Advisory Board for Women, Peace and Security in the Great Lakes region mobilises support to fight COVID-19
Nairobi (Kenya), 12 May 2020 – The 12th session of the Advisory Board for Women, Peace and Security in the Great Lakes region was held via video on 12 May 2020 to mobilize regional and international support in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, and help advance the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda.
The meeting also discussed advocacy and other efforts to promote women’s protection and participation in upcoming electoral processes in the Great Lakes region and in the lead-up to the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000). Three countries — Burundi, the Central African Republic (CAR) and Tanzania — will be holding elections this year. . The meeting explored ways of having peaceful campaigns and positive outcomes in the face of challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Participants who joined the meeting from different countries of the Great Lakes region included the UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region, Huang Xia, who made the opening remarks; Marguerite Mutumwinka, President of COCAFEM-GL, the Organization of women’s groupings and associations in the Great Lakes region; Julienne Lusenge, Director of Fonds pour les Femmes congolaises/The Fund for Congolese Women (FFC); Emma Marie Mugingo, Executive Director of Pro-Femmes/Twese Hamwe; Amb. Liberata Mulamula, former Executive Secretary of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR); and Amb. Eliane Mokodopo, ICGLR Director for Gender.
Mr. Xia told participants that the meeting was held against the backdrop of an unprecedented health crisis. "In the face of this situation, I felt it necessary, as senior members of the Advisory Council, that it was our duty to come together and consider women's, peace and security issues in this particular context," he said. "In collaboration with the African Union, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, and UN Women, my office has consistently supported and promoted the spirit of cooperation and cohesion, which the Great Lakes region needs," he added.
Special Envoy Xia said the global health emergency had hit the world and the Great Lakes region at a time his office was preparing to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Platform and the 20th anniversary of Security Council Resolution on Women, Peace and Security.
Significant progress, he said, has been made in implementing the National Action Plans for Women's Political Participation in the Great Lakes region. But these gains are still fragile and therefore reversible, he added.
On 11 November 2019, the Advisory Board of the Women’s Platform established for the implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation (PSC) Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region held its 11th meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Board agreed to focus on four priority areas: (i) undertake research and analysis on prevention of Sexual and Gender-based violence, including the development of early warning indicators; (ii) support the strengthening of women and girls’ leadership for peace, security and cooperation; (iii) secure sustainable financial resources for WPS in the Great Lake Region; (iv) build new partnership with the ICGLR) and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).