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Northeast Asia

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Supporting Cooperation in Northeast Asia

Northeast Asia: Northeast Asia is home to one fifth of the world’s people and makes up one quarter of the world's gross domestic product. The region is still grappling with historical and territorial disputes.  DPPA advocates for differences to be managed and resolved peacefully and encourages Northeast Asian countries to expand their coordination and collaboration.

Korean Peninsula: The situation on the Korean Peninsula is one of the longest-standing issues before the United Nations.  The Security Council first adopted a resolution on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) nuclear issue in 1993, when it urged the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea not to withdraw from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.  DPPA’s objective is to contribute to furthering efforts to reach a peaceful, negotiated solution of the outstanding issues on the Korean Peninsula, with a priority on supporting the parties to step up efforts to build trust, reduce tension and supporting dialogue for sustainable peace and complete and verifiable denuclearization. 

DPPA presence and activities: DPPA is the lead entity supporting the Secretary-General in the UN’s efforts to prevent and resolve conflicts at the global level, and proactively partners with UN Women and other entities in advancing the Women, Peace and Security (WPS), as well as the Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) agendas.  DPPA’s Asia and the Pacific Division in New York and the liaison presence in Beijing, which interacts with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, in a spirit of joint work with other UN entities, prepares briefings to the Security Council, conducts political analysis, supports the Secretary-General's good offices and preventive diplomacy efforts, carries out capacity building, and builds partnerships with other entities. 

DPPA’s Programme to Support Cooperation in Northeast Asia allows the UN system to, inter alia: (i) facilitate the participation of regional representatives in UN fora; (ii) support UN/DPPA engagement and partnerships; (iii) facilitate UN initiatives in and on Northeast Asia; and (iv) contribute to UN coherence.  DPPA’s Security Council Affairs Division provides support to the functioning of the Security Council as well as to the works of its subsidiary organs, including the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1718 (2006).


Partnerships and Cooperation

As per the Secretary-General’s vision on prevention, the “UN is not the only actor, and in many cases not even the most important actor.  The ultimate goal is not to expand our remit but to make a real difference for people, especially the most vulnerable.  As the anchor of multilateralism with universal membership, the UN has unparalleled capacity to convene and mobilize.  The UN system is most impactful when truly enabling others.  This means building meaningful partnerships with the widest array of Governments, regional organizations, international financial institutions, civil society organizations, academia and the private sector, always being truthful to our mission as the guardian of the international norms that the Organization has generated over the past seven decades”.

DPPA is in regular contact with its governmental, regional and sub-regional organizations counterparts, as well as with other entities. The Department coordinates the UN system in this endeavour, including by ensuring information-sharing and cooperation on regional or country-specific issues of mutual concern.  For Northeast Asia, partnerships and cooperation with other entities include:

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Supporting the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in Northeast Asia

13-14 June 2023, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Following, the regional dialogue in December 2019 in Beijing, China, on 13-14 June 2023, DPPA, in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia, UN Women, and the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC), convened a two-day in-person dialogue on the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda in Northeast Asia in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The dialogue brought together government officials, academics, and representatives from civil society from Mongolia, Japan, and the ROK. The participants discussed regional trends, increased tensions and risks, including nuclear, in the region and the continued marginalization of women in peacebuilding, preventive diplomacy, and the security sectors. The dialogue also provided an opportunity for the participants to learn and have a fruitful exchange about Japan and the ROK’s 1325 National Action Plan (NAP) as Mongolia is envisaging to restart discussions on its NAP. This year, a young peacebuilder from Mongolia also joined the interactive discussions, with the participants exploring the nexus between the WPS and the Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) agendas. The dialogue was followed by the Ulaanbaatar Dialogue on Northeast Asian Security and the First Female Foreign Ministers Meeting hosted by the Foreign Minister of Mongolia.


Futuring peace in Northeast Asia

Futuring peace in Northeast Asia is an initiative by the United Nations Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) dedicated to bridging the generational gap and strengthening opportunities for Northeast Asian youth to share their unique observations for regional peace and security with policymakers, scholars, and governments in the region. The aim is to strengthen their advocacy capacities in line with the New Agenda for Peace, the SDG 2030 agenda, and UN Security Council Resolutions 2250 (2015), 2419 (2018) and 2535 (2020) on Youth, Peace and Security (YPS). In a region that lacks common security structures, the project enables the capacity of young people to be at the forefront of regional policy discussions, demonstrating that intergenerational interaction can help identify the challenges and opportunities ahead.

Phase I (2021)

The first phase of the project in 2021 was implemented in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and focused on building capabilities for digital facilitation and utilizing Futures Literacy methodology considering the specific regional context. During a series of virtual dialogues, over 40 youth peacebuilders  from China, Japan, Mongolia, and the Republic of Korea imagined scenarios set in 2040, imagining how digital literacy education, new technologies and innovative approaches could strengthen cross-border ties. They recognized the criticality of building shared regional experiences that would enable a peaceful future through for instance education systems, academic exchanges, and cultural assets such as movies and literature.

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Phase II (2022)

In 2022, the initiative was implemented in collaboration with the Swiss foreign policy think-tank foraus and co-designed and co-facilitated by Northeast Asian youth. From April to September 2022, four workshops were held where the youth peacebuilders used strategic foresight tools to develop concrete policy recommendations for policymakers, exploring pathways to a peaceful future for the region. Questions were framed using the “Futures Triangle” approach, probing participants to think about future outcomes by looking at three dimensions: the push of the present, the pull from the future, and the weight of the past. Through collective scenario building and testing, they identified four key policy avenues, including establishing digital literacy programs, furthering educational and technological cooperation, creating a regional youth parliament, and fostering an inclusive Metaverse.