The Office of the Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region and the ICGLR address Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in the Great Lakes mining sector through a jointly organized event
Kampala (Uganda), 27 November 2023 - The Office of the Special Envoy for the Great Lakes, in collaboration with the Regional Training Facility of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), hosted an event under the global theme: UNiTE! Invest to prevent violence against Women and Girls. The event aimed to engage mining actors in promoting positive masculinity as a preventive and responsive mechanism to address Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in the Great Lakes region’s mining sector. This event was held in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, on 27-28 November 2023 in the context of the 16 Days of Activism campaign, which is supported by the United Nations through the Secretary-General’s UNiTE by 2030 to End Violence Against Women.
The meeting took note of the challenges witnessed in the implementation of the ICGLR Kampala Declaration on SGBV of 2011. These challenges include lack of awareness, limited resources, weak accountability mechanisms, impunity, persistent conflicts, and proliferation of armed groups which use sexual and gender-based violence as a weapon of war.
The meeting deliberated on the situation of SGBV in the Great Lakes region with a focus on the mining sector. It highlighted the important role of Member States, civil society organizations, the media, and mining associations in creating a safe environment, free of sexual violence against women and girls working in the mining value chains. The event also aimed to promote advocacy and sensitization of mining actors to strengthen meaningful participation of women and youth in the fight against SGBV.
Speaking during the opening session of the meeting, Serigne Diene, Senior Economic Advisor representing Huang Xia, UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region, highlighted the need for partnerships and a renewed commitment to ending violence against women and girls. He further reiterated the commitment of the Office of the Special Envoy to the 16 days campaign and its partnership with member states, regional bodies, and relevant UN entities in the region, within the framework of the UN Strategy for Peace Consolidation, Conflict Prevention and Conflict Resolution in the Great Lakes region.
The meeting culminated in a CALL TO ACTION to fully domesticate the legal and policy framework that prevents and responds to SGBV; Integrate SGBV in national planning frameworks; allocate budgets; provide a holistic care to survivors; strengthen partnerships with civil society organizations, the private sector, faith-based organizations, as well as cultural leaders, and the media.