Libya s Landmark Elections and Beyond

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1 Bulletin of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs Fall 2012 INSIDE THIS ISSUE Supporting Libya s Landmark Elections Message from the Under- Secretary-General Libya: Interview with Special Representative Ian Martin. 6 Syria: Peacemaking in Transition Crisis in Mali: Interview with the UN s Envoy for West Africa Battling the Lord s Resistance Army UN Report Includes New Guidance for Mediators..18 Camp Ashraf: Promoting a Peaceful Resolution.. 22 Somalia Beyond the Roadmap Encouraging Myanmar s Democratic Reforms The United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre OECD Listing Opens New Window for DPA Donors Activities and Events LIBYA Libya s Landmark Elections and Beyond The United Nations assisted Libya as it held, on 7 July, its first free election in 47 years: a historic and emotional achievement to be celebrated, even as many challenges remain on the country s horizon. UNSMIL Photo, Iason Athanasiadis The nationwide balloting to elect a Libyan National Congress was a key step in the country s transition from dictatorship to democracy after a popular revolution swept away last year the brutal dictatorship of Moammar Gadhafi. It was all the more impressive given the absence of any electoral machinery or experience, and the short period since the end of the fighting. No one should underestimate what has been achieved, said Ian Martin, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya and Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya, which is assisting the country throughout its post-war transition. Celebrations in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi after the July 2012 elections. Libyans have had the opportunity to choose their own representatives freely in a credible election, fulfilling one of their revolution s main goals, Martin said. This has been made possible thanks to the resolve of the interim authorities, the relentless efforts of electoral officials, and, above all, the determination of the people. continued on page 4 Jeffrey Feltman, under-secretary-general for Political Affairs Page 2

2 new Leadership in DPA Message from the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs DPA Photo Jeffrey Feltman assumed his post as Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs in July As a student of international affairs many years ago, I was inspired by the ideals expressed in the UN Charter. It is a real honor for me now to have been selected to head the Department of Political Affairs (DPA). I am grateful for the confidence of the Secretary- General. I want to underscore to this readership my commitment to using the resources of this Department to promote the Secretary-General s objectives and to work with Member States to address the challenges of peace and security globally. DPA s responsibilities in working to prevent and resolve deadly conflict are truly far-reaching and complex, as I have seen in my first months in the job. I hope that, with this issue, readers will appreciate the scope of the UN s peace and security efforts around the world. From the UN s diplomatic efforts in Syria to its preventive diplomacy in Iraq, its work to stabilize Somalia and shore up democracy in West Africa, its coordinating role in countering the Lord s Resistance Army in Central Africa, and its expanding contributions in mediation and counter-terrorism, DPA, in close partnership with other parts of the UN family, is working in these and many other challenging environments to employ political means in the pursuit of peace. Please allow me to salute my predecessor, Lynn Pascoe. Lynn concentrated on how best to apply the talents and experience in DPA. I am fortunate to have arrived at DPA at a time of important transformations that should enhance our ability to respond rapidly to crises. These include the professionalization of our mediation efforts, our improved support to political missions in the field, our growing partnerships with regional organizations, our assistance to the Security Council and other UN bodies, and our continued emphasis on providing top-notch electoral assistance. As was the case under Lynn s tenure, we are focused on results and committed to transparency. I am grateful to many Member States for this support of DPA. DPA will keep working in these important directions. We will count on the continued support of Member States, civil society and all who have a stake in the success of the UN s initiatives in peacemaking and conflict prevention. Only by joining together in this way can we hope to live up to the expectations of people around the world and the ever-inspiring ideals of the UN charter. Sincerely, Jeffrey Feltman Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon congratulates Under-Secretary-General Feltman at his swearing-in ceremony. Biography of Jeffrey Feltman Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Mr. Feltman, who recently served as US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs with the rank of Career Minister, brings to the position over 26 years of political and diplomatic experience within the United States Foreign Service, mostly handling Eastern European and Middle Eastern affairs. Mr. Feltman served as United States Ambassador to the Republic of Lebanon until 2008, previously heading the Coalition Provisional Authority s office in the Irbil province of Iraq, acting simultaneously as Deputy Regional Coordinator. He served until 2003 as Acting Principal Officer at the United States Consulate-General in Jerusalem and until 2001 as the Ambassador s Special Assistant on Peace Process issues in the United States Embassy of Tel Aviv. Prior to this, he was Chief of the Political and Economic Section at the United States Embassy in Tunisia after having covered economic issues in the Gaza strip until 1998 at the United States Embassy in Tel Aviv. Mr. Feltman served until 1993 in the Office of Deputy Secretary Eagleburger as Special Assistant coordinating United States assistance to countries of Eastern and Central Europe, and acted as economic officer at the United States Embassy in Hungary till 1991, after completing his posting as a consular officer in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Mr. Feltman who speaks Arabic, French and Hungarian received his Bachelor s degree in history and fine arts from Ball State University and his Master s degree in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Born in 1959, Mr. Feltman is married. Farewell to USG Lynn Pascoe: B. Lynn Pascoe s distinguished stewardship of DPA during more than five years as the Under-Secretary- General for Political Affairs was celebrated at a 27 June farewell ceremony attended by Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon, DPA staff and colleagues from around the UN system who came to express their appreciation and best wishes. The Secretary- General, in his remarks, praised B. Lynn Pascoe s leadership, wise council and principled commitment to the United Nations. The former Under-Secretary- General for Political Affairs, B. Lynn Pascoe, speaking at his farewell party in June Pascoe led the Department from 2007 to mid Politically Speaking / Fall 2012 Bulletin of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs 3

3 continued from page 1 UN Assistance The UN s engagement in Libya is guided by the principle of national ownership: Libyans carried out their revolution and Libyans should now determine their own future. Through a team of electoral advisors, the United Nations worked closely with Libya s independent High National Election Commission, offering technical expertise to ensure a credible electoral process. Meanwhile, UNSMIL s police advisors embedded within the Ministry of the Interior assisted the Libyans with a security plan for the elections. Registration of voters and candidates went smoothly, with more than 2.8 million of an estimated 3.4 million voters answering the call to register. More than 3,700 candidates registered, running either as individuals or on lists of the numerous newly created political entities. More than 600 of the candidates were women, marking an unprecedented level of women s participation. Training took place across the country for Libyan officials tasked with managing the balloting. Election turnout exceeded 60 percent in polling, demonstrating Libyans determination to hold the Libya s elections set the stage for the next steps on the country s road to democracy. election despite security incidents and tensions in the run-up to the vote, particularly in the eastern part of the country. Next Steps for Libya Libya s elections set the stage for the next steps on the country s road to democracy. A National Congress imbued with popular legitimacy was installled in early August. It is called upon to appoint a new government. A commission will draft a new constitution to be put to a popular referendum, probably in early 2013, to be followed by another election for a legislative Top left: Women participated strongly in Libya s elections. Right: Libyan security forces in the eastern city of Ajdabiya played an important part in securing a peaceful electoral period. Far right: SA Libyan woman shows her finger marked with black ink after she cast her ballot in the landmark elections on 7 July All photos: UNSMIL Photo, Iason Athanasiadis Girls wave and flash victory signs at a passing helicopter during a June 2012 military parade in the western city of Zawiya, held to mark the anniversary of last year s uprising. UNSMIL Photo, Iason Athanasiadis body, which will be Libya s first full parliament in half a century. UN efforts to support the constitution-making process and to ensure a coordinated approach by the international community are underway. Arms, security and Human Rights The UN mission is providing support in other key areas of Libya s transition. UNSMIL will continue, for example, to provide expert advice to the police and the military on how to build a sustainable security structure while integrating former revolutionaries. The UN will also continue assisting authorities in other priority areas identified by the Libyans. These include human rights protection, transitional justice and the rule of law; the safe storage and control of the large amounts of weapons in the country; and countering arms proliferation and controlling Libya s borders. The UN will also continue to encourage the participation of Libyan women in all national efforts. Libya s recovery faces numerous challenges, particularly local conflicts and security incidents in a nation still awash in weapons. Ethnic and regional differences left unaddressed and often exacerbated by the previous regime have resurfaced. In some areas tensions have erupted into fighting. That Libyans are going forward, despite these difficulties, is in itself an encouraging sign that they are committed to seeing democracy prevail. The United Nations will remain engaged to help Libyans build on the progress made and fulfil their aspirations for a democratic, stable and prosperous state. Videos from Libya Latest videos produced by the UN s political mission in Libya: 4 Politically Speaking / Fall 2012 Bulletin of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs 5

