about Iran’s violations of the JCPOA, specifically those related to the country’s increasing stockpile of enriched uranium and manufacture and use of advanced centrifuges.

    They stressed that the current state of Iran’s nuclear programme, coupled with recent public statements made by Iran regarding its technical capabilities to produce nuclear weapons, were especially concerning given the expected termination of resolution 2231 (2015) in October 2025.

    The Permanent Representative of Iran responded in a letter dated 5 June that his country’s reduction of nuclear-related commitments following the US withdrawal from the JCPOA was in compliance with the terms of the Plan.

    The Permanent Representative wrote that France, Germany and the United Kingdom had failed to uphold their sanctions-lifting commitments related to Transition Day.

    He described the concern raised by these countries regarding the termination of resolution 2231 (2015) as “misleading” and “provocative”.

    Further, the Secretary-General also received a letter from the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation, as well as a joint letter from the Permanent Representatives of China, Iran and the Russian Federation, both dated 12 June.

    In their view, the US withdrawal from the Plan and re-imposition of unilateral sanctions, as well as the decision of some Member States to maintain national sanctions after Transition Day, were the cause of the ongoing deterioration of the JCPOA.

    These representatives recalled their collective efforts to restore the Plan and noted that a fully operating JCPOA would serve as assurance to the international community.

    These letters were not received in time to be included in the Secretary-General’s report.

    Mr. President,

    In its most recent report dated 27 May 2024, the International Atomic Energy Agency observed again that, regrettably, its verification and monitoring continues to be [quote] “seriously affected by the cessation of Iran’s implementation of its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA” [end quote].

    Furthermore, while the Agency had not been able to verify the total stockpile of enriched uranium in the country since February 2021, it estimated that Iran maintains a total enriched uranium stockpile thirty times the amount allowable under the JCPOA.

    This includes increased quantities of uranium enriched to 20% and 60%. Such a stockpile of enriched uranium and level of enrichment remain very concerning.

    The Agency also issued an ad hoc report, in which it described Iran’s intention to commence previously declared enrichment activities, in excess of its JCPOA limits.

    This update was circulated to the Council after the Secretary-General’s report had been finalized.

    Mr. President,

    I would like to now turn to the restrictive measures set out in annex B of resolution 2231 (2015). At this juncture, the only restrictive measures that remain in effect pertain to nuclear activities and transfers.

    These measures will remain in place until October 2025, unless otherwise directed by the Council.

    No information regarding actions alleged to be inconsistent with paragraph 2 of annex B were brought to the attention of the Secretariat during the reporting period.

    Meanwhile, there were again no new proposals submitted to the procurement channel in the last six months in this reporting cycle.  

    The Security Council, however, received fourteen notifications regarding the nuclear-related restrictive measures for certain activities consistent with the Plan.

    The decision to renew waivers for nuclear non-proliferation projects foreseen in the Plan and the nuclear-related provisions in annex B to resolution 2231 is under review by the United States.

    Mr President,

    In closing, I would like to echo the Secretary-General’s call for participants to the Plan and the United States to pursue all possible avenues for dialogue and cooperation.

    In the current climate, it is crucial to prioritize multilateralism and diplomacy, and to set a course that promotes peace and security.

    I would also like to thank Her Excellency Vanessa Frazier for her leadership as Facilitator for resolution 2231, as well as the Coordinator of the Procurement Working Group of the Joint Commission for our continued cooperation.

    Thank you, Mr. President.

  • 24 juin 2024

    (As delivered, New York, 24 June 2024)

    Mr President, distinguished members of the Council,

    Thank you for the...

  • 24 juin 2024

    A UN Security Council meeting on Monday detailed Somalia’s “exacerbated” humanitarian needs in the face of climate shocks and ongoing Government efforts to counter the terrorist group, Al-Shabaab.

  • 24 juin 2024

    Heavy fighting in Sudan hit a new low over the weekend when a maternity hospital in besieged El Fasher city came under attack, killing a pharmacy worker and prompting new calls on Monday from the head of the UN health agency for the violence to stop.

