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Reports and Policy Documents

2015

  • 28 мая 2015

    Since the uprisings in Yemen broke out in early 2011, the United Nations has been engaged, through the good offices of the Secretary-General, in helping Yemenis to find a peaceful solution. The United Nations provided support for the negotiations between the Government and the opposition, which resulted in the signing of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Initiative and its Implementation Mechanism in Riyadh on 23 November 2011. The United Nations has since remained actively engaged with all Yemeni political groupings to facilitate and provide support for the effective implementation of the GCC Initiative and its Implementation Mechanism.

    To ensure the full and effective implementation of Security Council resolutions 2014 (2011) and 2051 (2012), together with the GCC Initiative and its Implementation Mechanism, the Secretary-General established the Office of the Special Envoy to the Secretary-General on Yemen. Since the establishment of the Office of the Special Envoy in 2012, the United Nations has provided support for the Yemeni-led political transition process and has promoted inclusive participation, including of previously marginalized groups, such as women, youth, the Houthis and Southern Hirak. With the support and facilitation provided by the United Nations, Yemenis concluded a National Dialogue Conference in January 2014, which brought together 565 delegates from all the regions and political groupings of Yemen. The outcome document of the National Dialogue Conference established the foundations for a new federal and democratic Yemen, with support for good governance, the rule of law and human rights. A Constitution Drafting Commission was created to draft a new constitution based on the National Dialogue Conference outcomes.

    Despite important progress in the political transition, conflicts between the Houthis, other armed groups and government forces led to an escalation of military violence in mid-2014. Notwithstanding agreements brokered by then United Nations Special Adviser, the Houthis and allied units of the armed forces seized control of Sana’a and other parts of the country in September 2014 and over the ensuing months.

    The United Nations facilitated numerous rounds of negotiations to resolve the political impasse, but these efforts were ineffective to halt the escalation of military confrontations that continued in early 2015. At the request of President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, a coalition of countries led by Saudi Arabia intervened militarily on 26 March 2015 to secure the return of the Government. The ensuing conflict triggered a humanitarian emergency. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and other terrorist groups have actively exploited the chaos, extending their control over significant areas and conducting frequent attacks against government and civilian targets in many areas.

    Then Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon took note of the military operation calling on all parties and Member States to refrain from taking any actions that undermine the unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Yemen.

    The United Nations has repeatedly reiterated that there is no military solution to the Yemeni crises and has called for a return to peaceful negotiations.

    In its resolution 2216 (2015), the Security Council requested the Secretary-General to intensify his good offices role in order to enable the resumption of a peaceful, inclusive, orderly and Yemeni-led transition. Since then, the Special Envoy has facilitated successive rounds of consultations aimed at obtaining a negotiated settlement to end the conflict and resume the political transition process, including direct talks in Switzerland in June and December 2015, and in Kuwait from April to August 2016. Despite these efforts by the United Nations, fighting continues between various parties throughout the country, including along the Saudi Arabia-Yemen border. Concurrently, attacks claimed by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and Islamic State, as well as counter-insurgency operations against those groups, continue in southern Yemen where the overall security situation remains highly volatile.

    After two and a half years of armed conflict, a stalled peace process and a severe economic decline that has accelerated the collapse of essential basic services and institutions, Yemen is in the grip of a protracted political, humanitarian and developmental crisis. Violence against civilians and their assets is causing unspeakable suffering. Health facilities have reported 8,673 conflict-related deaths and over 58,600 injuries. Yemen is facing the world’s largest food security crisis and an unprecedented cholera crisis. Some 22.2 million people, including 2 million internally displaced people, require humanitarian aid or protection assistance. Currently, 17.8 million people are food-insecure or malnourished, of whom 8.4 million acutely so—24 per cent more than in 2016. With only 45 per cent of health centres functional due to the conflict, and limited availability of medicine, the capacity of the health system to respond to disease and injuries is dangerously compromised, which led to one of the largest and fastest-spreading cholera outbreaks. 

  • 26 мая 2015

    Sierra Leone has made strides in securing peace after a prolonged violent conflict which ended in 2002. With the support of the United Nations, as part of a sustained multilateral approach, Sierra Leone is on its way to consolidate the hard-won peace and transition towards regular development.

    In light of the significant advances over the past decade, UNIPSIL, the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone, drew down on 31 March 2014, transferring its residual activities to the Government and the international community in Sierra Leone, including the UN presence there.  There are 17 agencies, funds and programmes that help advancing the country’s national development agenda, or Agenda for Prosperity.

    Sierra Leone is now one of six countries on the agenda of the Peacebuilding Commissions (PBC), an intergovernmental advisory body that supports peace efforts in countries emerging from conflict. The PBC is aided by the Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO), headed by Assistant Secretary-General Oscar Fernandez-Taranco.

  • 26 мая 2015

    The United Nations has worked with regional and international partners to encourage a peaceful return to constitutional order in Guinea following the military’s seizure of power in December 2008 and to contribute to the holding of peaceful democratic presidential and legislative elections in 2010 and 2013, respectively.

    In early 2015, political tensions between the government and opposition parties resurfaced surrounding the presidential electoral process. Preventive diplomatic efforts were led on the ground by the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS, at that time UNOWA) and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mohammed Ibn Chambas. As a result of the SRSG’s intense diplomatic engagement, conducted in close coordination with regional and bilateral partners, an inter-Guinean dialogue process was launched in June 2015, with the participation of the UN and other partners as observers. The process resulted in the signing on 20 August of a political agreement that created the conditions for moving forward with the holding of the presidential elections on 11 October 2015. The elections were conducted peacefully and resulted in the re-election of the incumbent President, Alpha Condé.

    The United Nations remains engaged in Guinea to ensure the full implementation of the political agreement of 20 August, which provides for, inter alia, the holding of local elections in 2016. The United Nations is also currently providing support in key areas, including security sector reform and socio-economic recovery programmes.

    Click here to read our Politically Speaking story from July 2015 on how UNOWAS supported the inter-Guinean dialogue process.

  • 21 мая 2015

    The United Nations and its Department of Political Affairs assisted in mediation to resolve Kenya's 2008 electoral crisis, and have since continued to work for reconciliation in the East African country.

     
    Historic vote on new constitution

    Major progress was achieved with the elaboration and promulgation of a new Constitution, which was supported overwhelmingly by the Kenyan people in a referendum on 4 August 2010. The Department of Political Affairs had deployed an electoral expert, specializing in operations and voter registration, to assist the electoral commission with the implementation of a credible referendum.

    The historic vote marked the end of Kenya’s long and turbulent search for a new Constitution, and brought renewed hope and momentum to efforts to prevent future crisis. However, much remains to be done – both in terms of operationalising the new Constitution and undertaking other essential reforms in the judiciary, police, in land affairs and other areas.

     
    Cooperation with African Union during electoral crisis

    When elections triggered widespread violence in Kenya in early 2008, the Department of Political Affairs assisted the AU in its efforts to broker a political solution. Throughout the lengthy political negotiations, the Department of Political Affairs provided staff support and technical advice to the mediators from the AU’s Panel of Eminent African Personalities: former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, former President of Tanzania Benjamin Mkapa and former First Lady of Mozambique Graça Michel.

    The Panel’s mediation efforts culminated on 28 February 2008 in a power-sharing agreement that ended the political crisis and led to the formation of a broad-based Coalition Government. The parties also agreed on measures to examine the violence and the electoral problems. They further decided to address the long-term issues that triggered and fuelled the crisis through land and judicial reforms, constitutional and electoral changes, and policies to overcome deep social resentments.

  • 21 мая 2015

    Increasing the full, equal and meaningful participation of women in peacemaking, conflict prevention and peacebuilding efforts is a key priority for the United Nations Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA). Women, Peace and Security (WPS) first made it on to the Security Council’s agenda in 2000, with the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1325 on WPS. However, despite many global and regional commitments and initiatives, the number of women included in formal peacemaking processes remains low; and many peace agreements do not include gender provisions that sufficiently address women’s security and peacebuilding needs.

    In line with the Secretary-General’s forward looking goals for the decade (S/2019/800, para 120) and his) directives on women, peace and security (S/2020/946, para 113), DPPA is supporting multi-track efforts that increase the involvement of women at all levels, integrate gender equality, and shape strategies based on the priorities of women’s rights constituencies. This includes working with Special Envoys and Special Representatives of the Secretary-General to design and support strategies for inclusive peace processes. From Colombia to Syria, the Department is also using new pathways for participation through digital inclusion strategies and virtual consultations and engagements.

    In DPPA’s special political missions (SPMs) in the field, Gender Advisers or Gender Focal Points provide advice and support to the mission’s leadership - the Secretary-General’s Special Envoys and Special Representatives - on ways to promote women’s political participation, make peace processes and prevention efforts more inclusive, and include gender perspectives in the UN’s political work.

    In contexts where the UN is supporting a peace process, DPPA and its SPMs work to promote women’s direct participation through advocacy and by providing advice on inclusive mediation strategies. We also organize consultations with civil society and women’s groups and provide advice on effective ways to include women and their views in the process. Furthermore, the Department promotes women’s political participation in elections, for example through advice on Temporary Special Measures, including electoral quotas, during electoral support. To assist mediation actors and Member States in their efforts to make peace processes more inclusive and gender-responsive, DPPA (then DPA) developed two Guidance documents for mediators and mediation experts; one on Addressing Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in Ceasefire and Peace Agreements (2012); and one on Gender and Inclusive Mediation Strategies (2017). 

    In 2016, the Department established a stand-alone Gender, Peace and Security Unit (GPS), which oversees its implementation of the WPS agenda. GPS has the responsibility to develop policy, build the capacity of DPPA staff involved in peacemaking and support DPPA’s mission and headquarters staff in implementing Security Council resolutions on WPS and Conflict-Related Sexual Violence. DPPA’s WPS Policy was first issued in June 2019, to ensure that gender relevant issues and perspectives are integrated into all the Department’s activities. The Policy outlines five priorities for the implementation of the WPS agenda:  a) Gender sensitive political and conflict analysis; b) Promoting inclusion and women’s meaningful participation in all peacemaking and peacebuilding efforts; c) Women’s participation in electoral and political processes; d) Preventing and addressing conflict-related sexual violence as a priority for peace; and e) Programmatic – ensuring gender mainstreaming in all projects through resource allocations, gender markers and tracking. Following a review, in 2023, GPS issued a revised DPPA WPS Policy (2023). The new Policy maintains the same priority areas, but with updates to reflect key developments and new areas of work, including digital technology and climate, peace and security. The Department continues to develop policy on the intersection of WPS and other relevant issues, such as Youth, Peace and Security, and to consider the gendered implications of evolving technologies and the risks of hate speech and mis- and disinformation.  

    The Department’s approach to implementing the WPS agenda is to ensure that gender is mainstreamed throughout DPPA’s work beyond the specific focus on WPS and WPS initiatives – and that WPS work is not only the responsibility of gender advisers, but the responsibility of all leadership, managers and every staff member in DPPA and its field presences.

    For more information and resources, visit https://peacemaker.un.org/wps

     

    Security Council Resolutions

    Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) on WPS was backed by a diverse and geographically-representative coalition of Member States, and pushed by a strong global constituency of women civil society organizations.  This was the first Security Council resolution to link women to the peace and security agenda, looking at the impact of conflict on women and women’s contribution to conflict resolution and sustainable peace.

    The resolution consists of four pillars: 1) The role of women in conflict prevention, 2) women’s participation in peacebuilding, 3) the protection of the rights of women and girls during and after conflict, and 4) women’s specific needs during repatriation, resettlement and for rehabilitation, reintegration and post-conflict reconstruction. A total of ten WPS resolutions have been adopted and can largely be divided into two groups. The first group, initiated by 1325 and followed by SCR 1889 (2009) , SCR 2122 (2013), SCR 2242 (2015)and SCR 2493 (2019), deals in short with the need for women’s active and effective participation in peacemaking and peacebuilding.

    The second group focuses on preventing and addressing conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV). The first dedicated resolution on CRSV, SCR 1820 was adopted in 2008. It acknowledges that sexual violence when used as a tactic of war can significantly exacerbate conflict and be a threat to international peace and security. Since 2008, four additional resolutions have been adopted on CRSV: SCR 1888 (2009)SCR 1960 (2010)SCR 2106 (2013), and SCR 2467 (2019).

     

    Why Is Gender and Women Included in the UN Peace and Security Agenda?

    There is no internationally agreed definition of the term ‘gender’, however, gender is understood to be a social and cultural construct that assigns different roles, behaviors, norms and traits to men and women in a society. As a social construct, gender varies from society to society and can evolve over time. In most societies, gender is hierarchical and produces political, social and economic inequalities. When gender intersects with other forms of discrimination such as socioeconomic status, ethnicity, religion, disability, age, geographic location, sexual orientation and gender identity , the impacts can compound and lead to intersectional marginalization and discrimination. Because conflict affects people of different gender identities differently, an intersectional approach to peacemaking is needed to respond to different groups’ security and peacebuilding needs.

    Men who predominantly occupy roles in both armed groups and public decision-making, have long been considered the only relevant actors in conflict and its resolution. However, women have always been involved in conflict in different roles, be it as peacemakers, combatants, dependents, politicians or activists, and are greatly – often disproportionally – affected by conflict. Women have a fundamental human right to participate in decision making processes that affect them, but women’s inclusion in peace processes is also a strategic imperative, as adding a broader range of perspectives can lead to more sustainable peace. For these reasons, and to answer to its responsibilities stemming from the human rights agenda, the United Nations is strongly committed to include women in its peace and security work.

     

    Links and Resources

    DPPA Activities and Guidance:

    DPPA Youth, Peace and Security Strategy (2024-2026)

    DPPA Women Peace and Security Policy (2023)

    Opening the Doors to Women's Meaningful Participation (2020). Poster also available.

    Guidance on Gender and Inclusive Mediation Strategies (2017)

    Guidance for Mediators. Addressing Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in Ceasefire and Peace Agreements (2012)

    From Words to Action: The Experience of UN Political Missions in Colombia on Women, Peace, and Security (2020). Available in Spanish here

    COVID-19 and Conflict: Advancing Women's Meaningful Participation in Ceasefires and Peace Processes (2020). Available in Arabic French | Russian Spanish.

    Women Peace and Security (WPS) & Youth Peace and Security (YPS) Complementarities of the two agendas (2021)

    References and General Information:

    Anderlini, Sanam Naraghi: Women Building Peace. What They Do, Why It Matters. London 2007.

    Research project on Women and the UN Charter by SOAS University London: https://www.soas.ac.uk/cisd/research/women-and-the-un-charter/

    Nderitu, Alice/O’Neill Jacqueline: Getting To the Point of Inclusion: Seven Myths Standing in the Way of women Waging Peace. Background Paper for the 2013 Oslo Forum, May 2013. Online: https://www.osloforum.org/sites/default/files/Oslo%20Forum%202013-BP-Getting%20to%20the%20Point%20of%20Inclusion.pdf

    The International Peace Institute (IPI): The SDGs and Prevention for Sustaining Peace. Exploring the Transformative Potential of the Goal on Gender Equality. October 2016. Online: https://www.ipinst.org/2016/11/sdgs-goal-gender-equality

    Paffenholz, Thania: ‘Results on Women and Gender’ Briefing Paper. Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding. Geneva: The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies 2015. Online:  http://repository.graduateinstitute.ch/record/292671/files/briefingpaperwomen%20gender.pdf

    United States Institute of Peace: Charting a New Course. Thought of Action Kit. Women Preventing Violent Extremism. Washington 2015. Online: https://www.usip.org/sites/default/files/files/Women-Preventing-Violent-Extremism-Charting-New-Course.pdf

    Bell, Christine: Women and peace processes, negotiations, and agreements: operational opportunities and challenges. NORF Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Center Policy Brief. March 2013. Online: http://www.peacewomen.org/assets/file/Resources/Government/christine_bell.pdf

    For more resources, please visit https://peacemaker.un.org/wps/guidance-material 

    CSOs and Partner Organizations:

    UN Women: http://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/peace-and-security

    United Nations Development Program: http://www.undp.org/

    The UN’s Special Representative’s Office on Sexual Violence in Conflict: http://www.un.org/sexualviolenceinconflict/

    United Nations Department of Peace Operations (DPO): https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/empowering-women

    The International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN): http://www.icanpeacework.org/

    The NGO Working Group on Women Peace and Security: http://www.womenpeacesecurity.org/

    The Crisis Management Initiative (CMI): http://cmi.fi/

    The Peace and Research Institute Oslo (PRIO): https://www.prio.org/

     

  • 19 мая 2015
    The United Nations has worked closely with the African Union (AU) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to encourage a peaceful and consensual solution to the political crisis in Madagascar resulting from an unconstitutional change of government in January 2009. The Department of Political Affairs, as per the SADC Roadmap, supported the Transitional Independent National Electoral Commission (CENIT) in the preparation of the elections, which were successfully conducted and restored constitutional order in Madagascar in 2014.
     
     
    Support to promote political stability
    The Department of Political Affairs continues to support national and regional efforts to promote stability, reconciliation and inclusive policies in Madagascar, in close coordination with the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The Department of Political Affairs remains also committed to helping Madagascar implement the remaining provisions of the SADC ­Road Map.

     

  • 19 мая 2015

    The Department of Political Affairs contributes along with partner UN entities to the global fight against piracy off the coast of Somalia.

    DPA is an active participant in the International Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS), the main international forum on countering piracy. The Department also manages a Trust Fund supporting a range of projects to strengthen the fight against piracy.

    The United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), a political mission managed by DPA, works to promote political stability and the rule of law inside Somalia, which are ultimately the key to stopping the lawlessness and criminality off its shores.

    In his briefing to the Security Council in October 2014, DPA Under-Secretary-General Jeffrey Feltman cautioned that while reported piracy was at its lowest levels in recent years, "progress is fragile and reversible." He underscored the importance of Somali-led and Somali-owned State-building and inclusive governance to counter the scourge.

    Ransom payments adding up to hundreds of millions of dollars have created a “pirate economy” in some areas of Somalia that jeopardizes efforts to develop alternative livelihoods. Economies throughout East Africa and beyond are experiencing the fallout. International trade routes are affected by the constant threat of maritime attacks.

     
    Comprehensive approach against piracy

    Piracy and armed robbery at sea require a coordinated response under the overarching legal framework provided by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. There is broad consensus in the international community that effectively countering the Somalia piracy problems requires a comprehensive approach focusing on deterrence, security, the rule of law and development.

    The CGPCS was established on 14 January 2009 in line with Security Council resolution 1851 (2008) as a means of facilitating coordination among members of the international community. Today, over 60 nations and international organizations participate in the CGPCS, which meets regularly and reports on its progress to the Security Council.

    The Department of Political Affairs is an active participant of the Contact Group, providing briefings by senior officials, staff support and technical expertise to its working groups, and facilitating dialogue among its members.

    The Trust Fund to support initiatives countering piracy (PDF)In January 2010, the Contact Group established a Trust Fund to Support the Initiatives of States Countering Piracy off the Coast of Somalia. The objective of the Fund is to support prosecution of suspected pirates and detention-related activities, among other priorities. The Trust Fund can be replenished by both Member States and the private sector. DPA serves as the fund’s secretariat.

     
    Other UN entities working in partnership with DPA to combat Somali piracy include the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs (OLA), the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

     

    The Trust Fund to support initiatives countering piracy (PDF)

  • 19 мая 2015

    Thank you Madame President,

    I am honoured to address the Council in my new capacity as the Secretary General’s Special Coordinator for the Middle East Process and Personal Envoy to the Palestinian Liberation Organisation and the Palestinian Authority.

    From the outset, allow me to thank President Abbas and his Government for their warm welcome and genuine interest in working with the United Nations in advancing the just cause of peace. I would also like to express my gratitude to the Government of Israel for their warm reception and for engaging on a host of important issues related to the situation on the ground. Since taking up my assignment, I have engaged with the Palestinian and Israeli leaders; with political, civil society and business stakeholders in the West Bank and Gaza; and with key partners in Egypt and Jordan in order to begin developing a better understanding of the reality on the ground and the prospects of the future.

     

    Madame President,

    The Middle East faces a vicious tide of terror and extremism that presents a serious challenge to the region, and to international peace and security. However, the inability to respond, for over 60 years, both on the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people for a state and to Israel’s quest for security, has fuelled a situation that is becoming more dangerous by the day.

    Generations of Palestinians and Israelis have come to realise that sustainable and just peace cannot be reached through conflict, but must be the result of negotiations. Thousands of people have died so that today we may hold this truth - that peace cannot be achieved through violence, but at the negotiating table, to be self-evident.

    This hard-earned belief in peace and negotiations must not be allowed to wither away. If it does, it can further destabilise the Middle East for decades. To save it, to give hope back to people, we must act to advance the prospect of a two-state solution: Israel and Palestine - living side-by-side in peace and security.

    How to do this is not an academic question, but one that must be addressed to the parties on the ground, to the international community, and to the United Nations as well.

    I do not underestimate the difficult decisions that both parties will have to take. Nor should we underestimate the domestic challenges that Israeli or Palestinian leaders alike will have to overcome. The region is facing a complicated security threat. However, it is precisely because of the dangers that lurk in the Middle East of today that both sides must show historic leadership and personal commitment to peace and negotiations.

    I take this opportunity to call on the new Government of Israel to take credible steps, including a freeze of settlement activity, in order to promote the resumption of meaningful negotiations. Continued security cooperation between Palestinian and Israeli authorities remains a cornerstone for a peaceful resolution. 

    Both parties must expend every effort to build upon existing agreements, including relevant UN Security Council resolutions, the Roadmap and the Arab Peace Initiative, in order to gain momentum towards a final status agreement.

    The Secretary-General stands ready to work with all in order to encourage a return to negotiations, on the basis of an agreed framework.

     

    Madame President,

    On 14 May, the Israeli Knesset confirmed Prime Minister Netanyahu’s new coalition government. Its guidelines state that it will “strive for peace with the Palestinians and all our neighbours, while safeguarding the security, historical and national interests of Israel.”

    The Secretary-General and I will be engaging with the new Government to explore realistic options for a return to meaningful negotiations towards a two-State solution within a reasonable timeframe. However, this goal is increasingly threatened by actions on the ground that exacerbate the divisions between the sides.            

    We are deeply concerned to see the advancement of settlement activities in East Jerusalem and the West Bank on three occasions in the past month. On 14 May, tenders were issued for 85 housing units in Givat Ze’ev, south of Ramallah. On 6 May, the District Planning and Building Committee approved permits for 400 new residential units in the settlement of Ramat Shlomo, and, on 27 April, 77 tenders were issued for residential units in two other East Jerusalem settlements.

    These announcements come at a sensitive time in which the international community is looking to Israel to demonstrate its readiness to engage with the Palestinians on building peace. There should be no illusions about the impact of these unilateral actions. They not only undermine the collective hopes of those longing for a just resolution of the conflict, but they again call into question the viability of achieving peace based on the vision of two States. Settlement activity is illegal under international law and I urge the new Israeli Government to reverse these decisions and refrain from such action in the future.

     

    Madame President,

    In the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, tensions continued as Israeli security forces conducted some 265 search-and-arrest operations, resulting in the arrest of 294 Palestinians. In separate incidents in late April, three Palestinian men, including a 17-year-old boy, were shot and killed after reportedly stabbing and injuring Israeli security officers at checkpoints in Hebron and Ma’ale Adumin. On 25 April, a Palestinian man was suspected of intentionally ramming his car into a group of Israeli policemen in East Jerusalem, resulting in four injured. On 11 May, an Israeli was injured in a reported stabbing attack near a West Bank checkpoint. And on 14 May, three Israeli youths were struck by a car driven by a Palestinian man close Gush Etzion. 

