Central Africa: UN Calls for Governance Framework
At the tenth meeting of UN entities operating in the subregion, held from 1 to 2 February in Brazzaville, the Head of UNOCA stressed the need to strengthen democratic public spaces and conflict prevention tools. His colleagues from UNOWAS and MONUSCO were present, as well as the President of the ECCAS Commission, among others.
The meeting of Special Representatives and Envoys of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Regional Directors and Resident Coordinators of the United Nations System in Central Africa, opened in the presence of the Congolese Minister of International Cooperation and the Promotion of Public-Private Partnerships, Mr. Denis Christel Sassou Nguesso, provided an opportunity to exchange views on priorities and issues related to the prevention and peaceful resolution of conflicts, particularly in a context marked by the COVID-19 pandemic. In his speech, the Special Representative for Central Africa and Head of UNOCA, Mr. François Louncény Fall, noted the importance of coordinating efforts to address these challenges. He highlighted the need to further identify concrete measures to strengthen the resilience of Central African states confronted with security threats, such as climate change and violent extremism, which continue to cause numerous victims, prompt massive population displacements, and ultimately affect their stability.
Mr. Fall also highlighted issues related to governance and the prevention of electoral crises. He recalled the role of the United Nations to deploy all possible efforts in support of political processes underway in some of the subregion’s countries (CAR, Chad and São Tomé and Príncipe). He underlined that the UN ought to ensure that these processes are inclusive, compliant with international standards, and that they sustainably reinforce stability and democratic gains in these countries. Mr. Fall further said that the UN must continue its efforts aimed at helping ECCAS member states to promote credible and transparent electoral processes, following inclusive political dialogues and, where appropriate, operated by “legitimate, impartial and competent institutions.”
Setting up strategic frameworks for intervention before leaving UNOCA...
The Head of UNOCA explained that clarifying the definition of “strategic frameworks for intervention" could facilitate the achievement of the objectives pursued. In this regard, he stressed the need to establish a framework for governance and democratic public spaces in Central Africa, and a similar instrument for climate security. Mr. Fall added that, at a time when he is preparing to relinquish his functions as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Central Africa at the end of May, these two subjects, as well as the issue of regional integration and the coordination of UN’s efforts in the subregion, are among the priorities that he wishes to bequeath to his successor.
Mr. Fall welcomed the partnership with the ECCAS Commission, whose President, Mr. Gilberto Da Piedade Veríssimo, participated at the opening ceremony. He also highlighted the good collaboration with the UN entities operating in Central Africa and the dynamic cooperation with the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), represented in Brazzaville by its Head, Mr. Mahamat Saleh Annadif, who led a delegation. The Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Head of MONUSCO, Ms. Bintou Keita, as well as officials from the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) from New York, also participated in the meeting. In his speech, the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations system in Congo, Mr. Chris Mburu, said he was pleased to welcome participants and to contribute to exchanges with all colleagues, with a view to find a collective and cohesive response to the peace, stability and development challenges in Central Africa. Several personalities, including the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the Central African Republic and Head of MINUSCA, Mr. Mankeur Ndiaye, intervened in the discussions by video-teleconference.
Organized by UNOCA, this event was preceded by the Coordination meeting of the UN Political Units and Peace and Development Advisers in the subregion, held from 27 to 28 January in Brazzaville.