4 Interview Libya has crossed an extremely important milestone : Interview with Special Representative Ian Martin Ian Martin In a July 2012 interview with the UN News Centre, the outgoing Special Representative for Libya, Ian Martin, spoke about the country s elections, its prospects for the future and the UN s support role. What s your take on Libya s recent elections? Ian Martin: Libya has crossed an extremely important milestone in its transition to a democratic state and it s done it in a very short period of time. It s not yet a year since the National Transitional Council was seated at the General Assembly, and even after that, fighting went on until the Declaration of Liberation in late October. They set themselves a very ambitious timetable for when these first elections would take place, and they ve happened more or less on schedule, and in a better context than almost anybody would have been prepared to predict. Have the elections enhanced expectations about what Libya can achieve in the short to medium-term? Expectations have always been very high but it s certainly true that the interim government was only regarded as just that, and didn t itself feel that it had a mandate to take long-term decisions until there was an elected government; so yes, I think it s true that expectations will now be even higher. But both Libyans and the international community are going to have to realize that building a state out of a legacy of 42 years of a regime that deliberately didn t develop the institutions of a modern democracy is not a quick task. What are the main problems facing Libya at the moment? Libya is a country with enormous resources for its relatively small population that s a blessing, obviously. But an economy that is only dependent on oil and has a very large public sector has a real problem in diversifying its economy in a way that will provide employment for growing numbers of young people some of whom became the revolutionaries of last year. In addition to that, it faces major security challenges. The transition from the revolutionary brigades that were there at the end of the conflict, to state security forces having a monopoly of force, a national army and a proper police force that can t be created overnight. The majority of the revolutionaries don t want to be in the security sector, they want civilian occupations that s a big challenge. Libya has enormous borders, particularly its southern border is open to the trafficking of people, weapons, drugs getting a grip on that is a huge challenge. And we ve seen the outbreak of a number of local conflicts which is not surprising. They are conflicts that have long roots and, indeed, were there during the al- Qadhafi regime and in many ways were exacerbated by its actions, but that s going to need the attention of an elected government and elected representatives. What are underlying issues behind those security concerns? It s the question of how one moves [on] from the revolutionary brigades, which have continued to be an important provider of security Ever since the end of the conflict, much of the security in towns and cities, in the absence of a robust police force or a sizable neutral army, has been provided by the brigades. Now, there are some who are ill-disciplined and there have been serious abuses that continue abductions, detentions, ill treatment by some of those brigades but the leadership of the local military councils, the majority of the brigades, is a responsible leadership, which does not, I think, want to challenge state authority. Indeed [they] want to see the transformation that they fought for last year but will only be ready to disarm and disband when sensible decisions are taken about the future of those who make up the brigades, and when the state capacity is there to hand over to. There have been reports of parts of Libya seeking more of a say in the distribution of power and resources. How does that play into the country s future? The roots of that go back to the origins of independent Libya, which not many people in the United Nations remember was brought into being by a United Nations commission, in , that negotiated the first constitution, and Libya was formed out of the three former provinces of the Ottoman Empire Cyrenaica, Tripolitania and Fezzan. At the very beginnings of the state, a major issue was: is it going to be a federal state? Which, indeed, it was from 1951 to Eventually, a more unified constitution and what balance of representation should there be between the population, which is heaviest in the west, and the regions [needs to be considered]. Then you add to that that the east was deliberately marginalized by al-qadhafi it didn t like him, he didn t like it and add to that Benghazi s sense that it was where the revolution begun. The east is certainly determined that it should have a full part in the future constitution-making and governance, and there s a very general sense that Libya has been too centralized a state, and it s not only in the east, it s other parts certainly the south and even parts of the west that were neglected in an over-centralized authority from Tripoli. So, there are major decisions about future constitutional arrangements and the decentralization of government. Where are things at with Libya s constitution-making process? The National Congress now has to decide how the constitutional commission that will actually draft the constitution is going to be composed. There was a last-minute decision by the outgoing National Transitional Council that it should be elected by the three regions rather than selected by members of the National Congress themselves. But that s something that now is going to be under discussion between the newly-elected political leaders and people, particularly in the east, who felt most strongly about the case for equal representation. So, we have to see how the body will be composed and then it can get down to business, and the United Nations will be ready to assist with that stage of the process and the constitutional referendum, and then eventually, the first elections under a new constitution. I hope that this first election is an important step towards a government with full legitimacy. What role do tribal rivalries and loyalties play in Libya today? That s a question on which Libya experts disagree. There are many ways in which the tribes play a positive role, in social networks, and indeed, while on the one hand tribal divisions can be part of local conflicts, the tribes actually have considerable mediation capacity and issues are worked out between them. And, of course, the bulk of Libya s population now is young and lives in the mixed cities of the coastal strip. So I think there s a tendency on the outside to exaggerate the view of Libya as a place of warring tribes. I hope we ll see that tribes will be playing a positive role in the new Libya, but the form of democracy will be as this election shows a modern, representative democracy. What has the role of UNSMIL been up until now and how will it change in the immediate future? Our main work has been in three areas. The first has been support for the democratic transition, and the first phase of that has been the election and we ve had a sizable electoral team, at its peak some 55 international experts helping with the elections it s actually not a very large number compared with the role the United Nations has played elsewhere but I think it s been of obvious importance given that the electoral authorities in Libya started out with continued on next page 6 Politically Speaking / Fall 2012 Bulletin of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs 7

5 UNSMIL Photo, Iason Athanasiadis UN Special Representative for Libya, Ian Martin, awards a certificate to a member of the Libyan police who graduated from a course on guaranteeing security in the July 2012 national polls. absolutely no experience whatever, and had to build an electoral machinery from scratch. And that role will continue through the constitution-making to the future constitutional referendum and later elections, if that s what the Libyans want. The second major area is support to the security sector, to the development of the police force we have had a police advisory team working with the Ministry of Interior and the police from the beginning. We ve been doing a good deal of work with the army as well, coordinating international expertise, helping the Libyans draw up a first defence white paper, to conceive of security forces being under proper democratic control. That also includes the areas of border security and management of arms and ammunition, and the eventual demobilization and reintegration of the members of the brigades. And then the third area is human rights, transitional justice, [and] the rule of law, where there s a major legacy from the past that has to be confronted: missing persons, fate uncovered as far as possible, victims assisted, the worst perpetrators brought to trial in fair proceedings, and a problem of the continued detention of those detained at the end of the conflict, rightly or wrongly, where the state capacity to screen those cases and deal with them properly within the law hasn t yet full existed. So those three areas remain as valid today as they were in the run-up to the last elections, I think. Of course, once there s a new government, the UN will discuss with that government its wishes for the UN role, but it doesn t appear that there s any reason why those three areas would not continue to be the main focus for the work of UNSMIL, in cooperation with UN agencies. And of course, the UN funds, agencies and programmes are active across a much broader area of capacity development. How do events in Libya over the past year compare to similar events in the region? Are there lessons to be learned? I think Libya is very much its own place. I ve been asked several times how it s been influenced by what s happened to its neighbours; the influence is at the time of the uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya there the sort of influences are obvious, but the situation as left in each of those three countries and elsewhere is very, very different and therefore has to be looked at on its own terms. With so much else happening around the world, has the international community s attention on Libya waned? I think there is still a strong international desire that Libya succeeds in its transition. Libya s needs are limited. It doesn t need donor funding because it s a country with very considerable resources of its own. It has a lot of skilled personnel, but what it doesn t have is experience of wellfunctioning state institutions. So the need is mainly one for technical assistance fairly precise, welltargeted technical assistance as requested by the Libyans. What was it like for you on the ground in Tripoli during the elections? There s no doubt that election day itself was the most extraordinary occasion, particularly because there were serious security concerns immediately beforehand and, indeed, some attempts to disrupt the election through violence. But the way that that was swept aside by the determination of the great majority of people to cast the votes they struggled to have the right to cast, and then to see some very old people, disabled people, young people, women voters as well, coming out to display their inked finger to show others that they d cast a vote it was a great thing. I ve been very fortunate that I ve been part of three historic processes for the UN the popular consultation or self-determination referendum in East Timor in 1999; and then the end of the civil war, the end of the monarchy and the election of the Constituent Assembly in Nepal, and now this transition in Libya. Each of them has had a major electoral exercise at the heart of it, where the UN role has been very important. In all cases, these have been very emotional occasions. People have seen very long-held aspirations coming within reach of realization. Certainly for me it s been an extremely rewarding experience in Libya but one mustn t, in the pleasure of a successful electoral exercise, lose sight of the long, hard road that always turns out to be ahead. Where do you see Libya in five years? Libya has tremendous possibilities because of its wealth in relation to its population, because of its wonderful coastline as well as its desert areas, because of the most extraordinary Roman and Greek remains still only partially excavated. It s a country with enormous positive potential that can be a benefit to not only its citizens but to its neighbours too, because it needs the support of migrant labour. That, of course, requires effective governance. And I hope that this first election in July is an important step to there being a government with full legitimacy, to the emergence of political parties only partially formed for this election and a functioning state which in five years could really be a positive feature in its region. 8 Politically Speaking / Fall 2012 Bulletin of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs 9