    Despite repeated objections, the Israeli government continues to demolish Palestinian homes and structures. During the reporting period, a total of 15 structures, which contained 33 residences, were demolished leading to the displacement of 25 people, including 14 children. On 4 May, the Israeli High Court of Justice rejected a request by Palestinians from the Area C village of Susiya to freeze demolitions in the village. And on 10 May an Israeli court ordered the demolition of eight buildings in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Semiramis. The United Nations, once again, urges Israel to cease such demolitions and displacements.

    The United Nations also remains concerned about the recent moves to relocate Bedouin communities near Abu Nwar in the politically sensitive E1 area of the West Bank that may be linked to further settlement construction.

     

    Madame President,

    Turning to Gaza, I cannot but recall the shock of my first very brief tour of the destruction of the Shujaiya neighbourhood. No one, and let me repeat this Madame President, no one can remain untouched by the scale of devastation, the slow pace of reconstruction, and the vast needs to rebuild lives and livelihoods. Gaza is desperate and Gaza angry. Angry at the blockade, angry at the closure of Rafah, angry at Hamas, including for imposing an illegal 'solidarity tax', at the donors for not honouring their financial commitments for reconstruction, at everyone. There is a clear moral and humanitarian imperative not just for the United Nations and the international community, but primarily for the Israeli and the Palestinian authorities to prevent the implosion of Gaza. I particularly call on the factions on the ground to ensure that Gaza remains peaceful.

    Despite the fact that the agreed cease-fire, brokered by Egypt, continues to hold, some security incidents have persisted during the reporting period. Three rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza on 23 April, with one exploding in an open area in Israel while the other two dropped short and exploded inside Gaza; on 3 May, militants fired another rocket which impacted inside Gaza near the security fence; Palestinian militants also test fired 19 rockets at the sea. Thankfully, no injuries or damage were reported in any of these incidents, all of them we condemn. In response to the rocket firing, the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) conducted an air strike in Gaza damaging a Hamas military site but also no casualties were reported. IDF also reportedly shot and injured nine Palestinians in Gaza: three fishermen whose boats were fired upon by the Israeli navy and six Palestinians, shot while approaching the Gaza border fence. Three militants were also killed in separate incidents where smuggling tunnels collapsed.

     

    Madame President,

    Without genuine Palestinian reconciliation and unity, all efforts to improve the situation in Gaza will face major difficulties. On 19 April, a delegation of Palestinian ministers travelled to Gaza to begin a process to reintegrate public sector employees, tens of thousands of whom have not received salaries for over a year. Discussions, however, broke down the following day.

    Despite this setback, I welcome the determination of Prime Minister Hamdallah and his efforts to find a solution to the problem of public sector employees in Gaza. His commitment that no one will be left behind is an important guarantee. I encourage all factions to support these efforts. The United Nations also stands ready to work with all stakeholders and support the Government in mobilising the necessary resources for this process.

    A comprehensive reconciliation must include the Government of National Consensus resuming control over the crossings into Israel and Egypt. This is key to allowing more movement of goods and people and to the eventual reopening the crossings. The responsibility for addressing these issues lies first and foremost with the Palestinian authorities. But it also partly rests with the United Nations and the international community, which must empower the Government to take up its leadership role in Gaza, including through the fulfilment of donor pledges that were made at the Cairo conference of last year.

    What is clear is that no approach which divides Gaza and the West Bank should be supported – Palestine is one and the United Nations will work determinedly to advance unity through its legitimate institutions. 

    The United Nations ultimate objective in Gaza is to see the lifting of all closures, within the framework of Security Council resolution 1860 (2009). In the absence of such a fundamental change, the temporary Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism is the only currently available option to facilitate the entry of material and to enable implementation of large-scale projects that can bring reconstruction, jobs and stability.

    I can report that, as of 19 May, close to 85,000 of the 100,000 households in need of construction materials to repair their homes have received materials. In addition, 85 out of 167 projects submitted and funded by the international community and the private sector have been approved; eight of these projects are currently underway.

    All of these are positive developments, but far from sufficient to address Gaza’s reconstruction needs. The United Nations is working closely with the Israeli Ministry of Defence’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, with the Palestinian Minister of Civil Affairs, and donors to finalise arrangements to speed up reconstruction. I take the opportunity to thank all counterparts for their constructive engagement on these matters.

     

    Madame President,

    Turning briefly to Lebanon, Special Coordinator Kaag and members of the International Support Group for Lebanon met today in Beirut with Prime Minister Tamam Salam to discuss the current situation in the country. As of 25 May, the country will have been without a President for one year. This vacuum undermines Lebanon’s ability to address the challenges it faces and it jeopardises the functioning of State institutions. Members of Parliament should fulfil their constitutional obligation to elect a President without further delay.

    With almost 1.2 million registered Syrian refugees in Lebanon forming the highest per capita concentration of refugees in the world, we again call on the international community to urgently fulfil existing pledges and increase and expedite support to Lebanon as a matter of priority. It is important that the Government and United Nations counterparts work together to promote effective management of the refugee presence in line with international humanitarian and human rights law. 

    The Lebanese-Syrian border remains impacted by incidents and infiltration attempts of armed extremist groups, particularly as a result of the fighting in the Qalamoun region. The Lebanese Armed Forces have committed considerable efforts to secure the border with support from the international community. On 20 April, Lebanon received its first shipment of military equipment from France financed by the $3 billion grant from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This and other contributions by Member States are both necessary and welcome.  

    UNIFIL’s area of operations has remained generally calm, despite the volatile situation in the Golan Heights. In their ongoing engagement with UNIFIL, both parties maintained their commitment to the cessation of hostilities and the stability of the Blue Line. Israeli violations of Lebanese airspace continued on an almost daily basis.

     

    Madame President,

    On the Golan, clashes occurred between the Syrian armed forces and armed members of the opposition, as well as heavy fighting between different armed groups in the area of separation. Between 24 April and 5 May, fire from the Bravo side, as a result of such fighting, impacted across the ceasefire line. On 24 April, an IDF Missile Launching Unit fired four missiles eastwards, one of which crossed the ceasefire line. A couple of days later, the IDF informed UNDOF that four persons carrying equipment had crossed the ceasefire line from the Bravo side and had been killed by the Israeli security forces as they approached the technical fence. These developments have the potential to heighten tensions and jeopardise the ceasefire between the two countries.

     

    Madame President,

    In conclusion, let me return briefly to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the coming period will be critical for the future of the peace process. The United Nations has repeatedly warned that maintaining the status quo is not tenable. It will inexorably lead to the continued erosion of living conditions for Palestinians and for Israelis alike, and will undermine the security and stability of all.

    My introductory meetings clearly demonstrated that, despite the prolonged absence of a political horizon, despite the sometimes poisonous rhetoric of incitement and the destructive actions of those seeking to undermine a return to talks, there remains a steadfast desire and determination to achieve an enduring agreement.

    Any resolution will need a comprehensive regional solution, conceivably with support from a reinvigorated Quartet that includes greater engagement with key Arab states. While the international community has a critical responsibility to support a peace process, a lasting solution can only be achieved by the parties themselves.

     

    Madame President,

    Thank you for the opportunity to address the Council. I look forward to working with you and to your guidance on the way forward.

    Allow me to place on record my gratitude to my predecessor, Robert Serry, for his tireless efforts in this position. I want to also thank the excellent team at UNSCO and here in the UN Secretariat, without whom our work in the field would not be possible.

    Thank you.

  • 15 мая 2015

    Today, the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr. Mustafa Akıncı, and the Greek Cypriot leader, Mr. Nicos Anastasiades, undertook to work tirelessly to reach as soon as possible a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus question.

    The two leaders agreed that this will be a leader-led process.

    The leaders began elaborating their shared vision for a united federal Cyprus. This took place in a very positive and constructive atmosphere.

    Furthermore, the leaders agreed on how they intend to spearhead the process over the coming months. Mr. Anastasiades and Mr. Akıncı have agreed to meet at least twice a month. Their next meeting will take place on Thursday, 28 May 2015. The negotiators will meet intensively between leaders’ meetings in support of this endeavour. They will have their first meeting later today.

    As a sign of their mutual commitment, Mr. Akıncı and Mr. Anastasiades agreed to work together on a number of confidence-building measures that would mutually benefit the two communities. Mr. Anastasiades provided Mr. Akıncı with the coordinates of 28 minefields in the north of the island and Mr. Akıncı announced that from tomorrow there will no longer be a requirement to fill a form at the crossing points. They decided to set up a committee to promote cultural events that could bring the two communities closer together. Both leaders stressed the importance of the missing persons issue and agreed to work together on this humanitarian matter. They plan to meet socially in the coming period, demonstrating their unity in promoting a mutually acceptable resolution of the Cyprus issue. They will visit each other on 23 May 2015. Furthermore, they instructed the negotiators to work on further confidence-building measures for the two leaders to consider.

    In the prevailing climate of optimism, and encouraged by the momentum that is building across the island, the two leaders underscored their shared will to reach a comprehensive settlement.

  • 14 мая 2015
    Madam President,
     
    Since I arrived to Baghdad at the end of March, I have endeavoured to meet as broad a range of Iraq’s political, community and religious leaders as possible, to hear their views on how Iraq and its different components can overcome the challenges and threats the country faces, and set a steady course towards unity, cooperation, reconciliation, stability and development. Whilst major differences of opinion and approaches exist, there is a general consensus that to successfully counter Iraq’s common enemy, the so called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, unity and cooperation among all the components of the Iraq society are needed, and that the way forward is to accelerate implementation of the Government Programme and the National Political Accord, to start a process of national reconciliation.
     
    Madam President,
     
    The Iraqi security forces (ISF), together with the Peshmerga, patriots of the Popular Mobilisation Forces and Sunni tribal volunteers supported by the international coalition and countries of the region are making advances and liberating territory from ISIL. I salute their bravery and commitment. They are saviours of Iraq. However, ISIL is far from being defeated and government gains remain at times fragile. An ability to liberate a city, a territory, doesn’t necessarily mean an ability to hold it.
     
    Vast areas of Iraq and millions of Iraqis remain under ISIL control and influence which continues to perpetrate horrendous crimes and human rights violations against the Iraqi people, in particular women, children and minorities. ISIL recently added to their crimes the barbaric destruction of Iraq’s cultural and historical heritage in another attempt to destroy its national identity. Many areas not under ISIL control, including Baghdad, are rocked by violence, terrorist and sectarian. Particularly appalling is violence against IDPs that are increasingly targeted and criminalised.
     
    It is important that local fighters and authorities are properly empowered to take their share of responsibility for the liberation from ISIL and for holding and governing of their areas. The Government’s efforts to provide the necessary financial and material support to tribesman and local authorities need to be expedited. All that, and notably military supplies and assistance, must be coordinated with and sanctioned by the respective authorities of the State. In that regard, I welcome the recent establishment of a Government committee to oversee the implementation of support. I also welcome the determination of the Government of Iraq to exert firm control over all elements taking part in liberation operations across Iraq and to hold to account those who have committed crimes, as indeed some opportunistic and criminal elements continue to engage in atrocities, revenge killings, looting, expropriation and destruction of property of the local population and returning of IDPs. I applaud the clear stance of both Prime Minister al-Abadi and His Eminence Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani, who took a firm stance against such transgressions.
     
     
    Madame President,
     
    In the majority of my meetings with Iraq’s political representatives, I have heard one message - a military solution alone will not be enough to defeat ISIL. For any military gains to be sustainable, the Government of Iraq must also restore the confidence of disaffected communities that they will assume a share in governing their matters, in the State’s ability to ensure their protection from violence, to deliver justice and create conditions for their fair participation in society. Until the majority of IDPs conclude that the conditions for the safe and sustainable return of civilians are created, such returns will not happen. And one of the consequences might be the continuation of involuntary demographic changes, including in the disputed territories between Baghdad and Erbil.
     
    As a priority, the Government needs to urgently continue taking measures to restore civilian responsibility for security and the rule of law in the liberated areas. In addition, the Government needs, in coordination with the local authorities, restore as soon as possible, public services and rebuild basic infrastructure to facilitate the return of the displaced. Worryingly though, Prime Minister al-Abadi has underscored to me his Government’s great difficulties to respond to these urgent stabilisation needs, on top of massive humanitarian needs. The Government faces serious constraints in terms of funds and material for stabilisation and rehabilitation. The liberated areas are in urgent need of clearance from explosive remnants of war. I hope to see in particular UNMAS returning in force to Iraq and that cannot happen without donors’ support. Withdrawing resources from other areas of the country to meet these stabilization needs bring additional pressure to the already heavily impacted areas from the IDPs’ influx and beyond.
     
    I strongly urge the Security Council members and the whole international community to support the Iraqi Government’s efforts and to provide funding for the multitude of needs. Despite being a middle-income country, Iraq is temporarily unable to cope alone with the challenges of the security and humanitarian crisis and stabilisation and rehabilitation efforts. Unfortunately, however, critical is the urgency of continuous and massive support for Iraq, the international community’s response is grossly insufficient, as if the existence of other old and new crises were enough to excuse a waning attention to the plight of Iraq and its people. Lack of support, though, might eventually mar the existing opportunities to make Iraq successful in its fight against terrorism, to make it an example for other parts of the region and beyond, contrary to some trends prevailing elsewhere. Without such support, this fragile chance might disappear.
     
     
    Madam President,
     
    Political processes, national reconciliation efforts are essential to overcome the underlying challenges facing Iraq and its unity, creating sustainable solutions for peaceful co-existence, cooperation and development of Iraq’s diverse components.  As such, more vigorous and productive Government and political forces’ efforts to adopt priority legislation that will aid national reconciliation efforts are needed. A draft amnesty law is with the Prime Minister. Parliament is finalising legislation to restore balanced representation in Iraq’s institutions. The National Guard law is under discussion.  I urge Iraq’s political leaders to work together to find consensus, while the Government of Iraq and the Parliament of Iraq need to take the steps necessary to accelerate the adoption and enactment of these laws. I therefore welcome the extension of Parliament’s session.
     
    These efforts towards political dialogue must also be accompanied by efforts to promote reconciliation at the community-level. Religious leaders, scholars, and community, tribal and political leaders alike must promote the principles of non-violence, religious tolerance, inclusiveness and forgiveness, as well as accountability for crimes committed.
     
    All these messages were also echoed in my meetings with the leadership of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. As the implementation of the December 2014 joint agreement on energy exports and revenue-sharing takes hold, so the relations between both sides strengthen. Prime Minister al- Abadi’s visit to Erbil on the 6th of April is a clear expression of this goodwill to cooperate. I encourage both sides to continue working together towards resolving open issues and towards the enactment of the legislation that will be necessary to secure the sustainable management and fair distribution of Iraq’s natural resources. And let’s not forget – the Kurdistan Region of Iraq also needs international support. Currently, in a major way it contributes to the fight against ISIL and hosts over one million IDPs within its own estimated population of above five million people.
     
     
    Madam President,
     
    Prime Minister al-Abadi’s determination to strengthen Iraq’s regional ties with its regional partners in mobilising their support for Iraq and in promotion of a common regional approach to the regional and global threat of ISIL has been received positively by Iraq’s neighbours. During my recent visit to Kuwait and Jordan, I clearly heard a message that a united, peaceful and stable Iraq makes for a stable and prosperous region, a message of support to the Government of Iraq and readiness to coordinate closely with it in all areas.
     
     
    Madam President,
     
    The unpredictable, unstable security situation and violence continues to take a terrible toll on the men, women and children from all of Iraq’s communities. Since June last year until the end of April 2015, over 44,000 civilian casualties have been reported, including at least 15,219 killed and 29,493 wounded. UNAMI has also been affected when on the 26th of April a UNAMI national staff member was abducted by unidentified gunmen in Baquba, Diyala. The UN is increasingly concerned by the lack of progress on this and strongly urges the respective authorities of Iraq to ensure his swift release.
     
    Madam President,
     
    The humanitarian consequences of the conflict are enormous. The Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Valerie Amos, will speak on this and I fully support her analysis and appeal while commending the work of the humanitarian community.
     
    Madam President,
     
    Allow me now to turn to the sixth report of the Secretary-General, pursuant to paragraph 4 of resolution 2107 (2013), on the issue of missing Kuwaiti and third-party persons and property.
     
    On 26 April, I visited Kuwait as my first regional visit as the Secretary General instructed me to pay personal attention to this mandate. During my visit, I was struck by the commitment and dedication of the members of the National Committee on the Missing and the Prisoners of War Affairs.  Many of the members of the Committee lost relatives in the tragic events of 1990. Yet we run the risk that future generations will continue to carry this burden lest progress be made after so many years without tangible results, notably on missing persons.
     
    The respective Iraqi authorities are called upon to urgently take practical steps that will move forward this caseload. UNAMI will continue to assist.
     
    As regards the question of missing Kuwaiti property, including the national archives, Iraq has found and turned over some objects such as books and artefacts belonging to Kuwait, a move that is sincerely appreciated. Again, government commitment must be swiftly translated into action.
     
    Madam President,
     
    To sum up, my first impressions after just several weeks in Iraq are mixed, but with a positive perspective. Complexities and complications are enormous, as are constraints and risks. Progress is slow, regardless of a clear vision of the Government and political resolve of the Prime Minister. The plight of Iraq and its people is unjustly and unjustifiably overshadowed by other developments in the region at a time when more support is needed to counter and degrade terrorist ISIL, to work for the unity of Iraq based on balancing the rights and interests of its components. Yet, opportunities are there as well. Continuous and long-term adequate political, financial, and material support for Iraq, its government and its people by the international community and notably the countries of the region is needed to turn those opportunities into reality, for the benefit of Iraq, the region and beyond.
     
    Thank you, Madam President.
  • 8 мая 2015
  • 7 мая 2015

    Le Secrétaire général m’a dépêché au Burundi afin que je sois aux cotés de la MENUB et de l’équipe pays des Nations Unies pour les appuyer dans leurs efforts en faveur de la consolidation des acquis du Burundi en matière de paix, de stabilité et de développement ainsi que dans la création de conditions propices à la tenue d’élections inclusives, crédibles, apaisées et transparentes.

    L’annonce de la désignation de Monsieur Pierre Nkurunziza comme candidat du CNDD-FDD a suscité des manifestations que les forces de sécurité se sont employées à contenir.

    C’est dans ce contexte que le Secrétaire Général des Nations Unies a fait une déclaration le 28 avril dernier dans laquelle, il a condamné les violences consécutives à l’annonce de cette candidature et a appelé tous les Burundais à sauvegarder les acquis du pays.

    Le Secrétaire Général a réitéré l’engagement de l’ONU à soutenir des élections pacifiques, crédibles et inclusives. Il a invité les autorités Burundaises à faire respecter les droits de l’homme de tous les Burundais y compris la liberté de réunion, d’association et d’expression.

    Il a par ailleurs demandé aux services de sécurité de rester impartiaux et de faire preuve de retenue face aux manifestations publiques. Il a exhorté toutes les parties à rejeter la violence et de ne pas utiliser de langage incendiaire ou de haine qui ne pourrait qu’accroitre les tensions.

    C’est avec la plus grande inquiétude que nous constatons une montée des violations des droits de l’homme et des actes de violence dont certains ont entrainé la mort, y compris de mineurs, ainsi que de très nombreux blessés et des personnes arrêtées au nombre desquels des femmes et des enfants. Tout doit être fait pour éviter toute escalade qui pourrait nuire à la paix et à la stabilité du pays.

    Je voudrais  lancer un appel à l’arrêt immédiat de tout acte de violence d’ou qu’il vienne.

    Les femmes et les enfants doivent être particulièrement protégés en ces moments difficiles. En aucun cas, les enfants ne devraient se retrouver impliqués dans les manifestations

    Par ailleurs, comme chacun le sait, les auteurs et instigateurs des actes de violence auront à en répondre personnellement devant les juridictions nationales ou internationales.

    En conclusion, je voudrais réitérer l’engagement des Nations Unies à continuer d’accompagner tous les burundais dans leurs efforts de consolidation de la paix, de la stabilité et du développement qu’ils ont conquis après tant de souffrances, conjointement avec les pays de la région, la Communauté de l’Afrique de l’Est, la CILGR, et l’Union Africaine et les autres partenaires internationaux.

    Comme l’a dit le Secrétaire Général dans sa récente déclaration, nous invitons dans le respect des positions des uns et des autres, les parties prenantes Burundaises à chercher des solutions aux problèmes actuels, à travers le dialogue et des moyens pacifiques.

    Tout doit être fait pour éviter toute escalade qui risquerait de nuire à la paix, la stabilité et le développement du Burundi.

    Je vous remercie

  • 5 мая 2015

    What is the United Nations Single Electoral Roster?

    The United Nations Single Electoral Roster is a database of experts, who are deemed qualified and suitable to provide specialized technical assistance to governments and national electoral management bodies. Such individuals may be recruited by the UN Secretariat and the Agencies, Funds and Programmes as staff members or as consultants to participate in electoral missions ranging in duration from one week to several months, depending on the assistance requested.

    The development and maintenance of this roster is intended to fast track the selection and recruitment of the highest quality of international personnel in order to ensure effective and timely delivery of Electoral Assistance globally.

     

    Areas of Expertise

    The Electoral Assistance Division manages the roster and ensures that all client entities have access to experienced electoral experts for advisory or support activities in a variety of specialized areas, such as:  

    • Electoral law and/or Electoral dispute resolution;
    • Election security and prevention of election fraud;
    • Training of election officials;
    • Civic and voter education;
    • Increasing the participation of women and/or minorities;
    • Media and Communication;
    • Operational planning and logistics;
    • Voter registration;
    • Polling and Counting procedures;
    • Information Technology Electoral Systems. 

     

    Roster Membership

    While Roster membership does not provide any entitlement to work for the United Nations, it does have the advantage of belonging to a specialized pool of candidates whose academic credentials and work experience have been verified and are disseminated to hiring managers of any client entity when there is a job opening for that specific profile.

    For staff positions, roster members have already passed an assessment and compliance review process, and can therefore be selected for open positions without further assessments by the hiring manager.  However, some managers will conduct further assessments specific to the position being filled.

    Note:  While membership in the United Nations Single Roster System does not guarantee employment in the United Nations, it is a requirement for employment to a staff position within the UN.

     

    How to Apply for Roster Membership

    There are two ways to apply for the United Nations Single Electoral Roster:

    1. Roster Campaigns for Staff Positions: Prospective candidates apply to the Generic Job Openings (GJO) for the specific grade(s) level for which they are eligible. These GJO’s are posted periodically on the UN Careers Portal, INSPIRA, at the website careers.un.org, as well as in the websites of the participating UN Funds and Programmes
       
    2. Ongoing application for Consultants and Individual Contractors:  where prospective candidates can submit their CV or Personal History Profiles (PHPs) at any time to the email address:  electoralroster@un.org.

     

    Creating your Application and Personal History Profile in Inspira

    Each candidate has to submit an application using the UN online recruitment system, Inspira.  The Inspira application is an extended online resume, specifically used by the United Nations, where you articulate your education, competencies, achievements and professional experience. The application is used to evaluate your eligibility and suitability for the job. It is your opportunity to tell your story in a way that demonstrates that you are the best candidate for the job.

    When applying to the Generic Job Opening in Inspira, ensure that the information contained in your PHP is complete and correct as you cannot make any changes.  Your PHP will be used to evaluate your eligibility and suitability.  It is important to complete the information about your education, work experience and language skills (including mother tongue) accurately. This information will be used in the system automated pre-screening. 