  • 24 juin 2024

    The head of the main UN agency responsible for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, issued a stark warning on Monday that it “will crumble” unless funding is found quickly, with an “entire generation” of children at risk of being condemned to “poverty…hatred, resentment and future conflict”. 

  • 24 juin 2024

    Restoring the Iran nuclear deal to its full and effective implementation “remains elusive”, the UN’s top political affairs official said on Monday, adding that participating countries remain at odds with each other.

  • 24 juin 2024

    The UN Secretary-General has condemned Sunday’s terror attacks against several churches and synagogues in Russia’s mainly-Muslim Dagestan region, with the death toll now rising to at least 20, according to latest reports.

  • 21 juin 2024
    A brief roundup of United Nations-related political and peacebuilding events and developments globally.
     

    “No let-up in the killing and destruction” in Ukraine, says USG DiCarlo

    On 18 June, Under-Secretary-General (USG) for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo told the Security Council that, “Two and a half years since the Russian Federation’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, there is no let-up in the killing and destruction.” Because of the war, the broader region is less stable and safe, she said, adding, however, that “discussions on possible pathways to peace are multiplying.” She noted that the 2024 Humanitarian Needs and Response Plan is currently only 27 per cent funded, and urged the Russian Federation to enable humanitarian access to the areas under its control.

    Read more

    “We cannot afford to be passive bystanders,” ASG Pobee tells Security Council meeting on Sudan

    On 18 June, Assistant Secretary-General (ASG) for Africa Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee expressed concern about the escalation of fighting in El Fasher, Sudan, and the mounting violence against civilians. She called for an immediate ceasefire, stressing that the international community cannot afford to remain a passive bystander. “A ceasefire in El Fasher is needed now to prevent further atrocities, protect critical infrastructure and alleviate civilian suffering. It could and should also pave the way for a broader scale cessation of hostilities,” she told Security Council members. She also briefed the Council on the efforts of Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General for Sudan Ramtane Lamamra to advance a coordinated mediation endeavor.

    Read more

    DSRSG Koury calls for “resolute and united action” to advance the political process in Libya

    On 19 June, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General (DSRSG) Stephanie Koury said “the status quo [in Libya] is not sustainable,” adding that institutional and political divisions keep deepening. In her ongoing consultations in the east and west of the country, “overwhelmingly, citizens conveyed the need for a political agreement so that credible national elections can be held to restore legitimacy to all institutions.” She called for “resolute and united action” to advance the political process, with the international community’s support.

    Read more

    SRSG for Afghanistan calls for clearer political will among stakeholders ahead of Doha meeting

    On 21 June, Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) Roza Otunbayeva recalled that the de facto authorities in Afghanistan have indicated that they will attend the third meeting of Special Envoys on Afghanistan to be held in Doha at the end of June. Briefing the Council, she called for greater flexibility and clearer political will among all stakeholders involved. “We hope that in Doha key stakeholders will convene around the table, speak to each other face-to-face, reinforce the principles underlining the consensus to engage, and agree on next steps to alleviate the uncertainties that face the Afghan people,” she said. The SRSG also focused on ongoing restrictions on women and girls in the country.

    Read more

    ASG Elizabeth Spehar visits the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of the Netherlands

    From 17-20 June, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support Elizabeth Spehar visited the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In the UK, the ASG met with the Chief Executive of ODI, and Chair of the Peacebuilding Fund’s Advisory Group, Sara Pantuliano, who hosted an informal consultation for the United Nations Peacebuilding Architecture Review with the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office and non-governmental organizations. In the Hague, the ASG participated in discussions at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and with civil society organizations on current challenges and the role of multilateralism. She took part in a Fireside Peace Chat, "Navigating Conflict: The UN’s Role in Peacebuilding and Peacemaking" hosted by the Knowledge Platform on Security and Rule of Law and partners. She held informal consultations with peacebuilding partners on measuring the impact of prevention for the UN Peacebuilding Architecture Review. The ASG met with Pascalle Groitenhuis (pictured), Director-General for International Cooperation, for constructive discussions on how to support effective, impactful, nationally and locally led peacebuilding efforts.