6 syria Syria s Conflict: Peacemaking in Transition Lakhdar Brahimi Demands for democracy and dignity still reverberating from the Arab Spring continue to reshape a region where they were denied for too long. In Syria, long a strategic crossroads, the resistance to change has been fierce, leading the country down a deadly spiral of conflict. Efforts by the United Nations to stop the violence and the suffering have been considerable - spanning its political, peacekeeping, human rights and humanitarian arms. This commitment to the Syrian people will continue. As this issue of Politically Speaking went to print in mid- August, international peacemaking efforts were in transition. The veteran diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi of Algeria was tapped to lead diplomatic efforts on behalf of the United Nations and the League of Arab States following the resignation of former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. The UN Security Council did not renew the mandate of the UN mission monitoring the cessation of violence after an escalation of the conflict. In announcing the appointment of Mr. Brahimi, Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon emphasized that diplomacy remained a top focus for the United Nations. More fighting and militarization will only exacerbate the suffering and make more difficult the path to a peaceful resolution of the crisis which would lead to a political transition in accordance with the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people, he said. Special Representative Brahimi underlined the international community s focus on the Syrian people: We will consider their interests above and before everything else. The UN s diplomatic strategy to this point had sought an immediate cessation of violence followed by political dialogue and transition. It was hoped that the deployment of ceasefire monitors would crucially change the dynamics on the ground, helping to lock the parties into their commitments to cease the violence. At its meeting in Geneva on 30 June 2012, the UN-backed Action Group for Syria agreed on steps for a political transition in the country. From left to right: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; Former Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan; Sergey V. Lavrov, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (right). Left: UN observers on a fact-finding mission in a Syrian village where a massacre of civilians took place. The UN s mission in Syria helped to provide objective information about the conflict, June Right: After an initial pause in the fighting in April 2012, violence soon surged upward again, surpassing previous levels and taking on worrisome sectarian dimensions. All photos: upsurge of violence But it would be up to those doing the fighting to step back foremost the Syrian government. Success would also depend on the leverage exercised by the international community. Hopes were lifted in April by an initial pause in the fighting. However, violence soon surged again, surpassing previous levels and taking on worrisome sectarian dimensions. In June, the activities of the UN s 300-strong mission, UNSMIS, were restricted amid escalating violence that hampered operations and ultimately led to its withdrawal. The mission s efforts under difficult circumstances were widely acknowledged, particularly in fostering local contacts and in providing an objective view from the ground More fighting and militarization will only exacerbate the suffering and make more difficult the path to a peaceful resolution of the crisis. following mass killings in places such as Houleh and Tremsieh. By August, unofficial estimates put the death toll as high as 18,000 over the more than a year and half since Syria s upheavals began with government repression of peaceful protest. Hundreds of thousands of Syrians had fled either inside the country or over its borders, and as many as 2.5 million people were in need of humanitarian assistance. Sectarian violence intensified and fears of spillover from the conflict were running high around Syria s volatile neighborhood, which includes countries such as Lebanon and Iraq. Divisions in the UN Security Council have marked the crisis throughout. The Department of Political Affairs (DPA) has worked intensively to support the Secretary- General and the UN-LAS envoy in their diplomatic strategy and missions. DPA cooperated closely with the UN peacekeeping department in supporting the monitoring effort on the ground, and continues to lead, with UNDP, a UN-system wide Inter-Agency Task Force on Syria, joining the many UN entities working to help the Syrian people. The UN s efforts aim to address and cope with the present while Updates on the Syrian Conflict Daily updates on the Syrian conflict are available on the UN s news website: www. continued on page Politically Speaking / Fall 2012 Bulletin of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs 11

7 interview Crisis in Mali and its Repercussions: Interview with the UN s Envoy for West Africa UNOCI Photo, Basile Zoma UN Special Representative for West Africa, Said Djinnit, at a meeting of the regional Support and Follow-up Group on the Situation in Mali, held in Abidjan in June Mali, stung by a March military coup and the advance of rebels and extremist groups in the country s north, has gone in short time from a perceived bulwark of progress in West Africa to a major regional and international concern. Worsening humanitarian conditions, the destruction of religious and historical sites, and fears of regional spillover are among the most worrisome dimensions of the situation. For a perspective on the crisis, Politically Speaking turned to Said Djinnit, the United Nations Special Representative for West Africa, who is playing an active role in forging the UN s response on Mali from his position as head of the UN Office for West Africa (UNOWA), a Dakarbased political mission overseen by the Department of Political Affairs. At the time of this interview, in mid-july, the United Nations was backing regional mediation efforts and also considering a request by the organization of West African states, ECOWAS, to authorize a regional military force to help push back against armed groups in the north. Only a few months ago, Mali was seen as one of the most stable and prosperous countries in the region, now it is seen as a real crisis country. What is the situation in Mali right now? The situation is worrying, very serious and was quite unexpected, to be honest. Mali was considered a country doing very well, a model of democratic governance in the sub-region. Then suddenly the coup happened and led to a combination of problems. West Africa has been making progress since the ethnic conflicts of the 1990s, but as long as the root causes of instability remain, the situation is fragile and precarious. Anything can happen anytime and reverse progress on peace and democracy. This is what happened in Mali. What are the underlying factors that led to this situation in Mali? Nothing can justify a coup from my point of view. The President was quite well perceived regionally and internationally, despite some shortcomings, and was about to finish his mandate two months later. This being said, there were serious problems below the surface such as inequality, marginalization and exclusion of a number of political forces, along with a perception of corrupted leadership including in the military command. Those issues have probably caused a lot of frustration in the army and in some circles within the political class and civil society. But again, this cannot be a justification for a coup. Look at where Mali is now. It is just unjustifiable and I personally believe that the Junta bears a huge responsibility in the tragic events that led to the occupation of a big part of the Malian territory. What are the options now for helping Mali recover its democracy and its territorial integrity? What is the UN s view on a military intervention? At the moment, there is no clear decision in terms of military action. ECOWAS has decided to deploy its Standby Force to Mali and has approached the UN Security Council to seek authorization and support. The general opinion within the international community is that the situation in Bamako in the country s south should first be consolidated before addressing the restoration of the territorial integrity in the north. The priority is to restore full constitutional order in Bamako. There is no lasting solution without a return to democracy and constitutional normalcy, through elections within the twelve-month period that has been set forth by ECOWAS. What is expected of the transitional leadership in Bamako is to form an inclusive and representative government which is not yet the case -- and to agree on a roadmap for the transition to elections and for recovering territorial integrity. Secondly, Mali must recover its full territorial integrity and the international community is calling for it. Our expectation at the United Nations is that all possibilities for addressing the situation through dialogue and UNHCR Photo, H. Caux A refugee camp of Malians who fled to Niger early 2012 due to the worsening security situation in northern Mali. Mali was considered a country doing very well, a model of democratic governance in the sub-region. Then suddenly the coup happened. negotiations are exhausted before the use of force is considered. The option of military action has been put forward in the event that dialogue does not succeed. The Security Council has requested further details on the proposed military deployment by ECOWAS regarding the objectives, modalities and means of such intervention. Finally, the last and most difficult challenge is to deal with extremists, jihadists and terrorists who have a foothold in the north. Again, there has to be a dialogue with the good people of Mali who are willing to discuss their situation so that the terrorists can be isolated and handled in the most appropriate and decisive manner. How concerned are Mali s neighbors and the surrounding region? They are worried for three main reasons. Firstly, they were disappointed with the setback to democracy and constitutional order in Mali. The countries of the region are strongly committed to democratic values and do not want any reverse in the democratization process in West Africa. They want to see constitutional order fully restored. Secondly, there is the issue of unity and territorial integrity. Given the extent of ethnic diversity and the frequent separations between north and south, countries in the region are very concerned about the risk of divisions to their fragile nations. Neighbouring countries are keen to see that territorial integrity continued on next page 12 Politically Speaking / Fall 2012 Bulletin of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs 13