    The cover letter, which you must complete when applying for a job at the United Nations, is the personal introduction that accompanies your application.  Your aim in the cover letter is to describe how your experience, qualifications and competencies match the job for which you are applying. Think of your cover letter as an opportunity to distinguish yourself from other job seekers by highlighting what makes you the best match for the position.

    For more details on the application process, visit the UN Careers Portal Homepage (https://careers.un.org), and click on Creating your job application, and the Application Process.

     

    Evaluation of Candidates

    Candidates who meet the suitability requirements will be invited to participate in a written assessment exercise.  Those candidates who pass the written assessment are then invited to a Competency-Based Interview.  Successful candidates are then reviewed by the Field Central Review Body (FCRB) and if endorsed will be placed on the roster of pre-approved candidates and will be informed by accordingly.

     

    Contacting the Electoral Assistance Division

    Electoral Assistance Division | Department of Political and Pecaebuilding Affairs | United Nations Secretariat New York, NY, 10017 United States of America

    Email: electoralroster@un.org

     

  • 5 мая 2015

    The Department for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs' (DPPA) Division for Palestinian Rights provides substantive support to the General Assembly’s Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, established in 1975. The Division serves as the Secretariat of the Committee and provides the following core functions:

  • 29 апр 2015

    DPA has been closely monitoring the quickly-evolving situation in Syria and the multifaceted conflict dynamics since protests erupted in March 2011. The UN-led talks in Geneva strive toward a credible political settlement in line with resolution 2254 (2015) and the Geneva Communiqué (2012). 

    In February 2012, the General Assembly passed a resolution 66/253 requesting the UN to join forces with the League of Arab States in support of a peaceful solution to the Syrian conflict through a political transition, this led to former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s appointment as the Joint Special Envoy. In April 2012, the Security Council adopted resolutions 2042 and 2043 endorsing Annan’s six-point plan and establishing the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) to monitor and support its implementation. However, the initial lull in hostilities that followed broad international consensus of the six-point plan was short-lived. In June 2012, Annan convened a meeting where key international and regional stakeholders adopted the Geneva Communiqué, a document which aimed to strengthen the implementation of the six-point plan and chart a political way forward. To this day, the Communique continues to provide the UN guidance on its mediation efforts toward a political transition. The Geneva Communique was endorsed by the General Assembly in resolution 66/253-B in August 2012 and by the Security Council in resolution 2118 in September 2013. Amidst increasing violence across the entire country, the Security Council was unable to renew the UNMSIS mandate beyond August 2012.

    In August 2012, following the departure of Kofi Annan, the Secretaries-General of the UN and the Arab League appointed Lakhdar Brahimi as their new Joint Special Representative. Brahimi convened intra-Syrian negotiations in Geneva in January and February 2014, which aimed to provide space for the Syrian sides to agree on a full implementation of the Geneva Communiqué. While the parties agreed on an agenda (transitional governing body; violence and terrorism; national institutions; reconciliation) they could not agree on the sequence for negotiating these issues. Brahimi suspended the negotiations and did not extend his assignment beyond May 2014.

    The Secretary-General appointed the UN’s current Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, in July 2014. Intense diplomatic engagement in 2015 between Russia and the US, and other key international stakeholders resulted in the establishment of the International Syrian Support Group (ISSG) and the adoption of Security Council resolution 2254 (2015). Resolution 2254 (2015) reiterated the endorsement of the Geneva Communiqué and set the Special Envoy’s mandate. The resolution established a timeline for a political transition, including negotiations on the establishment of a credible, inclusive, non-sectarian governance and a process and timeline for drafting a new constitution. It also called for free and fair elections, including the diaspora, pursuant to the new constitution and held under UN supervision.

    Since January 2016, Special Envoy de Mistura has conducted a series of intra-Syrian negotiations with talks in late 2017 into 2018 focusing on two key aspects of resolution 2254: the schedule and process for drafting a new constitution and precise requirements for UN-supervised elections. 

    Since the beginning of the conflict, Syria has witnessed unprecedented devastation and displacement, compounded by the re-emergence of the use of internationally proscribed chemical weapons

    Impunity has been a hallmark of the Syrian conflict and has challenged one of the UN’s core values—accountability. This gap was initially addressed when on 21 December 2016, the General Assembly adopted resolution 71-248 to establish the International, Impartial, and Independent Mechanism (IIIM) to assist in the investigation and prosecution of the most serious crimes under international law, in particular the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

     

    OCHA http://www.unocha.org/syria

    OHCHR http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/MENARegion/Pages/SYIndex.aspx

    Commission of Inquiry of the Human Rights Council (COI) http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/IICISyria/Pages/IndependentInternationalCommission.aspx

    UNDP http://www.sy.undp.org/

    UNHCR http://data.unhcr.org/syrianrefugees/regional.php

     

  • 29 апр 2015

    The UN support role in Iraq was established by Security Council resolution 1500 (2003), revised under resolution 1770 (2007) and has since been extended on an annual basis.


    The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) is a special political mission headed by Ján Kubiš, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, supported by two deputies: Deputy SRSG Alice Walpole, who oversees political, electoral and constitutional issues and who leads on the issues of missing Kuwaiti and third-country nationals and missing Kuwaiti property, including the national archives, and Deputy SRSG Lise Grande who leads the humanitarian and development efforts in her role as Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq.

    The current mandate of UNAMI encompasses, at the request of the Government of Iraq, a number of key areas, including providing advice, support and assistance to the Government and the people of Iraq in advancing inclusive political dialogue and national reconciliation; providing assistance to the electoral process; facilitating regional dialogue between Iraq and its neighbours; promoting the protection of human rights and judicial and legal reform; promoting gender equality; and promoting coordination and enhancing delivery in the humanitarian and development areas. Furthermore, under Security Council resolution 2107 (2013) UNAMI is mandated to promote, support and facilitate efforts of the Government of Iraq regarding the repatriation or return of all Kuwaiti and third-country nationals, or their remains, and the return of Kuwaiti property, including the national archives.

    The humanitarian crisis in Iraq is one of the largest and most complex in the world with eleven million Iraqis, displaced since the rise of ISIL, currently requiring some form of humanitarian assistance. Of the 5.4 million Iraqi civilians displaced since the rise of ISIL in 2014, 2.1 million have already returned, half of whom are in Anbar. Conditions in return areas vary; in some locations; insecurity, explosive hazards and damaged infrastructure jeopardize the safety of returning families. Despite operating in one of the most dangerous environments in the world, the UN and its 180 humanitarian partners are reaching nearly one million Iraqis every month with aid.

    In addition to their humanitarian activities, the UN Country Team is working together to improve the lives of Iraqis across numerous sectors. Under the auspices of a United Nations Development Assistance Framework, agencies, funds and programmes are helping to rebuild agricultural systems, restructure the country’s public distribution system, support through technical advice on security sector reform and societal reconciliation, reform the social protection floor that helps millions of Iraqi families, restructure health management systems, modernize public administration, protect cultural heritage, promote quality education, and clear complex IEDs from conflict areas so that people can return to their homes. 

    In June 2015, the Government asked UNDP to establish a Funding Facility for Immediate Stabilization (FFIS) to help stabilise areas liberated from ISIL. Using fast-track modalities, FFIS has been and is currently working in 23 liberated towns in Anbar, Diyala, Ninewa, Salah al Din, and Kirkuk governorates, helping the Government to quickly repair key public infrastructure, jump-start the local economy, generate income for local households, and promote societal reconciliation. 

     

    Key support role on elections and national dialogue


    UNAMI is supporting the government’s efforts to promote an inclusive dialogue on national and societal reconciliation and to help confidence-building measures to ensure the future of Iraq as a stable, federal, united and democratically inclusive state in which all of its citizens can fully and equally participate without discrimination and with equal rights and justice. UNAMI also promotes regional cooperation and dialogue between Iraq and neighbouring countries through its good offices mandate. 

    UNAMI played a key support role in the process by which Iraqis drafted and adopted a new constitution in 2005, and assisted the country in the holding of two national elections that same year as well as Iraq Governorate Council elections and parliamentary elections in the Kurdistan region of Iraq in 2009, Iraq parliamentary elections in 2010, Iraq Governorate Council elections and parliamentary elections in the Kurdistan region of Iraq in 2013 and Iraq parliamentary elections in 2014. Since the formation of the Independent High Electoral Commission in 2007, the United Nations has continued to provide technical support, policy advice and assistance to the institution.

     

    Activities on human rights 


    UNAMI is working with other UN partners, and all relevant stakeholders (Government, Parliament, law enforcement and civil society) to promote the respect and protection of human rights in Iraq, including, inter alia, the rights of women and children and their protection from sexual and gender based violence, the rights of diverse ethnic and religious minorities, the rights of persons with disabilities, ensuring their access to basic services without discrimination, and promoting respect for the right of freedom of assembly and expression. UNAMI is also working in partnership with other United Nations, Government and civil society partners, to provide technical assistance, legal and expert advice on content and implementation of Iraq’s international human rights obligations, and on drafting legislation, regulations and policies that promote the respect and protection of human rights, and assist with building the capacity of state institutions, including relevant ministries, the Council of Representatives, the Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights, and law enforcement and the administration of justice.

  • 29 апр 2015

    United Nations activities are focused on assisting the Afghan people and Government in laying the foundations for sustainable peace and development. Leading this effort on the ground is the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). The UN Security Council established the political mission in March 2002, at the request of the Afghan Government, through Security Council Resolution 1401. The Council has since extended the Mission’s work until 17 March 2018, stressing the importance of a comprehensive and inclusive Afghan-led and Afghan-owned political process to support reconciliation and of advancing regional cooperation to promote security, stability and development in Afghanistan.

    Afghanistan has received assurances of continued international assistance for its security and development needs at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Summit in Warsaw and at the donors’ Conference on Afghanistan in Brussels in 2016. However, it remains a country undergoing conflict, which threatens the sustainability of its achievements. Peace negotiations between the Afghan Government and armed opposition groups are the only alternative for ending the conflict and the region and the broader international community have a stake and a role to play to help to create the conditions for peace.

    UNAMA's core work involves Good Offices, Human Rights, Development Coherence and Regional Cooperation. This includes the strategic priorities to support political cohesion, efforts towards a sustainable peace and alignment of international assistance with Government’s priorities, as well as human rights reporting and advocacy and support to national human rights institutions. UNAMA has field offices across Afghanistan.

  • 29 апр 2015

    In February 2017, the Secretary-General appointed Dag Halvor Nylander as his Personal Representative on the Border Controversy between Guyana and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Mr. Nylander has been actively engaging with the Governments of Guyana and Venezuela with a view to exploring and proposing options for a solution to the border controversy between the two countries.

     

     

  • 27 апр 2015
    Political, security and humanitarian situation
    Despite national, regional and international efforts to tackle the complex range of inter-connected challenges facing the Sahel, the region continues to be threatened by cyclical instability, state fragility and recurring humanitarian crises. Limited capacity in the region to effectively deliver basic services and foster dialogue and citizen participation contributes to grievances, leaving a vacuum exploited by terrorist and criminal groups. Efforts to stabilise Mali and prevent further destabilization in the Sahel are threatened by the continuing activity of terrorist and criminal groups, as well as the spread of violent ideology across the Sahel region.
     
    The Sahel region continues to face a food insecurity crisis with 20 million people at risk and nearly 5 million children at risk of acute malnutrition.
     
     
    UN Response through the Integrated Strategy for the Sahel
    The United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel [S/2013/354], endorsed by the Security Council in June 2013, is a promising new instrument for conflict prevention. The strategy prioritizes life-saving activities that meet immediate needs, while building the resilience of people and communities as part of a long-term development agenda. The strategy emphasizes the need for continued UN good offices to mobilize political will and resources to address the challenges in the region. It includes a range of innovative actions in the areas of Governance, Security and Resilience. For the implementation of the integrated strategy for the Sahel, the United Nations applies a flexible definition of the broader Sahelo-Saharan region, encompassing West, Central and North African countries, while placing a particular emphasis on five core Sahel countries: Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.
     
    In the area of Governance, it involves a combination of (1) capacity-building measures, aimed to improve the delivery of essential services, and (2) political inclusion, aimed to promote broad consensus amongst the population over the country’s priorities. In terms of security, the strategy focuses on strengthening border management. Given the vastness of the Sahel region, and the length and porosity of many of the borders, the strategy entails a combination of capacity building measures and the promotion of collaborative efforts among States. Collaborative management of borders is not only about constraining the activities of criminals and terrorists, but also about giving opportunity to legitimate economic activity. The third overall objective of the strategy is focusing on supporting vulnerable households and promoting food and nutritional security, while also building capacity for long term resilience.
     
    To reach a broad consensus, the Secretary-General convened a high-level meeting on the Sahel, on the margins of the 68th UN General Assembly. At the meeting, all countries of the region, as well as donor countries and institutions, expressed their support for the strategy and emphasized the importance of regional and national ownership. In addition, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Chairperson of the African Union, the President of the World Bank, the President of the African Development Bank and the European Development Commissioner jointly visited the region in November 2013. They highlighted the challenges and opportunities for the implementation of the strategy and mobilized resources and political support. Likewise, during a ministerial-level meeting on the Sahel, organized by the Government of Mali during the visit, the region welcomed the Integrated Strategy and agreed on a broad set of common priorities. They decided to continue meeting every six months, on a rotating Chairmanship basis.
     
    The implementation of the strategy relies on the strong engagement of the United Nations System in the region, under the overall leadership of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Sahel, Hiroute Guebre Sellassie. SESG Guebre Sellassie has already begun to develop a coordination mechanism for UN system-wide action, in close collaboration with UNOWA and other relevant UN presences in the region.
     
    More information about the UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel is available on the OSES website.
     
     
    Main Documents
    • Report of the Secretary-General on the situation in the Sahel region - S/2014/397 - (FR/EN)
    • Report of the Secretary-General on the situation in the Sahel region - S/2013/354 - (FR/EN)
    • Statement by the President of the Security Council - S/PRST/2013/10 (FR/EN)
    • Resolution 2056 (2012) - S/RES/2056 (2012) (FR/EN)
     
    Fact Sheet (EN)
  • 27 апр 2015

    The United Nations cooperates with regional and international partners in efforts to defuse tensions, encourage improvements on the ground, and advance political negotiations toward a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as well as a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East based on all relevant Security Council resolutions, as well as the Madrid principles and Quartet Road Map.

     

    Support to the Secretary-General’s peacemaking efforts

    The Department of Political Affairs supports UN peacemaking efforts in various ways, including by advising and assisting the Secretary-General in his Middle East diplomacy and by overseeing UN political activities based in the region aimed at furthering peace efforts, preventing an escalation of the conflict, coordinating humanitarian aid and development assistance, and supporting Palestinian state-building efforts.

    In addition to making his own diplomatic “good offices” available to the parties, the Secretary-General is a principal member of the Middle East Quartet (composed of the United States, the Russian Federation, the European Union, and the United Nations), a key mechanism established in 2003 to coordinate the international community's support to the peace process. The Secretary-General also works to ensure close cooperation in international peacemaking efforts with the League of Arab States and the broader international community.

    DPA also assists the Secretary-General’s crisis management activities, which include his direct involvement in efforts to prevent the recurrence of violence.  Senior officials of the Department of Political Affairs, particularly the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Process, provide regular briefings to the Security Council on the situation in the Middle East and the state of the peace process.

     

    Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process

    Special Coordinator, Nickolay Mladenov, is the focal point on the ground for UN support to peace initiatives – including the work of the Middle East Quartet. The Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO), based in Jerusalem, Ramallah and Gaza, is a field mission of the Department of Political Affairs that supports peace negotiations and the implementation of political agreements between Israel and the Palestinians. UNSCO is also responsible for coordinating the activities of more than twenty UN agencies, funds and programmes on humanitarian and development assistance to the Palestinians.

  • 27 апр 2015
    The United Nations works on multiple fronts to assist Lebanon in forging a peaceful, stable and democratic future. The Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon (UNSCOL) provides leadership and coordination to UN efforts in the country. The Beirut-based political mission of the Department of Political Affairs is headed by UN Special Coordinator Pernille Dahler Kardel. The Special Coordinator is the Secretary-General’s representative to the Lebanese Government, all political parties and the diplomatic community based in the country and carries out good offices work on behalf of the Secretary-General and in furtherance of the conflict prevention agenda to assist Lebanese parties to reach peaceful and consensus- based solutions to contentious issues.
     
    Implementing Security Council Resolution 1701
    The July 2006 conflict between Israel and Hizbullah brought a new set of political, peacekeeping, and development challenges to Lebanon. In the aftermath of the war, the Secretary-General established in February 2007 the Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon to represent him politically and to coordinate the work of the UN in the country. Among UNSCOL’s most important responsibilities is its assistance and reporting on the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1701 under which the fighting was halted in August 2006. The resolution called for a permanent ceasefire between Israel and Lebanon and gave a framework for a long-term solution based on full respect for the border demarcation between both states, the so-called Blue Line. The framework also includes security arrangements to prevent a resumption of hostilities and a monopoly for the Government of Lebanon on the use of force and weapons within the country. UNSCOL works closely with the UN peacekeeping mission in southern Lebanon, UNIFIL, which is assisting the Lebanese Army in extending the Mission's presence and authority in its area of operations. UNSCOL is in constant dialogue with actors across the political spectrum in Lebanon, as well as with relevant neighboring countries.
     
    Coordination with other UN actors
    The Special Coordinator for Lebanon coordinates the activities of the UN Country Team with the Government of Lebanon, donors and international financial institutions in line with the overall objectives of the United Nations in Lebanon, particularly those relating to reconstruction, development and reform. The Special Coordinator for Lebanon is assisted in this task by a Deputy Special Coordinator, who is Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator.
     
    Implementing Security Council Resolution 1559
    DPA also works closely with the Office of the Special Envoy for the Implementation of Security Council resolution 1559 (2004). Special Envoy Terje Rod-Larsen ended his functions in May 2016, since then Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman fulfills the reporting functions of the Secretary-General to the Security Council. The outstanding provisions of resolution 1559 (2004) include the disbanding of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias and the extension of the control of the Government of Lebanon over all Lebanese territory.
     
    Special Tribunal for Lebanon
    The United Nations supports the efforts and the independence of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon established to bring to justice those responsible for the 2005 terrorist attack that took the lives of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and 22 others.
  • 27 апр 2015

    I just briefed the Security Council on the latest developments in Yemen. This was my last briefing in my capacity of the Special Adviser to the Secretary- General on Yemen.

    I told the Security Council that the demands it made of Houthis and other parties in resolution 2216 (2015) remain unmet. I further told the Council that the month-long conflict is expanding and becoming a confrontation with competing local and regional agendas. I warned that Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is benefiting from current chaos and that it would continue to thrive unless a solution to the current crisis is found.

    I reported to the Security Council on the deteriorating humanitarian situation, with thousands of people killed, many of whom are civilians; more than 150,000 people internally displaced; and critical public infrastructure and civilian facilities seriously damaged. I also warned that the spectre of food insecurity has widened to threaten more than 12 million Yemenis.

    I further stressed to the Security Council the necessity for all parties to the conflict to allow and facilitate rapid and unimpeded access to all people in need. In this connection, I warned that implementation of the new targeted arms embargo contained in resolution 2216 (2015) could inadvertently restrict the flow of much needed commercial goods and humanitarian assistance to Yemen, including food, fuel and medical supplies amongst others. Reports had been received of such incidents recently.

    I brought to the attention of the Security Council the dangerous situation in the South, especially in Aden, and warned that the ongoing war should not overshadow the just cause of Southerners.

    I reminded the Security Council of my numerous reports on the systematic acts of obstruction over the last three years. I expressed my regret that the Council did not act on my warnings more swiftly and strongly. I told the Security Council that the collapse of the transition was not the fault of one side, but rather the result of accumulated mistakes and miscalculations made to varying degrees by all sides.

    I told Security Council that the United Nations spared no efforts to convene talks to help solve the crisis. During the two months that preceded the launch of "Operation Decisive Storm," we had facilitated around 65 plenary and working groups meetings, and more than 150 bilateral meetings with all sides. The Yemeni parties continued to negotiate under UN auspices and substantial agreement had been reached on the core elements of a power-sharing agreement. The main sticking point was the issue of the presidency.

    I explained to the Council that the Yemenis were very close to an agreement and that they could have concluded, just like they did time and time again, when they signed GCC Initiative and Implementation Mechanism in November 2011; successfully concluded the National Dialogue Conference in January 2014; and adopted the Peace and National Partnership Agreement in September 2014. These achievements seem far away now, but form a solid basis for reactivating the political transition so long as all parties are involved.

    Finally, I stressed that getting the political process back on track and achieving lasting peace and stability in Yemen could only be reached through Yemeni-led peaceful negotiations where Yemenis could determine their future free from interference and coercion from outside forces.

  • 27 апр 2015

    Cyclone Nargis, which hit Myanmar in May 2008 was one of the largest disasters that affected Myanmar and claimed the lives of tens of thousands of its people, with millions severely impacted by its devastating effects. Despite the initial obstructions posed by the military Government, the Secretary-General was able to reach out to the country’s leadership and persuade them to welcome large-scale humanitarian assistance and in tripartite cooperation with ASEAN and the UN, to allow international humanitarian organizations to set up logistics operations to deliver supplies to the most affected areas. This disaster highlighted the need to strengthen our partnership with regional organizations and to work with Governments to create an adequate operating environment for continuing cooperation and effective humanitarian support to the peoples of Myanmar.  

    With the coming into effect of the 2008 constitution, and the opening by the country of its doors to democratic reforms, the role of the Secretary-General’s good offices began to evolve from its earlier one of critiquing the unrepresentative military regime into one of engagement, encouragement and support for reform, reconciliation and democratization. Even though the democratization process remains a work-in-progress, much credit is due to the people of Myanmar for their achievements thus far and to the administration of President Thein Sein, who ushered in the reform process with the election of a civilian government after the 2010 general election.

    The landmark elections of November 2015 has transformed Myanmar's political landscape by bringing Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy Party into power. As the new government, which assumed power in April 2016, embarks on a process of national reconstruction as well as a revived national political dialogue process with various ethnic armed groups and others to unify the country, it faces major challenges in confronting entrenched attitudes, especially in Rakhine, and meeting the heightened expectations of its people. It is widely recognized that the momentous political and socio-economic changes taking place in the country can be consolidated only if it is based on the foundations of inclusiveness, tolerance and respect of human rights for all, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or gender, where no one is marginalized, discriminated against or left behind. The Secretary-General will continue to make his good offices available to Myanmar as it moves strenuously ahead to make the peace process more inclusive, improve the lives of its peoples and secure greater empowerment to them.

  • 8 апр 2015

    Regional Organizations

    Cooperation with regional organizations has long been a touchstone of the work of the United Nations, as recognized in Chapter VIII of the UN Charter and numerous resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council. In many ways, the United Nations and regional organizations have unique and complementary capacities that, when properly coordinated, can contribute decisively to the prevention and management of armed conflict.

    In recent years, these relationships have strengthened and deepened across a wide spectrum of activities, including peacemaking and crisis mediation, peacekeeping, and humanitarian assistance. In support of this growing cooperation in the field, the Secretary-General, with support of the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA), has convened over the years a number of high-level meetings and retreats with the heads of regional organizations to ensure coordination and mutual understanding on operation imperatives as well as broader strategic issues facing the United Nations and its partners.

    In its core work in conflict prevention, preventive diplomacy and mediation, DPPA is in regular contact with its counterparts in regional organizations to ensure information-sharing and cooperation on regional or country-specific issues of mutual concern. In a growing number of instances in which regional or sub-regional organizations take the leading role in peacemaking or crisis diplomacy in their neighbourhoods, the United Nations is frequently present as a partner, providing support and advice as required.