    Peacebuilding Commission convenes Ambassadorial-level meeting on 2025 Review of the Peacebuilding Architecture

    On 21 June, the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) convened an Ambassadorial-level meeting entitled 2025 Review of the United Nations Peacebuilding Architecture: The Gambia's experience in peacebuilding and sustaining peace. The PBC Chair, Ambassador Sérgio França Danese of Brazil, emphasized that the assessment of concrete engagements between countries and regions with the PBC is essential to the process of improving the peacebuilding architecture. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of The Gambia, Mamadou Tangara, shared experiences with PBC engagement, which included discussion of a broad range of issues across the humanitarian-development-peace nexus. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea, Cho Tae-yul, also noted the importance of prevention and sustaining peace, highlighting the PBC's engagement with The Gambia, and reflected on his tenure as the PBC Chair in 2017.

    Special Coordinator for Lebanon Hennis-Plasschaert visits UNIFIL

    On 20 June, Special Coordinator for Lebanon Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert made her first visit to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) headquarters in Naqoura, meeting with UNIFIL Force Commander and Head of Mission Lt. Gen. Aroldo Lázaro and UNIFIL peacekeepers. The Special Coordinator highlighted UNIFIL’s leadership and the dedication of its peacekeepers, who remain present and continue to patrol the area south of the Litani River despite the challenging and dangerous conditions. After visiting the Blue Line, the Special Coordinator stated, “Our joint efforts are aimed at restoring stability along the Blue Line after over eight months of intense exchanges that have severely disrupted tens of thousands of lives on both sides. It is crucial for all sides to stop the firing and for the parties to commit to sustainable solutions in line with Security Council Resolution 1701. There is no inevitability to conflict.”

    Read more

    Protecting the environment through a peace initiative in Colombia

    On 18 June, the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia accompanied a group of former combatants who led a reforestation initiative with community representatives and state entities, including armed forces in El Caguán, a rural area of ​​Neiva, the capital of Huila in south central Colombia. The group planted 130 trees to protect the banks of the rivers that feed the main town's aqueduct.

    Next Week

    On 24 June, the Security Council will meet on Somalia and will hold an open briefing on the Iran nuclear issue. On 25 June, there will be briefings on the Middle East and Syria. On 26 June, there will be an open debate on children and armed conflict.

  • 21 juin 2024

    The Joint Assessment Mission of the International Moral Guarantors of the Agreement for National Unity comprising the ECOWAS, AU and UNOWAS, concludes its four-day Mission in...

  • 21 juin 2024

    The UN Secretary-General on Friday voiced profound concern over escalating violence and “bellicose rhetoric” between Israel and Hezbollah militants across the frontier with Lebanon, warning that one false move could trigger a catastrophe for the whole region and beyond.

  • 21 juin 2024

    The humanitarian needs in Afghanistan are “alarmingly high” and the international community is in “crisis management mode”, the UN Security Council heard on Friday.

  • 21 juin 2024

    Gaza is “a world of devastation” and still in the grip of war after nearly nine months of conflict, UN humanitarians just back from the enclave reported on Friday, as they described widespread destruction and stories of pregnant mothers forced to request preterm C-sections out of desperation and fear.

  • 21 juin 2024

    NEW YORK - The latest quarterly report by UN Secretary-General António Guterres on the situation in Afghanistan and the activities of the United Nations in the country is now available....

  • 20 juin 2024

    On 18- 20 June, UNOAU and the African Union Commission, PAPs department, jointly organized a training workshop aimed at building the capacity of Civil Society Organizations...

  • 20 juin 2024

     

    New York, 21 June 2024

    I felt compelled today to voice my profound concerns about escalation between Israel and Hezbollah along the Blue Line. Escalation in continued exchanges of fire. Escalation in bellicose rhetoric from both sides as if an all-out war was imminent.

    The risk for the conflict in the Middle East to widen is real -- and must be avoided.

    One rash move – one miscalculation -- could trigger a catastrophe...