8 continued from previous page is restored quickly, and that the African principle of integrity of borders is preserved. The last concern, terrorism, is the greatest threat of all. Governments believe that Northern Mali has become a kind of nursery for terrorism. There are concerns about their nationals being trained in northern Mali and returning home to countries and seeking to destabilize them. This concern is shared by Algeria, Niger, Mauritania, Senegal and other countries. All of the countries in the region are taking this combination of threats very seriously. The picture of West Africa has recently become one of instability and backsliding, Mali, another coup in Guinea- Bissau, troubled elections in Côte d Ivoire, and even a close call in Senegal s elections. Is West Africa moving backwards? In my previous position, I served for many years in the African Union, as its Peace and Security Commissioner. I was part of the process starting in late 1990s when the AU and ECOWAS, drawing lessons from the tragedies of the past, started elaborating an agenda and architecture for peace and security and the protection of human rights. Since then, the advances have been fantastic. Africa has moved forward considerably. But history has its ups and downs. Over the past year, a series of setbacks might make us believe that there are attempts to reverse that progress. But the leaders at all levels and the people are resisting. The gains of democracy and peace in West Africa have been won very painfully. The African people have paid a heavy price, they were brave and the African leaders took bold decisions. Despite their weaknesses, the countries are trying to find strength in working together. There are attempts to go backwards, but there is strong resistance by the leadership and by civil society to protect those gains. We, at the United Nations, stand The UN Special Representative for West Africa, Said Djinnit, at a Regional Action Group Meeting on Mali. UNOWA Photo in support of the African people and their institutions in their efforts to defend their hard won achievements with regard to peace and democracy and in seeking progress. Elections are too often associated with political instability and violence. When you look around the region, what are some of the other places that give you cause for concern? What are some of the bright spots you see? Every election is a test to democracy in West Africa and Africa in general. Elections are too often associated with political instability and violence. Yet, we have every reason to hope that democracy is gaining roots in West Africa and the Continent as a whole. For instance, Senegal went through a very delicate period. It was very tense and we were seriously concerned. but ultimately the attachment of the people and leaders of Senegal to the culture of democracy has prevailed. Elections are due in a number of countries such as Ghana, Sierra-Leone, Guinea, and Togo and we hope that Senegal will serve as an example. I have been in close touch with the parties in Guinea to help them create the conditions for peaceful legislative elections which concluded the transition to democratic rule. Guineans have achieved great progress in holding the first ever democratic presidential election since independence. I am also scheduled to go to Togo, where the situation in the past months and years has been tense, to encourage all stakeholders there to create conditions for peaceful legislative Large parts of northern Mali fell under the control of rebels in The picture shows Timbuktu, where Islamist extremists have destroyed mausoleums considered world heritage. elections. Lastly, I would flag the situation in Nigeria which is affected by the threat of terrorism through attacks by Boko Haram. Every effort should be made to help Nigeria consolidate its stability, and to fight terrorism effectively in accordance with the rule of law. For Nigeria itself and given its wider role in Africa, Nigeria s stability and democracy are paramount. Your office works on crosscutting issues such as drug trafficking and their effect on peace and security in the region. This seems to have become a major factor in Guinea-Bissau s instability. How do you see the situation there? Guinea-Bissau has been in permanent crisis, unfortunately. My colleague, Joseph Mutaboba, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Guinea- Bissau, is trying to help the stakeholders to come together after the recent coup and amid the attempts by ECOWAS and the international community to help despite differences in approach. My role as Special Representative for West Africa is to provide backup to my colleague and to help in mobilizing regional attention and promoting regional coherence. This country has been severely affected by the plight of drug trafficking to the extent that some suspect criminal networks of being deeply involved in the political developments, including in the context of the coup. Furthermore, there have been reports that drug trafficking is on the increase since the coup. This would mean that drug dealers have the potential to undermine what is being done by regional leaders, civil society and the international community to build credible states and rule of law. What more can be done, including by the United Nations, to fight against drug trafficking? We still have a long way to go in mobilizing leadership, including heads of states, ministers and Photo: Emilio Labrador, Flickr decision makers at all levels. We should do more to raise the alert about the damaging consequences of drug trafficking in undermining security, national institutions and public health. West Africa is not only a transit route; it is increasingly becoming a consumption zone. Early actions should be taken to try to tackle all the aspects of drug trafficking and prevent the whole region from falling under the sway of drug networks. The United Nations through its Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), my office and other actors is strongly engaged in supporting the capacities to do so in the region. Video on the Crisis in Mali Watch the video interview with the UN s Special Representative for West Africa. 14 Politically Speaking / Fall 2012 Bulletin of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs 15

9 Efforts by the United Nations, African countries and international partners to address the threat and impact of the Lord s Resistance Army (LRA), and its leader Joseph Kony, have gained substantial momentum over the past year. The United Nations recently-established political mission for Central Africa, UNOCA, is playing an important role in fostering a coordinated UN response and in building on the growing international support. UNOCA Photo, Norbert Ouendji lord s resistance army United Nations and Partners Build Momentum in the Fight Against the LRA Throughout its history, the LRA has been known for its atrocities including the abduction and forced recruitment of children, rape, amputations and murder. This was the LRA s modus operandi in Uganda from the 1980s until it was forced out by the national army in 2004, and when it later spread its terror to the neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and South Sudan as well as to the Central African Republic. The LRA s gruesome tactics have resulted in a massive displacement of civilian populations. And while its numbers have dwindled to less than 500 armed combatants, the group The UN Regional Office for Central Africa, along with the African Union, coordinates efforts to address the threat and impact of the LRA. Visit to LRA-affected regions in April still has the capacity to attack and terrorize civilian populations. Last year, the UN Security Council requested UNOCA, in coordination with the UN Office to the African Union (UNOAU), to work with UN entities and the African Union (AU) to develop a regional strategy on the LRA. Under the leadership of Special Representative Abou Moussa, UNOCA quickly went to work. In January 2012, Mr. Moussa and AU Special Envoy on the LRA, Francisco Madeira, carried out joint assessment visits to LRAaffected areas prior to organizing several stakeholders meetings in Addis Ababa and Entebbe. On 24 March, the two officials were together at the launch of the African Union s Regional Cooperation Initiative against the LRA (RCI-LRA) in Juba, South Sudan. The four affected countries pledged to provide a total of 5,000 troops to form the RCI s military component, the Regional Task Force (RTF), to hunt down the LRA and its leaders. UNOCA and UNOAU, as well as the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA), have been working with the UN peacekeeping operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and in South Sudan (UNMISS), as well as with the UN s agencies, funds and programmes to increase the UN s response both to humanitarian needs and the protection of civilians. At the end of June, the Security Council endorsed a comprehensive anti-lra strategy arrived at Archive Above: While its numbers have dwindled to less than 500 armed combatants, the LRA still has the capacity to attack and terrorize. Right: Victims of the LRA, who had to flee from their villages following attacks by the group. Democratic Republic of the Congo, April through extensive consultations involving UN entities and partners. The strategy focuses on five key objectives: (i) implementation of the African Union-led Regional Cooperation Initiative against the LRA; (ii) Enhancement of efforts to promote the protection of civilians; (iii) Expansion of current disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, resettlement and reintegration activities to cover all LRA-affected areas; (iv) Promotion of a coordinated humanitarian and child protection response in all LRA-affected areas; and (v) provision of support to LRA-affected governments in the fields of peacebuilding, human rights, rule of law and development, so as to enable them to establish state authority throughout their territory. While the four LRA affected countries have demonstrated the political will to tackle the LRA issue, it is clear that international cooperation, including financial support, is required. UNOCA Photo, Norbert Ouendji The strategy must only represent the beginning of vigorous attention by the Council to address the LRA issue, in order to put an end to these atrocities once and for all, Mr. Moussa said. Its successful implementation will depend on the level of cooperation and engagement among the affected countries and on resource mobilization to address funding gaps. In his most recent report to the Security Council on the LRA, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appealed for such assistance: Only by providing the necessary resources will we be able to ensure the success of continuing efforts by the national authorities, the African Union and other international partners in this regard. The United Nations is not alone in supporting the Africanled actions against the LRA. A group of United States military advisers deployed in the region is providing training and intelligence assistance. Furthermore, efforts by civil society and human rights advocates including the release of an online video sensation Kony 2012 have helped build global public support for addressing the threat and impact of the LRA. A determined push will be needed, now, to translate plans into action so that the LRA s reign of terror which has victimized hundreds of thousands of civilians in four countries for more than two decades may soon come to an end. UNOCA Photo, Norbert Ouendji UN Special Representative Moussa and African Union Special Envoy Madeira talk to victims of the LRA in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, April Politically Speaking / Fall 2012 Bulletin of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs 17

10 mediation UN Report Includes New Guidance for Mediators DPA Photo, Simone Eymann Standby Team of Mediation Experts 2012; From top left to bottom right: Jeffrey Mapendere, Graciela Tapia, George Anderson, Nicole Töpperwien, John Packer, Gerard Nduwayo. With armed conflicts trending upward again and proving increasingly complex, the challenges are also mounting for mediators working to resolve them through negotiations. Newly developed guidance from the United Nations can help them to succeed, providing practical advice for navigating mediation processes effectively. The new United Nations Guidance for Effective Mediation was released in August 2012 by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as an annex of a broader report (A/66/811) on trends and capacities in conflict mediation issued at the request of the UN General Assembly. The Guidance will be officially launched at a high-level event at the end of September, where mediation practitioners from different backgrounds will exchange their views. Preventive Diplomacy Top Priority The Secretary-General has placed preventive diplomacy and mediation high on his agenda, reflecting a desire for more effective action to save lives and stop conflicts at an early stage, before they require costlier international engagements. The Assembly s landmark General Assembly Spotlights Role of Mediation in High- Level Meeting, May resolution on mediation (65/283) was its first to focus specifically on this topic. The Secretary-General s new report should be of interest not only to practitioners, but to a broader audience concerned about mediation and its potential for diminishing conflicts around the world. It details recent steps taken by the United Nations to augment its mediation capacities key among them is an ongoing process of strengthening the Department of Political Affairs, which anchors many UN mediation efforts. continued on page 20 Mediation Experts in High Demand Since 2008 renowned experts in fields such as mediation, strategy, power-sharing, constitutionmaking, human rights and natural resources have been plucked from their careers to work for the United Nations on one-year assignments as on-call advisers to peace envoys around the world. Demand for the Department of Political Affairs Standby Team of Mediation Experts has increased each year. The members of the 2011 Team were deployed on more than 50 occasions to over 20 countries including Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Kyrgyzstan. The new 2012 team began its work in March. 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. When not in the field, they are working on the development of UN best practices and training materials in their areas of expertise. The Team located in the Mediation Support Unit of DPA s Policy and Mediation Division, functions as a resource for the UN system broadly. Team members have been deployed to support traveling envoys, field-based political and peacekeeping missions, and UN Resident Coordinators. Assistance is provided in the planning, support, and coordination of mediation efforts; in contributing thematic advice; conducting training and capacity building with conflict parties; carrying out strategic assessments; and developing policy guidance, lessons learned, and mediation best practices to guide future efforts. The 2012 team members and their respective areas of expertise are: Constitutions: John Packer (Canada) is a conflict resolution expert and most recently a Professor of International Law at Essex University (UK). Gender: Gerard Nduwayo (Burundi) is a leading gender expert who has worked extensively for UN WOMEN, UNDP and African Union Commission (Panel of the Wise) on issues of women, peace and security, as well as social inclusion. Natural Resources: George Anderson (Canada) has had a long career in public service including as Deputy Minister of Natural Resources (2002-5), Deputy Minister of Inter-governmental Affairs ( ) and Assistant Deputy Minister in the energy, finance, and foreign ministries. Power-sharing: Nicole Töpperwien (Switzerland) is an expert and consultant on power-sharing, including federalism and decentralization, with in-depth experience working on issues of inclusion in multi-cultural settings in conflict and post-conflict situations. Security Arrangements: Jeffrey Mapendere (Zimbabwe) has worked extensively in his career in the field of conflict resolution and has been a member of all three preceding Standby Teams. Process Design: Graciela Tapia (Argentina) is an expert on mediation and dialogue, and has worked on reconciliation and prevention issues in Latin America and Central Europe. 18 Politically Speaking / Fall 2012 Bulletin of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs 19