    DPPA has also developed with partner organizations a series of regular “desk-to-desk” dialogues designed to improve understanding of how the different institutions work, improve channels of cooperation, and develop recommendations in that regard. "Desk-to-desk" dialogues and regular communication and consultation are on-going with organizations including the African Union (AU), the European Union (EU) and the Organization of American States (OAS). DPPA also holds a similar annual staff-level meeting with relevant officers of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

    DPPA also assists in building regional capacity, either through projects exclusively focused on mediation, or as part of more comprehensive capacity building assistance programmes. Under that Programme, DPPA has been working with the African Union to address its needs in the area of political and security affairs, including conflict prevention and mediation support, electoral assistance, and support to AU policy organs. In order to improve knowledge and understanding in the field of conflict prevention and mediation, DPPA regularly offers joint training programmes for staff from regional organizations and the United Nations.

    A key example of cooperation with regional organizations is the partnership with the African Union. In April 2017, the Secretary-General and Chairperson of the African Union Commission signed the Joint UN-AU Framework for Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security, the first agreement of its kind signed at the level of the Secretary-General. This builds on an increasingly close cooperation since the two Organizations signed the Ten-Year Capacity-Building Programme for the African Union in 2006. UN support is organized around numerous thematic areas, with the Department of Political Affairs leading the cooperation in the area of peace and security. The Department works with the African Union in the areas of conflict prevention, mediation, electoral assistance, and assistance to AU policy organs.

     

  • 8 апр 2015

    Office of the Under-Secretary-General

     

    Rosemary A. DiCarlo

    Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs
    United States of America (Western European and Others Group)

    Rosemary A. DiCarlo of the United States assumed the post of Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs on 1 May 2018. She was appointed by Secretary-General António Guterres and succeeded Mr. Jeffrey Feltman.

    As Under-Secretary-General and head of the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA), Ms. DiCarlo advises the Secretary-General on peace and security issues globally, while overseeing "good offices" initiatives and field-based political missions carrying out peacemaking, preventive diplomacy and peace-building activities in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Central and Southeast Asia and the Americas. She also oversees the United Nations electoral assistance provided to dozens of its member states each year.

    Ms. DiCarlo brings more than 35 years of experience in public service and academia. During her distinguished career with the United States Department of State, she served, among other functions, as Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations with the rank and status of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary.  In that capacity, she represented the United States at the Security Council, General Assembly and other United Nations bodies. Prior assignments included Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, and Director for United Nations Affairs at the National Security Council in Washington, D.C. Her overseas tours took her to the United States Embassies in Moscow and Oslo.

    She also served as President of the National Committee on American Foreign Policy from August 2015 to May 2018 and was concurrently appointed a Senior Fellow and Lecturer at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs.

    Ms. DiCarlo graduated from Brown University with a B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. in comparative literature, as well as Slavic languages and literature. She speaks French and Russian.

    Born in Providence, Rhode Island, Ms. DiCarlo is married.

     

    Office of the Assistant Secretary-General for Africa

     

    Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee

    Assistant Secretary-General for Africa
    Ghana (African Group)

    United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced on 21 May 2021 the appointment of Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee of Ghana as Assistant Secretary-General for Africa in the Departments of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and Peace Operations (DPPA-DPO). 

    Ms. Pobee succeeds Bintou Keita of Guinea, who took up a new assignment as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Head of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).  The Secretary-General is deeply grateful for her service and contributions as the first Assistant Secretary-General for Africa in DPPA-DPO. 

    A career diplomat, Ms. Pobee brings more than 30 years of experience in international affairs and diplomacy with her Foreign Ministry.  Currently Chief Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, she was previously Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Ghana to the United Nations from 2015 until 2020. In that position, she performed various special assignments, including as the Chair of the African Group of Ambassadors in New York, Vice-President of the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly, Chair of the New York Group of Friends of the African - Women Leaders Network, Co-Facilitator of the High-level meeting on Financing for Development 2019, and Co-Chair of the Group of Friends on Gender Parity at the United Nations, among others. 

    Ms. Pobee previously served as Deputy Head of Mission and Chargé d’affaires at the Ghana High Commission in Pretoria (2012 to 2015), Director of the Information and Public Affairs Bureau at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs (2010 to 2012) and Head of Chancery at the Ghanaian Embassy in Washington, D.C. (2006 to 2010). She was Acting Director of the Bureaux for Human Resources and Administration (2006) and for Information, Culture and Linguistics (2004 to 2006). Posted to the Ghanaian Embassy in Tel Aviv in 2000, she served as Minister-Counsellor and Deputy Head of Mission (2002 to 2004), and as Chargé d’affaires (2000 to 2002). Ms. Pobee also served as Acting Director of the Personnel and Training Bureau (1998 to 2000), having been posted to Ghana’s Permanent Mission to the Office of the United Nations in Geneva (1995 to 1998) and to the Embassy in Moscow, where she was First Secretary (1994 to 1995). 

    A graduate of the University of Ghana, Ms. Pobee also holds a master’s degree in Development Studies with a specialization in Women and Development from the Institute of Social Studies in the Hague.  She also has diplomas in Public Administration and Multilateral Diplomacy from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration and the Geneva Institute of International Studies.

     

    Office of the Assistant Secretary-General for Europe, Central Asia and the Americas

     

    Miroslav Jenča

    Assistant Secretary-General for Europe, Central Asia and the Americas
    Slovakia (Eastern Europe Group)

    On 12 March 2015, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the appointment of Miroslav Jenča of Slovakia as Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs.

    Mr. Jenča succeeds Jens Toyberg-Frandzen of Denmark who was appointed Assistant Secretary-General ad interim for Political Affairs in November 2014. The Secretary-General is grateful to Mr. Toyberg-Frandzen for his leadership and acumen in the position.

    As Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Mr. Jenča will be responsible, inter alia, for overseeing the divisions in the Department of Political Affairs dealing with the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and the Middle East and West Asia, as well as the Decolonization Unit and the Division for Palestinian Rights.

    Mr. Jenča has served as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, since 2008.  He was previously Director of the Office of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Slovakia, as well as Ambassador and Head of Mission to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Centre in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.  He served as Ambassador and Representative of Slovakia to the Political and Security Committee of the European Union and Ambassador of Slovakia to Mexico, Venezuela and Colombia, including positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia and diplomatic missions in Ireland and Mexico.

    Mr. Jenča holds a Doctor of Law degree from Comenius University in Bratislava.  He studied foreign trade at the University of Economics in Bratislava, diplomacy and international relations at Moscow State Institute of International Relations, and diplomacy at Stanford University.

    Born in 1965, he is married and has two children.

     

    Office of the Assistant Secretary-General for Middle East, Asia and the Pacific

     

    Mohamed Khaled Khiari

    Assistant Secretary-General for Middle East, Asia and the Pacific
    Tunisia (African Group)

    United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced on 28 May 2019 the appointment of Khaled Mohamed Khiari of Tunisia, as Assistant Secretary-General for Middle East, Asia and the Pacific in the Departments of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and Peace Operations.

    Currently Director General of Americas, Asia and Oceania in the Tunisian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Khiari brings over 35 years of experience in diplomacy and foreign affairs alternating between his Foreign Ministry headquarters and overseas postings.  He served inter alia as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Tunisia to the United Nations in New York (2012-2018), Director of Human Rights within the Department of International Organizations and Conferences at the Tunisian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2011-2012), Chargé de Mission in the Ministry of Youth and Sports (2009-2010), Deputy Director, Euromed, within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Europe Directorate (2007-2009), Deputy Head of Mission (2003–2006) and Secretary of Foreign Affairs with the Permanent Mission of Tunisia to the United Nations Office in Geneva (1987-1993) and the Ministry’s Department of Maghreb Countries (1984).

    Mr. Khiari participated in numerous multilateral and regional activities during his career with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, notably as Co-Chair of the Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council Reform, President of the Executive Board of UN-WOMEN, Vice-President of the United Nations General Assembly, Non-Aligned Movement Coordinator of the Peacebuilding Commission in New York, President of the African Group of experts to the World Summit on Information Society in Geneva and Coordinator of the Arab group on European Parliament issues in Brussels. 

    He is a graduate of the Higher Institute of Management of Tunis, where he earned a master’s degree in Management, specializing in marketing.

    Born in 1960, Mr. Khiari is married and has two children.

     

    Office of the Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support

     

    Elizabeth Mary Spehar

    Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support
    Canada (Western European and Others Group)

    United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced on 18 January 2022 the appointment of Elizabeth Spehar of Canada as Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support in the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA). Ms. Spehar succeeds Oscar Fernandez-Taranco of Argentina to whom the Secretary-General is deeply grateful for his dedication and contribution. 

    With 35 years of experience in international and political affairs, Ms. Spehar has worked in United Nations headquarters and in the field, leading political, development, peacebuilding and conflict prevention initiatives.  Most recently, since 2016, she was the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), also serving as Deputy to the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus. 

    Previously, Ms. Spehar was Director of the Policy and Mediation Division in the former Department of Political Affairs (DPA), where she worked on policy and operational matters related to conflict prevention, mediation, peacebuilding and gender mainstreaming.  Prior to this, she was the Director for the Americas and Europe Division and Director of the Europe Division in DPA, engaging extensively on key political issues facing the region.  She also served briefly as Interim Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNFICYP in 2008. 

    Before joining the United Nations, Ms. Spehar was a senior official with the Organization of American States for more than 12 years, working to promote democracy and develop the Organization’s dialogue and conflict resolution instruments. 

    Ms. Spehar holds a Bachelor of Arts with honours from Queen’s University in Canada, a master’s degree in international affairs from Carleton University’s Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, also in Canada, and a Diplôme d’Etudes Supérieures from the University of Pau in France.  She speaks English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Croatian.

     

    Office of the Director for Coordination and Shared Services

    Security Council Affairs Division

    Policy and Mediation Division

    Electoral Assistance Division

    Division for Palestinian Rights

    Decolonization Unit

     

    For more information about the UN global leadership team, including senior officials in the field, visit: https://www.un.org/sg/en/global-leadership/home

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    The United Nations Security Council today faces increasingly complex challenges to international peace and security. The Security Council Affairs Division (SCAD) of the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) provides substantive and secretariat support to the 15-member Security Council in carrying out its critical responsibilities in maintaining international peace and security through its three branches: the Security Council Secretariat Branch, the Security Council Subsidiary Organs Branch, and the Security Council Practices and Charter Research Branch. Each of the branches functions as the secretariat of the Council's thematic and ad-hoc working groups: 

    - Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations
    - Ad Hoc Working Group on Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Africa
    - Informal Working Group on International Tribunals
    - Working Group established pursuant to resolution 1566 (2004)
    - Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict
    Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions

    The Division also serves as the secretariat to the Military Staff Committee.

     

    General Substantive and Logistical Support

    The Security Council Secretariat Branch directly supports the daily work of the Council, especially its rotating monthly presidency, to help plan and manage the schedule of formal and informal meetings and other activities. Among other functions in this area, the Branch is responsible for the preparation of key planning documents including the Monthly Forecast, the monthly Provisional Programme of Work, the Daily Programme and Agenda, and the Reporting/Mandate cycles. The Branch also contributes to the drafting of key official documents including the Security Council’s Annual Report to the General Assembly, the Volumes of Resolutions and Decisions and the list of matters of which the Council is seized. In addition, the Branch arranges the publication of official Security Council documents, including letters received and sent by the Council President and reports of the Secretary-General. The Branch ensures that draft decisions (e.g. resolutions and presidential statements) are ready for adoption in all official languages, and their subsequent publication and dissemination following adoption. The Branch also supports field missions by Council members to countries and regions of concern.

     

    Support to the Subsidiary Organs

    The Security Council Subsidiary Organs Branch provides logistical and administrative support as well as substantive advice and guidance to the subsidiary organs of the Security Council, including sanctions and other committees and thematic working groups. The Subsidiary Organs Branch assists Committee Chairpersons in developing a strategic programme of work, planning effective meetings, preparing documentation, drafting corresponding, committee guidelines and periodic reports, and liaising with Member states and regional and non-governmental organizations.

     

    Advisory Support and Research

    TThe Security Council Practices and Charter Research Branch is the advisory and research arm of the Security Council Affairs Division and provides guidance to Member States and the Secretariat on the substantive and procedural practice of the Security Council. In accordance with General Assembly resolution 686 (VII) of 5 December 1952, the Charter Research Branch is responsible for the preparation of the Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council, a publication which provides an authoritative overview of the Council’s interpretation and application of the United Nations Charter and its Provisional Rules of Procedure since 1946. Using new technologies, the Branch also develops and maintains a series of visual and analytical online research tools on select aspects of the practice of the Council.

     

    Training

    In addition to the five permanent members of the Council, the Security Council is composed of ten non-permanent members of the Council, five of which are elected every year by the General Assembly for two-year terms. The Security Council Affairs Division organizes the following workshops and information sessions to familiarize the incoming members with the work of the Council and to outline the Division’s role in assisting the Council and its subsidiary organs:

    - SCAD annual induction workshop
    annual joint SCAD-Security Council Report workshop on sanctions
    sanctions regime/committee-specific information sessions

    In addition, to enable permanent and outgoing non-permanent members to share their experience with incoming Council members, SCAD assists the Government of Finland in conducting an annual workshop on the practices, procedures, working methods and political dynamics of the Council and its subsidiary organs entitled “Hitting the Ground Running”. The Division is also responsible for maintaining a register of available training opportunities for incoming members.

     

    Military Staff Committee Secretariat

    The Military Staff Committee was established by Security Council resolution. 1 (1946) under article 47 of the UN Charter and consists of the Chiefs of Staff of the Permanent Members of the Security Council or their representatives. Its function is to advise and assist the Security Council on all questions relating to the Security Council's military requirements for the maintenance of international peace and security.  Since 2010, the Committee has routinely invited military representatives of the elected members of the Security Council to participate in its informal sessions, and since January 2017, to its formal meetings. The Committee also regularly invites representatives from various departments and offices of the UN Secretariat and UN Missions to its meetings to hold briefings and discuss current issues. The Security Council Affairs Division’s Military Staff Committee Secretariat acts as the liaison between the Committee, the Security Council and all UN entities. It supports the Committee by providing them with the most relevant information on the activities of UN military components, and organizes the Committee’s meetings and field trips.

  • 8 апр 2015

    United Nations and Decolonization: Past to Present
    This animation video, produced in accordance with the mandate for dissemination of information on decolonization, highlights the UN’s path of decolonization since 1945, especially its commitment in eradicating colonialism towards our common future.

    When the United Nations was established in 1945, 750 million people - almost a third of the world's population - lived in Territories that were non-self-governing, dependent on colonial Powers. Since then, more than 80 former colonies have gained their independence. Among them, all 11 Trust Territories have achieved self-determination through independence or free association with an independent State. Former Non-Self-Governing Territories ceased to be on the list of Non-Self-Governing Territories due to their change in status or as a result of their choice of independence, free association or integration with an independent State. Today, there are 17 Non-Self-Governing Territories remaining and fewer than 2 million people live in such Territories.

    The Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) substantively supports  the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence of Colonial Countries and Peoples (also known as the “Special Committee on Decolonization” or “C-24”), whose role is to monitor implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples (General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV)) and to make recommendations to the General Assembly on its application.

    Among its functions, DPPA's Decolonization Unit:

    • Monitors political, economic and social developments in each of the 17 remaining territories inscribed on the UN list of Non-Self-Governing Territories, and prepares annual working papers on each Territory;
    • Supports substantively the C-24 and the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee) of the ​General Assembly, where representatives and petitioners from the Territories express their views;
    • Supports substantively the C-24 for its visiting missions to Territories, as well as for its annual regional seminars held alternately in the Pacific and the Caribbean, bringing together representatives of the Territories, members of the C-24, administering Powers and other stakeholders;
    • Maintains the website entitled “The United Nations and Decolonization” in the 6 official UN languages; and
    • Works with the Department of Global Communications in the dissemination of information on decolonization in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations on decolonization.
  • 8 апр 2015

    Overview
    History and Evolution
    Types of Assistance
    Requesting Assistance
    UN Entities Providing Electoral Assistance
    Electoral Resources

     

    Overview

    Elections are a vital part of democratic processes, including political transitions, implementation of peace agreements and consolidation of democracy. The United Nations plays a major role in providing international assistance to these important processes of change.

    United Nations electoral assistance is provided only at the specific request of the Member State concerned or based on a mandate from the Security Council or General Assembly. Before assistance is agreed and provided, the United Nations assesses the needs of the Member State to ensure that the assistance is tailored to the specific needs of the country or situation. As the General Assembly has reaffirmed on many occasions, United Nations assistance should be carried out in an objective, impartial, neutral and independent manner, with due respect for sovereignty, while recognizing that the responsibility for organizing elections lies with Member States. More than 115 countries have requested and have received United Nations electoral assistance since 1991, the year in which the Secretary-General designated the Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs as focal point for electoral assistance matters, with the endorsement of the General Assembly. The institutional arrangements for United Nations electoral assistance and the entities involved have grown and evolved since 1991. 

    Today, a range of United Nations entities have mandates that refer to electoral events and support or otherwise engage in electoral support activities. In this field of diverse actors, the General Assembly has repeatedly highlighted the importance of system-wide coherence and consistency and has reaffirmed the leadership role of the focal point in that respect. Accordingly, the focal point is responsible for setting electoral assistance policies, for deciding on the parameters for United Nations electoral assistance in a particular requesting country and for maintaining the single electoral roster of experts who can be rapidly deployed when required for any United Nations assistance activity.

    The focal point is supported by the Electoral Assistance Division of the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA). The Division recommends to the focal point the parameters for all United Nations electoral assistance, pursuant to the request of Member States, and following an electoral needs assessment. The Division also advises on the design of electoral mission components or assistance projects and maintains the institutional memory of the Organization and the single roster of experts. It is also responsible for policy development. On behalf of the focal point, the Division provides political and technical guidance to all United Nations entities involved in electoral assistance, including on electoral policies and good practices. When required, the Division provides support to the Secretary-General and his envoys, and to United Nations political and peacekeeping missions in the prevention and mediation of electoral crises. The Electoral Assistance Division also maintains electoral partnerships with, and provides capacity development support to, other regional and intergovernmental organizations involved in elections.

     

     

    Download the latest report of the Secretary-General on 'Strengthening the role of the United Nations in enhancing periodic and genuine elections and the promotion of democratization" (A/78/260).

     

     

    History and Evolution

    The history of the United Nations is interwoven with elections. During the era of trusteeship and decolonization, the United Nations supervised and observed numerous plebiscites, referenda and elections worldwide.

    During the 1990s, the United Nations observed, supervised or conducted landmark elections and popular consultations in Timor-Leste, South Africa, Mozambique, El Salvador and Cambodia. More recently, the Organization has provided crucial technical and logistical assistance in milestone elections in many countries, including in Afghanistan, Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Nepal, Sierra Leone and Sudan.

    Demand for United Nations electoral assistance is growing, as is the duration and complexity of operations. Electoral observation, once a core activity in early United Nations support, is now rare, and technical assistance has grown exponentially. Assistance is closely regulated by the UN General Assembly, and its evolution is reflected in a series of resolutions since 1991 (please refer to the latest resolutions in this regard including A/RES/78/208 of 2023 and A/RES/76/176 of 2021).

    Even as the United Nations electoral assistance evolves to adapt to the changing needs and circumstances of Member States, it continues to be based on the principle established in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – that the will of the people, as expressed through periodic and genuine elections, shall be the basis of government authority.

     
     

    Types of Assistance

    United Nations electoral assistance is provided based on the principle that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. UN electoral support programs are tailored according to the specific needs of each requesting Member State. Although considerable international attention has been given to elections conducted in the context of United Nations peacekeeping missions or other post-conflict settings, most electoral assistance activities take the form of technical assistance in non-mission settings. The following are examples of some of the various types of electoral assistance provided by the United Nations. These are drawn from a number of UN electoral policy documents:

    Technical Assistance: Technical assistance is by far the most frequent form of United Nations electoral assistance. It can be defined as the legal, operational and logistic assistance provided to develop or improve electoral laws, processes and institutions. It can cover all, or some, aspects of the electoral process. It can focus on one electoral event or can be long term covering a number of electoral events depending on the mandate or request and the needs assessment. While UN technical assistance focuses primarily on election administration and institutions it may also include assistance to a number of other stakeholders and institutions. Technical assistance may be provided on the basis of a request from a Member State, or following a mandate by the Security Council or General Assembly.

    Support to creating a conducive environment: The mandate of UN peace operations often includes provisions related to creating a conducive environment for the implementation of various tasks usually listed in their mandate. In countries where they have such a mandate, they may use their good offices and political role to contribute to creating a conducive environment for the holding of elections. Through their military, police and civilian presences, the DPO missions may also help stabilize the security situation, which is essential for a conducive environment for elections. As per their mandates, OHCHR and UN Women may also decide to monitor the human rights or the situation regarding women’s participation in a country, before, during and/or after an election in order to foster an environment conducive to credible elections and ensure respect for relevant international standards. In specific circumstances such as countries in transition or at risk of violence, DPPA as the UN system lead for peacemaking and preventive diplomacy may also assist with mediation, conflict prevention and good offices.

    Organization and conduct of an electoral process: If the United Nations is mandated to organize and conduct an election or referendum, the organization assumes the role normally fulfilled by national electoral authorities. In such cases the UN has full authority over the process. Due to the primacy of the principle of national ownership this type of assistance is very rarely mandated and is unlikely to be undertaken except in special post-conflict or decolonization situations characterized by insufficient national institutional capacity. This type of mandate is only possible via a Security Council or General Assembly resolution.

    Certification/Verification: The term “certification” is widely understood in electoral practice as the legal process by which a national authority approves or ‘certifies’ the final results of its own national election.  However, on rare occasions, the Security Council or General Assembly may ask the Secretary-General to play a “certification” role. In such cases the United Nations is requested to certify the credibility of all or specific aspects of an electoral process conducted by the national election authority. The United Nations is required to produce a final statement attesting to the election’s credibility. The modalities will vary according to context. UN electoral certification requires a mandate from the General Assembly or the Security Council.

    Electoral Observation: Electoral observation consists of systematic collection of information on an electoral process by direct observation on the basis of established methodologies, often analyzing both qualitative and quantitative data. The process of observation usually leads to an evaluative public statement on the overall conduct of the electoral process. UN election observation entails the deployment of a mission to observe each phase of an electoral process and report back to the Secretary-General, who will issue a public statement on the conduct of the election. UN electoral observation, which is very rare, requires a mandate from the General Assembly or the Security Council.

    Supervision of elections: Supervision of elections requires the UN to endorse and approve each phase of an electoral process in order to attest to the overall credibility of the election. It can require direct involvement in establishing the mechanisms of the election, such as the date, the issuing of regulations, wording of the ballot, monitoring polling stations, counting the ballots, and assisting in the resolution of disputes. Where the UN is not satisfied with the electoral procedures or their implementation in a particular phase, the electoral management body conducting the process is required to act upon UN recommendations and make any necessary adjustments. The progress of the election is contingent upon the UN’s endorsement of each phase. Supervision of elections by the UN is also rare and requires a mandate from the General Assembly or the Security Council.

