The Office of the UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region and the Norwegian Government partner to further peace and development in the region
Nairobi, 4 July 2020 –The Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes region has signed an agreement with the Norwegian Government in support of the implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the region.
Norway and the Office of the Special Envoy have committed to a partnership programme to be implemented between August 2020 and August 2023, with a total budget of NOK 18 million (US$ 1.9 million). The funds, to be spent exclusively for the implementation of the programme, will be disbursed in three instalments of NOK 6 million per annum.
UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region, Huang Xia, welcomed this partnership and stressed: “The Norwegian Embassy in Kampala is a strong partner dedicated to support peace and socio-economic development in the Great Lakes region”.
The objective of the programme is to promote peace and development in the region, with a focus on eastern DRC and the bordering areas, which, for decades, have been the theatre of illegal activities and conflict. The programme will focus on enhancing cooperation among the countries of the region; deepening regional judicial cooperation; increasing the participation of women, civil society and youth in peace and political processes; strengthening economic integration and promoting cross-border trade initiatives; as well as reducing illegal exploitation and illicit trade of natural resources; and coordinating other joint actions of regional stakeholders for peace, security and cooperation in the Great Lakes region.
It is expected that this generous Norwegian grant will have a catalytic effect on peace and development in the Great Lakes region. The programme will be carried out in support to the implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the Great Lakes region. This Framework agreement was signed in 2013-2014 by 13 countries of the region, and endorsed by the United Nations, the African Union, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), also known as the Guarantors of the Framework.
“The challenges in the Great Lakes region are considerable, but regional leadership to address them is a positive sign. The Special Envoy’s approach to peace and reconciliation in the region is aligned by Norwegian foreign policy core values, human rights, inclusion of women and civil society, and we are happy to continue our long-term cooperation with his office,” says the Norwegian Ambassador in Kampala, Elin Østebø Johansen.