11 continued from page 18 DPA s Mediation Support Unit, established in 2006, is helping to professionalize the UN s mediation approach, and has become a global provider of mediation support services. It houses the Department s Standby Team of Mediation Experts (see page 19) as well as a broader roster of mediation professionals. The unit has also spearheaded the development of mediation guidance and training in DPA. The Secretary-General s report analyzes mediation trends from several vantage points. As requested by the General Assembly, it looks at efforts to build mediation capacity within the UN and other organizations, the need to link national and local mediation capacities with the efforts of the international community, progress in women s participation, and the cooperation and partnership between mediation actors. As the report points out, the United Nations is only one of many actors in a diverse and crowded mediation field also occupied today by Member States, regional and non-governmental organizations as well as private individuals. In the best of circumstances, each can contribute according to its comparative advantage; at worst, competition among mediators hampers peace efforts. And while previously, UN mediation was seen as the exclusive domain of Special Envoys, it has become clear that many entities within and outside the United The mediation guidance is informed by the best practices of envoys. In this photo, UN Special Adviser Jamal Benomar is in talks to facilitate a political transition in Yemen, Although each conflict and each peace process is different, there are fundamentals that can be applied to good effect by mediators. Nations have important roles to play. Resident Coordinators overseeing the UN s humanitarian and development efforts and other officials in the field often contribute to facilitation and dialogue processes. Local mediators can also make crucial contributions. The report also contains an important call for resources, noting in particular that chronic shortages in the regular budget for the Department of Political Affairs have forced a reliance on voluntary funding for mediation activities - even though this is a charter responsibility of the United Nations. Issued as an annex to the report, the UN Guidance for Effective Mediation is a reference document that provides a framework for enhanced understanding and better use of mediation. The Guidance was developed in close consultation with Member States and others, such as regional organizations, nongovernmental organizations, civil society and women s groups, as well as conflict resolution scholars. Peacemaking efforts can only benefit from guidance that reflects the deep experience, over many years, of those in the mediation community who have been working on the front-lines to prevent and resolve conflict, said Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Tayé Brook- Zerihoun, who was closely involved in DPA s efforts to develop the new UN guidance. Although each conflict and each peace process is different, there are fundamentals that can be applied to good effect by mediators, he added. Mediation Fundamentals The Guidance outlines eight key mediation fundamentals that require the mediator s consideration for an effective process. These are: preparedness; consent; impartiality; inclusivity; national ownership; international law and normative frameworks; coherence, coordination and complementarity among mediation efforts; and lastly, the development of quality peace agreements. The Guidance will be widely distributed and included in a training module for senior mediators. Although primarily intended as a resource for mediation practitioners, the Guidance serves more broadly to generate better understanding on the aims, potential and limits of mediation. For ease of reference by users in the field, an application is currently under development by DPA to permit access to the mediation guidance on mobile devices. Of course not all conflicts are amendable to mediation at all times. And no guidance can address all the challenges associated with complex mediation processes in a particular context. Nonetheless, a professional and coordinated approach increases the prospects for success. In concluding, the guidance reminds us that the success or failure of a mediation effort ultimately depends on whether the conflict parties accept mediation and are committed to reach a settlement. When they are, mediators can play an invaluable role. Eight Key Mediation Fundamentals Preparedness Consent Impartiality Inclusivity Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser (centre), President of the sixtysixth session of the General Assembly, opens the Assembly s informal high-level meeting on The Role of Member States in Mediation, alongside Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (on left). 23 May 2012 United Nations, New York National Ownership International Law and Normative Frameworks Coherence, Coordination and Complementarity of Mediation Efforts Development of Quality Peace Agreements More on DPA s Website Read the full report on mediation at: 20 Politically Speaking / Fall 2012 Bulletin of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs 21

12 iraq Camp Ashraf: Promoting a Peaceful Resolution Through its political mission in Iraq, UNAMI, the United Nations has worked on many fronts to promote stability and reconciliation in the country, helping authorities there to organize landmark elections, draft development plans, improve relations with neighbors and promote national dialogue and compromise between communities. A key focus over the past year has been UNAMI s ongoing preventive diplomacy to avert bloodshed over the situation of Camp Ashraf, where a tense standoff has persisted between the government and an exiled Iranian opposition group. For decades, the group known as the Mujahedin-e Khalq, or (MeK), occupied the Camp, a selfcontained site only a few hours drive from Baghdad. Yet as Iraqi politics shifted following the fall of Saddam Hussein, so did the stance of the country s authorities towards the group. Closing of Camp The current Iraqi government has made it clear that it wants Camp Ashraf shut down and the MeK which once fought alongside Hussein and is designated by the United States as a terrorist organization to leave Iraq. Baghdad sees its presence, in a place which UNAMI Photo is off-limits to the government, as an affront to national sovereignty. When the government announced late last-year that it would be closing the camp by 31 December, many feared a repeat of the violence of April 2011, when dozens of Ashraf residents were killed in clashes with Iraqi UN Special Representative for Iraq, Martin Kobler, is leading the UN s efforts to avert bloodshed on the issue of Camp Ashraf. security forces at the camp. An earlier incident in 2009 cost the lives of at least 10 residents. Diplomatic Efforts To prevent a similar outcome, the United Nations initiated intensive diplomatic efforts to find a peaceful solution to the crisis. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged Prime Minister Nuri al- Maliki to extend the deadline for the camp s closure, which he agreed to do. This provided time and space for an extensive exercise in preventive diplomacy led by Martin Kobler, the Secretary- General s Special Representative for Iraq, who has mediated between the Iraqi government and the group. As an impartial actor the United Nations could interact with both parties, Kobler said. With support from other governments, including the United States, Kobler was able to bridge the gaps between the two actors and find an agreement that both respects Iraq s sovereignty and provides the people of Camp Ashraf with a safe and voluntary path to a more hopeful life outside of Iraq. Voluntary Relocation The memorandum of understanding signed by the UN and the Iraqi government in late December 2011, takes the main concerns of both actors into account. Under its terms, Camp Ashraf will be shut down, its residents relocated voluntarily to a temporary transit location, Camp Hurriya, a former U.S. Marine base near the airport in Baghdad. The government of Iraq has accepted full responsibility for the safety and security of the residents, from the relocation throughout their stay at Camp Hurriya. The accord provides that none will be returned forcibly to Iran or resettled in third countries against their will. UNAMI Photo The challenge, to which UNAMI has put considerable effort, is to ensure the relocation of camp residents takes place without violence. Following UNAMI s diplomatic efforts, a first convoy of Camp Ashraf residents crossed the Iraqi desert on 17 February, carrying 400 people to their temporary homes in Camp Hurriya. By the end of August, a total of almost 2,400 persons, or three-fourths of the residents, had moved to the new location while an estimated 800 remained in the previous camp awaiting transfer. The moves involve complicated security and logistical preparations. UNAMI monitors the relocation process and provides round-theclock human rights monitoring at Camp Hurriya. Ongoing Mediation Since the signing of the agreements, UNAMI has continued to mediate between the residents and the government to keep the process on track. This involves everything from high-level talks to keep the parties committed to the process, to the negotiation of practical and humanitarian problems of camp management. How much water the residents are allowed to consume per day, how the sewage and garbage systems are organized these detailed and time-consuming negotiations all go through us, too, Kobler says. Aerial shot of Camp Ashraf. The Iraqi government ordered the closure of the camp in The relocation of its residents was still ongoing as of August Resettlement Outside of Iraq In the meantime, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has begun to determine the residents eligibility for refugee status, paving the way for a longer-term solution: their resettlement outside of Iraq. The Iraqi government and the camp residents must finalize the relocation in a peaceful and orderly way. As Camp Hurriya is only a temporary solution, resettlement is the key to the success of this effort. There must be countries that are willing to accept Camp Ashraf residents after they obtain registered refugee status, says Kobler. So far, however, commitments by governments to receive Ashraf residents have been limited. Kobler has been vocal in calling on states to seriously consider taking them in. Fragile Situation Though the initial stages of the relocation process proceeded without violence, a slowdown between May and July prompted resumed tensions and recriminations, requiring renewed high-level diplomacy. The situation continues to be fragile, says Kobler. It is the responsibility of the Iraqi government and the camp residents to finalize the relocation in a peaceful and orderly way. Video Interview with Martin Kobler Watch the video interview with the UN s Special Representative for Iraq. 22 Politically Speaking / Fall 2012 Bulletin of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs 23

