UN launches development plan to boost recovery in Africa’s Great Lakes region

Mar 22, 2016

The UN regional development framework work will be implemented through UN funds, programmes and agencies initiatives. Photo:UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

New York, 22 March 2016 - The UN Security Council has endorsed a coordinated cross-border development plan for Africa’s Great Lakes region focused on addressing the root causes of conflict and unregulated flows of natural resources, while also working on economic integration and long term solutions for displaced persons and refugees, and fugitives from international justice.

“Progress in implementing the Strategic Framework will greatly contribute to sustainable peace and development in the region,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during the Security Council meeting launch of the UN Great Lakes Regional Strategic Framework 2016-2017.

“I call on the Security Council, the States of the Great Lakes region and the donor community to endorse the Strategic Framework and extend their full support to its implementation.”

The UN Great Lakes Regional Strategic Framework supports the implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework (PSCF) for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the Region agreed in 2013 following international concern regarding recurring conflict and violence in eastern DRC and its effects, including high levels of sexual violence and the displacement of some two million people.

The PSCF aims to support stability and build trust among neighbouring countries, and signatories include Angola, Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

The UN regional development framework work will be implemented through UN funds, programmes and agencies initiatives along the following six pillars: i) sustainable natural resource management; ii) economic integration, cross-border trade and food and nutrition security; iii) mobility; iv) youth and adolescents; v) gender and sexual and gender-based violence; and vi) justice and conflict prevention. The UN Development Programme (UNDP) is leading work on pillars two and six.

Preliminary projects will focus on eastern DR Congo border areas with Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, which has been the main theatre for threats to the stability of the whole region.

Taken together, the Framework will add some USD80 million worth of projects to strengthening regional cohesion in addition to significantly larger existing UN country programmes and regional projects of the UN funds and agencies.

UN development efforts are closely synchronized with the work of UN Special Envoy Said Djinnit, the World Bank’s US$2 billion commitment as well as projects by regional organizations and other stakeholders including the African Development Bank, the European Union and non-governmental organisations.  Overall, billions of dollars’ worth of development projects will be devoted to tackling the development deficits in the region.

The regional strategic framework represents the culmination of a process launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during his joint mission with the World Bank President Jim Kim to the Great Lakes in 2013.

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