    Panels of Political and/or Electoral Experts: UN panels entail the deployment of a small team to follow and report on an electoral process. A panel can be an electoral expert monitoring team, composed of experts in such areas as electoral processes or mediation, or a high-level panel composed of eminent persons of political, electoral or mediation profile. Relying on its own observations as well as those of other international and national stakeholders, the panel will provide an independent assessment of the overall political and technical conduct of elections. The assessment is generally provided to the Secretary-General or the UN Focal Point for Electoral Assistance. Unlike observation missions, panels are not necessarily present in the country throughout a process (limiting their visits to strategically important periods) and may not make their findings public. A mandate for such a panel may be provided by the Secretary-General or the UN Focal Point for Electoral Assistance.

    Coordination of Electoral Observers: United Nations support to international observers is of two types: (i) Operational Support, and (ii) Coordination of International Observers. Coordination of international observers involves a wide range of activities that can include the provision of logistics and administrative support to the election observation effort and other additional activities such as briefing and facilitation of the deployment of observers, debriefing, etc.  This type of support is usually provided to a number of observer groups. This type of support can be provided on the basis of a request from Member States.

     

     

    Requesting Assistance

    While most assistance originates with a Member State request, United Nations electoral assistance may also be provided based on a mandate from the Security Council or the General Assembly, as is often the case when peacekeeping or special political missions are established with electoral components. 

    The guidelines for United Nations electoral assistance are described in the Secretary-General's report A/49/675, under Annex III. The principal guidelines and procedures are described below:

    Requests for electoral assistance can be made by the head of government or the minister of foreign affairs of the UN Member State.  In some circumstances, requests from other entities such as a ministry involved in the planning and implementation of the election or the electoral commission may also be considered as acceptable. Requests for electoral assistance made by groups within the legislature, political parties, civil society or other entities cannot be accepted.  Requests for electoral assistance must be made by an organ of the Member State authorized to bind the state in agreements with the UN. National electoral management bodies do not normally have this authority, but their requests may be acceptable if we have Member State consent. 

    The requesting Member State is required to send a formal written request for electoral assistance.  Requests have to be sent to the relevant United Nations Representative at the national or global level (the Secretary-General, her/his Special or Resident Representative, or the Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs). All requests will be forwarded to the Focal Point for Electoral Assistance, who is the Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs.

    Because many aspects of electoral preparation (e.g., voter registration) take place months or even years before the election event, requests for electoral assistance should be submitted in sufficient time. Requests for assistance should be made early in advance to ensure there is adequate time to assess the request and potentially provide such assistance.

    Once the request has been submitted, an assessment by the United Nations takes place. The assessment can take the form of a needs assessment mission (NAM) to the country or a desk review, both conducted by the Electoral Assistance Division. Based on the NAM report, the Focal Point for Electoral Assistance decides whether the UN should provide support and if support is to be provided, what type of support to provide.

    Following approval by the Focal Point, design and implementation of the proposed assistance is carried out by the relevant United Nations entity or entities, in accordance with the NAM recommendations and with advice from the Electoral Assistance Division.

     

    UN Entities Providing Electoral Assistance

    United Nations electoral assistance is a system-wide endeavor, tapping the complementary expertise and capacities of many parts of the United Nations family. These include:

    The Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA)

    The Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs head of DPPA serves as the United Nations Focal Point for electoral assistance matters, and is supported in that function by DPPA’s Electoral Assistance Division. All requests for United Nations electoral assistance must be forwarded to the Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, whose role is mainly two-fold: advising the Secretary-General on requests from Member States; and ensuring consistency in the delivery of United Nations electoral assistance. In addition to its broad coordination role in electoral assistance, DPPA oversees field-based special political missions that in many cases engage in electoral assistance activities as part of their conflict prevention or peace-building mandates.

    The Department of Peace Operations (DPO)

    In peacekeeping and many post-conflict environments, assistance is generally provided through electoral components of field missions under the aegis of the Department of Peace Operations. In those cases, the Electoral Assistance Division works closely with DPO in planning and managing electoral support aspects of peacekeeping operations.

    The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

    UNDP is the major implementing body of the Organization for support to developing electoral institutions, legal frameworks and processes and support to elections outside the peacekeeping or post-conflict context.

    It manages some 40 to 50 electoral projects per year. UNDP also engages with Member States on long-term capacity development, including the strengthening of electoral management bodies between elections. At the local level in non-mission settings, the UNDP Country Offices play a key role in the coordination of electoral assistance. In addition to its field-based activities, UNDP produces important analysis and knowledge products on election-related issues.

    The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

    The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights provides training and advice on human rights monitoring in the context of elections, supports and organizes campaigns for violence-free elections, engages in advocacy for human rights-compliant electoral laws and institutions, monitors and reports on human rights violations during electoral processes.

    United Nations Volunteers (UNV)

    The UNV programme provides critical substantive and operational support for United Nations electoral operations, complementing the staffing of such operations with experienced professionals, often in large numbers, and in short deployment time frames. The Electoral Assistance Division works closely with the UNV programme, in selecting personnel for volunteer posts in electoral field missions. Persons registered with UNV are eligible for a variety of volunteer positions in electoral field projects and operations.

    The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

    UNOPS is a service provider to the United Nations system and its Member States. UNOPS has provided operational, logistical and other support to electoral assistance in a number of countries and often works in close cooperation with UNDP on electoral assistance activities. UNOPS’ flexibility and responsiveness are great assets for the UN system in implementing electoral assistance activities.

    The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

    UNESCO is the United Nations specialized agency tasked with promoting and supporting freedom of expression, press freedom and freedom of information. Free, independent media, online as well as offline, are essential to the transition towards democracy. To this end, UNESCO aims to strengthen the capacity of the media to provide fair and balanced coverage of electoral activities. Through its field offices around the world, UNESCO works with local journalists and media workers, training and building capacity on elections reporting.

    The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women)

    UN-Women is mandated to provide, through its normative support functions and operational activities, guidance and technical support to all Member States, at their request, on gender equality, the empowerment and rights of women and gender mainstreaming. It promotes gender equality and women’s participation in political processes. UN-Women is also mandated to lead, coordinate and promote the accountability of the United Nations system in its work on gender equality and the empowerment of women. It provides training and advice on promoting gender equality and women’s participation in electoral processes.

    The International Organization for Migration (IOM)

    IOM which joined the United Nations system in 2016, is the leading intergovernmental organization in the field of migration and often implements out-of-country voting programmes for refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. 

     

    Electoral Resources

    The United Nations in collaboration with other governmental and non-governmental partners have developed several tools to provide elections practitioners with useful resources.

      UN Electoral Policy Directives and Guidelines

      • Principles and Types of UN Electoral Assistance (FP/01/2012 Policy Directive as revised , effective 3 March 2021, eng)
      • United Nations Electoral Needs Assessments (FP/02/2012 Guideline, ar/eng/fr)
      • UN Support to International Election Observers (FP/03/2012 Policy Directive as revised, effective 1 February 2024, eng)
      • Promoting the Electoral Rights of Persons with Disabilities through UN Electoral Assistance (FP/04/2012 Guideline, ar/eng/fr)
      • UN Electoral Assistance. Supervision, Observation, Panels and Certification (FP/01/2013 Policy Directive as revised, effective 1 February 2022, eng)
      • UN support to electoral system design and reform (FP/02/2013 Policy Directive, ar/eng/fr)
      • Promoting women's electoral and political participation through UN electoral assistance (FP/03/2013 Policy Directive, ar/eng/fr)
      • UN Support to the Design or Reform of Electoral Management Bodies (FP/01/2014 Policy Directive, ar/eng/fr)
      • United Nations statements and public comment around elections (FP/02/2014 Policy Directive, ar/eng/fr)
      • Conduct of UN personnel in and around electoral sites (FP/01/2015 Policy Directive, ar/eng/fr)
      • Operation and Management of the United Nations Single Electoral Roster (FP/01/2016 Policy Directive, ar/eng/fr)
      • Preventing and Mitigating Election-related Violence (FP/01/2016 Policy Directive, ar/eng/fr)
       

      Reference Material

      • Arabic Electoral Dictionary (ar) and Leaflet on the Arabic Electoral Dictionary (ar, eng, fr)

       

      ACE Electoral Knowledge Network

      The ACE Electoral Knowledge Network provides comprehensive information on elections, promotes networking among election-related professionals and offers capacity development services.

      The ACE Electoral Knowledge Network was developed in 2006 by eight partner organizations which provide targeted technical assistance in elections management; namely: Elections Canada, the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA), the National Electoral Institute of Mexico (INE), the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), the International Institute  for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (I-IDEA), the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Electoral Assistance Division (EAD).

      • ACE offers election practitioners with online services such as an encyclopedia on elections, comparative data on election practices worldwide, and a wide collection of electoral materials from all over the world.
      • ACE Practitioners’ Network brings together election professionals and practitioners from different countries and with diverse and complementary experience and specialization into the first ever global electoral knowledge network established in the field of elections. The Network is also supported by 10 Regional Electoral Resource Centres worldwide.
      • The ACE Capacity Development Facility focuses on electoral knowledge and experience-sharing; and promotes peer learning and peer support as key principles to build the skills of election managers.

       

      BRIDGE Project -Building Resources in Democracy, Governance & Elections

      Since its creation in 1999, the BRIDGE Project has become the most comprehensive professional development course in election administration. Born from a partnership between the United Nations (EAD and UNDP) and the International Institute  for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, the Australian Electoral Commission, and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, the project has been developed by electoral administrators themselves and people with wide experience  on elections in many different countries and contexts.

      To date, BRIDGE courses have been conducted by skilled professionals in more than 100 countries for over 15,000 participants. Each training aims to improve the skills, knowledge, and confidence of election professionals and key stakeholders in the electoral process, including members of the media, political parties, electoral observers and the donor community.

      BRIDGE workshops are included in many electoral assistance projects and missions to develop the capacity of electoral authorities and other stakeholders.

       
    • 30 мар 2015

      Mr. President,

      Thank you for the opportunity to brief the Council on Boko Haram.
       
      As Council members are aware, over the last few years, the violence and brutality of Boko Haram attacks in north-eastern Nigeria, as well as in neighbouring countries, has intensified. Today, as we meet, though weakened, the group continues to commit horrendous acts against civilians, including against women and children. We have received reports that children in particular have been abducted, abused, recruited, maimed and killed. Schools in north-east Nigeria are no longer safe places of learning, as many of them continue to be attacked, looted, and destroyed. Several schools in the areas targeted by Boko Haram in Cameroon and Niger also remain closed. In 2014, the group also commenced using young girls as suicide bombers for attacks in populated urban areas. We have also observed an alarming trend of children being used by the group as human shields. Boko Haram’s recent allegiance to the Islamic State for Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), whether for publicity reasons or to tap into ISIL’s support, is also of concern as it is gives a clear signal that Boko Haram’s agenda goes well beyond Nigeria.
       
       
      Mr. President,
       
      The impact of Boko Haram attacks has been manifold. Overlapping with the regional impact of other crises, notably the one in the Central African Republic, countries such as Cameroon, Chad and Niger are now facing serious humanitarian and human rights consequences as a result of the group’s activities. Significant numbers of refugees and internally displaced people are adding pressure on host communities which are already food insecure. I will defer to the Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs who will delve further into the impact of Boko Haram activities on the humanitarian situation across the Lake Chad Basin region and the challenges therein. However, allow me to raise a number of human rights concerns.
       
      A recent OHCHR evaluation mission to the Far North Region of Cameroon confirmed that Boko Haram has committed numerous human rights abuses, including indiscriminate and targeted killings, abductions of women and girls, use of children in military operations, widespread destruction of property and systematic shooting or slaughtering of captured men who refuse to join their ranks.
       
      In Niger, a similar human rights evaluation was conducted to assess the situation in the Diffa region, following a Boko Haram attack in February. The mission reported that Boko Haram had indiscriminately targeted the civilian population - either killing or forcibly turning captured civilians into combatants. Children had also been recruited either for combat roles or as suicide bombers. Since the attack in February, schools in the Diffa region have remained closed, depriving children of the right to be educated. The local economy in the Diffa region is also being negatively affected by a continuing State of Emergency. In response to these and other concerns, the United Nations is in the process of scaling up its presence and operations in Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon. In this regard, we appeal to the international community to support humanitarian efforts in the Lake Chad Basin region.
       
       
      Mr. President,
       
      The response of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) countries to the threat of Boko Haram has been commendable. The joint regional offensive involving Nigerian, Chadian, Cameroonian and Nigerien troops, has led to the recapture of several key towns in northeast Nigeria. At the beginning of the year, Boko Haram controlled some 20 local governmental districts in the three north-eastern states in Nigeria. Today, Boko Haram holds only a few areas in Borno State. Moreover, according to reports by the Nigerian Army, on 27 March, Boko Haram’s headquarters in Gwoza was captured.
       
      The United Nations is supportive of national and regional efforts to prevent and combat terrorism, and to ensure that the perpetrators of terrorism are brought to justice. However, in view of alleged human rights violations related to the on-going counter-insurgency operations against Boko Haram, we would like to stress that counter-terrorist operations that are perceived by the affected populations to be disproportionate and brutal violates the very norms that we seek to defend. It is therefore essential that the Multi-National Joint Task Force – the MNJTF - and other counter-insurgency operations uphold the rule of law and abide by international human rights standards. This is not only an absolutely vital principle, but also an effective strategy, as communities which believe that their Government seeks to protect them are far more likely to cooperate with the authorities, and far less likely to support insurgent groups. In this regard, we welcome the commitment made by the LCBC countries that their operations will be in full compliance with international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law. We are also urging that adequate procedures be put in place to ensure that children, being used by Boko Haram, are treated as victims and dealt with in accordance with international standards for juvenile justice.
       
      We welcome the decision of leaders of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) to better coordinate efforts in the fight against Boko Haram and to hold a joint Summit with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to adopt a common strategy. We also salute the sacrifices that the countries of the region have made and the solidarity they have shown by uniting to stop the advance of Boko Haram.
      We welcome the efforts of the LCBC and the African Union towards the operationalisation of the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF). While we acknowledge that this force is already engaging Boko Haram, we are ready to support regional efforts as necessary in line with the United Nations Human Rights Due Diligence Policy.
       
       
      Mr. President,
       
      I would like to reiterate the Secretary-General’s message that a military approach alone will not suffice to contain the Boko Haram threat.
       
      The international community can and should play an important role in helping the countries of the region address the social, economic and political challenges associated with Boko Haram. In doing so, we have a responsibility to look at the problem and its consequences in a way that puts respect for human life and dignity first. It will therefore be critical to follow the current military operations carried out by the LCBC countries with stabilization measures and restoration of state authority. During this phase, attention would be focused on creating conducive conditions for the provision of needs-based and principled humanitarian assistance to the displaced populations and returnees.
       
      As the Lake Chad Basin countries come together to address the menace of Boko Haram, the international community must also support them to eliminate not only the threat, but also the conditions that allow for Boko Haram to thrive. In this regard, it will be important for the United Nations to reiterate its commitment to working with regional countries to bring an end to the ongoing violence and to alleviate the suffering of civilians. The Special Representatives for West and Central Africa are both already fully engaged in this regard. We are also working on deploying more resources to the sub-regions to help provide a hands-on approach to assisting the affected governments.
       
       
      Mr. President,
       
      I cannot conclude without referring to an important development in West Africa, namely the recent general elections in Nigeria that took place over the weekend. In the preliminary statement of its election observation mission, ECOWAS noted that, despite pockets of incidents and logistical challenges, the general elections of 28 March meet the criteria of being free and transparent. The mission commended the enthusiasm, maturity, patience and sense of civic responsibility demonstrated by the electorate and expressed hope that the same spirit of respect for order and discipline will characterize the rest of the electoral process.
       
      On 29 March, for the 2nd day of elections, voting took place in 330 polling stations. There were reports of Boko Haram activity outside Bauchi, but just as the day before, they did not have any impact of the voting process. (TBU)
       
      The legitimacy of the next government will be an important prerequisite to ensuring global support for an effective response against the insurgency and for Nigeria’s long-term stability and prosperity. It is our sincere hope that the next Government will remain committed to the sub-regional fight against Boko Haram.
       
      Thank you.
    • 26 мар 2015

      Monsieur le Président,

      Je vous remercie chaleureusement pour vos aimables mots. Ces sept dernières années ont été pour moi une expérience extraordinaire qui restera avec moi pendant toute ma vie. Je reconnais avec humilité et gratitude l'opportunité unique qui m'a été offerte.
       
      I brief today against the backdrop of another month plagued by the brutality that continues to cause immense human suffering across the region. As this will be my last briefing, I intend to focus on my own mandate while, of course, recognizing that the Arab-Israeli conflict is affected by the dramatic events in the region. In any peace agreement Israeli security concerns will need to be seriously addressed. However, losing sight of reaching peace between Israel, Palestine and the wider Arab world altogether – I have repeatedly warned the Council that we may be heading in this direction- would be tantamount to pouring more oil on the regional flames. Conversely, real progress in achieving a two-state solution and ending the longest occupation in modern history would go a long way towards improving regional security and strengthening moderate forces in the region. In this regard, the Arab Peace Initiative still holds out the prospect of Israel normalizing its relations with the Arab and wider Muslim world, rather than isolating itself.
       
      Let me first briefly update you on significant events during this reporting period before sharing with you some parting thoughts based on my seven years of experience, which the Council may wish to consider. On 17 March, general elections were held in Israel. We congratulate Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Likud party on winning the highest number of seats and note that President Rivlin has invited him to form the next government, a process that may take several weeks. However, I am frankly concerned by many of the hardline statements put forward in the final days of campaigning, in particular remarks by the Prime Minister raising serious doubts about Israel’s commitment to the two-state solution. I urge the incoming Israeli government to seize the opportunity of a fresh mandate to quickly demonstrate in words and, more importantly by actions, this commitment.
       
      Earlier this month the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Central Council adopted a series of decisions, including “to suspend all forms of security coordination given Israel’s systematic and ongoing noncompliance with its obligations under signed agreements.” While noting that in three months’ time the PLO Executive Committee will report back on the implementation of this decision, to date security coordination is continuing. This move may have far-reaching consequences and, along with the Palestinian accession to the International Criminal Court effective 1 April, it is yet another powerful sign of Palestinian determination not to return to the status quo.
       
      We cannot run from reality. There is a genuine possibility that ending Palestinian security coordination with Israel may be the final nail in the coffin of the Oslo Accords. However, there is still time for parties to end the cycle of counterproductive action and counteraction.
       
      With the third month of Israel’s withholding of Palestinian tax revenues, now amounting to over $400 million dollars, the Palestinian Authority’s financial crisis is deepening. We are deeply concerned that despite the announcement of an austerity budget for 2015, this temporary bandaid may not allow the Palestinian Authority to survive. Israel’s action is in violation of the Paris Protocol of the Oslo Accords. We, again, call on Israel to immediately reverse this decision.
       
      In Gaza, an equally destructive financial crisis, related to the lack of progress on civil service reform, continues to ratchet up tensions. It has been nearly five months since the UN facilitated a humanitarian payment to Gaza civil servants. I cannot help but feel that such a gesture may be needed yet again to sustain minimum conditions for stability until the parties have addressed the underlying issue.
       
      In this regard, I welcome Prime Minister Hamdallah’s second visit to Gaza this week and commend his continued efforts to find solutions for this and other critical issues, which will facilitate his Government’s assumption of its rightful responsibility in Gaza, which was developed with Palestinian and broad international support. I also welcome last week’s declaration of support by President Abbas and Hamas for the Swiss Roadmap pertaining to the reintegration and reform of the public sector in Gaza. I would like to thank Switzerland for their committed efforts on this issue and urge the Roadmap’s swift implementation.
       
      While the appalling situation in Gaza endures, there are some signs of progress. While not enough, the temporary Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism (GRM) is making a difference. As of 23 March, almost 80 per cent of damaged shelters have been processed through this mechanism, with over 61,000 individuals having procured construction materials to carry out their home repairs. In addition, the mechanism is ready to process large-scale reconstruction. Over 40 international and private sector projects have been approved and five are already underway – including Qatar’s first major housing project to construct 1,000 housing units. I appreciate Israel’s willingness to facilitate this process. I, therefore, encourage all international partners to take note that the mechanism is working and to fully engage on Gaza reconstruction, in line with their pledges in Cairo last October.
       
       
      Mr. President,
       
      The situation in the West Bank, including in East Jerusalem, remains tense. At practically every monthly briefing during the past seven years we have reported on negative developments. These include the loss of lives and injuries resulting from demonstrations, inter-communal violence often involving Israeli settlers and Israeli search-and-arrest operations. We have also reported on security incidents, including, increasingly, so-called “lone-wolf” attacks – and the Secretary General and I have firmly condemned acts of terror. I do not need to give the details to report that this month resembles the average from previous briefings, including on home demolitions, another disturbing trend. Numbers sometimes hide the grim reality of entrenched occupation leading to growing despair.
       
      We did not fail to report to you either some positive developments, in particular related to Palestinian state building and the easing of Israeli restrictive measures. After a longstanding dispute, Rawabi has finally been connected to water supply, allowing families to begin moving into this modern Palestinian township near Ramallah. I also welcome recent Israeli steps to ease some of its restrictions on the movement of people and goods in the West Bank and Gaza. I only wish that I could have reported such positive news on a regular basis, and I urge Israel to expand upon these important initiatives.
       
      Unsurprisingly, settlement planning and activity also continued this month, despite unanimous opposition from the international community. According to the Israeli NGO Peace Now, from January 2008 to January 2014 – that’s six of my seven years as Special Coordinator – the population in settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem steadily increased by an estimated 16 per cent to a total of 551,500 persons – over half a million people. Some 16,500 new residential units were constructed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem during this period.
       
      Illegal settlement activity simply cannot be reconciled with the objective of a negotiated two-state solution and may kill the very possibility of reaching peace on the paradigm of two states for two peoples. I frankly do not know if it is already too late. The minimum conditions of trust cannot be restored without the new Israeli government taking credible steps to freeze settlement activity.
       
       
      Mr. President,
       
      Allow me, in this final briefing, to share my parting thoughts.
       
      Upon leaving this position, I cannot but express an overriding feeling that I have been part of a peace process in which a can is kicked down an endless road. During the past seven years, three US-led peace initiatives remained inconclusive and did not bring us any closer to the urgently needed political foundation for a Palestinian state as part of a two-state solution. This is why the remarkable progress achieved in Palestinian state building, pursued vigorously under the leadership of President Abbas and former Prime Minister Fayyad, has started to turn into a “failed success”. Moreover, all three stalled negotiations were followed by wars in Gaza, leaving the Strip devastated seven months after the last war, as I observed during my last visit.
       
      To seek to prevent yet another descent into conflict, I have publicly called for a new strategy prioritizing Gaza. By this, let me be clear, I do not mean “Gaza only.” Neither I nor the United Nations would ever support a strategy that would seek to divide Gaza from the West Bank. Focusing support to Gaza must be inextricably linked to addressing the wider peace process.
       
      “Prioritizing Gaza” means that we recognize that we cannot possibly hope to pick up the pieces of a shattered Israel-Palestinian peace strategy, leaving Gaza as it is. It means that we cannot possibly hope to again board the peace train in the West Bank and arrive in Gaza as a final stop. It means that we must fix Gaza – or at least stabilize it – so that we do not reconstruct it for a third time only to see it destroyed again and so that it does not halt peace efforts which aim to reach the long desired two-state vision: Israel living side-by-side in peace and security with one single, unified State of Palestine.
       
      “Prioritizing Gaza” means for me achieving four main objectives urgently.
       
      First, we need a more stable ceasefire under the umbrella of the Government of National Consensus. I have called for a “reconstruction hudna”: a freeze of all military activities above and below ground over at least a three-to-five-year timeframe. This would allow time and give donors confidence for the large-scale, accelerated reconstruction that Gaza desperately needs: major infrastructure projects, including housing; a gas pipeline to generate inexpensive energy; and a desalination plant to address the chronic water shortages. Once these immediate needs would be met, a next step would be to look into providing an opening to the world via a seaport.
       
