11 Jun 2015


Call for the reinforcement of means and capacities of UNOCA

The 8th Report of the UN Secretary-General on the activities of the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) will be introduced today 11 June to the Security Council by his Special Representative in the sub-region, Mr. Abdoulaye Bathily. In the report, Mr. Ban Ki-moon calls, inter alia, for increased logistics and for the reinforcement of the capacity of the Regional Office to enable it to meet its challenges, including those related to the regional impact of the attacks of Boko Haram in the Lake Chad Basin, maritime piracy in the Gulf of Guinea and the threat that continues to be posed by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). There is also, increasingly, the "growing security problems" generated by the electoral processes in some countries. The situation is worrying in view of the political agenda of the sub-region dominated, through 2018, by several crucial polls rendez-vous.

In this context, and based on the findings of an assessment mission to Libreville (Gabon) from 26 to 28 March 2015, Mr. Ban Ki-moon notes that the effectiveness of UNOCA depends on the revision of the periodicity of renewal of its mandate, increasing it from 18 months (one and half year) to 36 months (three years). He explains that such approach is consistent with the status of other regional Offices having the same configurations and tasks like UNOCA, whose current mandate expires on 31 August 2015. The UN Secretary-General also stresses the need to mobilize adequate resources in order to improve capacities of UNOCA not only in the field of mediation, but also with regards to promoting the inclusion of human rights and greater involvement of women in the regional peace and security agenda, early warning on risks related to electoral processes and assessment of electoral developments, etc.

Support of the Member States of the UNSAC

The 8th Report on the activities of UNOCA provides details to better appreciate the importance of those recommendations, which are strongly supported by the Member States of the UN Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa (UNSAC). The debates on electoral issues and the controversy over constitutional amendments in some countries are, indeed, highlighted in the report as well as the regular difficult relationships between government and opposition. The report underlines in particular the situation in Burundi, Chad, Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. There is also a focus on the efforts made by UNOCA to contribute to the conflict prevention, the promotion of peace and security in these countries and, in general, in the sub-region. On this point, it is worth noting that in its interactions with stakeholders, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Central Africa has always promoted an inclusive and constructive dialogue as a means of preservation and consolidation of social peace. In this regard, the report also notes the important role of Mr. Abdoulaye Bathily as UN Representative in international mediation on the Central African Republic crisis.

Major events over the past six months

For the rest, the 8th Report on the activities of UNOCA reviews the major political events in Central Africa over the past six months as well as important security trends. It integrates the socio-economic situation, the state of human rights and humanitarian consequences of the crisis in the Central African Republic, ongoing initiatives to fight against the armed and terrorist groups that threaten peace and security in the region, etc.

The fifteen members of the Security Council who will discuss the report of UNOCA are China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States of America (permanent members), Angola, Chad, Chile, Jordan, Lithuania, Malaysia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Spain and Venezuela. This session of June is chaired by Mr. Ramlan Bin Ibrahim, Permanent Representative of Malaysia to the United Nations.