UNDP Africa Director Abdoulaye Mar Dieye Speech at the UN Great Lakes Regional Strategic Framework 2016-2017

Oct 21, 2016

Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes: Said Djinnit

Madam Rosa Malango. Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Uganda

My Colleagues Regional Directors, Resident Coordinators of DRC, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania

Pillar Leads and UNCT representatives,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you all for coming to the banks of perhaps the greatest of the Great Lakes : Lake Victoria ! (Nam Lolwe in Luo; Nalubaale in Luganda; Nyanza in Kinyarwanda)

This meeting focused on “Ensuring effective cross border implementation to address regional conflict drivers” comes at a very critical juncture for the Great Lakes Region.

As the UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes, has so eloquently spoken, we are facing rising political tensions around the upcoming elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, concerns on the human rights situation in Burundi, an increasing risk of inter-community violence.  Consequently, alarms are also going off in the humanitarian community. 

The UN Secretary General, when formally launching the Regional United Nations Development Group and UN Country Teams’ Great Lakes Regional Strategic Framework 2016-2017 at the Security Council Open Debate on the Great Lakes in March 2016, stressed how progress in implementing the Strategic Framework will greatly contribute to sustainable peace and development in the whole region.

On the 27th of April 2016 the General Assembly and Security Council simultaneously adopted a resolution on peacebuilding and conflict prevention. The central recommendation of the resolutions was to look beyond post-conflict peacebuilding to embrace the concept of ‘sustaining peace’. They call for activities addressing all stages of the conflict cycle and to involve the whole UN system in a longer term comprehensive approach.

Without just such a longer-term approach, the Great Lakes region is bound to continue its endless cycle of conflict.  And it is clear that we cannot address peace and development in the Great Lakes without addressing the cross-border nature of these issues in an integrated and comprehensive way across regional borders, as part of the development process promoted by the Great Lakes Regional Strategic Framework.  Indeed, the cross- border issues may, if unaddressed, not only prolong and destabilize the situation, but also undermine other initiatives and investments in the region such as programmes implemented under the five country UNDAFs.

This is why we have come together today with the key objective of ensuring effective cross-border implementation so that we can, as ONE UN in the Great Lakes region, concretely address the regional drivers of conflict in a coherent and complementary development approach with the Governments and other partners in the region.

The time has come to move beyond political statements, indeed to move beyond programming statements.  At the R-UNDG level we have adopted back in April the Results and Resources Framework to deliver on the Great Lakes Regional Strategic Framework. Today we need to move to tackling the HOW of regional and cross border implementation.

I am fully aware that this is perhaps beyond our comfort zone, that acting regionally cross border is not the traditional UN way of doing business, we may need indeed to change our DNA!   But I have also picked up on the enthusiasm of yesterday- the incredible work that has been completed in the working groups and I note and most warmly welcome the high-level of participation here today from all UN constituencies - political, human rights, development and humanitarian sides of the house both at regional and country level.  

During the meeting today we all come together to exchange experience and learn from each other.  By the end of the day we need to achieve a consensus and buy-in among all participants – our political leader the Special Envoy, my fellow Regional Directors, the five Resident coordinators, assembled here today, our Pillar Leads, and UN Country Team representatives on the HOW of delivering effective regional action. Moving forward we will then hold each other to account for concrete results on the ground.

I am looking forward to a very successful and productive meeting – the people that we serve in the Region would expect nothing less.

 

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