13 somalia Somalia Beyond the Roadmap After decades of strife and humanitarian tragedy many observers have called Somalia a failed state. Some have written off the situation as insoluble. Yet the Somali people and the international community have remained stubbornly determined to change the dynamics and recent efforts are paying off. Major security improvements combined with substantive political progress under a year-old roadmap to ending the transitional period have created a sense of hope and a real opportunity to move toward peace and stability in Somalia. As this issue of Politically Speaking went to print, all eyes were on how the nation would meet a 20 August 2012 deadline to end a prolonged transitional phase and establish inclusive national institutions. Much time and effort was spent on crafting the Roadmap to End the Transition which set out critical but achievable tasks in the areas of security, constitutionmaking, reconciliation and good governance. Meanwhile, the UN s top envoy for Somalia, Augustine P. Mahiga, was already looking ahead to how Somalia, under a new and more inclusive government, would rebuild its institutions and revive the social, political and economic landscape. UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, Augustine Mahiga in Mogadishu, 7 August 2012 Major security improvements combined with political progress have created a sense of hope and a real opportunity in Somalia. The end of the transitional period will be an important benchmark, but it is time for us all to begin to look past 20 August and think about the future political dispensation of Somalia, SRSG Mahiga, who heads the UN Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS), said in a message to the Somali people. The Road Ahead The Roadmap hinges on the approval of the provisional constitution by the National Constituent Assembly (NCA), itself selected by a Council of Elders representing all elements of Somali society and vetted by a Technical Selection Committee. With its endorsement, however, there will be more challenges and opportunities ahead. The provisional constitution will need to be approved by popular referendum. And it will set the stage for the establishment of permanent institutions, including a new federal parliament, the executive and an independent judiciary. This is only the starting point for future progress and development. A number of points in the provisional constitution will require further refinement. Issues such as citizenship and federalism, the role of Shar ia law and whether the Parliament will be bi-cameral, need to be explored and debated openly among the Somali people. As such, the provisional constitution will remain a living, breathing and amendable document until it is eventually ratified UNPOS Photo Left: Somalia s capital Mogadishu is seeing an economic upturn with reconstruction throughout the city. Right: Major security improvements along with political progress have created a rare sense of hope and opportunity in Somalia. by the Somali people through a direct referendum. Critical Stabilization Tasks Addressing a meeting of the International Contact Group on Somalia in the run-up to August, Ambassador Mahiga noted that while progress had been made across the board over the last year, insufficient attention had been paid to critical stabilization tasks. These include developing the justice sector, establishing accountable police services and providing increased access to justice and corrections systems which conform to international standards. Creating governmental institutions is also high on the list of urgent requirements. The Transitional Federal Government (TFG) has had ministers, but no ministries and institutions to support them. The SRSG also pointed to the importance of capitalizing on security progress by supporting Somali forces on the ground, strengthening the African Union s peacekeepers (AMISOM) and expanding efforts to provide services and governance in the newly recovered areas. Visible changes have already taken place on the ground. In January of this year, Ambassador Mahiga became the first UN Head of Mission to be based in Mogadishu in 17 years thanks to the remarkable and hard-won security gains as the TFG forces and their allies pushed insurgents out of the capital. The SRSG remarked how dramatic the change in Mogadishu has been in the past year: The population has really come back in great numbers and there is an amazing burst of economic activity, Ambassador Mahiga told Politically Speaking. In addition to the daily selling and buying of food in the markets, substantial reconstruction is going on in all main areas of Mogadishu. Many members of the Somali business community have returned from the diaspora to invest in new ventures hotels and guest houses and the emergence of cottage industries are reviving a once abandoned waterfront. The building of much needed schools and hospitals are a contrast to the familiar bullet-pocked landscape. Changing the mindset however, is no easy feat, Ambassador Mahiga said. With more than two decades under a weak government, vested interests have naturally developed among clans, within the business community and among various ideological groups. Some of these special interest groups are not so keen to see change, he stated. Inclusivity and continuous outreach efforts, however, have been key to making inroads in getting acceptance and political buy-in for a provisional constitution. UNPOS has embarked on a major public information campaign which speaks to people of all walks of life, pegging the provisional constitution to a better future continued on page Politically Speaking / Fall 2012 Bulletin of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs 25

14 /Mark Garten myanmar Encouraging Myanmar s Democratic Reforms Amidst startling political changes, including historic reforms led by President Thein Sein and the election to parliament of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar is shedding its authoritarian image and emerging from decades of international isolation. But just how firmly rooted are the changes and what can the outside world do to help Myanmar and its current reform-minded leadership to keep up the momentum? These are questions on the mind of many in the international community, among them the UN Secretary-General s special adviser on Myanmar, Vijay Nambiar. The former Indian national security adviser and Chief of Staff to the Secretary-General leads the UN s diplomatic good offices efforts to support reform and development in the South Asian country. In an interview, Nambiar voiced cautious optimism about the changes afoot in Myanmar and discussed how the UN role may evolve in the period ahead to help spur further reform and development. Secretary-General Ban Ki moon Meets with H.E. U Thein Sein, President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and key Ministers, Naw Pyi TAW, April UN Special Adviser for Myanmar, Vijay Nambiar, sees a genuine commitment of the authorities to improving the standards of living in Myanmar, as well as to opening up society as a whole. Fragile Process Some say it is irreversible, however it is still a fragile process, there is much that can go wrong, he said. But I think there is a determined sense on both sides the side of President Thein Sein and the government and of some of the leaders like Aung San Suu Kyi on the opposition side to make this work in order to see that you have a truly democratic progress. Like all democracies it is a work in progress and there are many things that need to be done, Nambiar added. The Myanmar envoy spoke on the eve of his most recent visit to the country, one that underscored the complexities as well as the promise of the current moment in Myanmar. Not long after arrival in Yangon, Nambiar was thrust into efforts to calm inter-ethnic and religious tensions and violence that had erupted in Rakhine State, near the country s border with Bangladesh. He travelled in the area of unrest by helicopter along with Myanmar s Minister of Border Affairs, meeting with leaders, pledging UN humanitarian aid and support for efforts to quell the violence between Muslim and Buddhist communities. He spoke with persons displaced by the violence, Buddhist monks in the monasteries and heard from villagers belonging to the Islamic faith. Some say the political change is irreversible, however, it is still a fragile process. Important Reforms Only two years ago, says Nambiar, the November 2010 election and the adoption, following Cyclone Nargis, of a new constitution by referendum all part of a lengthy seven-step roadmap to transition led by Myanmar s military were moves met with a degree of scepticism by many both inside and outside the country. Leading democracy advocate Aung San Suu Kyi considered the country still a sham democracy, he recalled. But her release, after many years of house arrest, followed by that of a large number of the country s political prisoners, helped her test the country s newfound openness. Making renewed contact with her people at the grassroots level, and, especially after a groundbreaking meeting with the country s President Thein Sein, she agreed to run in the byelections in April of this year after the electoral laws were amended to permit her and her party to do so. Her National League for Democracy party swept 44 of 48 seats in the by-election for Myanmar s parliament. Laws on media censorship and freedom of association were also partially relaxed, among a series of important changes. Regional and western governments have responded, making high-level visits to the country and lifting or suspending sanctions on Myanmar that had been in place for many years. The decision of the regional organization of Southeast Asian states, ASEAN, to name Myanmar to its presidency in 2014, was another sign of normalization of the country s international standing. In April 2012, UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon travelled to Myanmar, his third visit to the country as UN Chief, following earlier visits under different circumstances. He strongly welcomed the democratic changes and ongoing national reconciliation and peace efforts, while using the opportunity to encourage business investment in Myanmar and announce plans to increase UN support in a number of areas. The Secretary-General announced the UN would be 26 Politically Speaking / Fall 2012 Bulletin of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs 27

