On 18 March 2013, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Mrs. Mary Robinson, former President of the Republic of Ireland, as his Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region. On 17 July 2014, the Secretary-General appointed Said Djinnit of Algeria as his new Special Envoy to succeed Mrs. Robinson who took new responsibilities as Special Envoy for Climate Change.

The Secretary-General also established a small office, based in Nairobi, Kenya, with a liaison team in Kinshasa, to support the work of the Special Envoy.

Signing of a peace agreement for the DRC and the region

On 24 February 2013 eleven countries, including Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia, and four Guarantors, the United Nations, the African Union, the Southern African Development Community, and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, signed the Peace, Security and Cooperation (PSC) Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the region.

The PSC Framework outlines key national, regional, and international level actions required to end the recurring cycles of violence in eastern DRC and the region. It provides space for collaboration between the countries in the region, regional organizations and the international community to work together and address the structural causes of instability in the DRC and the region.

The UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes aims at building accountability in the region by working with a vast spectrum of political, social, and economic organizations, including governments, parliaments, women’s groups, youth, business groups, trade unions, faith-based organizations, and academics, to ensure a full implementation of the PSC Framework agreement.