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This Week in DPPA: 20 - 26 May 2023

This Week in DPPA is a brief roundup of political and peacebuilding events and developments at UNHQ and around the world. 

Security Council

"The responsibility for the fighting rests with those who are waging it daily” in Sudan, SRSG Perthes tells Security Council  

On 22 May, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) Volker Perthes briefed the Security Council. He reported that, despite repeated earlier declarations of ceasefires by both sides, that there had been no day without fighting. He called on both parties to end the fighting and to return to dialogue, in the interest of Sudan and its people. “I will also continue to engage the leadership of the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces, to ensure the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure while pushing for an end to this war,” he said.

Read his full remarks here

Wennesland, briefing Council, says “all settlements are illegal under international law” and must stop 

In his briefing on 24 May, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland reported that, while the ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinians is holding, conflict mitigation efforts must also be met with steps by both sides to reset a trajectory out of the cycle of violence. He reiterated that all settlements “are illegal under international law and that they are a substantial obstacle to peace and must stop.” He called on all parties to stop unilateral and inflammatory actions that undermine prospects for peace, and to address the acute financial and institutional challenges faced by the Palestinian Authority.

Read his full remarks here

Under-Secretary-General DiCarlo calls for increased support for African Union peace operations

On 25 May, Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo briefed the Security Council on United Nations support for African Union peace operations. She told the Council that AU peace operations should be considered as part of the range of responses to crises in Africa, alongside established UN mechanisms. “The case for adequately financing AU-led peace support operations is beyond solid,” she said, seeking for the Security Council’ agreement to provide its backing, including allowing access to UN assessed contributions.

Read her full remarks here


UN Committee on Decolonization holds regional seminar in Indonesia

The 2023 Pacific Regional Seminar on Decolonization opened on 24 May in Bali, Indonesia. The seminar is focused on advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Non-Self-Governing Territories. In a video message, Secretary-General António Guterres emphasized the importance of giving greater priority to the decolonization agenda and spurring accelerated action. Participating speakers stressed the need for more inclusive decision-making, cooperation and a greater United Nations role in decolonization to ensure the world’s remaining 17 Non-Self-Governing Territories are not left behind.   

Read more here

Central Africa

55th UNSAC ministerial meeting focuses on climate change, refugees and hate speech 

From 15 to 19 May, São Tomé and Príncipe hosted the 55th meeting of the United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa (UNSAC). Santomean Prime Minister Patrice Emery Trovoada chaired the ministerial segment’s official opening ceremony. The Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) Commission, Mangaral Bante; the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Central Africa, Abdou Abarry; and the Congolese Minister of Foreign Affairs and outgoing President of the UNSAC Bureau, Jean-Claude Gakosso, also addressed the meeting. Discussions focused on the geopolitical and security situation, ongoing peace processes, cross-border crises, human rights, climate change and forced displacements, as well as the issue of refugees.

Read more here


UNOCA supports high-level conference on the advancement and empowerment of women

From 25 to 27 May, Gabon hosted the Conference of Ministers in charge of Gender and the Advancement of Women of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS). The three-day event was organized by ECCAS and Gabon in partnership with the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA), UN Women and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). At the opening ceremony, Special Representative Abdou Abarry said “I am pleased to see that undeniable progress has been made in this sub-region in terms of gender equality. UNOCA stands ready to support these efforts, in close coordination with UN Women, ECCAS and its Member States, in particular for the implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) on Women, Peace and Security.”

Read more here


Marketing for peace initiatives in Guaviare 

"A picture is worth a thousand words" was the central theme of the workshop on visual identity and the use of social media held on 19 and 20 May in the department of Guaviare and aimed at former combatants and their families involved in productive projects. Representatives of women's and youth associations talked about challenges in selling their products and services and the importance of taking advantage of social networks to promote projects that are committed to peace. The former combatants and the local community also enjoyed the virtual reality experience of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia #PathwaysColombia, about the stories of those who are building peace in the territory.


Special Coordinator encourages Lebanese women's role in Lebanon’s economic revival

This week, Special Coordinator of the Secretary-General Joanna Wronecka called for prioritizing support for women’s economic empowerment and addressing identified gender gaps to ensure a more sustainable economic recovery. Wronecka was a key-note speaker at a conference on women and the economy, which was organized by the Beirut-based NGO Women Leaders Association. The Special Coordinator identified existing structural challenges that prevented equal opportunities for women in the economic sector, and proposed opportunities for ensuring the inclusion and empowerment of women. 


Special Coordinator underlines need for adherence to Resolution 1701 

This week, in a round of meetings with senior Lebanese officials, Special Coordinator Joanna Wronecka underlined the importance of full adherence to Security Council Resolution 1701 for reinforcing security and stability in Lebanon and the region. The Special Coordinator relayed to caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati the UN’s concerns over military maneuvers that took place outside state control last Sunday, contrary to the requirements of Resolution 1701. With Lebanese Armed Forces Commander Gen. Joseph Aoun, the Special Coordinator emphasized the need to safeguard Lebanon’s security and stability, including by reinforcing state institutions, implementation of Resolution 1701 and compliance with human rights standards. The same issue was raised with Deputy Parliament Speaker Elias BouSaab.


Mangrove Nursery Launched in Basra to Combat Climate Change

On 22 May, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert participated in the launch event of a new mangrove nursery in Basra Governorate. In her remarks, she highlighted the adverse effects of climate change on Iraq and recognized the efforts of all those who have made the nursery project a reality, including the volunteers. The mangrove nursery is expected to help plant 5 million mangrove trees by 2028.

Read more here


DSRSG/RC/HC Isaczai meets with Kurdistan Regional Government Minister of Interior to discuss IDP support

On 23 May, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq (DSRSG/RC/HC) Ghulam Mohammad Isaczai met in Erbil with Kurdistan Regional Government Minister of Interior Rêber Ahmed. They discussed UN support for finding durable solutions for Internally displaced persons (IDPs) and strengthening coordination between the UN and different sectors of the governments at national and regional levels to achieve this goal.


UNAMI Human Rights Office holds workshops in Erbil

The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) Human Rights Office held two workshops in Erbil, Kurdistan Region this week. The first workshop held on 23 May brought together representatives from the High Council for Women and Development, the Directorate for Combating Violence against Women, as well as key stakeholders from the judiciary and the police. Participants identified gaps that hinder the successful prosecution of criminal violence against women and deliberated on strategies to enhance coordination efforts among all relevant entities with the aim of ensuring accountability for perpetrators of criminal violence against women.

The second workshop, on 24 May, aimed at strengthening civil society engagement with the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The event had 23 participants, including members and representatives of Iraq’s diverse religious and ethnic component groups and civil society. Participants gave presentations on a range of human rights concerns affecting component groups in Iraq, followed by group discussions. They identified key issues for inclusion in ‘shadow reports’ which Iraqi NGOs will have the opportunity to provide to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination as part of the Committee’s upcoming review of Iraq. These workshops are part of UNAMI’s ongoing efforts to promote and protect human rights in Iraq.


UNAMI hosts outreach event with students from Cihan University

As part of outreach with different stakeholders to explain the work of the United Nations in Iraq, the UNAMI Regional Office in Erbil hosted on 23 May a group of students from the International Relations Department of Cihan University (Erbil). The visit, organized by the UNAMI Public Information Office, aimed to provide the students with an overview of UNAMI's work in the Kurdistan Region and to hear their views and concerns.

Learn more here

Next Week

The Security Council will discuss Syria on Tuesday, 30 May. The United Arab Emirates will take over the presidency for June.




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