15 normalizing its development program in the country, helping Myanmar carry out a much-needed national census, strengthening drug eradication programs, and offering support in electoral and governance reforms. Nambiar says reconciliation will also remain a focus, noting that Myanmar may welcome some degree of international involvement in supporting the resolution of decades-old conflicts between the government and armed ethnic groups. Observers may debate what, in the end, produced the changes that had long eluded Myanmar, where a military junta took power after voiding the results of the last elections in Drivers of Change Nambiar attributes it to a number of factors, but especially a desire by the country s long ruling generals to emerge from isolation and return to respectability in the region. The devastation from Cyclone Nargis in 2008 also exposed the country s depths of underdevelopment, serving as a wakeup call that Myanmar could not stay further behind. I think there is a genuine commitment to improving both the standards of living and the livelihood inside Myanmar as well as to opening up society as a whole, Nambiar said. Whereas other countries like Laos and Cambodia have been getting almost four or five times as much development assistance as Myanmar, Myanmar has not been able to benefit from some of these kinds of relationships with the outside world... and that has affected its own basic Ban Ki-moon with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyii, May development. Living in isolation from the international community can have a major impact in terms of quality of life for its own people. Nambiar says the prospect of being able to chair the ASEAN and host the 2014 ASEAN summit was an important attraction for the military to speed up its transition. As Myanmar changes, Nambiar sees the UN good offices role likely to evolve along with it. The mandate was established by the General Assembly with a focus on pressing Myanmar for democratic reforms. Some of the focus on reforms may still be needed, he said, but it could come less in the form of strident demanding than supportive encouragement to help ensure that the reform project succeeds and does not slip backward. The three main pillars of UN support today, he explained, are in the areas of democracy, humanitarian assistance and development. There has to be occasional pressure, but there has to be patience, he said. Among the political challenges ahead, the country still holds political prisoners, Nambiar said, and will require assistance with legislative reforms, promoting the rule of law and the strengthening of human rights institutions and the establishment of a democratic political culture. Even if there is a functioning parliament and a constitution, there are serious issues of political reform that need to be addressed, he said. It remains to be seen how this process develops. It s fragile, but I think it is encouraging. Video Interview with Vijay Nambiar Watch a video interview with the UN s Special Advisor on Myanmar. Counter-terrorism United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Prince Saud Al-Faisal, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia, brief the press after co-chairing the 2nd Meeting of the UN Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT) s Advisory Board in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, June As Member States strive to combat terrorism, a new centre taking shape at the United Nations will be a valuable tool at their disposal. The United Nations Counter- Terrorism Centre (UNCCT) is dedicated to boosting counterterrorism capacities of developing countries, supporting implementation of the UN Counter-Terrorism Strategy adopted by Member States in 2006, and to fostering international counter-terrorism cooperation. The Centre, which is still in its early stages, was formally established last year as part of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF), a coordinating body of all UN entities working in the fight against terrorism. Its staff will be based in the CTITF Office located within the Department of Political Affairs. Defining Priorities Efforts to define the Centre s priorities took an important step forward when UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon attended a high-level meeting of its 20-nation advisory board in June 2102, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The coming months will see the launch of the Centre s first capacity-building projects on the ground. Suppressing the financing of terrorism is a critical area where internationally-accepted guidelines need to be effectively applied, Mr. Ban told the meeting in Riyadh. At the strategic level, we need to try to understand and counter the appeal of terrorism. That means building a culture of dialogue, spreading education and promoting inter-community engagements, he added. The Secretary-General also underscored the importance of respecting human rights while countering terrorism and UNCCT s potential to highlight the plight of victims of terrorism. Victims and their families are among the most powerful voices in the fight against terrorism, and I urge the UNCCT to support their efforts. Board members agree that a key focus of the Centre will be to help governments establish comprehensive national and regional counterterrorism strategies along the contours of the UN global strategy adopted in 2006 by the General Assembly. The global strategy emphasizes a holistic approach focused not only on law enforcement activities, but also addressing human rights and conditions that may be conducive to terrorism. The Centre is also planning to help Member States share counter-terrorism best practices, exchange expertise and develop effective training programs. The idea was conceived during an International Counter- Terrorism Conference convened by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh in King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz proposed the creation of a centre under the aegis of the UN, to support international continued on page Politically Speaking / Fall 2012 Bulletin of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs 29

16 funding OECD Listing Opens New Window for DPA Donors Success in peacemaking and conflict prevention not only saves lives, it helps to provide critical stability for economic development in nations undergoing strife or rebuilding after wars. In recognition of this connection, the Department of Political Affairs has been welcomed this year by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) onto its list of entities eligible for official development assistance (ODA). This list has included UN humanitarian and development agencies for many years; it now, for the first time, includes the UN s main political arm. Success in peacemaking not only saves lives, it also helps to provide critical stability for economic development. DPA hopes this will translate into increased support in a time of growing needs for voluntary assistance to complement the Department s regular budget. The decision will allow donors to meet their voluntary ODA targets when pledging funds to DPA. If the political fundamentals are not in place in countries emerging from conflict, development progress will remain fragile. Donors understand this linkage and now they have increased flexibility to express it through their contributions, said Delphine Bost, DPA s Focal Point for Donor Relations. As of August 2012, DPA has provided electoral assistance to more than 45 countries. Rapid Response Bolstered by Voluntary Funds DPA s activities funded with extrabudgetary contributions under its Multi-Year Appeal have continued in 2012 to focus on rapid response to conflict, mediation, and electoral assistance. Examples include DPA s support to the UN Arab League Joint Special Envoy for Syria and the recent elections in Libya. Extra-budgetary contributions often provide for the deployment of mediation or electoral experts to reinforce the UN s field missions. As of August, DPA had provided electoral assistance to more than 45 countries this year, while members of the Standby Team of Mediation Experts were deployed on 57 occasions. The Department was expected to have received from donors approximately $11 million in voluntary contributions by September, towards its $16 million target for Syria continued from page 11 planning for future scenarios. The conflict in Syria is a test of everything this organization stands for, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said, adding: I do not want today s United Nations to fail that test. Resolution of the crisis may be only a question of time, but how long, and at what additional cost to the Syrian people, their country and beyond? Somalia continued from page 25 for Somalia and encouraging all Somalis to have a role in the making of the provisional constitution. Ambassador Mahiga is urging Somalis to sustain their commitment to broad-based, inclusive and representative post-transitional arrangements. He is pledging, in turn, continued support from the United Nations and its partners. United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre continued from page 29 efforts to enhance counter-terrorism cooperation. Initial three-year funding was provided through a $10 million Saudi contribution to develop the Centre s infrastructure and activities. The General Assembly has also encouraged Member States to collaborate with the Centre. The Advisory Board Saudi Arabia is the current Chair of the Advisory Board for three years. The other members of the Advisory Board are: Algeria, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Morocco, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States of America and the European Union as Guest Member. The impact of last year s donations were described in DPA s 2011 Annual Report, which can be found on DPA s website ( Funding ) at Since early 2012, DPA has introduced further tools to strengthen the capacity for assessing its work, including the establishment of a departmental evaluation policy. A new database to manage the Department s finances is expected to be operational by the end of the year. It cannot be just an effort of the Somalis themselves. We value their leadership and ownership of the process but in a country that for 21 years hasn t had a centralized authority or institutions, it can only succeed if it is fully supported by the international community. UN Office in Somalia on Social Media For those who would like to keep Supported by the UN, the African Union s peacekeepers (AMISOM) have successfully pushed out Al-Shabaab of Mogadishu last year. up to the minute on the Somali peace process and follow communication between key audiences, UNPOS has established a series of new media platforms. You can follow the mission s work on Twitter view photo essays and images on Flickr ( and read a leadership blog on Tumblr (unposomalia.tumblr. com). 30 Politically Speaking / Fall 2012 Bulletin of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs 31