      Second, such a “hudna” can only be sustainable if Palestinians move towards a real reconciliation – this has not happened yet. Clearly this will not be an easy task, but what is the alternative? Empowering the Government of National Consensus to take up its leadership role in Gaza is the only way forward. Bringing all the crossings in Gaza under the control of the consensus Government and civil service reform represent essential next steps.
       
      Third, all Gaza crossings need to be opened further to support the free movement of people and goods, including to reconnect the Strip and the West Bank and to enable exports.
       
      And fourth, the international community must be prepared to fully support the Government of National Consensus, both politically and financially. This includes acting on the commitments made at the Cairo Conference to support Gaza reconstruction. A new strategy for Gaza needs the engagement of all stakeholders. I very much hope that conditions will soon allow Egypt to continue playing its important role, including by resuming the stalled ceasefire talks and promoting Palestinian reconciliation.
       
      I can honestly state that Gaza has consistently been a top priority for the UN and for me, personally. During each crisis, the United Nations, including through the personal involvement of the Secretary-General, was in the forefront to stop the fighting. Let me here also thank the UN family on the ground, particularly UNRWA, for their indispensable role in picking up the pieces in the aftermath and doing the important development and humanitarian work. The stark truth is that, despite all the efforts, Gaza is our collective failure and the people of Gaza continue to suffer the consequences.
       
       
      Mr. President,
       
      Another lesson learned after seven years and three wars is that the Middle East Peace Process has mainly played out on three inter-connected and mutually conflicting tracks: Peace negotiations; Gaza; and the UN.
      The interplay of these three tracks has produced a dangerous outcome, I dare say the biggest crisis to date to our joint efforts to achieve a two-state solution. As I have noted in my briefings to you since May 2012, the parties are heading towards an outcome which I can only describe as a one-state reality.
       
      As the parties do not appear at this point ready to recommence negotiations, we should not rush them back to the table. If indeed we believe that they do continue to seek an outcome of two neighbouring states living in peace and security, but are unable themselves, at this juncture, to agree on a meaningful framework to resume negotiations, the international community should seriously consider presenting such a framework for negotiations, including parameters, to achieve this. This may be the only way to preserve the goal of a two-state solution, in the present circumstances.
       
      Peace is first and foremost the responsibility of the parties to the conflict. But that reality cannot absolve international institutions of their responsibilities. For its part, the Quartet has largely failed to live up to expectations – although recent efforts to reinvigorate it, including through an enhanced role for regional stakeholders, may have a positive impact.
       
      It remains the primary responsibility of this Council to play its role in developing a new peace architecture for resolving the conflict at long last. Security Council resolution 242 embodying the key principle of “land for peace” is nearly half a century old. During my tenure – in my first year, actually – the Council passed only two resolutions on Israel and Palestine and neither of these provided a strategy. Hasn’t the time come, Mr. President, for the Council to lead?
       
       
      Mr. President,
       
      In conclusion, let me express my appreciation for the dedicated work of the many UNSCO staff members without whose efforts I could not have done my job. And, further, I wish to convey my sincere gratitude to the Security Council and to the Secretary-General for all the support I have received over these eventful years. I could not have carried out my mission without your strong backing and, in particular, without your support for my maintaining contact – as the only peace Envoy permanently on the ground – with all parties concerned, including as appropriate with non-state actors, such as Hamas. Goal-oriented contact with such interlocutors is an essential element for any Envoy seeking peace in a complex, modern conflict.
       
      Finally, to my successor, Nickolay Mladenov, I wish every success in dealing with this infinitely challenging environment.
    • 23 мар 2015

      Preventive Diplomacy

      The Secretary-General’s vision for centering the Organization’s work on peace and security around prevention and through a surge in diplomacy for peace reaffirms the United Nations founding mission. 

      Preventive diplomacy refers to diplomatic action taken to prevent disputes from escalating into conflicts and to limit the spread of conflicts when they occur. While it is conducted in different forms and fora, both public and private, the most common expression of preventive diplomacy is found in the work of envoys dispatched to crisis areas to encourage dialogue, compromise and the peaceful resolution of tensions. Preventive diplomacy can also encompass the involvement of the Security Council, the Secretary-General and other actors to discourage the use of violence at critical moments.

      The Secretary-General provides his "good offices" to parties in conflict both personally and through the diplomatic envoys he dispatches to areas of tension around the world. The Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) is the principal support structure for those efforts, providing conflict analysis, planning and support to the work of peace envoys and overseeing more than a dozen field-based political missions that serve as key platforms for preventive diplomacy. Of these missions, regional offices covering Central Africa, West Africa and Central Asia have explicit mandates for preventive diplomacy and strengthening the capacity of states and regional actors to manage sources of tension peacefully. Preventive diplomacy is also carried out frequently within the context of peacekeeping missions.

      The Security Council, as the UN organ with the primary responsibility for peace and security, also has a critical role to play in supporting preventive action. Recent years have seen increased Council engagement and flexibility in addressing emerging threats before they come on the Council’s formal agenda. Through its actions, the Council can send important signals that help discourage violence and open space for preventive action including by the Secretary-General.

      The work of the United Nations in conflict prevention extends well beyond traditional preventive diplomacy to involve a broad constellation of United Nations entities operating across a wide range of relevant disciplines — poverty-eradication and development, human rights and the rule of law, elections and the building of democratic institutions, the control of small arms, to name just a few.

       

      Mediation

      Since its inception, the United Nations has played a crucial role in helping to mediate inter- and intra-State conflicts at all stages: before they escalate into armed conflict, after the outbreak of violence, and during implementation of peace agreements. The Secretary-General and his representatives carry out good offices and mediation efforts at the request of parties to disputes, on the Secretary General’s initiative, or in response to a request from the Security Council or the General Assembly. The Department of Political Affairs (DPA) was established in 1992 to assist in this work and in 2019, DPA joined forces with the Peacebuilding Support Unit (PBSO) to form the new DPPA.

      Successful conflict mediation requires an adequate support system to provide envoys with the proper staff assistance and advice, and to ensure that talks have the needed logistical and financial resources. The United Nations, led by DPPA, has moved over the past several years to sharpen its ability to provide such support to its own mediation efforts as well as to those of partner organizations.

      DPPA's Mediation Support Unit (MSU), established in 2006, works closely with the Department's regional divisions to plan and support mediation efforts in the field. Among its functions, MSU provides advisory, financial and logistical support to peace processes; works to strengthen the mediation capacity of regional and sub-regional organizations; and serves as a repository of mediation knowledge, policy and guidance, lessons learned and best practices.

      The Department manages the United Nations Standby Team of Mediation Experts – an "on call" group of experts established in 2008 that can be deployed to assist mediators in the field. Team members have provided support in dozens of negotiations, and hold expertise on issues including power-sharing, natural resources and conflict, constitution-making, cease-fires and other security arrangements, and gender issues as they relate to conflict. In addition, all Standby Team experts are expected to mainstream gender considerations in all of their deployments. Standby team members have the flexibility to deploy on short notice to assist UN or non-UN mediators globally, or to provide analysis and advice remotely. Starting in 2020, the practice of remote or virtual deployments of the Standby Team was substantially expanded so as to meet the evolving needs of mediation actors. With support from donors, the Department has also established a rapid response fund to start up mediation processes at short notice. Advance planning and ready resources are a key to effective early mediation when crises are brewing.

      DPPA provides backing to the High-Level Advisory Board (HLAB) on Mediation, established by Secretary-General António Guterres in September 2017. The 18 members of the HLAB -- current and former global leaders, senior officials and renowned experts -- back specific mediation efforts around the world with their unparalleled range of experience, skills, knowledge and contacts.

      DPPA also developed and maintains the online mediation support tool UN Peacemaker. Intended for peacemaking professionals, it includes an extensive database of close to 800 peace agreements, guidance material and information on the UN’s mediation support services.

       

      Peacemaking

      UN peacemaking flourished in the decade following the end of the Cold War, as many longstanding armed conflicts were brought to an end through political negotiated settlements.

      The organization continues to play a preeminent role in peacemaking, working increasingly in partnership with regional organizations in order to bring ongoing conflicts to an end, and to prevent new crises from emerging or escalating.

      DPPA anchors the UN's peacemaking efforts, monitoring global political developments and advising the Secretary-General on the prevention and management of crises, including through the use of his diplomatic "good offices" to help parties in conflict settle disputes peacefully. The Department provides support to numerous envoys of the Secretary-General engaged in peace talks or crisis diplomacy, while overseeing field-based United Nations special political missions with mandates to help countries and regions resolve conflicts and tensions peacefully.

       

    • 19 мар 2015
      Monsieur le Président,
      Distingués membres du Conseil,
      Mesdames et Messieurs,
       
      J’ai l'honneur de présenter le sixième rapport du Secrétaire général sur la mise en œuvre de l’Accord-cadre pour la paix, la sécurité et la coopération pour la République démocratique du Congo et la région. Je me réjouis de le faire sous la présidence de la France dont je salue le soutien et la contribution à la réalisation des objectifs de l'Accord-cadre aux cotés des autres pays membres du Conseil.
       
      Deux ans après la signature de l’Accord-cadre d’Addis Abeba qui a apporté une impulsion nouvelle aux efforts visant à stabiliser l’est de la RDC et à jeter les bases d'une coopération régionale, la région reste à la croisée des chemins. Les crises qui ont surgi en RCA et au Sud Soudan sont venues rappeler que la région, dans son ensemble, reste vulnérable à des facteurs d'instabilité. En dépit des progrès notables réalisés dans l’instauration d’un climat de paix et de sécurité, des défis importants restent à relever en vue d'atteindre les objectifs visés par l'Accord- cadre.
       
      Il s’agit, en premier lieu, de la neutralisation des groupes armés opérant dans l’est de la RDC. Ces forces négatives continuent de commettre des violences à l’égard des populations civiles, en particulier contre les femmes et les enfants, d’exploiter illégalement les ressources naturelles et d’alimenter un climat de méfiance entre les pays de la région.
       
      Dès ma prise de fonction, j'ai donné une priorité à la mobilisation des pays de la région et des autres parties prenantes autour de cet objectif. J’ai encouragé les opérations militaires menées par les forces armées de la RDC contre les ADF avec le soutien de la MONUSCO et je me suis rendu à Beni avec mon collègue Martin Kobler et le Représentant spécial de la Présidente de la Commission de l'Union Africaine, M. Boubacar Diarra, pour encourager cette collaboration. Mon Bureau s’est également investi, aux cotés des parties prenantes, pour la mise en œuvre des déclarations de Nairobi, y compris pour le rapatriement des membres des ex-M23 à partir du Rwanda et de l’Ouganda. A ce jour, un nombre réduit de ces membres ont accepté de retourner en RDC dans le cadre du plan de rapatriement arrêté avec l'Ouganda. Pour sa part, le processus de rapatriement reste encore à enclencher avec le Rwanda dans la foulée de la visite entreprise par la délégation de la RDC à Kigali en février dernier. Tout doit être fait pour clore définitivement le chapitre de la rébellion du M23 et déployer ainsi toutes les énergies sur les autres forces négatives.
       
      Dans le même temps, je me suis joins aux efforts visant à encourager le déclenchement de l'action militaire contre les FDLR à l’expiration du délai du 2 janvier 2015 et j'ai pris part à la série de consultations qui ont été organisées par la CIRGL et la SADC durant la dernière partie de l'année écoulée. Je me réjouis du consensus qui a fini par émerger sur cette question délicate et saisis cette occasion pour féliciter la RDC et ses forces armées pour les opérations militaires qu'ils ont lancées contre les FDLR. J'encourage à nouveau le gouvernement de la RDC et la MONUSCO à reprendre leur pleine collaboration dans le cadre des opérations contre les FDLR et à renforcer leur partenariat à travers un dialogue stratégique structuré. Lors de ma rencontre avec le Président Kabila, le 13 mars dernier, il m’a assuré de la disposition du gouvernement de la RDC en faveur d'un tel dialogue.
       
       
      Monsieur le Président,
      Mesdames et Messieurs les membres du Conseil,
       
      En deuxième lieu, dans mes divers engagements dans la région, j’ai encouragé les efforts et appelé à des initiatives visant à améliorer les relations entre les pays de la région en vue de lever les malentendus et les suspicions et bâtir un niveau de confiance nécessaire à la poursuite du processus de l'Accord-cadre. Je tiens à remercier le Président dos Santos en sa qualité de Président en exercice de la CIRGL et d'autres leaders de la région pour leur engagement dans ce sens. Je réitère ma disponibilité à soutenir ces efforts de rapprochement entre les Etats en vue de promouvoir un climat plus propice à la coopération. Dans ce contexte, je me félicite de l'intention du Président Kabila de convoquer un Sommet de la Conférence Economique des Pays de la Région des Grands Lacs (CEPGL).
       
      Enfin, notant que la région s'engageait dans un cycle électoral crucial pour le renforcement de la démocratie et de la stabilité, je me suis employé en liaison avec mes collègues des Nations Unies dans la région et le groupe des Envoyés Spéciaux à apporter ma contribution aux efforts visant à encourager la tenue d'élections inclusives, transparentes et apaisées. Nous continuerons à déployer des efforts pour aider les pays de la région à faire de ces rendez-vous électoraux des opportunités pour renforcer leur acquis démocratiques et leur stabilité conformément a l’esprit de l’Accord-cadre.
       
       
      Monsieur le Président,
      Mesdames et Messieurs,
       
      Au delà de ces impératifs, il convient de s'attaquer aux autres causes profondes de l'instabilité à l'est de la RDC et dans la région comme nous y engage l'Accord- cadre d'Addis Abeba. A cette fin, en liaison avec la CIRGL et toutes les parties prenantes, mon bureau apportera sa contribution aux initiatives déjà en cours ou envisagées en vue de créer les conditions favorables au retour des réfugiés, le rapprochement des communautés locales, ainsi que la recherche de solutions pérennes aux questions complexes de citoyenneté et du foncier. Ces domaines d'action et d'autres telles que la lutte contre l'exploitation illégale des ressources naturelles et la promotion de la coopération judiciaire régionale figurent parmi les actions prioritaires inscrites dans ma feuille de route.
       
      Au plan du développement économique, je me réjouis de relever les nombreuses initiatives de développement et de coopération qui ont vu le jour ces dernières années, en particulier les différents corridors régionaux de développement. Mon Bureau s'emploie à accompagner ces efforts louables à travers notamment l'organisation, en juillet prochain, conjointement avec la Banque Mondiale, l'Union européenne et l'Union africaine, d’une conférence des partenaires axée sur la problématique du développement régional. Par ailleurs, après l'organisation à Luanda en décembre 2014 des consultations régionales qui ont avalisé le Document sur les opportunités d'investissement, mon Bureau et la CIRGL avec l'appui d'autres partenaires se sont engagés dans le processus de préparation de la conférence sur les investissements du secteur privé dans la région des grands lacs dont la tenue est prévue à Kinshasa durant le dernier trimestre 2015. Cette conférence, la première du genre, vise à promouvoir les opportunités d'investissements et de création d'emplois, renforcer le partenariat public-privé et créer une plateforme d’échanges entre investisseurs. Il s’agit à travers la tenue de cette conférence, de renforcer les perspectives de paix par les opportunités d’investissements dans la région.
       
       
      Monsieur le Président,
      Mesdames et Messieurs les membres du Conseil,
       
      La participation des organisations de la société civile et des femmes aux efforts visant à mettre fin à l'instabilité et à faciliter la mise en œuvre de l’Accord-cadre demeure essentielle. À cet égard, des efforts sont en cours pour établir une coalition régionale de la société civile avec l'appui conjoint de mon Bureau et du Secrétariat exécutif de la CIRGL. De même, nous travaillons étroitement avec la CIRGL pour le renforcement d’initiatives en faveur des femmes contribuant à la paix dans la région des Grands Lacs. À cet égard, la Plateforme des Femmes pour l’Accord-cadre lancé par Mary Robinson continue, sous mes auspices, d'appuyer l'autonomisation politique et économique des femmes à travers notamment le financement d'activités socioéconomiques. Je suis heureux de vous informer que la première série de subventions issue d’un Fonds d'affectation spéciale mis en place par mon Bureau en appui à la Plateforme des Femmes, a été versée en novembre 2014 pour des associations de femmes venant du Burundi, de la RDC, du Rwanda et de l’Ouganda. Je tiens à remercier les gouvernements des Pays-Bas, de l’Irlande et la de la Norvège, qui ont contribué au Fonds d’affectation spéciale de mon Bureau.
       
       
      Mr. President,
      Distinguished members of the Council,
      Ladies and Gentlemen,
       
      In conclusion, let me say a few words on the governance structures and monitoring mechanisms of the PSC Framework. The current regional context calls for the strengthening of these structures and mechanisms in order to keep the momentum for the effective delivery of national, regional and international commitments through proactive engagement within the Regional Oversight Mechanism and an enhanced role of the Technical Support Committee. In the weeks ahead, I will consult with the leadership of the African Union and the other the co-guarantors of the Framework Agreement - ICGLR and SADC - on the best ways to improve the PSC Framework governance structures and monitoring mechanisms.
       
      Let me also put on record my appreciation for the cooperation I am receiving from the signatory countries and the excellent collaboration developed with my colleagues in the region especially SRSG Kobler with whom I work and coordinate closely and Special Envoy Uteem as well as the UN regional system. I wish to express my appreciation for the good cooperation we have forged with the AU as the co- promoter of the PSCF process and the other co-guarantors of the Agreement. I also thank my fellow Special Envoys including Russ Feingold -who recently left his position after 18 months of brilliant service-for their support and contribution.
       
      Sustaining the momentum of the Framework Agreement lies in the continued commitment of the signatory countries and concerned stakeholders. I wish, in this regard, to count on the continued engagement and support of your Council. The DRC and the Great Lakes Region have made considerable progress in overcoming the tragedies of the past but, they are yet to achieve irreversible progress for lasting peace. I reiterate my commitment to work tirelessly and join hands with regional and other stakeholders towards delivering the promises of the Framework Agreement and assisting the region fulfil its aspirations for shared peace and prosperity.
       
      I thank you for your attention.
    • 18 мар 2015

      Today I completed a two-day visit to Nigeria, accompanied by the Secretary-General’s High-Level Representative to Nigeria, Mohamed Ibn Chambas. My meetings with key national political, electoral, and security officials, included the Presidential Candidate of the All Progressive Party (APC), Major General (Rtd.) Muhammadu Buhari; the Chair of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Alhaji Ahmadu Adamu Mu’azu; the Permanent Secretary of the Presidency, Ambassador Hassan Tukur; the Chair of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mr. Attahiru Jega; the Chief of Defense Staff, Air Chief Marshall Alex Sabundu Badeh; the Inspector General of the Police (IGP), Mr. Suleiman Abba; the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Ayodele Oke; and the Director-General of State Security Service, Mr. Ita Ekpeyong. The Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Professor Bem Angwe, representatives of the National Peace Committee, members of the diplomatic community and civil society organizations also shared their views with me.

      I conveyed the Secretary-General’s solidarity and support to the people of Nigeria in the lead-up to the general elections scheduled to begin on 28 March. I look forward to conveying to the Secretary-General the assurances we received during my trip regarding the importance of holding the elections in accordance with the new electoral calendar issued by the INEC. I encouraged the political, electoral and security actors to continue working together to create an environment conducive for the holding of violence-free and credible elections, and ensure that all eligible Nigerians can freely exercise their constitutional right to vote, including those displaced by violence in the North East. I urged the political actors, particularly the candidates, to resolve any electoral disputes through existing legal and constitutional means. Especially commendable is the commitment by President Jonathan and General Buhari to implementing the Abuja Accord and encouraged them to work with the National Peace Committee (NPC), political parties and civil society to ensure its implementation at State and Federal levels. Especially given the important role Nigeria plays in the region and globally, the international community is closely watching the elections in Nigeria and that any persons responsible for violence will be held accountable.

      In the view of the UN, INEC has made noteworthy progress in the preparations for the elections, including the distribution of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) and the testing of card readers, despite the tight schedule and logistical challenges. We believe that that these efforts should help to build confidence in the electoral system among the Nigerian voters and pave the way for the holding of credible and inclusive elections.

      On discussing the situation in the north-east of Nigeria resulting from continuing indiscriminate and brutal attacks by Boko Haram against civilian populations, I reiterated the Secretary-General’s message that no cause or grievance can justify such crimes. The Secretary-General has expressed support for Nigeria and other countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) and Benin as they fight the insurgency and welcomed the positive steps taken by them, with the support of the African Union, towards operationalizing the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) to counter the threat posed by Boko Haram in the sub-region, in line with international human rights, humanitarian and refugee law.

      I recalled the Secretary-General’s message that, while security measures are essential, an exclusive reliance on a military approach would not suffice to counter the Boko Haram insurgency. Countering Boko Haram effectively and permanently should be based on a multi-dimensional approach that addresses human rights concerns and promotes good governance and economic and social development.

      On behalf of the Secretary-General, I also expressed sincere appreciation to the people and government of Nigeria for the country’s leadership role in the United Nations itself. This is demonstrated by Nigeria’s current membership on the Security Council and by the many talented sons and daughters of Nigeria who are in key positions throughout the Organization. In addition, generations of Nigerians have served in United Nations Peacekeeping Operations, contributing in a tangible and direct way to global peace and security.

    • 16 мар 2015

      Mr. President, members of the Council,

      Recent avalanches and floods across Afghanistan which caused over 250 fatalities have reminded us that the country is not only subject to the cost of human conflict but also vulnerable to the regular toll exacted by natural disasters. The United Nations offers its condolences to the affected families and commends the response of the government and humanitarian rescue workers who have worked in the harshest of conditions to assist survivors and reestablish basic services. As requested by the Government, the UN humanitarian system has provided emergency relief and stands ready to deliver further assistance towards longer-term reconstruction.
       
       
      Mr. President,
       
      Since my last briefing to this Council a number of significant developments have brought renewed hope for an active peace process in Afghanistan. In addition, the National Unity Government has started to take shape with the nomination and approval of a number of ministers. And, Afghanistan and Pakistan have conducted an increasingly constructive dialogue focused on peace, trade and security.
       
      These positive developments are a testament to the efforts of President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah. Their collaborative leadership will remain essential for any peace talks to progress, for comprehensive electoral reforms to take hold, and for the implementation of the changes required to reinvigorate the economy.
       
      To this effect, UNAMA once again urges political leaders to conclude the appointment process of senior Government officials. In particular, the Mission highlights the need to appoint senior judicial officials to strengthen recent efforts to reinforce the rule of law and to fight against corruption. UNAMA continues to stress that a diverse and professional administration with strong female representation will be necessary to tackle the many challenges that lie ahead.
       
       
      Mr. President,
       
      In past weeks, reports on possible peace talks between the Government of Afghanistan and the Taliban have been prevalent. It is UNAMA’s assessment that there is currently an alignment of circumstances that could be conducive to fostering peace talks. Parties, however, need to be given sufficient space to build a level of trust that will allow them to establish common ground, to come to the realization that peace is the only viable option for Afghanistan, and that a military victory is neither likely, nor optimal for a lasting national social compact.
       
      Peace processes, as we know, are fragile and vulnerable to external destabilization. They require patient nurturing. International support should be coherent and coordinated. A sustainable peace will require that the process be inclusive and build upon the significant gains made by Afghanistan in the past decade. In close consultation with the Government, UNAMA will continue to engage all parties to this conflict in order to assist them find that common ground.
       
