Senior UN officials in the Great Lakes region convene to deliberate on the implementation of the UN Strategy for Peace Consolidation, Conflict Prevention and Conflict Resolution in the Great Lakes Region
Kampala (Uganda), 12 December 2023 – The Senior Policy Group (SPG) of United Nations presences in the Great Lakes region met in Kampala, Uganda, on 11-12 December 2023 to review progress in the implementation of the Regional Strategy for Peace Consolidation, Conflict Prevention and Conflict Resolution and to provide guidance in key areas to enhance its impact on regional dynamics. The retreat allowed the participants to share their views on recent political, security and humanitarian developments in the region, including regional peace initiatives such as the Nairobi and Luanda processes.
High-level participants in the meeting included Vincent Bagiire Waiswa, Permanent Secretary in the Ugandan ministry of Foreign Affairs; Huang Xia, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes region; Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, Special Representative of United Nations Secretary-General to the African Union and Head of the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU); Yacoub El-Hillo, Regional Director for the Development Coordination Office for Africa; Bruno Lemarquis, Deputy Special Representative to the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and Resident Coordinator and Coordinator of Humanitarian Operations in the DRC; and Susan Ngongi Namondo, UN Resident Coordinator for Uganda. Other participants included senior UN Officials from various Agencies, Funds and Programmes in the Great Lakes region.
Speaking during the meeting, Special Envoy Xia reiterated the strong support of the UN for peace and prosperity in the Great Lakes region. Permanent Secretary Vincent Bagiire reaffirmed the commitment of the Government of Uganda to work for peace, security, and development in the Great Lakes region, as well as for good relations between neighbouring countries in line with the objectives of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the region.
The participants held extensive discussions on the implementation of the Regional Strategy and the updated Action Plan (2023-24), as well as resource mobilization efforts for the Strategy. On the second day of the meeting, the IOM and the UNHCR led the participants to visit a transit centre in Nakasero. While in the centre, the participants engaged with refugees who are in transit to be resettled to their final country of destination.
Speaking to the SPG members, representatives of IOM and UNHCR reiterated the importance of the transit centre as a pivot for resettlement of refugees in Uganda. A representative of the refugees called on the SPG members and UN partners to continue their support as it offers life changing opportunities.