UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes briefed Security Council on political developments in the region and impact of COVID-19
Nairobi, 22 April 2020 - The Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for the Great Lakes region, Huang Xia, today briefed the Security Council members on the Secretary-General’s report S/2020/272 of 3 April, 2020, covering the period from 1 September 2019 to 15 March 2020.
The briefing, via videoconference from Nairobi, Kenya, focused on the latest developments in the Great Lakes region since the issuance of the Secretary-General’s report, as well as the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact in the region.
In his address, the Special Envoy acknowledged the challenges currently facing the region and, at the same time, assured Council members that there is still cause for optimism, as conveyed during his last briefing to the Council on 3 October, 2019.
In terms of progress in the region, the Special Envoy noted with satisfaction the continued efforts to defuse tensions, improve bilateral relations, enhance security cooperation, and reinforce regional economic integration. These efforts, he said, have contributed to a renewed momentum for the consolidation of peace, stability and development in the region, despite the challenges of negative forces in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
To consolidate the gains made so far, Special Envoy Xia encouraged the signatory countries of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the region to further strengthen their efforts to address sources of persisting mistrust, neutralize negative forces, fight impunity, increase the meaningful participation of women and youth in political and electoral processes, and work together towards stability, development and shared prosperity.
In addition to reiterating his full support in this regard, including through ongoing initiatives with regional organizations, he also urged Council members for their continued engagement for long-term stability in the DRC and the region.
On the COVID-19, the Special Envoy expressed his faith in the region to overcome this pandemic building on its vast experience in the fight against such diseases as Ebola. He said it is of utmost importance for all stakeholders, including governments, civil society, and private sector to come together in solidarity to overcome this threat and preserve lives. “Determined and united, we will defeat COVID-19,” he said.
Mr. Xia was at his second briefing to the Council members since taking office on 1 April 2019.