      I can also confirm that UNAMA continues a frank dialogue with the Taliban on humanitarian access and on human rights, notably on protection of civilians. In this regard, the Mission notes that as a result access for immunization teams in Helmand province has been restored.
       
       
      Mr. President,
       
      An integral component of the political agreement that led to the formation of the National Unity Government is the pledge made to establish an Electoral Reform Commission. Comprehensive Electoral reforms will be essential to restoring the faith of the Afghan people in the democratic process and strengthening political stability. UNAMA therefore welcomes President Ghani’s renewed commitment to establish this Commission shortly. We strongly encourage Afghan authorities to clarify the electoral calendar, improve fraud mitigation measures, enhance sustainability of elections, and engage the Afghan people in a transparent and consultative manner.
       
       
      Mr. President,
       
      In the past months, I have undertaken a number of visits to Afghanistan’s neighboring countries and met with senior officials inter alia from Iran, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan. I am pleased to report that in each of these meetings, many interlocutors have recognized the importance of enhancing regional collaboration. They affirmed their readiness to play a constructive role in Afghanistan and appreciate that stability and economic cooperation are ultimately a matter of mutual self-interest.
       
      In addition a proper intra Afghan peace dialogue will require strong regional backing, in full respect of Afghanistan’s sovereignty. In this regard, we note the positive initiatives taken by the leaders of Afghanistan and Pakistan in recent months.
       
       
      Mr. President,
       
      The state of the Afghan economy remains of significant concern. The Government’s Self-Reliance agenda presented at the last December London Conference was rightly lauded for its vision. It now needs to be implemented to allow for the Government to further mobilize its revenues, increase its capacity to deliver services and create employment opportunities.
      Although the rain and snowfalls of the past weeks have alleviated some of the concerns that Afghanistan could be affected by a drought this summer, preventive measures need to be put in place to assist the most vulnerable.
       
       
      Mr. President,
       
      UNAMA has publicly stated its persistent concerns about the continued increase in civilian casualties. UNAMA documented over 10,000 civilian casualties in 2014, the highest annual number of civilian casualties recorded since UNAMA began systematic monitoring in 2009. The rise in civilian casualties resulted mainly from increased ground engagements in which Afghan forces and insurgents used indirect fire in and on civilian populated areas. Parties to the conflict must understand the impact of their actions and take responsibility for them, uphold the values they claim to defend, and make protecting civilians their priority. We need to see concrete steps towards a real reduction in civilian casualties in 2015.
       
      UNAMA and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights released, in late February, their third report on torture and ill-treatment of conflict-related detainees in Government detention facilities. The report found that one-third of all detainees interviewed were ill-treated or tortured. Although this shows a decrease from 49% in incidence of torture compared to the previous reporting period, more remains to be done to prevent torture, which is still pervasive and systemic. We welcome the new administration’s immediate commitment to end these practices including its announcement to bring forward a national plan on the elimination of torture. UNAMA calls on the Government to send a clear message of zero tolerance towards these practices by prosecuting perpetrators, and thereby putting an end to impunity.
       
       
      Mr. President,
       
      Recent military operations in Helmand and Kunar provinces are a demonstration that the Afghan Security Forces have improved their planning and operational capacity. They are now in a position to conduct large-scale operations without direct combat assistance from international military forces. This development is encouraging even though we expect to see an intensification of combat in the upcoming fighting season as insurgents seek to test the ANSF capacity to hold ground on their own.
       
      Recent reports have indicated that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has established a foothold in Afghanistan. It is UNAMA’s assessment that the group’s presence is of concern but that ISIL’s significance is not so much a function of its intrinsic capacities in the area but of its potential to offer an alternative flagpole to which otherwise isolated insurgent splinter groups can rally.
       
       
      Mr. President,
       
      Noting the continuation of the Mission’s core mandate, UNAMA will maintain its efforts, in a manner consistent with Afghan sovereignty, to provide good offices, promote human rights, as well as to promote coherent support by the international community to the priorities set by the Government of Afghanistan.
       
       
      Mr. President,
       
      In less than a week, Afghans will be celebrating Nawrooz, the day that marks in this region the beginning of the New Year and is widely recognized as an occasion signifying hope and renewal. I therefore take this opportunity to wish my colleague ambassador Tanin and all Afghans a peaceful 1395. It is my most sincere hope that this will be the year which brings tangible progress towards peace.
    • 9 мар 2015

      Staff members from the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) thanked United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his support in rebuilding the organization’s headquarters, an icon of modern Latin American architecture, after an earthquake that affected central and southern Chile in February 2010. Ban Ki-moon visited Santiago on an official mission from February 26 to March 1.

      During his third official visit to Chile, Mr. Ban participated in a high-level event organized by UN Women and Chile’s government, and his agenda included a town-hall meeting at ECLAC’s headquarters, which was attended by officials from the fifteen United Nations agencies, programs and funds that have offices in Chile.

      ECLAC’s Executive Secretary Alicia Bárcena unveiled an engraved plaque dedicated to the Secretary-General, in which all staff members thank his support after the 2010 earthquake in Chile.

    • 6 мар 2015

      Mr. President, distinguished members of the Council,

      In the six weeks since my last briefing to this Council on 26 January, there have been a number of significant developments related to the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
       
      Most pivotal among them was the signing by the Trilateral Contact Group and rebel representatives of the “Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements” on 12 February in Minsk. This agreement, the result of tireless diplomacy by Chancellor Merkel, President Hollande, President Poroshenko and President Putin, provides a roadmap for a lasting peace in eastern Ukraine.
       
      Recognising this fact, on 17 February, this Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2202, thereby providing the peace process in eastern Ukraine with a binding international framework to further engage all sides to find an urgent and lasting solution to the conflict.
       
      However, as we converged in this Chamber on that same day, the fight for Debaltseve reached its climax, with hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent civilians caught in the cross-fire. As Ambassador Tagliavini, a signatory to the 12 February Minsk agreement, remarked to this Council on 27 February, the rebels’ unabated attacks for control over this strategic area were in clear violation of the agreement they had signed only five days prior.
       
      Since 18 February, the situation appears to have calmed. However, as we are all well aware, the cease-fire remains fragile, not yet having taken hold firmly across the region. Sporadic violations are reported frequently, including south, near Mariupol, and once again near Donetsk airport.
       
      The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission has monitored some withdrawals of heavy military equipment from the line of contact, but, due to lack of access and freedom of movement of its monitors, the Mission remains unable to verify the true extent of this process. It is also yet to receive baseline information regarding the sides’ inventory, routes for withdrawal, and where the weapons will be stored. As per the commitments undertaken by the parties in Minsk, full and unfettered access must be given to the OSCE and withdrawal of heavy weaponry must commence urgently, transparently and comprehensively.
       
      We are aware that there will be no significant traction on the political track unless the prerequisite cease-fire and withdrawal of weapons are fully implemented. The history of this conflict has taught us that the window of opportunity to make these processes irreversible is limited.
       
       
      Mr. President, distinguished members of the Council,
       
      Eastern Ukraine still appears to be in limbo as we await full implementation of the Minsk package of measures. The road ahead will be difficult but it is critical that all concerned strictly adhere to and commence good-faith implementation of this agreement. We welcome the continued efforts of the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany, as well as the crucial role played by the OSCE.
       
       
      Ladies and gentlemen,
       
      Let me also take this opportunity to touch briefly on President Poroshenko’s 17 February statement noting that Ukraine will be requesting a possible deployment of a UN-mandated peace mission to Ukraine. Subsequent to that, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Klimkin held discussions with the Secretary-General, USG Ladsous and myself on this issue. We informed the Foreign Minister that it was a decision for the members of this Council and that the Secretariat would be guided by its decision. To date, no formal request has been received from Ukraine.
       
      With reference to the OSCE briefings to this Council on 27 February and the call for the UN to do more, the Secretariat continues its close cooperation with the OSCE on what more could be done to support their difficult and complex mandates.
       
      Thank you, Mr. President.
    • 3 мар 2015

      Over the past four days, I have had a series of positive, constructive discussions here in Sri Lanka. The Secretary-General of the United Nations asked me to visit at what he sees as a moment of historic opportunity for the people of this beautiful country: your democratic elections and peaceful transition have not only inspired the citizens of Sri Lanka but also captured the attention of Sri Lanka’s many friends in the international community. I want to thank the Government of Sri Lanka for its generous hospitality in helping to arrange my visit on relatively short notice.

      While here, I had the opportunity to meet President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime MinisterRanil Wickremesinghe, Acting Foreign Minister Ajith Perera, the leadership of the JHU, SLMC, TNA, and the diplomatic community. Yesterday in Jaffna, I met with the Governorand the Chief Minister of the Northern Provincial Council. In addition, I was able to listen to, and compare notes with, a divergent group of civil society representatives both here in Colombo and in Jaffna. Those I met over the past four days inspired me with their visions for a prosperous, democratic country, at peace internally and with positive, close, mutually beneficial relations regionally and internationally.

       

      Ladies and gentlemen,

      2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. We are also approaching the 60th anniversary of when Sri Lanka’s first Permanent Representative to the UN, Sir Senerat Gunawardene, presented his credentials. In the years since then, Sri Lanka has made many important contributions to the Organization. I am thinking of the leadership roles that prominent personalities from Sri Lanka have played in the UN – people such as Justice Christopher Weeramantry, Jayantha Dhanapala, Radhika Coomaraswamy, Andrew Joseph, and Shirely Amarasinghe. The current Governor of the Northern Provincial Council represented your country with distinction in New York during a particularly challenging time.

      Thousands of Sri Lankan citizens over the decades have contributed to UN peacekeeping efforts, including those currently deployed to important missions in Haiti, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic. The Secretary-General believes strongly that we now have the opportunity to build on this existing foundation to renew and strengthen the partnership between Sri Lanka and the United Nations and between Sri Lanka and the international community.

      We in the United Nations recognize that Sri Lankans from across the country suffered during a long conflict. No community was immune, and, despite the work of many commissions, the list of grievances and unresolved issues remains long. As demonstrated by the speech of The Honorable Minister of Foreign Affairs before the Human Rights Council in Geneva yesterday, we are encouraged by this government’s commitment to promote reconciliation, accountability and human rights. This is very much in line with the 2009 joint communiqué issued on the occasion of the UN Secretary-General’s visit to Sri Lanka soon after the end of the conflict. In our view, credible, tangible progress in these areas is a prerequisite to the achievement of sustainable peace and prosperity in Sri Lanka.

      In that spirit, I have urged government leaders to take steps in the short term to address issues regarding land, detentions, disappearances, and the military posture in civilian areas. Over the longer term, I have underscored in my meetings the expectation by the United Nations and by the international community that the government will – as it has promised -- develop in the coming months a strong framework for accountability that meets international standards and norms and that is seen as credible across Sri Lanka. These are not easy tasks, but we believe that they are essential tasks, expected by the international community and also – more importantly – by the citizens of this country themselves.

      Without question, there is still a wide trust deficit between communities in Sri Lanka, especially between the Tamil and the Sinhalese. We have thus encouraged the national leaders and political stakeholders to work on all of these issues in the spirit of inclusion and consultation. Inclusion requires that all communities be willing to participate in these processes. As requested by Sri Lanka, the United Nations is committed to assisting in the process of accountability and reconciliation, through the Peacebuilding Fund and other facilities, as appropriate. But it is first and foremost for Sri Lankans themselves to shape how to address issues of the past in order to find a common future.

      With regional allies and the world focused in a positive way on Sri Lanka, and with the citizens of Sri Lanka having drawn from Sri Lanka’s strong democratic history and traditions to promote a peaceful transition, this is a historic moment to seize. I know that the Secretary-General himself and the United Nations system more broadly will stand with the people and leaders of Sri Lanka, as they address credibly and thoroughly the accountability and reconciliation issues that, once resolved, will contribute to Sri Lanka’s long-term peace and prosperity. In this 70th anniversary of the UN’s founding and the 60th year of Sri Lanka’smembership in the UN, we welcome the promise of renewed partnership.

       

      Thank you.

    • 18 Feb 2015

      Mr. President,

      I brief you today after what has been another tumultuous and deadly month in the Middle East. Steadily increasing tensions and swelling violence have continued to affect the region.
       
      The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians continues to threaten further escalation. As we warned this Council last month, if this occurs it may have highly damaging, and potentially irreversible, consequences for both parties and for the two-state solution.
       
      The Palestinians are facing acute fiscal challenges that must be urgently addressed. On 4 February, the Israeli Government announced that, for a second month, it would withhold the transfer of the tax revenues it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority in retaliation for the Palestinian accession to the International Criminal Court. This brings the total withheld to over 200 million US dollars. As a stop gap measure, the Palestinian Authority has since borrowed funds from private banks to pay a portion of the salaries of its civil servants; this approach is neither sufficient nor sustainable.
       
      As reported by the International Monetary Fund on 29 January, Palestinian economic activity contracted in 2014 for the first time since 2006. Paralyzing the Palestinian Authority from conducting essential Government business – including functions related to health services and law and order – is in no one’s interest. Israel’s action is a violation of its obligations under the Paris Protocol of the Oslo Accords and we, again, call for an immediate reversal of this decision.
       
      The Secretary-General reiterates his call to both sides to refrain from taking unilateral steps or actions that may further aggravate the current divisions.
       
      Against a backdrop of growing disillusionment with the prospects for a return to dialogue, the Middle East Quartet met at the Principals’ level on 8 February in Munich to examine ways to reverse the current negative trend.
       
      The Quartet prioritized the urgent resumption of negotiations and a strengthening of its engagement to prepare for a revival of the peace process, including through regular and direct outreach to the Arab states. It also called for the acceleration of reconstruction in Gaza.
       
      This engagement is an important and timely development and should be supported. But we must be clear: absent concrete actions and a clear unity of purpose from the international community, the Quartet will not be able to play an effective role.
       
      Even more imperative, however, is the need to obtain a firm commitment from Israelis and Palestinians alike to put aside their deeply entrenched mistrust and demonstrate the courage and leadership that is required at this time.
       
       
      Mr. President,
       
      Turning to Gaza, the Secretary-General continues to be very concerned about the fragile security situation, the volatile political dynamics and the persistently slow pace of reconstruction.
       
      In a clear indication of mounting tensions on the ground, and the corresponding risks to UN personnel and operations in Gaza, violent demonstrators forced their way into UNSCO’s office in Gaza on 28 January, in protest of UNRWA’s suspension of its cash assistance programme, which supports repairs and provides rental subsidies to refugee families. While, fortunately, no one was injured in the incident, the Special Coordinator temporarily withdrew UN monitors in light of this unacceptable incident until assurances were received that such attacks would not be repeated. Pending the much-needed full transfer of security responsibilities to the Palestinian Authority, we continue to hold Hamas fully responsible for the security and safety of all United Nations personnel and operations in Gaza.
       
      The Secretary-General is also alarmed at the reported failed firing by Palestinian militants of a rocket at Israel on 19 January and 16 February, as well as their renewed test firing at sea, of some 37 rockets, during the reporting period. Reportedly, militants also attempted to smuggle material which could be used to produce weapons. These are extremely dangerous developments. Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) reportedly shot and injured two Palestinians who were approaching the Gaza border fence on 16 and 23 January; and another two Palestinians were injured on 21 January after the Israeli navy fired warning shots at their boats.
       
      Meanwhile, the often-repeated political challenges in Gaza endure and represent clear dangers for stability. They include the moribund effort to consolidate ceasefire arrangements and the absence of genuine intra-Palestinian reconciliation, including the outstanding issues of unpaid salaries to Gaza public sector employees and civil service reform.
       
      Absent the full re-opening of the crossing points within the framework of Security Council resolution 1860 (2009), the temporary Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism (GRM) continues to provide a measure of hope that genuine progress can be achieved in Gaza. Notwithstanding the difficulties, the mechanism is now functioning and delivering concrete results.
       
      As of today, over 67,000 individuals have been cleared to receive construction material for shelter repairs and over 47,000 have already procured construction material to date. The processing of some 50 construction projects through the Palestinian Authority is ongoing, including housing projects, water networks and schools. Of these, 18 projects have been approved to date.
       
      And yet, despite the GRM’s continued expansion, four months after the Cairo Conference, donors have yet to fulfill the vast majority of their pledges. This is frankly unacceptable, and cannot continue if we hope to avoid another escalation in Gaza.
       
      In this respect, both the Secretaries-General of the United Nations and the League of Arab States; the Foreign Ministers of Norway and Egypt through a joint letter; and the aforementioned Quartet, all made appeals to donors to honour their commitments to Gaza without further delay. UNRWA urgently needs 100 million US dollars for its cash assistance programme. Support is also needed for UN agencies providing vital humanitarian assistance to the non-refugee population. On 12 February, the United Nations, in partnership with the Government of Palestine, launched the Strategic Response Plan for 2015, which aims to address the humanitarian needs of 1.6 million Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. The Plan requests 705 million US dollars, 75 per cent of which is for Gaza.
       
      While acknowledging Egypt’s legitimate security concerns, I also reiterate the Secretary-General’s call for Egyptian authorities to re-open the Rafah crossing. The previously reported humanitarian concerns persist with some 1,400 patients currently awaiting hospital care referral to Egypt and with over 15,000 people otherwise registered and unable to exit Gaza.
       
       
      Mr. President,
       
      The Secretary-General is concerned about the continued clashes in the occupied West Bank during the reporting period. Israeli security forces conducted approximately 470 search-and-arrest operations, resulting in the arrest of some 535 Palestinians. Reportedly, one Palestinian man was shot and killed by Israeli security forces on 31 January, after throwing Molotov cocktails towards Israeli vehicles in the area.
       
      Some 156 Palestinians were injured, including 31 children and five women. Palestinians injured four members of the Israeli security forces, including one during a demonstration. On 21 January, a Palestinian man stabbed 12 passengers on a commuter bus in Tel Aviv, three were seriously injured. Clashes between Palestinians and Israeli settlers continued to take place on an almost daily basis, resulting in eight Palestinians injured, including four children, and nine Israeli settlers injured, including one child. The Secretary-General strongly condemns all these acts of violence.
       
      The Israeli authorities continued to demolish Palestinian structures in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. A total of 62 structures, 33 of them residences, were demolished, leading to the displacement of some 88 Palestinians, including 49 children. I urge Israel to cease such demolitions and displacements of Palestinians in East Jerusalem and Area C, and to facilitate international assistance to vulnerable communities. Area C is fundamental to the contiguity of the West Bank and the viability of Palestine and its economy.
       
      We are deeply disappointed by Israeli authorities’ decision to issue on 30 January tenders for the construction of some 450 residential units in West Bank settlements, at a time when the situation is extremely volatile. As the Secretary-General has repeatedly expressed, settlement activity is illegal under international law and an obstacle to peace. It should be halted and reversed.
       
       
      Mr. President,
       
      The Council was briefed extensively on the situation in Syria by Special Envoy de Mistura yesterday. Allow me to turn to recent developments on the Golan and Lebanon.
       
      On 18 January, UNDOF personnel observed an air violation from the Alpha side across the ceasefire line which coincided with a reported Israeli airstrike that killed six Hezbollah elements and a high-ranking Iranian officer on the Golan in Syria. The Secretary-General expressed his concern about the violation of the 1974 Agreement on Disengagement between Israeli and Syrian forces and the potential consequences of the reported incident. He called on all concerned to refrain from any action that could undermine the stability of the area, in full respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries in the region and adherence to all relevant Security Council resolutions. On 27 January, rockets were fired from the Bravo side across the ceasefire line and the Israel Defense Forces responded with artillery fire and later an airstrike.
       
      On 28 January, a serious breach of the cessation of hostilities between Lebanon and Israel occurred when Hezbollah launched several anti-tank guided missiles from the UNIFIL area of operations towards an Israeli military convoy south of the Blue Line. Two Israeli soldiers were killed and several other soldiers and civilians were injured in the attack. During subsequent retaliatory fire by the Israel Defense Forces into Lebanon, a UNIFIL peacekeeper serving in the Spanish contingent was killed. Hezbollah claimed responsibility for the attack, which it said had been in retaliation for the alleged Israeli airstrike of 18 January on the Golan. UNIFIL is in the process of finalizing its investigation of the incident with the cooperation of both parties. The Secretary-General condemned all violence and expressed his deep concern over the deterioration of the security situation in Southern Lebanon and violations of the cessation of hostilities and resolution 1701 (2006). He deeply regrets the death of the UNIFIL peacekeeper, which the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms, and expressed his condolences to the Government and people of Spain.
       
      The immediate engagement by UNIFIL and the Special Coordinator for Lebanon helped prevent a further escalation and restore the cessation of hostilities. The Secretary-General addressed the developments of 28 January directly with both Prime Minister Tammam Salam and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, calling for a return to calm and for all concerned to act responsibly. Given the seriousness of this incident, we welcome the reaffirmation by Israel and Lebanon of their commitment to the implementation of resolution 1701 (2006) and to the stability of the Blue Line area. Neither country nor the region can afford another conflict.
       
      Elsewhere in Lebanon, the border with Syria remains impacted by security incidents and cross-border fighting. The Lebanese Armed Forces shelled positions of armed militants in the Bekaa outskirts of Arsal, Baalbeck and al-Qaa. Lebanon’s security authorities successfully carried out raids and arrests throughout the country to prevent terrorist attacks. Politically, the dialogue between the Future Movement and Hezbollah has so far led to consensus on security issues and steps to lower sectarian tensions. Meetings between the leaders of Lebanon’s major Christian parties continued but without success on the presidential stalemate. The prolonged vacuum in the highest office of the State is of serious concern for the stability of Lebanon. The Secretary-General looks to the continued unity of the Security Council to preserve Lebanon from the impact of conflicts in the region and help it to address the multiple challenges it faces.
       
       
      Mr. President,
       
      In conclusion, we see the circumstances in Gaza as becoming increasingly worrisome as we approach the six-month mark since the end of last summer’s conflict. The combination of the failure to rectify the persistent governance and security issues and the slow pace of reconstruction has created an increasingly toxic environment.
       
      While the primary obligation evidently lies with the parties, a key component of reversing these negative trends is implementation of the financial commitments made by donors at the Cairo conference. Failure to deliver the necessary support is putting an almost unbearable strain on an already highly fractious environment.
       
      Establishing a framework that could lead to a comprehensive peace must, once again, become a priority. We hope that the international community, possibly through a reinvigorated Quartet, can help the parties avoid a downward slide and support a return to negotiations. The Secretary-General is determined that the UN will continue to play an active role in supporting these efforts.
       
      However, international efforts cannot succeed in isolation. A genuine and lasting peace can only be reached by the commitment of the parties to overcome their mistrust and make the difficult compromises necessary to achieve a resolution to this conflict.
    • 12 Feb 2015

      Mr. President,

      The Security Council has made every effort to support a peaceful, negotiated transition in Yemen. Repeatedly over the last three years, I have been warning this Council about the dangers facing the transition. Today, I deeply regret to inform you that this transition, widely heralded as a model, is now in disarray. Over the past few weeks Yemen has witnessed dramatic events, and I have already briefed this Council twice in the last three weeks. I will not repeat myself. Thus, let me provide a factual account of events since my last briefing on 26 January.
       
      I have continued exercising the good offices of the Secretary-General by convening negotiations on a daily basis involving twelve political parties, including Ansarallah, in order to find a consensual solution to the current political impasse. As the mediator, we must maintain both our unique access to all sides and our principled position as framed by the UN Charter and international law. We are navigating through many minefields. There had been ups and downs. Nevertheless, good progress had been made, with all sides cognisant of the need to quickly find a solution to restore public confidence.
       
