Nearly two years after the Islamic State’s (IS) fighting forces were dislodged from their final hideout in Baghouz, Syria, the northeast (NE) region remains highly insecure. Numerous state actors with a stake in the future of Syria either maintain a troop presence in the NE or are providing financial and logistical support to proxies or other non-state actors. The resulting conflicts paint a worrying picture for the future of the NE and its residents.
The March Data for Peace Dialogues event covered efforts made in the peace and security sectors that focus on women empowerment, as well as empowerment of women directly affected by conflict and violence. Recent research and initiatives have explored how emerging technologies can contribute to this empowerment. This webinar showcased important examples of inclusion of women in peace and security processes, while at the same time reflect that much more needs to be done. The gender data gap is another priority to discuss as we need data for guiding future policymaking.
The event will discuss the resort to violence and violent extremism in Northeast Syria based on a new report entitled “Preventing the Re-emergence of violent extremism in Northeast Syria.” This report was produced as a joint collaboration by the National Agenda for the Future of Syria Programme (NAFS) at UN ESCWA and the Center on International Cooperation at New York University.
In March 2020, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for waiving of sanctions imposed on countries to ensure access to food, health, and medical support necessary to fight COVID-19, especially for those already facing dire humanitarian challenges. “This is a time for solidarity not exclusion,” he said. His call was reinforced throughout the year by OHCHR and OCHA, as they all have highlighted the importance of avoiding the collapse of any country’s medical system, which would not only be devastating for the country but could heighten secondary economic and security risks.
Conflict and insecurity continued to plague populations in the eastern Congo in 2020. Amidst a global pandemic draining humanitarian funding – only 34% of requested annual aid had reached the Congo in 2020 – conflict continues to simmer, with a record high of 5.5 million displaced across the country. Recent Kivu Security Tracker data also indicates a steep rise in killings, violent deaths and other forms of violence since the end of 2019, compared to previous years.