17 Activities and Events STAFF NEWS /Eskinder Debebe senior officials In his first official travels since his appointment, Under-Secretary- General Feltman accompanied the Secretary-General on his July visit to China and the Western Balkans and his August attendance of the 16th Summit of the Non- Aligned Movement in Tehran. USG Feltman addressed the Security Council for the first time on 13 July, delivering remarks to its Interactive Dialogue on Post-Conflict Peacebuilding. In August, he briefed the Council on Mali and the Middle East Peace Process. Following his assumption of duties, the Under-Secretary-General initiated a schedule of meetings with key counterparts including the chairs of UN regional groupings, permanent representatives of member states and close partners of DPA within the UN system. Assistant Secretary-General Tayé-Brook Zerihoun, in February and March 2012, led a joint team of DPA and the Department of Field Support to the political missions in West, East and Central African countries (BNUB, UNIOGBIS, UNOWA, UNOCA, BINUCA and UNPOS) and the UN Office to the African Union in Addis Ababa. The team discussed mandate Under-Secretary- General Feltman greeting Hu Jintao, President of the People s Republic of China, July implementation, reviewed strategic, managerial and support activities with the missions and held meetings with local and international partners in the countries. In April, ASG Zerihoun participated in a workshop on Strengthening political governance for peace, security and stability in Africa organized by the African Union Panel of the Wise in Tunis, Tunisia -- part of a comprehensive AU review of the existing mechanisms relating to democratization and governance in Africa. ASG Zerihoun briefed the Security Council in June on the situation in Guinea-Bissau, on steps taken and required to restore constitutional order in the aftermath of the April coup. In preparation for the Security Council s Mission to West Africa, ASG Zerihoun also briefed the Council on peacebuilding efforts in Sierra Leone and the preparations for elections. ASG Zerihoun co-chaired, with ASG Tegegnework Gettu of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the first meeting of the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on the Sahel in June. The IATF was established following the Interagency Assessment Mission on the impact of the Libyan crisis on the Sahel. Its objective is to adopt a coherent, coordinated and demanddriven approach that brings together political, security, humanitarian and development issues based on a common understanding of the challenges affecting the region. In July, ASG Zerihoun accompanied the Deputy Secretary- General to the 19th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. On the margins of the Summit, they attended a high-level meeting of the AU Peace and Security Council to review the situations in Guinea-Bissau and Mali and the restoration of constitutional order in the two countries. Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Oscar Fernández-Taranco travelled to the Western Balkans in March to assess the role of the United Nations in that sub-region and to provide an impetus to several new initiatives being undertaken by the United Nations country teams operating there. ASG Taye-Brook Zerihoun ASG Oscar Fernandez Taranco In April, Mr. Fernández-Taranco represented the United Nations in a two-day consultation in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, co-organized by the UN, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Organization for Co-operation and Security in Europe with regional, subregional and other international organizations. Later that month, Mr. Fernández-Taranco attended the second joint DPA-UNDP Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery meeting with UN Resident Coordinators in Montreux, Switzerland. The Assistant Secretary-General participated in two international meetings on the Syrian crisis: the meeting of the Contact Group on Syria in Geneva on June, as well as the Third Meeting of the Group of Friends of the Syrian People in Paris on 6 July. ASG Fernández-Taranco briefed the Security Council on the situation in the Middle East in June. He also represented DPA at the General Assembly s thematic debate on security in Central America as a regional and global challenge. New Guidance to Combat Sexual Violence in Peace Agreements The United Nations is enlisting its peace envoys in stepped-up efforts by the organization to combat the scourge of sexual violence in conflict. In March 2012, DPA unveiled new guidelines to help mediators address the problem in peace agreements and cease-fires. The launch event hosted by the Permanent Mission of Germany to the UN brought together an audience of eminent mediators, diplomats and civil society representatives including 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee of Liberia. The new Guidance for Mediators on addressing Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in Ceasefire and Peace Agreements has been issued to UN mediators and mission chiefs and incorporated in training and briefing materials for envoys and their teams. It is available as a public resource to others working in conflict mediation globally. 32 Politically Speaking / Fall 2012 Bulletin of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs 33

18 Antonella Caruso of Italy has been named Director of DPA s Middle East and West Asia Division, MEWAD. A former advisor to Italy s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Caruso brings to the position more than 20 years of experience working in the Middle East. In her last position before joining DPA, she was founder and director of a track two project to support the Iraqi Dialogue on National Reconciliation, which brings together leading politicians and parties in the Iraqi Parliament. Ms. Caruso has also worked in the private sector as an analyst and advisor with emphasis on North Africa, the Middle East and the Gulf. Ms Caruso speaks four languages including Arabic. The appointment of Ms. Caruso follows the retirement in May 2012 of Horst Heitmann as Director of MEWAD after nearly three decades of distinguished service to the United Nations. Mr. Heitmann also held positions in DPA as Director, Security Council Affairs Division, and Deputy Director, Asia and Pacific Division. João Honwana was appointed Director of DPA s Africa II Division which focuses on West and Central Africa. Mr. Honwana was serving previously as Director of the Africa I Division. He has held numerous senior positions in disarmament, peacekeeping and peace-building missions, including as the Representative of the Secretary- General for Guinea-Bissau and head of the UN political mission in the country (UNIOGBIS). Following his appointment as Africa II Director, Honwana visited Guinea-Bissau in July to discuss solutions to the country s political crisis in the aftermath of the April 2012 coup. He also visited Mali and Senegal, and attended an ECOWAS summit in Côte d Ivoire. Among its key principles, the guidance obliges mediators to engage parties in discussion on this issue and to work towards firm commitments to cease all acts of conflict-related sexual violence. The guidelines also promote the inclusion of sexual violence in the definition of acts covered by, and monitored, under a ceasefire. The guidance is available on DPA s website: Special Political Missions Start-up Guide: Special political missions are being deployed with greater frequency by the United Nations to help prevent and resolve conflict and to build peace in nations in transition. The Department of Political Affairs has now developed a best practices guide for its staff and planners on successfully starting up a mission. A reference document for all DPA staff, the Special Political Missions Startup Guide focuses on the procedures and responsibilities during a mission s critical early months. The Guide is currently being incorporated into training packages for political officers and senior UN officials. Field-based special political missions under DPA s supervision were most recently established in Central Africa and Libya. The Secretary-General s Retreat with Regional Organizations: DPA organized a retreat of the Secretary- General held in June 2012 with the heads of selected regional organizations active on peace and security issues. With the United Nations and regional organizations working increasingly closely in mitigating conflict, the meeting allowed for a strategic exchange UN Secretary-General s Retreat with Regional Organizations, June of views and lessons learned. A similar retreat was held in The Secretary-General and the sixteen heads of regional organizations addressed a wide range of topics in informal and frank discussions, ranging from conflict prevention to climate change. Country-specific discussions focused on Afghanistan, Syria and the Sahel. Participants supported the Secretary-General s call to strengthen its collaboration with regional partners. Good Offices in Yemen: DPA has continued to support Yemen s two-year transition towards inclusive and democratic national institutions through Special Adviser Jamal Benomar s engagement with all Yemeni sides. During visits to Yemen in April and July, Mr. Benomar was involved, respectively in efforts to resolve tensions over senior military appointments and facilitate preparations for an all-inclusive National Dialogue Conference. On 23 May, he represented the Secretary-General at the Ministerial Meeting of the Group of Friends of Yemen hosted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh. The meeting demonstrated increased commitment by the international community to scale-up its support to Yemen s transition. Iraq-Kuwait: DPA led a field assessment mission on 4-11 June 2012 to Kuwait and Iraq as the first step in reactivating the Iraq- Kuwait Boundary Maintenance Project (IKBMP) pursuant to Security Council resolution 833 (1993). Colleagues from the Cartographic Section of the Department of Field Support (DFS) and the UN s political office in Iraq (UNAMI) joined the mission, which, in addition to meeting with governmental delegations, also travelled to the border area. UN-OIC General Meeting: The General Meeting on Cooperation between the UN and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) from 1-3 May 2012 in Geneva reached an agreed framework for the first time, outlining common activities over the next two years. Jehangir Khan, Deputy Director of the Middle East and West Asia Division of DPA, headed the UN delegation to the meeting which was attended by more than 80 delegates from 38 offices and agencies. Topics ranged from conflict prevention to humanitarian assistance, to the fight against terrorism. UN-LAS General Meeting: The 11th General Meeting on cooperation between the United Nations System and the League of Arab States was held in Vienna on July at a time of both momentous events transforming the Middle East and North Africa and increased cooperation between the two organizations. Mr. Levent Bilman, Director of the Policy and Mediation Division, 34 Politically Speaking / Fall 2012 Bulletin of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs 35

19 headed the UN delegation, which consisted of representatives from more than 20 UN entities. A broad range of issues were discussed, including the Middle East peace process. Division for Palestinian Rights The Division for Palestinian Rights continued to provide substantive and administrative support to the Palestinian Rights Committee of the UN General Assembly, including the organization of events on the question of Palestine. The UN Seminar on Assistance to the Palestinian People held in Cairo on 6-7 February focused on the economic consequences of the Israeli occupation. At the centre of the UN International Meeting on the Question of Palestine from 3-4 April in Geneva was the plight of Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was represented by Maxwell Gaylard, Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process. Women and youth gathered at UNESCO in Paris on May for the UN International Meeting on the Question of Palestine, which highlighted their role as catalysts for peace and was followed by a Civil Society Meeting on 1 June. The UN Asia and Pacific Meeting in Support of Israeli- Palestinian Peace took place in Bangkok on July, examining the obstacles to peace and promoting regional efforts to help address them. At UN Headquarters in New York, the Division organized briefings for the Committee by prominent participants in the peace talks PLO Executive Committee Member Ms. Hanan Ashrawi and Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh on 27 March and 12 June respectively. Additional information can be found on the Question of Palestine website maintained by the Division at Decolonization: The General Assembly s Special Committee on Decolonization, also known as the Special Committee of 24, held its annual regional seminar in Quito, Ecuador from 30 May to 1 June 2012 under the theme Third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism ( ): current realities and prospects. The regional seminar, as other activities of the Special Committee aimed at eliminating colonialism, was supported by DPA s Decolonization Unit. The seminar was attended by representatives of the Non-Self- Governing Territories (NSGTs), administering Powers, civil society and non-governmental organizations, as well as experts. From 11 June to 22 June, the Special Committee held its 2012 substantive session in New York, in which the question of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas) figured prominently. In early May, in cooperation with DPA s Decolonization Unit, the Department of Public Information disseminated new posters and postcards to highlight the importance of the Third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism. Further information may be found on the decolonization website. decolonization/ DPA on Twitter Follow DPA on Twitter to receive the very latest news about the UN s work in preventive diplomacy, peacemaking and electoral speaking POLITICALLY Department of Political Affairs United Nations New York, NY Editorial contact: Jared Kotler Public Information and External Relations Dept. of Political Affairs Website: Designed by Department of Public Information 36 Politically Speaking / Fall September ,000

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