      In parallel to the negotiations, Ansarallah had organised a large three-day gathering in Sana’a that concluded on 1 February. The gathering ended with an ultimatum to finish the UNfacilitated negotiations within three days, or else revolutionary committees would take action. The 4 February deadline passed without incident, and the negotiations moved ahead.
       
      The UN-facilitated negotiations in essence were adjourned late evening of 5 February with broad understanding amongst the parties on the general contours of an agreement. The parties decided to utilise the next day, 6 February, to resolve outstanding issues through bilateral consultations and to enable the UN to prepare a compromise text. The plan was then to reconvene on 7 February with the aim to conclude with an agreement.
       
      However, on 6 February in a surprising move, Ansarallah took unilateral action. They organised a gathering of their supporters at the Republican Palace, and announced a so-called “constitutional declaration.” This declaration pronounced that parliament is dissolved, that a five-member presidential council would be formed and that a Supreme Revolutionary Committee would run the country temporarily.
       
       
      Mr. President,
       
      The unilateral declaration has created strong backlash domestically and internationally. Major political parties have rejected it. The prevailing political uncertainty and heightened security risks have prompted key diplomatic missions to close and to withdraw temporarily.
       
      I made it clear that I deeply regretted the unilateral action taken by Ansarallah,
      particularly while good progress had been made in the negotiations. As a representative of the Secretary-General, I have also made it clear to all parties, including Ansarallah, that the current political impasse can only be solved through peaceful dialogue and negotiations based on the Implementation Mechanism of the GCC Initiative, National Dialogue Conference outcomes and Peace and National Partnership Agreement.
       
      I consulted with the political parties. I also had direct contact with Mr Abdelmalik Al-Houthi, who assured me that he welcomed a consensual negotiated solution through UN facilitation. I am pleased that all agreed to resume negotiations. Since the beginning of this week, we have been meeting daily and progress has been made. We are still in the middle of delicate negotiations. Under discussion are complex issues regarding governing arrangements during the transition, including both executive and legislative authorities. The parties are considering power-sharing measures in a new government of national unity, as well as mechanisms and arrangements for enabling state security institutions to re-assume their responsibility. In addition, the parties are debating means of preventing an outbreak of hostilities in Mareb, and undertakings to ensure the protection of fundamental human rights, such as the rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression, amongst others.
       
       
      Mr. President,
       
      The situation in the oil-rich province of Mareb is very tense. Many Yemenis fear that confrontation between the Houthis and tribesmen could break out at any time. In the South, the situation is volatile. Southerners, who have suffered from years of discrimination and marginalisation, have become more assertive, with many demanding separation.
       
      The current instability is creating conditions conducive for the re-emergence of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Even more concerning is the prospect for AQAP to establish a foothold in parts of Abyan, Shabwa, Hadramawt and Mareb. Today, AQAP have seized control of the 19th Infantry Brigade camp, which houses a large arsenal of ammunition and heavy weapons, in Bayhan, Shabwa.
       
       
      Mr. President,
       
      The political uncertainty has created serious pressure on the local currency, the riyal. If no political settlement is secured in the coming days, a real possibility exists that the riyal may collapse. Serious concerns exist that the government may be unable to pay salaries in the next two to three months. This could prompt either a default on payments or an increase in money supply (i.e., money printing that would cause severe devaluation and hyper-inflation). Should this happen, the current poverty rate of 54 per cent would increase further and private sector activities would be severely affected. Many donors already have halted development aid, and others are considering such action. This in turn would cause most capital expenditures to cease, basic service delivery to be interrupted, and tens of thousands could lose their jobs. This could further impact the security situation with unemployed joining armed groups for monetary reasons, and also contribute to a worsening of Yemen’s humanitarian needs.
       
      An estimated 15.9 million people – or 61 per cent of the population – need humanitarian assistance. The Humanitarian Response Plan for 2015 is being finalised this week and will request some $748 million dollars to meet the needs of 8.2 million people. Of this requirement, $285 million are for urgent life-saving and protection assistance to the most vulnerable Yemenis. Humanitarian partners are concerned about possible expansion of conflict, and the impact that would have on the civilian population. The increased political instability and risk of conflict may also complicate humanitarian efforts to develop durable solutions and sustainable livelihoods, and to facilitate Yemen’s progress towards recovery.
       
      The transition has encountered serious obstacles in the past, yet time and again Yemenis have managed to push forward. Today, Yemen is at a crossroad: either the country will descend into civil war and disintegration, or the country will find a way to put the transition back on track. This largely depends on the political will of Yemeni leaders. They all bear responsibility for the current status of affairs, as well as responsibility for finding a way to pull the country from the brink.
       
      The political, humanitarian and security environments pose serious challenges for UN operations. Nevertheless, the UN will not leave. The UN reaffirms its commitment to Yemen as it seeks to complete its political transition. In this regard, we have been consulting and coordinating closely with the GCC and other international partners.
       
      Yesterday marked the fourth anniversary of the start of the peaceful demonstrations demanding change. It was the courage of the youth demonstrators that opened the way for Yemenis to start a path to democratic transformation. Despite all the setbacks this dream is still alive. The Yemenis can still make it. The Security Council and the international community have a responsibility to support them in these difficult times.
       
      Thank you, Mr. President.
    • 12 Feb 2015

      The guide aims to inform mediators and stakeholders addressing conflicts over natural resources - whether those disagreements are violent, have the potential to turn violent, or are part of a larger political struggle, including within a peace process. It draws on the field experiences of mediators and mediation experts.

    • 4 Feb 2015

      At the request of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon I visited Burkina Faso with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa, Mohamed Ibn Chambas.

      We met with the transitional authorities and representatives of political parties. I commended Michel Kafando, Transitional President of Burkina Faso, and transitional authorities for their determination to put in place a transitional process and organize elections in accordance with the timeline set out in the Transition Charter.

      I underscored that the United Nations are committed to provide Burkina Faso with the necessary support to organize free, transparent and democratic elections.

      I emphasized that it is essential that transitional institutions continue to respect the aspirations of the Burkinabe people and ensure full respect for human rights and the physical integrity of all citizens.

      I encouraged the transitional authorities to do everything possible to implement the Transition Charter in an inclusive manner and in a spirit of national cohesion/unity.

      We all know that transitions are difficult; all transitions are fragile; there is no transition without difficulties. However, the international community will not tolerate any obstacle to the transition. Those who threaten the transition should be aware that the international community is watching and will hold them accountable.

      The United Nations, through the good offices of its representative for West Africa, Mohammed Ibn Chambas, will continue to support, in close cooperation with regional and international partners, the efforts of national authorities during the transition.

       

      04 février 2015, Déclaration à la presse à Ouagadougou, de Mr. Jeffrey Feltman, Secrétaire général adjoint de l’ONU chargé des Affaires politiques, à la sortie de l’audience avec M. Kafando, Président de la Transition du Burkina Faso  

      A la demande du Secrétaire général de l’ONU, M. Ban Ki-moon, j’ai entrepris une visite au Burkina Faso avec le Représentant Spécial du Secrétaire général pour l’Afrique de l’Ouest M. Mohamed Ibn Chambas.

      Nous avons rencontré les autorités de la transition et les représentants des partis politiques. J’ai félicité M. Kafando, Président de la Transition du Burkina Faso, et les autorités de la transition de leur détermination à mettre en œuvre le processus de transition et à organiser des élections selon le chronogramme prévu dans la Charte de la Transition.

      J’ai souligné que les Nations Unies sont engagées à fournir au Burkina Faso le soutien requis pour l’organisation d’élections libres, transparentes et démocratiques.

      J’ai relevé qu’il est essentiel que les institutions de la transition continuent à respecter les aspirations du peuple burkinabè et qu’elles assurent le plein respect des droits humains, de l’intégrité physique de tous les citoyens.

      J’ai encouragé les autorités de la transition à tout faire pour mettre en œuvre la Charte de la Transition de façon inclusive et dans un esprit de cohésion nationale.

      Vous savez que toutes les transitions sont difficiles ; toutes les transitions sont fragiles ; Il n’ya pas de transition sans problèmes.

      Mais en même temps, la communauté internationale ne tolèrera aucune entrave à la transition. Ceux qui menacent la transition doivent savoir que la communauté internationale les observe et les tiendra responsables.

      Les Nations Unies à travers les bons offices de notre Représentant Spécial pour l’Afrique de l’Ouest, M. Mohammed Ibn Chambas, continueront à soutenir, en étroite collaboration avec les partenaires régionaux et internationaux, les efforts des autorités nationales pendant la période de transition.

    • 26 янв 2015

      Mr. President, distinguished members of the Council,

      Throughout the conflict in Ukraine, and repeatedly in recent weeks, the Secretary-General has called for de-escalation, restraint, and protection of civilians. We deeply regret that these calls appear to have fallen on deaf ears.
       
      In just five days since we last met on 21 January, close to fifty civilians have been killed and nearly 150 have been seriously wounded.
       
      On 22 January, over a dozen civilians died when rockets hit their trolleybus in Donetsk city. The same day, at least ten civilians were killed amidst heavy fighting in the city of Horlivka.
       
      On Saturday, 24 January, a barrage of attacks with multi-launch rocket systems hit the city of Mariupol, destroying buildings and impacting a market filled with civilians. Dozens of people lost their lives, including women and children, and over one hundred were wounded. The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission reported, based on crater analysis, that the rockets originated from territory controlled by the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic”.
       
       
      Mr. President, distinguished members of the Council,
       
      Mariupol lies outside of the immediate conflict zone. The conclusion can thus be drawn that the entity which fired these rockets knowingly targeted a civilian population. This would constitute a violation of international humanitarian law. We must all send an unequivocal message: The perpetrators must be held accountable and brought to justice.
       
      On 23 January, the leader of the so-called “Donetsk People's Republic” announced a boycott of future “consultations” with the Trilateral Contact Group, a unilateral withdrawal from the cease-fire and threatened to seize further territory, with a plan that includes pushing the front line all the way to the borders of Donetsk oblast. As the Secretary-General stated on 24 January, this constitutes a violation of their commitments under the Minsk accords. We call directly on the rebels to immediately cease their provocative and violent actions, to abide by international law and to make good on their commitments.
       
      We also urge the leadership of the Russian Federation to use their influence to call on the rebels to cease hostilities immediately. This will be a critical step in stopping the bloodshed.
       
      The Ukrainian leadership has been vocal about their commitment to the Minsk accords and has asserted that they remain in a defensive position. However, we note the recent emergency measures adopted by the National Security and Defense Council, particularly those in relation to “strengthening counter-terrorism measures”, and appeal for the application of maximum restraint.
       
      In light of the just declared state of emergency in Donbas, it has never been more important to guarantee humanitarian workers and goods full and unhindered access. Bureaucratic hurdles on both sides of the conflict line are impeding humanitarian access and must be eased. We also call on the Government of Ukraine to ensure that humanitarian operations are free from taxation.
       
       
      Mr. President, distinguished members of the Council,
       
      We recognize the difficulty of diplomatic discussions aimed at finding a peaceful resolution to this conflict given entrenched positions. Nonetheless, efforts to find a political solution must urgently be redoubled. President Poroshenko’s announcement that an agreement has been reached on the necessity of holding negotiations in the Geneva Format, with the participation of the EU, US, Ukraine and Russia, is welcome.
      Before I close, let me share our assessment of the way forward, with an emphasis on reviving the Minsk accords:
       
      As agreed at Minsk, all sides must immediately cease hostilities, with the onus particularly on the rebels to recommit to the cease-fire and back down from their offensive. We sincerely hope that the Trilateral Contact Group reconvene in “consultations” with rebel leadership -- as envisaged this week -- to work towards a sustainable cease-fire and implementation of the broader Minsk accords. Most importantly, all sides must commit to the protection of civilians and letting assistance reach those in need.
       
      Finally, there must be full political re-commitment to a peaceful and lasting solution to this conflict at the highest levels. ‎I reiterate our encouragement of a convening of the Geneva Format at the earliest opportunity. The United Nations also remains ready to support the consolidation of a sustainable and lasting peace process as may be required.
       
      Over 5,000 lives have already been lost in this conflict. We must find a way to stop it, and we must do so now.
       
      Thank you, Mr. President.
    • 21 янв 2015
      Mr. President and distinguished members of the Council,
       
      Today, I will briefly update the Council on developments related to the conflict in eastern Ukraine, as well as on my own recent visit to the country, from 15-17 December 2014, in continuation of the Secretary-General's good offices.
       
       

      The conflict in eastern Ukraine

      Let me begin by stating clearly our alarm: Following weeks of relative calm, the Council meets today amidst the worst hostilities in eastern Ukraine since the cease-fire and Minsk Protocol were agreed on 5 September. Encouraging signs of progress, such as the exchange of hundreds of prisoners, are quickly being overshadowed by renewed fighting and a deepening political stalemate. Ukraine, as well as its neighbours and the broader region, cannot afford the current, violent status quo. The escalation of fighting threatens to unravel the Minsk Protocols.

       
      Ladies and gentlemen,
       
      While the heavy fighting of the past few days was initially concentrated around Donetsk airport, the numbers of dead and injured, including innocent civilians, are quickly rising elsewhere as violence spreads throughout the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, including to heavily populated civilian areas such as Donetsk city. The conflict is also reportedly inching dangerously close to cities such as Mariupol and Debaltseve, and endangering areas that have been, until recently, relatively quiet.
       
      As another sign of escalation, reinforcements of fighters are reported on both sides, with the deployment of more sophisticated and heavier weaponry.
       
      Today in Davos, President Poroshenko stated that there were over 9,000 Russia regular troops in Ukraine, an accusation that Moscow refutes.
       
      As a direct result of the renewal of fighting, on 13 January, 12 civilians lost their lives and seventeen were seriously wounded in Volnovakha when their bus was hit. The UN has no means of verifying the facts independently. After having visited the site three times and crater analysis, the OSCE Monitoring Mission concluded that “the rockets that caused Craters 1 and 2 had been fired from a north-north-eastern direction” and that “the rockets may have been fired approximately 20 kilometres from the point of impact. The SMM is not able to independently verify the point of origin of the rockets or to identify the entity that fired them.”
       
      As the Secretary-General stated, this incident, which must be thoroughly investigated and those responsible brought to justice, is a stark reminder of the urgent need to halt the violence.
       
       
      Mr. President and distinguished members of the Council,
       
      Let me also say a few words on the humanitarian situation, which has deteriorated further as conflict has again intensified. A country which until a year ago had no displaced people now has at least 850,000 citizens displaced within its borders and over 600,000 in neighbouring states, according to Ukrainian sources.
       
      Humanitarian actors must have access to do their life-saving work. All parties to the conflict have an obligation to guarantee free and unhindered humanitarian access to all people in need, irrespective of where they are located. And they also have to fully respect international humanitarian law. A recent directive with respect to crossing the contact line from government-held to rebel-held areas could make it exceedingly difficult for humanitarian actors to move aid into areas beyond government control.
       
      It is critical that resources be made available to meet life-saving needs on the ground. The 2015 Strategic Response Plan requests USD189 million, and few commitments have been made as yet.
       
       
      Mr. President and distinguished members of the Council,
       
      Regrettably, the upsurge in fighting has been accompanied by mutual recriminations between Kiev and Russia, and a continued impasse on the diplomatic and political front. As the Secretary-General has repeatedly insisted, there is no substitute for direct and constructive dialogue to move peace forward.
       
      The enforcement of a sustainable cease-fire, which presently exists in name only, is both urgent and of primary concern. The line of contact should be observed, and the other elements of the broader Minsk peace plan require expeditious implementation as well.
       
      We hope that today’s Normandy Format meeting in Berlin at the Foreign Minister level will achieve the progress required to return to the implementation of Minsk and to allow to bring together the Normandy Heads of State. Diplomacy has to succeed.
       
      The Minsk agreements offer a solid base for a resolution of the conflict in the Donbas. There cannot be any unilateral attempts to change their provisions, nor should any party selectively interpret the accords’ stipulations.
       
      It is our understanding that the apparent differences in interpretation of the Minsk accords are small but the implications of addressing them in any other way but through dialogue are immense.
       
       

      Visit to Ukraine

      Mr. President and distinguished members of the Council,

      In continuation of the Secretary-General’s good offices, I returned to Kiev on 15-17 December 2014 to exchange views with President Poroshenko, Prime Minister Yatsenyuk, Foreign Minister Klimkin, Speaker of Parliament Groisman, as well as international and bilateral partners.
       
      With the new Ukrainian Government formed under Prime Minister Yatsenyuk, all interlocutors expressed their conviction that there was no more scope for delay and that deep and overdue economic, legislative, judicial and political reforms had to be tackled immediately.
       
      I assured my interlocutors that the United Nations would never waver in its solidarity with the country. We remain ready to support all efforts to end the fighting for a durable and lasting peace to prevail. And we will continue to assist the Ukrainian authorities and citizens of Ukraine to usher in the changes that will be vital for a democratic, secure, independent and prosperous future.
       
      In contrast to the present situation, Donbas was relatively calm during my visit. Nonetheless, all of my interlocutors shared the assessment that even if there is progress on the Minsk process, there is no quick resolution of the numerous challenges facing Ukraine, given the deep economic and geopolitical rifts that have been caused by and remain intrinsically linked to the conflict.
       
      All of us -- especially the parties to the conflict -- have a responsibility to concertedly, and on a most urgent basis, assist in moving from a narrative of confrontation to a narrative of cooperation, from a logic of war to a logic of peace.
       
      Thank you.
    • 21 янв 2015

      Mr President,

      I am pleased to brief the Security Council on the final report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Office in Burundi (BNUB).
       
      As members of the Council know, the report before the Council reviews progress made in implementing the mandate of BNUB, since 31 July 2014. It also takes stock of the overall mandate implementation of UN peacekeeping and political missions in Burundi since 2004. Further, it presents an assessment of the remaining challenges facing Burundi, after the closure of BNUB on 31 December.
       
      In accordance with Security Council resolution 2137 (2014), BNUB ended its drawdown and its mandate on 31 December. I joined SRSG Onanga-Anyanga in Bujumbura to mark the symbolic closure of the Office on 12 December during my visit to Burundi, and had the pleasure to co-chair a warm flag-lowering ceremony with the Minister of External Affairs and International Cooperation.
       
      As the Council is aware, Burundi has made substantial progress, overcoming formidable challenges since the end of the civil war. Burundi adopted power-sharing as a system of governance, established ethnically-balanced institutions, held regular elections and remains committed to the promise of national reconciliation.
      Burundi today is much safer and secure than a decade ago.
       
      These achievements, and the spirit of the Arusha Accord on which they were built, are first and foremost attributable to the determination of Burundians to break with the past and work towards a peaceful, democratic and prosperous nation. It is also the result of a remarkable level of steady engagement by regional countries, the United Nations and international partners, demonstrating that concerted international action can yield positive results.
       
       
      Mr. President, let me emphasize some of the key challenges that Burundi still faces.
       
      The spirit of Arusha with its principles of dialogue, consensus and democracy has eroded since the 2010 elections as political polarization continues to hamper efforts to consolidate peace, democracy and development. Concerns remain about shrinking political space, restrictions of the right to free assembly and expression, and the challenges of building an independent justice system which is a critical element of a functioning democracy. Much greater efforts are also required to strengthen pro-poor economic growth and to create employment opportunities, especially for the country’s youth.
       
      Organising peaceful and credible elections is one of the most pressing challenges facing Burundi this year. As in previous elections, the 2015 elections present Burundians with the opportunity to further strengthen peace consolidation efforts undertaken since the Arusha Accord. For that to happen it would be desirable for the following requirements to be met: First, it is critical that the CENI – the Independent National Electoral Commission – manages the electoral process in an inclusive manner, with integrity, impartiality and independence. Second, Burundians regardless of party affiliation must be free to exercise their civil and political rights, including their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. Moreover, it behoves the Government to ensure that opposition parties and their leaders are able to fully participate in the electoral process. Conversely, opposition parties must play their part and remain engaged throughout the electoral process and use peaceful and democratic means to address all electoral disputes. Third, it is the responsibility of the Government to prevent violence without impinging on the people’s rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, by ensuring that state officials and security forces act impartially and in line with the law. Finally, individuals committing unlawful acts of political violence must be prosecuted without delay.
       
      As requested by the Council, the United Nations Electoral Observation Mission in Burundi, known by its French acronym MENUB, started operations on 1 January with the mandate to follow and report on the electoral process in Burundi before, during and after the 2015 elections. Special Envoy Uteem undertook his first visit to Burundi from 3 to 17 January, during which he held fruitful meetings with Government officials as well as members of the diplomatic corp in Bujumbura. He also inaugurated MENUB in the presence of political party leaders, CSO representatives and the diplomatic corp. Regrettably, Government officials and the president of the CENI and representatives of the ruling CNDD-FDD did not attend the ceremony on account that the Status of Mission Agreement (SOMA) had not been signed. We signed the SOMA yesterday and expect the Government to do so soon.
       
      Clashes at the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo between the Burundian army and armed groups have reduced sharply since July last year. However, on 30 December, the Burundian army reported clashing with an unidentified armed group of approximately 100-200 members entering from neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo into Burundi’s Cibitoke Province. Over the course of several days, the Burundian army reportedly defeated the group, killing between 95 and 105 of its members. The Government did not formally identify the attackers and no one has claimed responsibility for the clash. In another incident, on 4 January, five unidentified gunmen dressed in military fatigues executed three members of the ruling CNDD-FDD in a bar in Ruyigi Province, some 250 km east of Bujumbura. If not managed carefully, incidents such as these, at a time of elections, could heighten political tensions.
       
       
      Mr. President,
       
      Beyond the elections, Burundi faces challenges no less critical. Improvements in health, education, employment, and infrastructure need to be at the heart of the political debate, if the country’s leaders are committed to placing the national interest above all others. The Government will need to broaden political space, allow democratic institutions to provide the checks and balances essential for a functioning democracy, especially if it wants to forge broader consensus in policy formulation. Security and justice sector institutions will require sustained professionalization and capacity-building, especially if they are to retain the public trust.
       
      Addressing the remaining challenges will require the efforts of all Burundians and sustained support from Burundi’s development partners. The joint communiqué of the Burundi Partners Conference of 12 December re-emphasised the mutual commitments of the Government and its partners adopted at the 2012 Geneva Partners Conference. As part of its commitments, the Government guaranteed a credible, inclusive and peaceful electoral process while international and regional partners pledged to continue to support the country’s peace consolidation and socio-economic development efforts. In that regard, I am pleased to note that the United Nations will continue to provide support through the Peacebuilding Fund to enhance political dialogue and social cohesion; youth participation in political and socio-economic life; human rights; and resolution of land disputes.
       
      I would like to underscore the importance of the Security Council’s support for regional peace and security efforts. The Council’s support for the implementation of the Peace, Security and Development Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region presents an opportunity in that respect. The African Union, the East African Community and the International Conference of the Great Lakes all have important roles to play in that regard.
       
       
      Mr. President,
       
      In concluding, I would take this opportunity to thank the people and Government of Burundi for the cooperation extended to BNUB, including the seamless and timely completion of the Mission’s drawdown and exit. I would like to thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, for his outstanding leadership and to all BNUB staff for their contribution to the United Nations efforts in Burundi. I would also like to reiterate our appreciation to the Peacebuilding Commission, the Peacebuilding Fund and all bilateral donors for the fruitful partnership for peacebuilding in Burundi.
       
      Finally, I thank the Council for its continued commitment to Burundi through the deployment of United Nations field presences in the country during the past 10 years.